Teaching kids to read can be so rewarding, and yet so incredibly frustrating at the same time. It might seem that everyone else’s children are reading earlier or are finding it much easier than your kids. If that is the case, you are probably looking for a bit of extra help. If you are then great news, because we have the secrets to teaching kids to read that other parents might not be telling you about. There are some amazing product available that you need to be aware of that will get your kids reading successfully in no time.

Since the ‘Phonics’ marketplace is pretty swamped, we have put together a little guide to help get you started with the best free websites, best system, DVDs, books and apps that we could find that can help kids learn to read in a fun and hopefully stress-free way.

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Best DVD for Teaching Kids Phonics


If you are looking for a DVD that will help your kids learn their phonics sounds LeapFrog: Letter Factory is the DVD to get. It won’t teach it won’t teach your kids to read, but it will give them a great start by teaching them their phonics sounds.

If you have younger kids, getting this DVD is a perfect place to start. It basically teaches children the phonic sounds of the alphabet in an entertaining, easy, and fun way. You and your kids will be singing the songs and your kids will learn exactly what sound each letter makes. It is a great foundation for pre-reading and it is an amazing teaching tool disguised as entertainment and your kids will love it.

The Best Book to use to Teach your Kids to Read using Phonics


Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is the book to get if you really want to get your kids reading. This book is amazing if you can find 20 minutes a day for 100 days and are willing to put it the time and get the lessons done – it really does work. A bit of a warning though, there is a good chance your kids will not want to do the lessons because they aren’t bundled up in a cute package with super kid friendly illustrations and you will have to be creative in getting them to do the lessons, but if they do the scripted lessons when they are finished they will be reading at a second grade level (second grade!).

If your kids are starting to recognize phonics sounds and you want to get them some story books to practice with you should look for books that are known as ‘phonics readers’. The British book company Usborne have a really good set but they don’t seem to be easy to find in the U.S, you can look for some like StarFall’s Learn to Read series.

Best Online Phonics Program (Free)


There are a few free phonics websites around, we checked out ABC Fast Phonics, Progressive Phonics and Starfall. The site we liked the best that offer free phonics resources was Starfall.

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Some of the paid sites (ClickNKIDS.com, Time4Learning.com) have free lessons that you can find on the sites, but we are just reviewing the fully free sites in this section. Starfall is a free website that teaches children to read with phonics by using phonics games and online interactive books. Kids can learn pre-reading skills that help the gain the skills to eventually read short online books. With this site kids are able to practice letter sounds, word recognition, and reading comprehension by going through the sites wonderful online books, songs, and games. The site actually reads the books back to the child and it offers lots of resources for parents and teachers. They also have a paid version for home or school.

Best Phonics Program (not free)


The two Phonics Systems that we narrowed our search down to were ClickN KIDS and Hooked on Phonics. Ultimately we choose ClickN KIDS, mostly because of the cost and partly because it has been a top ten reviews winner for six years on Top Ten Reviews in their learn to read software category. If you would like to see the differences between the two programs check out Eve’s Best for really great comparison between Hooked on Phonics and ClickN KIDS.

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The Best Phonics Toys and Reading Systems


Two of the biggest players in ‘the learn’ to read educational toys area are Leapfrog and V-Tech. Both companies have lots of different toys or systems that you can choose from that are, for the most part, pretty reasonably priced. If your child is just starting out and is still learning the phonics sounds a toy that you should definitely consider is the LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Alphabet Set. You really can’t go wrong with this super popular toy, it’s cheap, it really does teach kids their sounds and it is a great first step to learning to read.

If your kids know their sounds and you are looking for something a little more complex to help get them reading you might want to consider the super popular LeapFrog LeapReader Reading and Writing System. People love this system, but the only drawback is that you have to keep buying books for it.

Best Phonics Website with Video Lessons


Mr Thorne Does Phonics is a really interesting site that features videos that help kids learn to read by introducing phonics. The videos were created by a primary school teacher in England. This site was named the number 1 site to make you smarter (children category) by The Times.

 

photo credit: cuellar via photopin cc

photo credit: John-Morgan via photopin cc

 

 

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