Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I hate teaching children to read, so I pretty much don't.

    There, I have said it.  I hate teaching kids to read.  My first experience with my oldest child did not set the tone for a good "road to reading".  She didn't like learning to read and I couldn't handle not having this child succeed beyond everyones expectations.

      I did not factor in that said oldest child was a "young" kindy girl as she had just turned 5 in August and school started in September.  My attitude going into homeschooling was also very prideful, "My kid will do better than the public school kids!"  So how is it that 3 weeks into my first year of homeschooling MY CHILD refused to read, hated school and we both gave up?!

     The truth is, if I had to pick any point of time to send my homeschooled children to public school, I would pick K-3rd.  Someone else may teach them to read and write and do basic math and then send them back to me.  The "public school damage" is most minimized in the k-3rd grades, so again, if I had to choose, it would be then.  (But, I didn't and wouldn't, I'm just say'n).

     Teaching a child to read is like groundhogs day.  If you happen to have a lot of children and teach Kindergarten like every year, then groundhogs day pretty much never ends.  I DO NOT want to read another BOB BOOK, LEAP FROG gives me nightmares, the little AMISH KIDS can go find their cat Blackie without me, and no you CAN NOT TEACH YOUR CHILD TO READ IN 100 EASY LESSONS because ITS NOT EASY!!!!! (this is me ranting because I actually do like all of the above items, and have them all in my house.  I just look upon them all with contempt these days.)

     Back to my oldest.  She did not want to read.  I wanted her to read.  It was not fun.  Her 3 year old sister on the other hand did want to read.  She learned to read by sitting on my lap and playing quietly while I taught her older sister to hate reading.  Funny how that work.  So now the 3 year old was like "nailed it" and the 5 year old was like "suck it".  Such was life.  We muddled through and said oldest child is a very good reader and loves to read, there was just a lot of gnashing of teeth involved.

 So what do I do now?  Well there is this beautifulprogram called

    Reading eggs is this happy, online program, where the child travels down this happy learning path of reading.  They learn letters, sounds, spelling.  They play games and read books and earn golden eggs. When you first set up your childs account, they take a quiz to see what they know.  The program them puts them on the learning path based on that quiz.  Its so fun and very interactive.     
 In the Lower levels they are learning the letters and the sounds they make.  By the time you get to the end they are reading full sentences, working on spelling and basic grammar and parts of speech.
My kids have loved using reading eggs!  We still read bob books and the pathways readers too but those are in addition to learning on reading eggs and I don't push those until I see them on their own trying to read books.  It is at that point that I know they are ready to jump into books without frustration.
     Reading Eggs is a "pay for" program.

     I'd also like you to know that Reading Eggs has been very instrumental in helping to teach my VERY RELUCTANT reader, my son A.  Since starting Reading Eggs, I have found out other things about how my super creative boys brain works.  To read more about A's story, click here!

Another program I like (but not as much) is TEACH YOUR MONSTER TO READ.   This program is FREE.  My 4 year old uses this one.  I like that its fun and pretty easy to use.
 The story line is that your monster has crashed on an island.
 The Island King will help your monster fix his space ship if your monster helps him collected letters/words.
     My 4 year old thinks this is the best game ever!  He loves the rhythm of the program, the graphics are fun but not too busy.  He loves earning the prizes for his monster
  The only thing I don't like with it is that I think the program moves too fast through what they are teaching.  I wish they spent more time making sure that the child using it really had a good grasp of the letters.  It seemed like E4b had just started learning letters and then all of a sudden he had to spell the word "duck".  He made it through that part but not because he really read it, he just lucked out in the order to which he lined up the game pieces.
 I also think some of the games move a little to quick or are not very clear in what they want.  I do think though that some of that has to do with my first problem of moving the child along too quickly.  For a FREE PROGRAM though, it is a great program, my kid loves it.  Its better than ABC MOUSE which we all found frustrating, but not as systematic as READING EGGS.

     I am thankful for these programs that do the "teaching" portion and then I get to do all the follow up.  I like that they are fun, yet full of learning!  I know my oldest would have really like it and it would have been less stressful.
     Out of all of my children, there have been a few that would have loved and thrived on the whole "discover reading with wooden blocks and writing letters in the sand" thing.  The rest of them really could care less and WE ARE A READING FAMILY!!!  I no longer worry about measuring up to the rest of the world and don't feel guilty when I delegate certain subjects to "other teachers".  We all have our "bent" in life and teaching reading is not mine.  So THANK YOU online programs, you made my life easier.

     Along with Reading Eggs, we have since also fall'n in LOVE with Homeschool Journals/Dyslexia Games.  I HIGHLY recommend that every homeschool child has a journal and using Dyslexia Games, even with NON-DYSLEXIC's!


  1. I love reading eggs! DS also loves mathseeds (done by the same people, but maths!)

    My good friend Luke did much of the animation and does most of the voices. DS loves hearing Uncle Luke's funny voices.

  2. Hahaha 'nailed it' vs. 'suck it'. I laughed so hard! And how true! Bless the souls of our oldest 'guinea pig' children, who had to survive much gnashing of teeth before we figured out what NOT to do!!! (Well, I'm still kind of there, but making progress!)

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  4. My daughter is slightly over three years old and we have pretty much mastered the alphabet and the sounds that go with them. Did you just sit down with your kid and read books tracing your finger underneath the word teaching them to sound it out? Or is there any special workbooks or tools that can help her learn to read? I have mixed feeling about the Leap Pad but would be open minded if someone told me that it made the process easier/more exciting for a kid. Any ideas would be very helpful.

  5. Would teach your monster be good for a struggling reader age 7, almost 8? Or do you have any other recommendation?

    1. it would definitely help but TYMTR is not as comprehensive as a program for ongoing reading help. I also think it moves a little too fast. Lonney tunes phonics can be used on a tablet and for K-3rd grade its $30. That one is amazing and we use it everyday. My top fave is of course reading eggs but that one is more spendy.

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