Free Online Resources for Teaching Children Reading
Teaching your child to read is no easy task, however modern technology has provided us with a variety of new teaching aids. These aids include advice from teachers, parents and other experts; printable materials; online books and games.
Online Advice About Teaching Reading
With so many websites out there it can be difficult to know where to begin, so I have provided a few links that may prove useful.
Reading Rockets is a website that provides advice on teaching reading in a variety of formats: articles, blogs, podcasts and webcasts. There are actual classroom clips to show their advice in action. The site also includes interviews with children's book authors and illustrators and discussion questions you can use when teaching your children to read.
The Science published an article by Eleanor Gibson "Learning to Read" which examines the process by which children learn to read. (Membership is required or you may purchase the article.)
The University of Michigan Health System has a webpage dedicated to helping parents teach their children to read. The site includes a break down of early reading skills and ideas for making reading a part of the family lifestyle.
The Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement has a website that features the latest findings of their researchers.
First School is an online "school" featuring preschool lesson plans as well as the necessary printable material to carry out those plans. The site includes printable crafts and activities, coloring pages, alphabet posters and alphabet coloring pages. There are also a number of useful links. (Some of the lesson plans will require you to buy books or check them out from your local library.)
Webbing Into Literacy is a website that provides lesson plans meant to prepare children for a successful academic career. The site includes printable alphabet books, nursery rhyme pages and rhyming picture cards. There is also a 101 Best Books list and a printable Reading Log that parents and children can use to track progress. (Some of the lesson plans will require you to buy books or check them out from your local library.)
Free Online Printable Materials
As I stated above both First School and Webbing Into Literacy (WIL) provide printable materials to go with their lesson plans. First School has a large variety of printable materials sorted by theme. However, WIL printable materials are sorted by unit type: Book a Week, Nursery Rhyme a Week and Alphabet Books.
The MES-English site provides a number of free phonics resources including flashcards, game cards, posters and coloring sheets. The site also includes phonics e-books.
DLTK provides a number of "Children's Book Breaks", which are sorted by theme. (Some of the popular children's book series are considered a theme, for example Curious George.) The themes include book lists, songs, crafts and printable posters and color pages.
Online Books and Games
Besides the advice and printable materials the internet can provide us with a whole new way to teach our children. There are a variety of online games that teaching reading skills. Moreover, online books can read to your child or just emphasis key sounds.
The Sesame Street Website features a variety of teaching games as well as video clips from the shop. Elmo's Keyboard-o-rama game is a fun way to teach basic letter recognition.
The dog Spot, who is featured in a number of toddler books has his own website. It provides a variety of games and reading opportunity for young readers.
The Children's Library is a library of free online books in a variety of languages.
Starfall.com also has a variety of online books. However, these books emphasis a vowel sound with a song at the beginning and by repeating the sound with each turn of the page. The site also has a section devoted to the alphabet.
Soft Schools has online flashcards (not printable) and a variety of phonics games.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means. However, it should provide you with a few key sites to start your young reader out on the right foot.