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Best Reading Curriculum for Emergent Readers

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Wondering which reading curriculum is best for your child? Here’s a list of some of the best reading curriculum on the market.

How to Choose the Best Reading Curriculum

When it comes to a reading curriculum, you don’t want to jump on curriculum trends. Instead, it’s best to ensure the curriculum meets your standard of excellence by asking the following questions:

1. How long has the curriculum been on the market? The longer the better because that means the publishers had time to iron out the kinks.

2. What are the curriculum’s stats for success rates? The better the track record, the more likely you’ll be pleased with the curriculum.

3. Does the curriculum fit my child’s preferred learning style? The top three learning styles are kinesthetic, visual, and auditory. Read more about learning styles here.

4. Is the curriculum multisensory? The more senses the curriculum stimulates, the better your child will learn. Most multisensory curricula will include lessons that incorporate sight, hearing, and touch.

5. How long are the lessons? A lesson shouldn’t be longer than twenty minutes. Most emergent readers are between the ages of three and six and have short attention spans.

Is Your Child Ready to Read?  

Before you jump the gun in teaching your child to read, it’s important to look for signs of reading readiness. Reading readiness occurs when a child demonstrates an understanding of the organization and basic features of print.  Here are some indicators that your child is ready to read:

•    Can follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page.

•    Can recognize that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters.

•    Can understand that words are separated by spaces in print.

•    Can recognize and name all upper and lowercase letters of the alphabet (and their sounds). 

Additionally, other signs that demonstrate reading readiness in children are attempts to read books on their own, inquiring what certain words say, and asking how to spell certain words.

As a special note, it is highly recommended to teach your child letter sounds first, rather than letter names. Teaching letter sounds makes learning how to read easier for the child. 

The Five Essential Keys to Reading Success

A good curriculum will include five essential keys to reading success that help children become fluent and proficient readers. 

1. Phonemic Awareness: Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate sounds. A good emergent reader curriculum will help children develop phonemic awareness by learning about sounds (phonemes), syllables, and words.

2. Phonics: Phonics fluency includes recognizing the connection between letters and the sounds they make. A good reading curriculum will help children through the process of mapping the sounds in words to written letters.

3. Vocabulary: Vocabulary fluency includes understanding the meaning of words, their definitions, and their context. A great reading curriculum includes integrated vocabulary as a fundamental part of reading and understanding text.

4. Reading Comprehension: Reading comprehension fluency includes understanding the meaning of texts. A great reading curriculum will challenge children to get involved in the stories they read, gain new information from the text, and deepen their levels of understanding of new concepts.

5. Fluency: Reading fluency is the ability to read aloud with speed, understanding, and accuracy. A solid reading curriculum will ensure children develop good phonic decoding skills, increase high-frequency word recognition, and encourage independent reading.

Best Reading Curriculum for Emergent Readers

Hooked on Phonics: Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read program is an award-winning program that has helped millions of kids become confident readers. The program was designed by leading educators and award-winning authors to use a proven, simple, and fun method that gives children a strong foundation in phonics and reading skills. The full curriculum includes eight levels that start with emergent readers and end with early fluent readers. There are 36 original storybooks that are colorful and engaging, simple and straightforward workbooks, music videos that bring lessons to life, and picture flashcards that reinforce letters and sounds. Most suitable for grades K-2.  Buy

Explode the Code: Explode the Code is a research-based multisensory phonics program that has been a bestseller for over 30 years. The program has helped millions of children build the essential literacy skills needed for reading success. The curriculum covers phonological awareness, decoding, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, and spelling. Students will practice fine-motor skills and letter formation, learn through visual activities, and develop visual discrimination and letter recognition. All lessons are suitable for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. Best for grades Pre-K-1.   

Reading Eggs: Reading Eggs is a comprehensive online learn-to-read program for children ages 2-13 years. The trusted award-winning program was created by an experienced team of teachers, writers, and developers to help children become fluent and proficient readers. The program covers the five essential keys to reading success, which include phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and fluency. The interactive lessons use colorful animations, fun characters, songs, rewards, and include over 2500 online books for kids. 

Phonics Pathways: Phonics Pathways Clear Steps to Easy Reading and Perfect Spelling is a best-selling book designed for K-2 emergent readers. The program uses a foolproof method to teach children the basics of phonics using sounds and spelling patterns that are introduced one at a time and slowly built into words, syllables, phrases, and sentences. A multisensory method is used to address all learning styles from kinesthetic to visual and auditory.  Buy

All About Reading: All About Reading is a scripted, open-and-go reading curriculum designed with busy parents in mind. It is a multisensory program that incorporates learning through sight, sound, and touch. The curriculum engages children in thinking, processing, comparing, and learning and encourages students to apply what they’ve learned. The program boasts that there are no gaps. It thoroughly teaches five components of reading that include Phonological Awareness, Phonics and Decoding, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension. There are no grades but rather four levels that include reading interactive kits. All levels include hands-on colorful activities and games to keep kids motivated.  

Bob Books: Bob Books has inspired reading success for over 40 years. It is an award-winning first readers series with a simple and straightforward approach to reading. The series was designed to give young children the tools to cross from learning letters to reading words by starting slowly and progressing from books with three-letter words to books with more than one sentence per page. The stories and pictures are simple yet amusing to limit distractions. This book set is most suitable for children ages 3-6 years old. Buy

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is a complete, step-by-step guide that shows parents simply and clearly how to teach their children to read. This Number One bestseller includes one hundred lessons that are fully illustrated, color-coded for clarity, and give your child the basic and more advanced skills needed to become a good reader. There are no bells and whistles in this curriculum. You don’t have to keep up with flashcards, emergent reader books, reading manipulatives, or complicated instructions. The lessons are very simplistic and only take about 20 minutes to complete.  Buy

Abeka: Abeka is a tried-and-true Christian homeschool program that offers a curriculum for all core subjects. The reading curriculum takes a spiral approach, which is proven to build children’s mastery skills. This program gives students a strong foundation for a lifetime of learning for families with standardized testing and college in mind. Abeka teaches from a practical, traditional approach that helps develop students intellectually. The program serves grades K-12. 


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