/ April 28, 2023/ English/Language Arts Games, Reading Games/ 0 comments

Reading is so important, yet so many struggle with it. Here are some different ways to make reading easier for your family, from curricula to apps, and books to tips and tricks! I hope you find these reading resources helpful.

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Learning to read

Do you need pre-reader activities? Here’s how my kids learned their letters and sounds.

Here’s how I taught my kids how to read with Bob Books. Don’t forget the accompanying game, Happy Hats!

Reading Eggs is an app that is well-loved by many in the homeschooling community (I have not used it myself, but thought it would still be helpful for you). They even have a free trial so you can see if it will work for your family!

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Reading Better Together

My friend Sarah Miller created this awesome reading curriculum! Here’s her free class, Bonding Over Books, that you can watch whenever is convenient for you.

My kids have recently been using Touch-Type Read and Spell (use my code AWRIGHT for 10% off!). While they’ve been reading for years at this point and are using the program more for spelling and typing, it is supposed to also teach reading.

Building fluency and confidence

Have you taken your kids to your local library lately? Sometimes, letting them pick out their own books is all they need. If you’re having trouble finding a book your kiddo enjoys, ask the librarian! They’re always a huge help, and this is a great way for your kiddo to practice asking an adult for help.

ALL reading counts, whether that’s comic books, cookbooks, how-to books, early readers, picture books, or anything else. Sure, my brain cringes when I try to read my son’s Minecraft books, but you know what? That’s okay. I’m not the target audience – he is. And he LOVES them! All that matters is that they’re reading, so let them read whatever they want.

Now, I have made the rule that I’ll only read books with them that I enjoy. I did try to read one of my son’s Minecraft books with him, I really did. I made it about a chapter before I just couldn’t take it any longer. (I’m an editor by trade, so reading poorly-written children’s books is exceptionally difficult for me.) But there are so many amazing books out there!

So let your kiddo pick whatever they want to read for themselves (within reason; censor content as you need to), but feel free to be a little pickier about the books you read with them. At the same time, though, maybe don’t jump in with your favorite classic novel. I love Little Women as much as the next person, but my kids wouldn’t be interested, so we haven’t read it together yet. We like to take turns picking out our next read-aloud book.

Tips and tricks to get your kids reading more

Can I tell you a secret? I hate graphic novels. I don’t understand them; they don’t have enough words for me. But you know what? My kids LOVE them!! So, those are books they either need to read with their dad (who also loves comic books, but isn’t home as much), or they have to read them on their own. That got them reading independently pretty early on. So if you just don’t like some books, designate them as books your kiddo reads on their own. That’s okay.

Some homeschoolers swear by just leaving the captions on while watching TV and movies. Personally, this drives me nuts, because captions are often just a little off. A word is missing, the timing is off, or a homonym is used. Or I start editing the grammar and punctuation. However, it can be a good strategy and works for many.

Do your kids love cartoons as much as mine? On drive days, my kids get unlimited screen time during drives, which pretty much eliminates all that annoying “Are we there yet?” whining. However, while driving our house in the form of a huge 40’ school bus 60 miles an hour down the road, we can’t take the distraction of their shows behind us. So they have to use headphones. Well, we also have a rabbit, who loves chewing everything, especially wires. So their headphones often don’t work. The solution? They mute their sound and put the captions on! They get to watch their cartoons, but they’re still reading!

Games to help with reading

Some kids learn to read so they can chat with their friends on Minecraft, or read directions for games on their own. Many games have the option to have the directions read out loud, but if your kids aren’t very computer savvy (okay, I realize that’s wishful thinking), you can mute the speakers and claim they’re not working.

Minecraft and Roblox, favorite games with many kids, have so many books out now! Both instruction manuals and novels. My son loves both, and maybe your kids will, too! Have your kids discovered cartoons like Lego Ninjago? My kids love those. Did you know they have books based on those cartoons? Books based on popular Disney movies abound, too.

Dungeons and Dragons can be another great game to encourage reading. My son loves reading through our DnD books!

Here’s a fun Roll and Write a Story game that your kids may enjoy! Just roll a die for each element of the story, then use the prompts to fill out your story. If your kids aren’t writing yet (if they’re not reading yet, I doubt they’re writing!), you can write it out for them, or even type it up. They might enjoy reading their own stories back to you.

I hope these different ideas of reading resources help you and your family! There’s nothing quite so magical as when your kids figure out reading and are able to explore their worlds independently.

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