Teaching Your Child to Read

JESSIE WILLCOX SMITH's A Rainy Day, Dream Blocks original illustrationThere are a variety of ways to begin teaching your children to read.

I have used the book Teach Your Child to Read in a 100 Easy Lessons successfully with most of our seven children. I really love that it is scripted.  In other words, it tells mom exactly what to say and what to ask the child to repeat.

However, this is not the only way to teach reading, some moms and/or children respond better to a different presentation.  Another fantastic scripted program, I wish I had when my children were little, is All About Reading . A multi-sensory program this would have been perfect for my kinesthetic learner as well as my auditory learner.  It is a pick up and go program with a gentle approach that achieves success quickly and easily.

Also highly recommended, is the Little Angel Reader Phonics Program, this lovely program has the added bonus of being a Catholic program with readers and workbooks which reinforce and teach basic phonics. In addition I have used the series, Explode the Code, as it too has beginner lessons to give focus on sounds and blends that need some extra help or a different presentation of the basic letters and sounds.

All of these programs introduce your child to the concept that symbols represent sounds, and that when the symbols are placed next to each other and blended, the new, blended sound forms a word. The next step would be to introduce the concept of writing these sound-symbols together or in other words, begin a spelling program. We highly recommend the new All About Spelling Program.

The entire process of reading and spelling varies in time and method, and can be individualized for each child in your family. My best recommendation is to watch for reading readiness in your little child. When you begin to see your child follow along with you while 3321615408_a14f8bec88_oyou are reading to them, and you see them begin to make out the sounds, either by themselves or in imitation of you, it is a good sign they are ready.

 

Move at your child’s pace.  Try to keep these sessions short, fun, pleasant and full of praise.  A sure sign of moving too fast is when they get easily agitated or downright resistant to these sessions.  That’s when it’s a good time to close the book and move back to reading aloud, cuddled up next to mommy.

All of our children have learned to read at a variety of ages, some as early as five years old, and some closer johnny_automatic_children_readingto nine years old.  But all of them, I am most happy to report, by having had the luxury of moving at their natural pace,  have a true love of reading.

After all, a true love of reading and a real sense of reading success is a gift of lifetime of learning!

 

Featured Author: Hilda Van Stockum

Want the perfect read aloud books for the family?  One that will be enjoyable to a range of ages?

Our family has fallen in love with all of Hilda van Stockum’s stories!

Every time we finish reading aloud one of her books, we feel as if the characters have become old friends and a part of our family. They have so much charm and warmth that they seem to literally spring Hilda_van_Stockum_(circa_1957)to life!  Mrs. van Stockum’s books  seem to invite themselves into our home and our hearts. In fact, the author frequently used her six children as models for the characters in her stories, she even put direct quotes from her family into her stories! Her vivid imagery and flair for dialect encourage the reader to become an active participant in the stories where they will travel to rural Ireland, post World War II Canada and Holland to name a few.

Drawing on her extensive travel experiences as a child (her father was in the Dutch Navy), Hilda van Stockum introduces us to some amazing characters including the Mitchell family, living in Washington, D.C. during World War II and the O’Sullivan family from County Cork, Ireland. These families are just like yours! They are very close-knit, deeply rooted in their faith and at times, more than a little mischievous! You are bound to recognize your children and some of their escapades in these delightful stories. Sadly, a few of these treasures are no longer in print but we are happy to carry The Mitchell Series, The Bantry Bay Series, The Borrowed House and The Winged Watchman. These are all excellent read-aloud stories.

