Rime to Read
In the past I haven't used a reading program in teaching our kids how to read (insert collective *gasp* here). My method has just been helping the kids along with their letter sounds, letting them set their own pace, and using whatever books I happen to pull off our shelves - it's a real system, I tell ya. Right now, Zachary is in the beginning stages of reading - using our magnetic letters to try to spell out his own words and sounding out small words that he sees.
I was introduced to Rime to Read, a reading program for beginning readers. Zachary has been excited about it since it is on the computer (and anything computer is f-u-n) and I like it because I can also print off the books so that we have a physical copy in our hands. There are 20 books in the set (4 per vowel) that teach single syllable short vowel words from 20 word families and also 46 high-frequency words.
Rime to Read emphasizes word families (rimes), uses a color-coded system for word families, and also has a sound feature available when you are using the books online. Highlighted words can be heard audibly when they are clicked on. Each book focuses on one word family such as -at: Pat, sat, rat and includes common sight words. The books build on each other as they go along, using the rime patterns from previous books, and they get more difficult as your child progresses.
The books have simple illustrations that go along with the text (Zachary really likes this part of the books). At the start of each book there are also suggestions for using the books. It is important for children to know all the consonant sounds and be able to recognize lower case letters before starting the program. Zachary knew all of his letter sounds and upper case letters, and for some reason (despite the fact he's our third) the lower case letters always manage to slip by me. Now that he has them down fairly consistently, these books are working well.
A vowel set of 4 books is $9.99
The entire 20 book set is $44.99.
You can view the first book for free through their website.
About the authors:
The books were co-authored by Dr. Sara Hines and Lynn Klaiman, M.Ed. Dr. Hines holds a PhD in Special Education with a specialization in Learning Disabilities and was an educator of students with or at risk for learnign disabilities. Lynn Klaiman, a first grade teacher for many years, has a Mater's in Reading.
If you'd like to read a little more about Rime to Read or find answers to other questions
be sure to follow the links I've included. You can also read other homeschooling mom's opinions on Rime to Read at the Homeschool Crew blog.