Kindergarten Reading: Home School Help

How do you teach home school Kindergarten reading? Get help and advice from fellow home schoolers who show you their favorite books and what methods help their child learn.

teaching kindergarten reading

Kindergarten Reading

Reading ideas for roughly age 5-7 year-olds.

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I run a Courageous Homeschooling Facebook Group where we share the ups and downs of our days and give each other support and encouragement.

This is what Mandy asked:

"My children always have enjoyed when I read aloud to them (but) recently, I've added some chapter books, books with little to no pictures and they lose interest quickly. Do you think they are too young or is it the content of the books that bore them? I've given them things to quietly play with as I read and that did not work at all. I've tried a few different books like Charlotte's Web and Velveteen Rabbit, Judy Moody... They are 7 and just 6."

~ Mandy

"I read chapter books to my children who are 6 and 4. The 4 year old often falls asleep while I'm reading but the 6 year old asks for more.

(Encouraging Kindergarten reading) may be about finding something that grips them. The Faraway Tree is good because everything happens reasonably quickly and the story develops quickly. It's an Enid Blyton book. They absolutely loved it and it gave them the opportunity to learn how to listen to chapter books. My 6 year-old is almost ready for the C.S.Lewis Narnia series now." ~ Jessica

"Jessica that's what I need. Books that focus on the transition from picture to chapter. My daughter enjoyed the Narnia series Lucy's adventure. We read it without her younger brother who would have been bored. Thanks for helping me remember that." ~ Mandy

"Love the Faraway Tree! Enid Blyton. My favorite of all time! We've read it twice. Love love love." ~ Sheila

"It does depend. We listen to audio books in the car a lot and I think they may have developed the span for longer stories from that.

Laura Ingalls Wilder is a good read aloud for kindergarten reading, also, Astrid Lindgren's Bullerby books are lovely, her Lotta books are good too and The Tale of Desperaux is another Kate DiCamillo one my guys enjoyed around that age." ~ Katie

"Have you read any Fancy Nancy books? We have always loved "Fancy Nancy, Explorer Extraordinaire". When I saw the illustrations I thought it was going to be a stereotypical girl book, but no. Nancy and her friend go exploring the backyard looking for bugs and studying leaves, butterflies and a bird nest. There are actual photos of the insects and tree species they talk about and it is really quite informative. It works in French words on occasion, too.

In this particular book, Nancy and her friend have to decide whether or not to make their younger siblings part of the explorer group and discuss the good things the younger kid do (finding a baby bird) and the bad things (picking flowers without permission). I know Fancy Nancy has short chapter books, and I'm guessing some touch on politeness, but once my daughter started reading chapter books I haven't been able to keep up with her." ~ Pam

"For young children who like dinosaurs and adventure.....Astrosaurs are a fabulous series of paperbacks. My son who is now at college loved them when he was young, he sometimes fell asleep, so the next night we would recap before we started to read again." ~ Susanne

"Here's a list of some chapter books I've shared with my 6 year old son and that he's enjoyed: Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, White Fang, Black Beauty, Robinson Crusoe, The Dragon Painter, The Firebird."

"Another series (read aloud chapter books) that we all love is Zoe and Sassafrass, about a girl who can see invisible magical animals and needs to use the scientific method to figure out how to cure their magical ailments. She gets help on occasion from her cat, Sassafrass, and her mom, who can also see the magical creatures.

For witchy/spooky silliness - there is an enchantress in The Magic Treehouse series. When my daughter was 5 we had nearly the entire first book memorized (yes it is a chapter book) because she loved it so much and would ask us to read it over and over again. My boys like Geronimo Stilton's Kingdom of Fantasy books. They are longer/chapter style books, but with illustrations on every page and introduce maps." ~ Pam

Have you tried Roald Dahl for kindergarten reading? We bought a boxed set of Roald Dahl books and so far we've read The BFG and The Twits. My son LOVED them! And he loves other funny chapter books like Grasshopper on the Road and Owl At Home where the protagonist meets all sorts of crazy characters or do crazy things. Maybe if you're finding the current books you're reading a bit dry for your kids then you can try changing it up and finding more humorous books. And of course, finding books on topics that interest them will help too I'm sure. Good luck!" ~ Ange X

"I have found my two are very different. My daughter was able to concentrate and follow a chapter book from about the age of 4 as long as we stopped in between and talked about the characters and the content but my son (now 6 and a half) still likes pictures books and only recently is able to listen to chapter books but prefers the ones which have some pictures in them.

