Reading is a perennial topic amongst home educators. Many find that children do pick up reading quite naturally in the normal course of a home learning situation. Others are adamant proponents of a phonics method.
‘Late’ reading is not uncommon amongst home educated children. In school late reading is considered a problem and can result in children falling behind in all areas of the curriculum. By contrast, in home education, children seem to suffer no ill effects if they learn to read later than expected. This seems to be because home education is not so dependent on reading to empower children to learn. Outside school late readers just learn in other ways – through conversation, hands-on-activities, and through being read to (not something there is a lot of time for in school). They even learn through watching TV and playing video games.
There are many resources available to assist your child to learn to read; the most important is YOU – never underestimate the value of sitting on the couch reading with your child, this is where they will learn that reading is a rewarding experience and many children learn to read in the process. You can also surround your child with print – put up interesting posters, label your art supplies and so on and then simply answer kids questions as they ask about these things. There are also many reading resources available for free (see our Resources section) and HEN members have access to several reading resources at a discount if they wish to use them – Reading Eggs, Skwirk and Literacy Planet (which may also be available through the website of your local library).
Dyslexia exists in the home educated population just as it exists in the school population. See our Dyslexia section for ideas, reassurance and inspiration.
Otherways carries regular articles on reading and the experiences of various families have as their children learn to read. In issue 133 we celebrated the National Year of Reading with a feature on the topic which you can download below. It includes articles covering the joy of reading, what the research has to say about home educated children, the acquisition of reading ability, and their reading habits along with a variety of reading experiences.
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