Skip to main content

I am homeschooling my child, who does well in every subject but reading. Do you have any suggestions for teaching phonics?

Expert answer

The resources below may give you some ideas for new ways you can approach phonics instruction with your child:

This next article from Reading Rockets describes the elements of effective reading instruction. It may be able to guide you in ensuring that you have addressed all of the key instructional components when teaching your child to read:

If, after trying some of these teaching strategies, your child is still having a hard time with phonics, you may want to consider other reasons for his difficulties. There are many children who are bright, but also have a very challenging time learning the basic skills of reading. Many of these children learn differently and require more explicit and varied instruction in mastering literacy skills than other kids their age who seem to learn how to read and write almost effortlessly.

This is not a reflection of the intelligence of the children who struggle, but a sign that there may be something impeding their progress. This discrepancy between ability and achievement is, in part, what defines a learning disability. It can be difficult to hear that your child may have a learning disability, but it is important to keep in mind that, by definition, people with learning disabilities have average to above average intelligence. They may need to be taught in a different way than they’ve previously been taught and may need to be shown learning strategies that work for them.

Discovering your child’s learning differences, as well as ways to work through them, may help him to become an advocate in his education, to learn compensating strategies, to feel better about himself and his ability to learn, and to more fully reach his academic potential. The following articles describe some common characteristics that children with learning disabilities exhibit:

If, after reading these articles, you suspect that your child is showing signs of a learning disability, you may consider requesting an educational evaluation through your public school, which is free and within your legal rights as a parent to request.

This evaluation is a way of gathering information so that you can better understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the best ways to help him become a more successful and willing reader. The evaluation will also give you an opportunity to consult with educators about your child’s specific needs. The following articles will provide you with information about educational evaluations and an overview of the evaluation process:

Find more answers from this expert