Mega List of Free Resource to Teach Kids to Read

Reading is probably the most important homeschool activity, but it can also be one of the hardest. Thankfully teaching reading doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  Here is a list of free resources I have found helpful for teaching kids to read.

Note: Not all are iPad/tablet friendly.  (ie flash player for games and videos)

First: The best free comprehensive program:

Sound city reading is by far one of the best and most comprehensive phonics based reading program that is free! There are many pdf documents you can print off. I love the idea of a reading road with houses that contain all the different sounds.

Free eBooks or iBooks:

Don Potter education pages has many old spelling books to download. He also has some excellent Phonics reading resources. Don also has excellent information also on how Webster’s blue back speller was used to teach reading.

McGuffey reader – a classic of the one room schoolhouse.

New England primer – another good classic.

Dog on a log books has many printable phonics games.

Primary concepts ebook that uses letter tiles.

Free Online games or apps:

Blastoff to reading online games

Teach your monster to read

Free videos:

schoolhouse us free phonics lessons and videos(videos not for iPad but lots of good lessons that can be printed)

Ron Paul curriculum reading program – first 40 video lessons free with worksheets.

First step reading has free video lessons

Full Phonics Curriculum:
Old fashion education – simple

Sound city reading – the best free curriculum.

Reading Bear – some good interactive activities.

Progressive phonics books have you read the hard words, and your child reads the easy words.

The Easy Peasy full curriculum is more than just reading.

The Canadian site for the society for quality education has a free reading program with many resources.

Update:

Here is a good language arts program free for level 1.

Free worksheets:

Tinas Dynamic homeschool plus has many printables.

https://www.studenthandouts.com/handwriting-worksheets/handwriting-practice-dashed-lined-writing-paper.htm

Spelling worksheets and activities.

https://www.123homeschool4me.com/home-school-free-printables/

If you are adventurous you can make your own copywork and worksheets with special tracing fonts and MS word or Pages by following instructions on the link below:
https://www.reallifeathome.com/how-to-make-your-own-copywork-pages/

Free Blog/Podcasts:

IEW – many excellent resources especially on learning disabilities and the podcast is one of the best ones out there.

All About Learning Press has wonderful free resources and a great blog about reading and spelling.

This reading momma is a highly recommended blog.

The measured mom blog also has many free resources.

Other miscellaneous resources

Update 10/16/2020

I just came across these great free phonics charts.

You can search through goverment documents/papers on teaching at Education Resources Information Center

Eye can learn is not technically phonics but there are several resources for eye tracking if you child is having problems reading. (also apps for the iPad.)

Please leave a comment below if you have found some other free resource useful.

How to create an iBook on the iPad with Pages

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This last weekend I had to give a talk and unfortunately my printer refused to print! My next option was to use my iPad. I really did not want to use Pages on my iPad for my talk so I discovered that you can export a documents right from Pages into iBook! (With one small intermediate step) Once my document was in iBooks it was easy to increase the font size.  This made reading my notes was easy on the iPad.

Setting up the Document:

Before exporting to iBooks, I would recommend adding chapter headings to your document. I just used heading 1 and titled it Chapter 1. I added three chapters.

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Open Pages document in Another App:

Once you have the document finished you can export to another App.  Select the box with the arrow pointing up located in the upper right side of the screen as shown below.

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Choose ePub format for iBooks.

You are then offered several different format options.  You can either convert the document to PDF or ePub for iBooks.  I chose ePub since it allows you to increase or decrease the font size and it also allows for headings.

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You will then need to enter some information about your document. Important: Make sure that the option “Use the first page as the book cover image” is not selected! I accidentally selected this and found out that it makes the first page unreadable because you only see the first page when you look at the bookshelf.

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Your document will now be converted tot he ePub format which can be opened in iBooks.

Make sure you do not include important information in the header and footer since they are removed when Pages creates a ePub file.

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Select which App you want to use to view your document:

Select iBooks to open your Pages document in iBook.  Once opened the document is then saved to your iBooks bookshelf.

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Now you have a simple ePub book that can be read in iBooks.

 

 

Interactive iBooks update

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More books created with the iBook author tool are showing up all the time.  Unfortunately there is no easy way to tell if a book was made with iBooks Author. There is a category under the features page that allows you to see featured books “made with iBooks Author” but only a limited number of books show up. On the features page there is a small link in the middle of the page that says “Browse More Books Made with iBooks Author>”. If you click on that then you can see that there are many books made with iBooks author. It seems like there should be a better way to browse and filter by category for books created with the author tool. Maybe with the next update. 20120612-215436.jpg

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I just happened to come across the excellent free ebook called “The Interactive Space Book” shown below. Surprisingly the book is only 70MB compared with other interactive books with close to a 300MB file size. The book has interactive features including a rotating space shuttle. There are also several videos. I hope to see more of this type of books in the future for education.

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What iBook 2 means for homeschool curriculum

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iBook 2 is Apples latest contribution to the iPad and education. What does that mean for the homeschool community. One of the best things I see is that homeschool books can easily be ported to iBooks 2. {hint please homeschool publishers start making ibooks!}
Here are the highlights of iBooks 2
iBook 2

  • textbook for $14.99 or less
  • interactive Ebooks
  • Quizzes and review questions
  • automatic flash cards from highlights
  • 3D animations

iBooks Author app

  • Easy tool to create ebooks
  • It’s free
  • Publish right to the store
  • highlight text for glossary
  • HTML and Java script
  • import Keynote presentations

iTunes U

  • videos
  • assignments

One downside with iBook 2 is that the textbooks take a lot of memory – up to a couple of Gigs. Also it looks like the iBooks publisher app is only for Macs. Overall though there are tremendous possibilities for the homeschool.

Overall this update should provide an improvement in the use of the iPad for homeschooling. Maybe now I will not spend time looking for lost school books.