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  1. #1

    Default Preschool reading curriculum suggestions

    Hello Homeschoolers!
    My name is Amy. I have a two year old little boy that I am wanting to homeschool, but I'm new to homeschooling and don't really know where to start.
    For now I am just wanting to start working on reading with him. I have been doing some searching online and browsing this forum for different reading curriculum but have not found a lot for pre-school age. I was wondering if you could share some of what you've used that has worked well? I don't mind spending a little money as I want to get a good quality curriculum that I can hopefully use again down the road.
    Here are a couple programs that I've found from my searching online:

    This Website Contains Affiliate Links - Home (This program seems really intriguing but I haven't heard a lot about it)
    Teach-Your-Child-to-Read-in-100-Easy-Lessons (I've seen a few different websites talk about this program with mixed results..)

    Thank you in advance for your feedback!

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  3. #2



    Two years old is rather young to start reading, and too young to “sit down and work”.

    At this age, you can read her varied stories that keep her interest (your local librarian should be your best friend!), and play alphabet games with her, if she is interested in them. If she isnt, set them aside for MONTHS before presenting them again. Work on developing her vocabulary, work on exposing her to museums and parks, playgrounds and zoos. Encourage her curiosity, so that when she is developmentally ready, learning to read will be her key to independently devouring books.

    Remember, she wont even be able to make all the sounds until she is 5 or 6. There is no advantage to pushing reading skills early.

    Once she recognizes and names her letters, you can play games with “what sound does it make”.... and after all that is ingrained, then venture into early phonics. Hooked on Phonics has an early pre-reading level, and my boys enjoyed some LeapFrog videos.

    Take your time, though!
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3


    For all but the most profoundly gifted kids, two is too young to start any kind of formal reading instruction.

    Read books aloud. Read more books aloud. And more. And go to the library story time. And surround yourselves with books. More books. Point out words and letters. Sing the alphabet song. Get that thing you stick on your fridge that you stick in the letters and they say their sounds... does Leapfrog make that thing? Maybe watch a few cute short little Sesame Street type letter videos. But don't start formal instruction unless your child is literally sounding out words already.

    If you want to research for the future, that's cool. There are so many things for reading instruction. I like to recommend Progressive Phonics because it's free and simple. However, reading instruction is sort of a throw everything at the wall until it sticks kind of subject and there are so, so many different options. For more intensive programs, both All About Reading and Logic of English are great. For book based programs, nothing from with Reading Reflex or Ordinary Parents' Guide. A lot of people like online options like Reading Eggs. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's soooo much out there.

    Do read about why phonics is a superior approach overall. There have been a few good books about this recently.
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  5. #4


    I want to add... while I don't ascribe to the better late than early philosophy... studies clearly show that starting instruction early doesn't really benefit kids in the long run overall. Kids who get instruction younger often end up more stressed and anxious and their gains are short term. They wear off by mid-elementary school at the latest.

    Some kids are gifted and do need challenges around them... but 2 yos who learn to read are generally 2 yos who just magically learn to read because they're gifted. You don't need to do anything but support them and bring more books.
    Want to read about my homeschool?
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

    Want help homeschooling or sending kids to college?

  6. #5


    I concur with everything that has been said adding that if your child is hyperlexic you will know it because they will spontaneously show signs of it -- drawing letters, spontaneous decoding etc. It is not a thing you teach. Otherwise they are going to follow the typical development path. Hyperlexia is not all unicorns and sunshine; It is often (but not always) accompanied with social skill issues and other things.

    In any event, at that age, I would just keep it very basic. Read picture books, describe the pictures, go to library story times, get some board books with the alphabet and rudimentary vocabulary, and the LeapFrog electonic games, as previously mentioned by others, if the beeping won't drive you crazy. That is really all you need. When you take walks, you can point to and read the signs along the way, and say what they are for, and that kind of thing, but I don't think you need anything intensive at that age.

  7. #6


    There is a reason you don't see a lot in the way of curriculum for a two year old. The preschool age group is so diverse in terms of ability and readiness. Some are barely talking well, others have been speaking in full sentences for some time. Some are still a little unsteady on their feet still and others are running everywhere with no sign of slowing down. Trying to design something that would encompass an "average 2 year old" would be a monumental task.

    But that is not to say you can't teach a two year old anything. In fact, this is a wonderful time to begin laying down routines, building attention span and teaching basic skills. Homeschooling most definitely does not begin with reading instruction.

    Some things you can do with a two year old:

    - Read picture books aloud to your child until you go hoarse, then turn on audiobooks
    - Make activity bags for your child that focus on fine motor skills
    - Teach them how to hold a crayon or pencil with the correct grip while they "draw"
    - Count everything in sight, their toys, plates on the table, spoonfuls of ingredients while you cook
    - Introduce the idea of addition and subtraction in an everyday context ie "If I have one cookie and you have one cookie, we have 1, 2 cookies altogether"
    - Read stories, read poems, read nursery rhymes, read signs, read cereal boxes etc. aloud to your child
    - Slowly build attention span with routine and daily activities.
    - Work on gross motor skills with running, jumping and tumbling activities
    - Compare quantities ie "This box has 3 cars in it and this box has 2 cars in it, which box has more cars?"
    - Talk about letters in terms of the sounds they make ie "Mom starts with the /M/ sound, what sound does your name start with?"
    - Sound out simple words and then say it altogether "Toto is a /d/ /o/ /g/, dog!"
    - Play phonemic awareness games (a precursory reading skill) "I'm going to sound out a word, when you know what word I said jump up and down and tell me the word, /t/ /o/ /p/..."
    - Read to your child any time you have a captive audience, in the bathtub, audiobooks in the car, while waiting at the doctor's office...
    - Help your child learn to take care of his things and put them away when he is finished with them
    - Learn shapes and colors in everyday context ("Find me your red shirt. Find me a square plate."
    - Do messy art projects, just for fun
    - Teach your child how to use safety scissors
    - Teach your child to recognize the letters in their name, by sound and sight
    - If the child shows interest, teach them to write the letters in their name, one at a time (I wouldn't expect this from most 2 year olds but I did have one that had the interest at 2 and asked how to write her name, you might save this one until age 3 or 4 or even 5 if they are not asking you how to do it)
    - Have I mentioned read aloud to them yet?

    You don't need a curriculum for these things and you are probably doing a lot of them already. There is absolutely no reason to rush formal schooling. It is a guaranteed recipe for homeschool burnout. Use this time while your child is still young to learn more about homeschooling philosophies and learning styles. Find out if there is a homeschool park day in your area where homeschool families meet with their kids for the afternoon. Show up and talk to local moms who homeschool.

    All of those would be a better use of time than trying to teach a 2 year old to read with a curriculum. A two year old who can read was not likely taught, I had one who started to learn at 2 years old. We didn't do anything special with her and she didn't need a curriculum, she more or less taught herself. And like someone else mentioned, hyperlexia comes with its own problems.

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Preschool reading curriculum suggestions