The Mitchell ’s Series

The Mitchells: Five for Victory
By Hilda van Stockum

The Mitchells: Five for Victory eVersionThis first volume introduces us to the Mitchell family, whom you will immediately love. With Daddy off to war and summer vacation looming before them, the five Mitchell children form a victory club to occupy their time. The club finds many adventures, including the discovery of a war refugee orphan. Your little ones are bound to see themselves reflected in faithful Joan, gentle Patsy, steadfast Peter, impish Angela, or brazen baby Timmy. This tale is absolutely delightful. Adults and children alike will enjoy reading all about the Mitchell family in Five for Victory. Excellent for read-alouds too! (Ages 10+, 236 pages, PB $$, .epub $)

Canadian Summer
By Hilda van Stockum

Canadian Summer eBookThe Mitchell family is back again and this time they have taken their adventures to a whole new country! Daddy’s new job has brought them to Montreal and the only house they can find is miles from the nearest town with no running water nor electricity. Will they ever survive the summer? Follow the Mitchells through the beautiful Canadian countryside as they encounter new friends and new escapades. (Ages 10+, 180 pages, PB $$, .epub $)

Friendly Gables
By Hilda van Stockum

Friendly Gables eBookHere come the lively Mitchells again and this time with new additions to the family. This beloved family is now two years older and living at Friendly Gables in Lachine, Quebec. There is never a dull moment in the Mitchell house! Discover how the children cleverly escape the clutches of Miss Thorpe, the nurse who has
come to help Mother. You will be delighted as the Mitchells make new acquaintances and when old friends, the Jolicoeurs,
resurface. (Ages 10+, 165 pages, PB $$, .epub $)

The Bantry Bay Series

Having lived and studied in Ireland herself, Hilda van Stockum brilliantly captures the lilt and melody of the Irish language. You will be amazed at how quickly you’ll master an Irish brogue! Your family will be instantly enchanted with both the O’Sullivan family and the rich Irish history woven throughout these stories. So, gather the whole family together and take a trip across the pond to the Emerald Isle.

The Cottage at Bantry Bay
By Hilda van Stockum

The Cottage at Bantry Bay eBook - 65% OFFFrom the thatch-roofed cottages to Paddy, the traveling piper to the generous hospitality of neighbors, The Cottage at Bantry Bay paints a stunning portrait of the Ireland of yesteryear. It is here that we are introduced to the remarkable O’Sullivan family of County Cork, Ireland. Though they lack monetary wealth, they are rich in faith and love. Like all of Hilda van Stockum’s books, your whole family will enjoy this story. Everyone is bound to relate to one of the four O’Sullivan children. There is sweet, quiet Brigid who is always willing to help Mother, steadfast and studious Michael and the twins, Francie and Liam, both with hearts of gold that are all too often overshadowed by their many “adventures.” Mother O’Sullivan certainly has her hands full with the lot of them! Go along with Brigid and Michael as they travel the weary roads through the Kerry mountains or with Francie and Liam as they bravely face Clementine, Mrs. Flaherty’s mean-spirited cow or with Bran, the dog, to find hidden treasure! (Ages 10+, 239 pages, PB $$, .epub $)

Francie on the Run
By Hilda van Stockum

Francie on the Run eBook -65% OffFrancie is sent to the Orthopedic Hospital in Dublin far away from his family and friends, but in typical Francie style, the young boy quickly meets new friends everywhere he goes. Sick of being in the hospital and being treated like a “babby” by the nurses, the young adventurer sets out for home all on his own. Along the way, Francie meets some extraordinary characters including Mrs. McDermot in the castle, Ireland’s famed little people (fairies), kind Father Kelly and Pegeen. Francie journeys all over the country learning the different customs and legends of each region. Will Francie ever reach home or will he be taken back to the lonely hospital ward? (Ages 10+, 293 pages, PB $$, .epub $)

Pegeen
By Hilda van Stockum

Pegeen eBook - 65% OffAfter her Grannie dies, Pegeen stays with Francie’s family while Father Kelly tries to locate her American uncle. With Michael away at school, Mother O’Sullivan couldn’t be happier having another child around, but she soon finds out Pegeen is not a very quiet addition. Poor Pegeen, no matter what she does, it always
comes out wrong, but it’s never her fault! The young orphan manages to upset everyone in the O’Sullivan family, each time
concocting another tale to place the blame anywhere but on her! As the weeks go by, however, Pegeen slowly becomes a part of the family when a letter arrives from New York. Will Pegeen have to leave her new family or will Uncle Dan let her stay in Ireland? (Ages 10+, 266 pages, PB $$, .epub $)

