Unschooling Resources: Learning to Read and More


Books

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
These strips are a great way for emerging readers to sit down with a book and really enjoy it. The strips are short, but the payoff is big! It doesn't take much reading to get to the end of one or a few. And, Calvin is a great character - imaginitive, insightful, interesting, intelligent (any more "I" words?), fun, and mischievous! Adored by kids everywhere!

Comic strips and comic books in general. Because they're set up in an interesting way, and because they're engaging (funny and silly, or action-packed and intense), lots of kids enjoy reading them. Often the text is kept to a minimum and isn't overwhelming.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Phyllis Haddox and Elaine Bruner
Some unschoolers have used this method with success when their child was motivated to learn to read. This easily customizable book focuses on phonics and letter sounds and does not name the letters (i.e., no alphabet song). Many unschoolers love it; others have tried it and found it doesn't fit their child. (post #111)


Games

Many games involve reading, but here are a few of our favorites with a reading focus.

Apples to Apples
A fun way to learn about nouns and adjectives. Heck, a fun game in its own right! Check out the link for an flash demonstration of how the game works. Family fun at its most outrageous! (post #1361)

Boggle

Scrabble

Scrabble Jr.


Websites

DiscoverySchool's PuzzleMaker

IKnowThat.com (Post #13)

Online Magnetic Poetry

  Language from The Rudiments Of Wisdom Encyclopaedia by Tim Hunkin
A collection of thousands of strange, categorized facts in cartoon form. Amazing! In this section, you'll find cartoons on grammar, phrases, slang and more. Lots of fun! (post #217)

Starfall.com
Online games, books and more for beginning readers. This site is widely used (and praised) by homeschoolers and is great for the interested child.


Miscellaneous

Audio Books
A wonderful way to "read" on the go or at home. Check out Jim Weiss's thoughtful retellings of classic tales, legends and more. A favorite of homeschoolers everywhere. Or, record your own! Great fun for kids and adults, alike.

Closed Captioning on Television
This annoys some kids, but others find it interesting. I used to love to watch for the times the text didn't quite fit with the sound.

Mad Libs
These are great fun for kids of all ages! Choose a noun, pronoun, place, verb, adjective, etc., and they are plugged into a story. Results are often hilarious! Great to play with a mix of kids and adults.

Schoolhouse Rock: Grammar Rock
"Conjunction Junction," "Interjections!," "Lolly, Lolly Lolly Get You Adverbs Here" and more. You can find these on cd/cassette or dvd/vhs.

Trading Cards
Yu-gi-oh, Pokemon, and other game cards, as well as sports cards, are lots of fun for interested children to read. And, the games themselves often involve a great deal of strategy, math, etc. Theyr'e also useful for making up entirely new games!

Video Games
Many video and computer games require lots of reading and writing/typing. Also, there are strategy guides for most games out there, as well as gaming magazines, books based on video game characters, and more.

Word Search and Crossword Puzzles

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