Homeschooling a Beginning or Struggling Reader?

Here Are 7 Steps for Implementing an Effective Homeschool Reading Curriculum

Choosing the right reading curriculum for your homeschool can be a daunting task. Many options are available. Which is the best reading program for you and your children? Follow these seven steps and you won’t go wrong:

1. Do your research and look into the Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching reading

The Orton-Gillingham (OG) approach has been validated by nearly a century’s worth of research on what makes reading instruction effective. The approach is simple, it’s proven, and its principles have been highlighted in every national reading study completed since the beginning of the 20th century.

2. Look for reading programs that apply the Orton-Gillingham principles

There are six core principles to look for in an effective reading program. The program should:

  • Be language-based
  • Be multi-sensory
  • Be structured, sequential, and cumulative
  • Bring cognitive understanding
  • Build emotional confidence
  • Be flexible
3. Identify the program's flexibility to adjust to your child's unique needs and your own

 A flexible reading program will have certain features that allow you to individualize and adjust reading instruction to your child's needs. Here are three product features you should be looking for:

  • Education and support for the instructor. It takes knowledge and often encouragement to homeschool your child in reading. The program you choose should empower you to understand and implement Orton-Gillingham principles in your home.
  • Design that allows blending direct instruction with software. Blending and supplementing your instruction with well-integrated software can and will do wonders for you and your child. A software component that helps you free up time and gives your child the option to learn independently is a powerful tool and is important to look for in your reading curriculum.
  • Simply measure student performance and progress. Make sure that the program you choose has a sound and reliable way to measure skill levels and improvement as well as a reporting system you can regularly check. An accurate picture of your child's abilities and progress will help you focus your efforts on skills that need development and move quickly through other skills that come easily to your child.
4. Choose a program

When you make your final decision on which Orton-Gillingham-based program to implement in your homeschool, you'll want to choose the one that aligns most closely with the learning style(s) of your child(ren).

5. Learn the program you decide to implement

You might be surprised to learn how many homeschoolers purchase a reading program and yet do not know how or what that program is teaching. By being familiar with the curriculum you will be better able to answer your child’s questions and adapt instruction if the need arises. A great reading program will be understandable and include an easy way to learn its methodology.

6. Commit to your choice and stay consistent

It is so important for your child to learn to read —and there is no time to waste in achieving that goal. Fully commit to the choice you have made and keep consistent in your instruction. Jump in and enjoy watching your children learn. You can do this!

7. Share what you've learned

Now that you’ve learned what it takes to effectively teach reading in your home, you can share what you’ve learned with other homeschoolers and promote the effective reading strategies you’ve adopted. We can all use some friendly help from someone with experience.

Hear from real homeschoolers, just like you.



How Can Reading Horizons Help?

Reading Horizons At-Home offers a highly effective homeschool solution. It is one that has been validated by many homeschoolers who have succeeded in teaching their children to read. Our Orton-Gillingham-based program provides you with the knowledge, support, and flexibility needed to help beginning and struggling readers master the reading skills needed for educational success.

Look into Reading Horizons At-Home products for your homeschool ›

Read the following reviews to see how Reading Horizons has helped homeschoolers like you teach their children to read:

Reading Horizons wins the prize here. A completely non-consumable, reasonably priced, and absolutely clutter-free program.

Mary Pride

I have three kids with three VERY different personalities and strengths/weaknesses.  The Reading Horizons Discovery At-Home program has worked well for all three of my kids. This program is by far the most flexible reading program I have ever used. The program not only teaches how to read but how to “see” the words.

Read the full review on Crafty Homeschool Blog ›

I discovered Reading Horizons products during the summer of 2012—I learned to teach the program using the Free Parent Phonics Training.  By the end of August, my son had been evaluated by a pediatric neuropsychologist and diagnosed with dyslexia. I wasn't the least bit worried, I already saw Reading Horizons making a difference!

Read the full review on Cattails and Cobwebs Blog ›

What really surprised me is that how little instruction time [my 4-year old daughter] needs to really grasp a concept with [Reading Horizons] Discovery At-Home. [The program] really dissects reading into bite size pieces that are small enough for little learners to digest. I'm really looking forward to continuing with this program over the next year to see where it takes us. 

Read the full review on Eco Babyz Blog ›

While it took some time for us to get used to [Reading Horizons Discovery At-Home], we really like this program. It doesn’t just teach a child how to read. The program is designed to show kids how to decode words and know why something is pronounced or spelled the way it is.

Read the full review on These Temporary Tents Blog ›

My seven-year-old daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia in the summer of 2012. While it was clear to me that she needed intervention, I was unsure how to go about it. I had been homeschooling for ten years and taught two other children how to read successfully. Once hearing the word, dyslexia, I suddenly felt incompetent and unqualified to teach. When the only evidence of reading lessons is fallen tears on a dining room table, you will do whatever it takes to find a solution. Thankfully, Reading Horizons provided the tools to make teaching reading a reality. While our progress is slow, it is progress and that is more than we had before. My left-handed, dyslexic child may have everything backwards and upside down but in her zany way she emerges to be creative and intelligent, and sees the world in a way I envy.  I did not want a program to stress this beautiful mind into making it believe it was malformed or inadequate. She simply had to adjust to how the rest of us relay thoughts through written words and not the colors and pictures that flood a dyslexic's mind. Reading Horizons does not feel like a crutch used to turn pages painfully but an instrument to turn pages naturally.

Read the full review on Under the Golden Apple Tree Blog ›

I LOVE how [my son] interacts with Reading Horizons! He jumps right in there to do his lesson and does very well with marking his blends and vowels. I was concerned that maybe there might not be enough to hold his interest, but he hasn’t had any problems sticking with it. The main thing is that he tries to sound out more words when he is reading outside of his lesson. He seems to have more of a desire to read, and I think this is because he is learning more phonics. I feel that Reading Horizons is a great option for older kids and adults who are struggling with their reading.

Read the full review on The Roller Coaster Called Life Blog ›

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