Homeschool Reading Specialist

Yes, you can teach your child to read!

Writing On Wednesday – A great resource for beginning writing skills


I am a big fan of Montessori’s approach to learning, so I was very excited when I found out that Heather at Golden Reflections Blog was offering this digital download of her writing program for young children at HALF PRICE (2.49) through July 6.  Heather is an occupational therapist homeschool mom, so she has expertise in knowing the best techniques for teach young children to write. Check out her 6-week curriculum here!

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Reading 101 ~ A Snippet About Phonics

Reading 101 Phonics


This is just a snippet about phonics. If you are using a curriculum that incorporates all the components of a well-rounded reading program, you likely have a good phonics program. I have included a chart at the end of this post that shows the progression of how a child moves through various stages of reading to become a proficient reader. The progression of phonics skills are shown in this chart. 

Phonics is the ability to associate sounds with letters and then use these sounds to form words. Most reputable reading programs do a good job of teaching phonics, so I won’t dwell here. There are three main parts to phonics instruction:

1) letter-sound correspondence;

2) Sounding out words;

3) Reading connected text (phrases, simple sentences, short paragraphs or stories.)

Your reading program should have readers or some type of text that allows your child to practice reading words that contain the sounds they have learned. In the world of reading this is called controlled text or controlled vocabulary because the text is controlled – the words are selected based on the sounds they have learned to that point. This is very important. This is where your child will apply the reading skills he has learned. Be sure your curriculum provides ample opportunity to practice reading connected text.

Review, review, review! Don’t move on to the next stage until your child has mastered the previous step. If you’re working on sounding out 2 and 3 letter words and they aren’t getting it, don’t move on to harder skills. Practice, review, keep working at it! Children need a solid foundation in phonics. has a great chart that shows the progression of phonics skills. Get it here.

Happy Reading!


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Writing on Wednesday ~ Writing “Out of the Box”

You gotta Have This Book WOW


Here it is on my shelf in an “easy-to-get-to” place!

One of my favorite resources when I was teaching in the classroom was Marjorie Frank’s If You’re Trying To Teach Kids How To Write… you’ve gotta have this book!  The book has many wonderful “unconventional” ways to get kids to write. It helps teach children to value their writing, to edit, and to be creative. I never went through this book from cover to cover, but I did pull activities from it on many occasions.  It made writing fun. Maybe you need some fun in your own writing program or some ideas for summer writing. This book will help you think “out of the box.”  

It is full of helpful lists….

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And lots of fun ideas…

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And of course, teaching tips…..

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Many thanks, Margorie, for the memorable moments you inspired
in my classroom, and now, around my kitchen table.

If You’re Trying to Teach Kids How to Write . . . You’ve Gotta Have This Book!  (affiliate link)


Happy Writing!


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Worksheet Works ~ a great resource for you!

I create custom handwriting worksheets at this site. There are lots of worksheets for every subject, skill, and grade level. Check it out!11019-pale-blue-heart-clip-art

Happy Reading!


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Reading 101 ~ Assessing Phonemic Awareness Skills ~ Part 5


My Favorite Phonemic Awareness Assessment Tool

My favorite resource for assessing phonemic awareness skills is the PADI (Phonemic Awareness Diagnostic Inventory) published by Covenant Education Services. Bill and Kristen Eckenwiler created an entire line of diagnostic reading assessments and make it available through their business, The Struggling Reader. These materials were created to help parents assess their own children, so specific reading deficiencies could be identified, then taught. The PADI can be used to assess a young child’s phonemic awareness knowledge whether or not they are struggling in reading.

There are approximately 30 discrete phonemic awareness skills that a child should master by the end of second grade.  The phonemic awareness test offered by The Struggling Reader is a user-friendly, but powerful tool that will allow you to evaluate your child’s abilities on 21 of the most important phonemic awareness skills.  (

I love the fact that the Test and Teacher’s Manual (or Activities Book) go hand-in-hand. Each of the 21 skills are numbered accordingly. If my child needs to learn skill 9, 14, 17, and 21, I turn in the teacher’s manual to skill number 9 and select the activities I want to do with my child. Fabulous! Here is their description of the teacher’s manual….

Once you have discovered which phonemic awareness skills your child needs to work on, this collection of activities becomes a powerful companion to the test.  Each of the 21 skills has 10 separate teaching activities designed with children in mind. There are no boring worksheets or repetitive drill here. All activities are teacher-friendly and appealing to children, with many built around kinesthetic principles to enhance learning. These powerful teaching activities come complete with word lists, picture cards, and a simple materials list for each activity. (

Some of you asked how to assess your older child to find out where they are lacking in their skills of phonemic awareness. This is the best resource I know. For those of you with preK-2nd graders, this resource will help you keep track of the phonemic awareness skills your child needs to have.

Check out this great resource and the other reading assessments the Eckenwilers have created at

Happy Reading!


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1 Comment »

Homeschool Reading Specialist

Yes, you can teach your child to read!

The Measured Mom

Yes, you can teach your child to read!

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