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The Importance of a Good Reading Foundation

In the world of construction, it is imperative that builders lay a good, strong foundation for whatever they are building. Without a strong foundation, the integrity of the structure is compromised. Entire homes have been leveled due to poor foundations. It’s no different in education.

New Homeschooling Parents Don’t Always Know Where To Start

Many people who are new to homeschooling are intimidated by the daunting task of teaching a young child how to read. Heck, many seasoned homeschooling veterans are still intimidated! There are many pieces and parts of the English language that a child needs to master in order to be a proficient reader. So where is the best place to start?

While each child is an individual learner, it is best to make learning fun! Play games, do fun activities, and get your child actively involved in the learning process. Try to individualize learning activities based on your child’s interests.

When you start to formally introduce the alphabet, teach letter identification and letter sounds simultaneously. Teach upper and lowercase letters at the same time as well. It sounds a bit overwhelming, but kids are little sponges and will catch on quickly.

ABC Order May Not Be Best

ABC and Crayons
ABC order may not be best.

Some home educators are surprised to find that it may not be best to teach the letters in ABC order. Many professionals agree that it is best to introduce letters based on the sounds they make as well as which are most often found in high-frequency words. Letters like f, l, m, n, r, and s make a sound similar to their letter name. Those letters are generally the best to introduce first because their sounds can easily be stretched.

While long vowels are easier to remember (they match the letter name) little reading can be taught without the introduction of short vowel sounds. Short i and short a are common vowels and appear often in CVC words. These vowels can be introduced first.

In our year-long curriculum for Kindergarteners, Blast of to Reading!, we take letter introduction slow and spend a full week on each letter until all letters and sounds have been introduced. Spending an ample amount of time building a phonics foundation will ensure reading success in the future. It is always more difficult to have to go back and fill in the gaps!

There is No Magic Order

While there is no “magic” order guaranteed to give your child reading success, there is research that suggests teaching letters in an order similar to what we use in Blast off to Reading! may be best. We introduce the letters and sounds in the following order:

  • Mm

  • Tt

  • Ss

  • Ff

  • Dd

  • Ii

  • Rr

  • Ll

  • Aa

  • Nn

  • Bb

  • Cc

  • Pp

  • Oo

  • Gg

  • Hh

  • Vv

  • Ee

  • Kk

  • Ww

  • Jj

  • Uu

  • Yy (in yes)

  • Qu

  • Xx

  • Zz

  • Long Aa

  • Long Ee

  • Long Ii

  • Long Oo

  • Long Uu

Make Making it Fun a Priority

Flash cards can be useful - there are all kinds of games and activities you can do with them…but playing different games and working through varying activities together can build more than letter and sound recognition skills. You don’t have to spend a lot of money or be a “Pinterest Queen”, either!

Our Letter Review Activities packet includes twenty-one activities that can be used to practice and

review letter recognition skills, letter sounds, phonics bends, and even high-frequency words. These activities can be used for vocabulary building or learning foreign languages, too. These activities are low-prep and use materials commonly found in the home. Printables are included when required, so you don’t have to spend your valuable time creating new materials. Several activities are customizable to fit the individual needs of your student. They are flexible and can be used to review any letters, sounds, or vocabulary you are currently covering in your studies. Best of all, these are fun activities that get your child actively involved in the learning process! Our Letter Review Activities packet is included in our year-long literacy curriculum, Blast off to Reading! If you’d like to purchase it separately, a modified version is available, too!

You can find it at or click the link below to order!

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