We started homeschooling almost seven years ago. It was not an easy choice. Don’t get me wrong, I admired those who homeschooled their children. I had two very close friends who homeschooled their children. I loved the idea, but I had this huge looming fear. How would I teach my children to read? Or, how would I teach them things like multiplication and intense science lessons that were over my head as they became older.
Homeschooling was something my husband pushed. He felt very strongly that we do it.
We have older children who attended public school. At the time we had a seventh grader and a fifth grader. We had always been very involved in their education. Spent time at the school each year volunteering, never missed a meeting, served on boards, etc. We had one child who was an easy learner- he breezed through school. Then we had a child who struggled. He was dyslexic and school did not come so easy for him. My husband’s long term goal was to bring him home, but first he wanted us to try our hand at our twins who were starting Kindergarten.
The conversation started when the twins were two. Immediately I gave pushback. I honestly lacked so much confidence and a lot of our family gave their input too. Comments like “you’ve never been to college to become a teacher”, “how will you have time… there are so many kids”, “what about socialization”, and “how will you teach them to read”. How could I argue back….. most of these concerns were my own as well.
With my husband rooting me on we dove in and began our homeschool journey. It did not take long for me to realize this was the best decision we could have possibly ever made.
As I experienced every milestone right along side our boys, the truth about teaching my kids became very real. We are our children’s first teacher.
We teach them how to roll over, how to sit up, how walk, how to communicate, how to trust, how to behave, how to go to the potty and the list goes on and on. These are huge foundation tasks that children have to know and they trust us to teach it to them.
Why then, can we not teach our children to read and to add and how volcanos erupt?
Let me share with you one of our favorite reading websites/applications that we love and use for many age levels in our house.
Have you heard of the website and app Reading Eggs? It is made for children from ages 2-13. The main focus in reading but there is a math section as well.
One of my favorite things to do is to make learning fun and Reading eggs does that.
For ages 2-4 little ones will use the Junior section which is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. They learn letters and sounds and are exposed to words as well. Luke Henry, who is 3, playing and learning here. The story telling keeps Luke Henry engaged. He listens to each story with his full attention and begs for more. He answers the questions out loud as the narrator tells the stories. So much fun.
For ages 3-7 they focus on self paced lessons that build essential phonics and reading skills. This is the section Matthew uses. Yes, he is eight, but after taking the assessment they offer on the website, I knew this was the perfect place for him to start. There are reports that I look over once he is done so I can be involved and ensure he is in the right place he needs to be. The system tracks how many sight words he knows, how many phonics skills he has mastered, and his estimated reading age. I also love there are bonus materials that align with the lessons. We can print them out and use them to dive deeper. This is perfect for kids who need to map things out on paper too. I think you will love it…. but most importantly your young reader will too!
For ages 7-13 their curriculum helps to develop comprehension skills which is a huge thing we are working on with our tins who are eleven. They also work on vocabulary, spelling skills. Again, there is an assessment that will see where they should be placed within the learning so that everything is customized to meet your child where they are with their learning. The reading element for this age is packed with hundreds of interactive reading activities, online children’s books, and literacy games. And it really works! They can use Reading Eggs while I am working with their siblings on other subjects.
I love that each of our kids can set up their own user and we share one family dashboard where I can see how each child is doing. Just because Nick and Luke are in the same grade, this does not mean they are working on the same lessons in reading and spelling. Love how it is geared for each child.
I really encourage you to check this out. For a limited time, Reading Eggs is offering Crystal & Co., readers a 4 week free trail. No strings attached!
This is perfect for homeschool families, moms looking to supplement a public school education, at home day care providers, grandparents who babysit their grandkids and more!
I want you to remember, no matter how much you may doubt yourself, you are your child’s first teacher! We were made for this- to guide them and lead them and utilize the resources the are available to make things like reading and spelling click for our kiddos!
I hope that you will sign up for the 4 week free trial. No credit card is needed to sign up. It’s super easy and I think it will change the way to teach reading to your kiddos- no matter their age.
Win a 3 Month Subscription to Reading Eggs
I am giving away a 3 month subscription to one lucky reader. Use the widget below to join!