For Kindergarten reading we love the Dr. Seuss books. The Pettson and Findus books are amazing too - we love the illustrations. There are so many lovely details to discover and the language is great too. 'Wild about books' is really lovely too and a family favorite, as is 'The seven silly eaters'. My daughter loved the Brambly Hedge stories which have slightly longer texts but still pictures too. Luke Pearson's 'Hilda' series has amazing illustrations too.

And we recently have discovered books without words but amazing illustrations where you can come up with your own stories such as 'Journey' by Becker. Then there is this lovely math series by Charlesbridge - from that one we really like 'A place for Zero' and 'Rabbits, rabbits everywhere'. The series introduces math concepts in a story form. There are also lovely easy chapter books with some illustrations.

My daughter loved the 'Delphie' series by Darcy Bussell because she loves dancing and my son likes the 'Swashbuckle Lil' and 'The Kingdom of Wrenly' series.... I think you can guess that we loooove books, lol." ~ Diana xx

"Audio books are sometimes great options for Kindergarten reading. Geronimo Stilton audio books are particularly hilarious and the narrators are awesome. The series of books is up to over 60 titles now and that is how we got our readers to transition from picture books to chapter books.

Having said that though - often picture books are at adult levels as they are meant to be read by the parent so if a kid can read say Bill Peet etc the books are at a high level.

It's up to you but anything they read is good reading in my book." ~ Allie

how to teach home school reading

If you want help with starting off your younger child with home school reading, get ideas and suggestions here.

Kindergarten Reading Activities

Ruth has a really helpful suggestion for helping with kindergarten reading:

"I think sometimes the visual stimulation is missed when we move on from reading picture books. I've found puppets or pictures that are relevant to the story can be very useful to use alongside when reading. You could print out pictures and make simple finger puppets for the kids to use or for you to use when reading." ~ Ruth

And here's some very useful advice from Ange for what you can do to help with Kindergarten reading:

"My son is 6 and when we read chapter books I often stop to ask him if he knows the meaning of words that he probably doesn't. I will then explain the meaning. Now he asks me what a word means when we come across one he doesn't understand but before he wouldn't say anything and look bored. I think because he couldn't follow the story at times.

Even chapter books for kids will have words they have never come across so talking about the words holds their interest and is a good way to build up their vocabulary. I also stop to ask inferential questions (why do you think he did that? Why do you think she's sad? Do you think they like each other? etc). I also ask other questions to involve him like 'what would you do if that happened?' And when we're coming to an exciting part I'll often say 'and that's the end of the story.' My son will then tell me to stop being ridiculous and to keep reading :). So yeah, I try to break up the reading by involving him." ~ Ange

Teaching Home School Reading

There are some fabulous real-life suggestions for encouraging Kindergarten reading here!

Just to throw a spanner in the works, I would say I am not sure reading can be rushed.

We tried everything with our daughter Catherine - including the odd bribe - and I could see it was becoming a battle ground and also that a lot of it for me was the embarrassment of teaching a child at home who still couldn't read.

One of the joys of homeschooling is the flexibility - you can see why everyone has to read at the same age and the same time if you are teaching a class, but since everyone actually comes to things at different times - you may decide to leave things until your child seems  ready.

Catherine only started reading by herself when she was about 8 and a half - I think she just liked the comfort of being read to until then.... but she loves books now and that was the fruit I was most hoping to pick.

If you would like more help with how fellow homeschoolers with teaching home school reading or any other subject, please do come and ask in the Courageous Homeschooling Group.

We are there to support and encourage each other along our homeschooling journey.

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