How To Teach A Child To Read

When asked how to teach a child to read I’m inclined to question the question. This is particularly true if the parents are homeschooling their child.

From my perspective, the question reveals a misunderstanding of fundamental homeschooling advantages. It disregards the value of child-led or self-directed learning.

Nonetheless, there is value in the question. Why? Because it gives us a vantage point to know what we are moving away from when we don’t send kids to school; when we believe there is a better way.

So, what is that point we are moving away from?

It’s the attachment to recreating a school-at-home which leads many homeschooling parents to want to know the “instruction” for how to teach a child to read. Yet actually, it applies to any subject – it’s a top-down approach known as direct instruction, which plays on the parents’ fears that their child will “fall behind”.

Such a notion was eloquently refuted in Raymond & Dorothy Moore’s book, Better Late Than Early.

The top-down approach of direct instruction assumes a homeschooling parent should play the role of “teacher”. It neglects the fact that a large majority of school teachers who homeschool their children refuse the role of “teacher”, knowing that it simply isn’t necessary.

The term direct instruction was coined by Siegfried Engelmann, who co-wrote one of the best selling “how to teach a child to read” books on Amazon. It’s called, Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Lessons.

The book essentially uses phonics.

Phonics is _________________________ .