The Borrowed House
By Hilda von Stockum

The Borrowed House eBook - 62% Off!Janna Oster is a proud, young German girl living near the Black Forest during World War II. With her famous parents entertaining in Holland, Janna is all alone and turns to the Hitler Youth group where she was taught to never question the authority of Hitler, the supremacy of the Aryan race and to view the Jewish race as inferior. Janna’s life is turned upside down when her parents summon her to Holland. It is there that the young girl begins to question the validity of Hitler’s teachings and begins to realize that no one deserves the cruel treatment being shown. (221 pages, Ages 14+ File Type: EPUB)

The Winged Watchman
By Hilda von Stockum

The Winged Watchman eBookThis is a great historical fiction of WWII—rich in suspense, characterization, plot and spiritual truth. A story of courage and hope in occupied Holland: a hidden Jewish child, an “underdiver”, a downed RAF pilot, an imaginative, daring underground hero, and the small thing of family life which surprisingly carry on in the midst of oppression. An inspiring story of those who suffer, but do not lose faith! (.epub, 191 pages, Gr 5+ $)

We carry copies of these books in ebook format as they are inexpensive and easy for mom or dad to use as a read aloud but to build our family library we suggest purchasing the paperback books from Bethlehem Books, who is continually looking for these kinds of treasures and holds a high standard when choosing books that inspire and edify a child’s imagination.

The Adventures of Tintin

By Herge

Years ago, before the movie came out, a loyal customer and homeschool writer, Ana Braga Henebry, suggested we carry these books. From the very first book we obtained to present day, our kids cannot put them down. Written in the 1940’s and translated into many languages around the world these will soon become family’s favorites too! Here is an excerpt from her article on Tintin:

Although Tintin is not shown going to Mass or into a confessional, the author’s Catholic background is present in many ways. The universal values of Catholic life are clearly portrayed as right and moral and, in a famous sequence of The Broken Ear, the bad guys get sent to—well, you know where. Author Hergé started his career working for a Catholic newspaper in Brussels under a Jesuit priest. His first Tintin book—Tintin in the Land of the Soviets—was stridently anti-Communist and attempted to expose the Communist façade. While in both Tintin on Tibet and Flight 714 there is mention of telepathy, when faced with pagan rituals Tintin uses clever ways to survive, such as his knowledge of an incoming total solar eclipse in Prisoners of the Sun. The values throughout the books are the universal Catholic values of honesty, integrity and compassion.

Our son Stephen (Age 13) recommends The Secret of the Unicorn first!

Titles 
AnchorThe Secret of the Unicorn

In this classic graphic novel Tintin stumbles across a model ship at the Old Street Market. Only it isn’t just any model ship-it’s the Unicorn, carved by one of Haddock’s ancestors, and it holds a clue to finding pirate treasure! (PB, 62pp.)

AnchorThe Crab with the Golden Claws

The classic graphic novel. A can of crab meat turns out to be a small clue to a big mystery! Tintin meets Captain Haddock in his escape and his plan to track down the crooks takes him to an exotic desert city.

AnchorLand of Black Gold

The classic graphic novel. Car engines have started spontaneously exploding all over the country . . . someone’s been tampering with the oil! Tintin, with Thomson and Thompson at his side, sails on an oil tanker to the Middle East to track down the source of the faulty oil.

AnchorTintin in Tibet

The classic graphic novel. One day Tintin reads about a plane crash in the Himalayas. When he discovers thathis friend, Chang, was on board, Tintin travels to the crash site in hopes of a rescue.

AnchorTintin in America

The classic graphic novel. Tintin comes to the U.S.A. to clean up the mean streets of Chicago but ends up in the wild west! Will Tintin make it back home?

AnchorTintin In the Land of the Soviets

Sent on assignment to the Soviet Union, Tintin boards a train. . . but after an explosion, Tintin is blamed for the bombing, and he must make his way to the Soviet Union by stealth. Once there, he uncovers some shocking Bolshevik secrets.