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We’re slowly creeping up on the new school year, and you know what that means: it’s time to hunt down the best homeschool reading curriculum! Your kiddos might have been swimming in the pool or running around all day, but you’re hard at work!
To make things easier on you, Ashley has been hard at work researching, testing, and reviewing as much curriculum as she can get her hands on. If you’re interested in her guide for ALL homeschool curriculum by subject, grade, and type, there’s the complete guide to secular homeschool curriculum.
But for all of you who are just looking for reading, we’ve got you covered. Here are our top three picks for reading curriculum this year, with some honorable mentions afterwards.
Best Homeschool Reading Curriculum: Top Three + Honorable Mentions!
All About Reading (AAR) is a stand-alone, research-based phonics curriculum created to help your child learn to read. You can start the program between preschool and kindergarten age and use it until your child can read fluently, usually around second or third grade.
AAR comes in five levels, from pre-reading to Level 4. Each level has its own books, teacher’s edition, and student packets. Plus, they come with real, hardcover, fiction books! To best meet your child’s needs, AAR offers free placement testing online. This is a great option for homeschool parents, as it allows homeschooled kids to begin where they are instead of on a specific grade or age level.
All About Reading takes a hands-on approach to teach reading. Your child will build words with tiles, use cards, play games, and complete paper-based activities, which makes the learning process much more meaningful. This program is very interactive, and you’ll be doing hands-on work every day.
- Young Kids, typically between 4 and 8.
- Families who are (or will be) teaching multiple children to read, as most of the program can be reused from kid to kid
- Kids who want a multisensory reading approach
If we’re going to cover the best homeschool reading curriculum, we can’t leave out Logic of English (LoE) Foundations. This program has four levels, A thru D, and is targeted to kids between the ages of 4-7. They offer a placement test to help you figure out where your child should start. Logic of English Foundations is a full language arts program, with reading, grammar, writing, vocabulary, spelling, and handwriting. Each level is designed to be used for a half year to a full year of instruction. You may use one or two levels a year, depending on your child’s needs and how you’d like to pace it.
LOE provides a complete, comprehensive language arts education that helped me keep homeschooling simple in kindergarten. This all-in-one type of format saved me time, and helped keep my son’s attention. Plus, the Teacher’s Edition did a fantastic job of providing support and integrating learning to read into every area of language arts. Lessons run smoothly, and I felt that I had all of the support I needed to teach my child.
- Families who want the simplicity of an all-in-one homeschool language arts curriculum
- Kids who are learning reading, writing, and handwriting at the same pace (whether that’s behind, at, or above grade level, as long as those three skills are roughly equal)
- Parents or kids who want/need a lot of hands-on instruction
The PRIDE Reading Program consists of six different levels with a free placement exam on their website. You can move through the levels at your child’s pace, spending anything from a few months, to a year, or longer on each level, depending on the child’s progress.
Before you begin teaching, you’ll receive a training course via email. The training videos introduce you to the different components and techniques you’ll be using in the program. You can go through the course at your own pace so you’re ready to begin when you receive your materials.
If you worry about teaching your child to read, the PRIDE Reading Program is 100% scripted. You won’t have to worry about gaps in instruction. With simple, easy-to-follow directions and everything contained in one bag, your prep time is short. I never found myself scrambling, looking for materials or starting early to prepare myself.
- Kids with dyslexia, auditory processing disorders, or who are struggling to learn to read
- Parents who are new to homeschooling or teaching reading, or who would benefit from some teacher training
- Parents who want the option of a professional stepping in when needed to give virtual reading coaching time
- Families who want to be able to learn reading at the child’s pace
Honorable Mentions for Best Homeschool Reading Curriculum
Best Online Homeschool Reading Curriculum: Reading Eggs
Reading Eggs online reading game and activity site progressively covers all necessary phonics and language skills. You just start with a placement test and then you’re off! We recommend this program as a base curriculum for busy times and short term, but it also makes a fantastic supplement that will get your kids reading (and enjoying reading) during their screen time!
Best Integrated Homeschool Reading Curriculum: Hooked on Phonics
Is there a reading curriculum more well-known than Hooked on Phonics? HoP has been a household name since I was small, and they’ve only gotten better with their video series and app! They’re a multifaceted learn-to-read program that includes reading, workbooks, and a slew of interactive components including video and app that carry most of the weight of the course. They are leveled by grade but additionally offer a placement test before getting started on a level.
Most Popular with DIY Homeschoolers: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Teach Your Child to Read is a very popular recommendation in homeschool circles. It is probably the most affordable, comprehensive phonics curriculum available. This teaching guide supports the parent with 100 simply scripted lessons that progressively teach phonics skills. However as I noted above, this program isn’t for everyone. This curriculum includes the manual only, and one manual covers all of your phonics lessons, start to finish. You will be creating or purchasing hands-on materials that you need, and possibly will need to think up ways to make it more fun and interactive if you find that your child is less than engaged. After trying it and abandoning it, I do believe this phonics curriculum is a strong one – if you’re willing to put in the extra prep time and energy needed to teach it.
Best Supplement to Build Confidence: Leveled Readers
PhonicBooks offer a wide range of engaging leveled readers for kids of all ages. Designed to help kids practice individual phonics skills along with fluency and vocabulary, PhonicBooks sets will appeal to kids who love digging into a real story as they learn to read. We especially recommend the Dragon Eggs series and checking out the Catch-Up Readers for older kids who are struggling with reading.
Bob Books are also an affordable way to introduce your young child to phonics concepts. You may even be able to find a set at your library. These books introduce sight words and decoding (sounding out words) one skill at a time and progress through a long series of books. These are a great reading supplement for your language arts program that will get your child reading independently and gaining confidence quickly. However, many children will need additional, direct instruction to fully master and apply phonics skills.
Most Popular Learn-to-Read App: ABCmouse
ABCmouse is a subscription-based online program that your child will progress through at their own pace as they master reading skills. The gamification of reading skills is engaging to many students. Best used as a supplement to your homeschool language arts instruction, ABCmouse provides excellent practice in reading and phonics skills. The challenge will be to keep your kids on track and progressing through the program (mine just liked to feed the hamster all day!).
For more reading on this topic:
- Phonics Curriculum: Compare 10 Top Homeschool Programs
- Pre Reading Activities: 16 Fun and Easy Ideas
- Teach Writing: 14 Ways to Help a Reluctant Writer!
- Reading Programs for Dyslexia: 3 Keys for Homeschool Success
Hillary is a former teacher who went rogue and became a freelance writer. When not offering support and advice to homeschooling families, she tends to her own garden, family, and cat. You can connect with her on her website, homegrownhillary.com.