Preschool Homeschooling

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Preschool Reading Activities

Preschool reading activities and phonics games for children that are ready to learn to read.

This is the third article in a four part series. Please read the articles that precede this one:

Ready to Learn to Read

Girl reading
"Kids need to see their parents reading, and they need to be read to themselves as early as possible. Young school-aged children benefit from responsive reading of stories with their parents. Such literacy-nurturing activities have been shown repeatedly to foster optimal language development." (Mel Levine, A Mind at a Time, p 148)

There are probably plenty of websites or books available claiming to be able to test or tell you when your child is ready to learn to read, but if you have been reading with children since babyhood, she will already have been enjoying preschool reading activities for a long time already.

As a homeschooling mom of 6 children, I have noticed that my little ones are ready to learn formal reading when they themselves begin to show an interest in deciphering the letters they see around them or show an interest in writing.

Usually one of the first words a child learns to read and write is her own name and this seems to me a more logical place to begin than at the beginning of the alphabet. This is why the first words in my manual ABC Fun & 1-2-3 are "Don't start at the beginning!"

Once your child has become familiar with the alphabet and the sounds that letters make (rather than the names of the letters) she will be ready for more formalized phonics and fun preschool reading activities.

The Three R's

The Three R's

A great resource for parents is Ruth Beechick's The Three R's.
This book will tell you everything you need to teach your children their phonics, WITHOUT an expensive curriculum. More importantly, it will also build your confidence and reassure you that there IS NO 'best' curriculum!


"The idea that parents should hurry reading, spelling, writing, or math ahead of children's normal development is not supported by a single replicable research study in the world or by any clinical experience in history. All history, research and common sense points in the opposite direction!
We repeat: Any who push the three R's early deny the readiness the Creator built in - reasonably mature vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell, reason, brain growth, coordination."

~ Raymond Moore, The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook, p46)

Even when your children have all learnt to read alone, you should continue to read aloud together. Not only does this reading with children enhance family relationships as you have a store of shared memories and stories read together, but reading aloud at any age also results in many, many other priceless benefits.

This article explains how crucially important reading aloud is for preschool and the years beyond: Two Preschool 'Ingredients' for College Success.

Top of Preschool Reading Activities

Preschool Reading Games

1. Play the game I spy with my little eye... but instead of saying the name of the letter, say the phonetic sound of the letter. Take turns with your child to guess the item that begins with the sound given. Give each other clues to make it more fun. This game will develop listening skills for phonetic awareness.

2. Phonic recognition game:

  • You will need a large floor area/ tiled or cement slab where you can write with chalk.
  • Create blocks and write a letter known to your child in each block.
  • Ask your child to toss a bean bag onto the letter that you mention by its sound. When she gets one wrong, its your turn and then she must judge if you throw it onto the correct block or not. Try to catch her out by making some mistakes!
  • Alternatively, take turns hopping on the letters that the other person calls out.

3. Letter recogniton activities at home and out-and-about - see the Worksheets page for more.

4. Buy a set of fridge magnets. Help your child spell her name with them.

5. Place a few magnetic vowels and consonants that your child knows on the fridge or on a baking tray and ask her to make as many words or word families as she can. eg. using "a" and "t" with other consonants she could make the family cat, rat, sat, mat etc.

6. Let your child practice writing letters in flour or icing sugar on a baking tray.

7. Let your children explore the preschool reading activities and phonics games online at www.starfall.com.

8. Explore some Reading Games for Preschoolers at www.kids-games-for-playing.com.

Click here for a list of Reading Skills that a child must master to move from being a beginner to a mature reader that reads fluently.

Top of Preschool Reading Activities

NEXT >>> Part 4 - The Benefits of Reading with Children.

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ABC Fun & 1-2-3
by Shirley Erwee

Less than $1 per week

Shirley's gentle, age-appropriate preschool programme gives you alphabet-based activities each week, alphabet crafts, alphabetized nursery rhymes, number and counting activities, as well as a list of recommended, quality children's stories to read aloud together as you and your children adventure through the alphabet, one letter per week.

All the hard work and planning is done for you - for less than $1 per week, you just open up the book and start the A-B-C fun!

Click here for more details:


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