Top 6 Learn to Read Websites

Having your child learn to read can leave parents with a lot of anxiety. Often I get phone calls from my friends in real life about teaching their child. Usually it’s around report card time or after a parent-teacher. Their child may be struggling with X, Y, or Z and they want to of course like any good parent help them catch up.

Other times friends will see what I have done with Wes and what I am currently doing with Z and want to know how they can do that too.

So I thought I’d throw together a list of sites that I often suggest.

Little Reader

The first site I’m going to recommend I’m not actually counting in the 6 sites.  It is a suggestion for parents who stumble upon this post and have little babies, toddlers, and young preschoolers. Visit the BrillKids website. If you start their Little Reader program, there is a chance you will be able to skip some of these sites. Or you might need these sites at a younger age to help grow your child’s reading skills, instead of using them to teach your child to read from scratch.

1) Reading Eggs:

This is a subscription-based program that can take a child from not reading to reading at a grade 2 level in no time. The program is based on Maps. Each map has 10 lessons.

2) Headsprout:

I wrote about how we used Headsprout years ago in one of my first reviews, they can be read HereHere, and Here. I’m sure this program had a big part in my son starting halfway through grade 1 reading at a high grade 2 level.

Recently they have upgraded their program to go up to grade 5! I started doing this program again with Wes to work on his reading comprehension and vocabulary skills. After our experience, I can’t recommend this program enough.

(I should mention that this program has gone from a lifetime membership to a one-year subscription-based program)

click n' kids3) Click N’Learn Phonics:

Back when I was homeschooling Wesley, we had the chance to use and review Click N’Spell Phonics, you can read about it Here.

4) Reading Bear:

Reading Bear is a FREE online reading program. Some people have found this to be a little too slow-paced for their children, others have found it to be just right. Check it out to see if it will work for your child. With the price tag you have nothing to lose.

starfall5) Starfall :

Starfall offers both a free and paid-for site that teaches children phonics, reading, and other concepts like the days of the week, months of the year, holidays, colors, etc.

youtube6) YouTube:

Believe it or not, there are tons of amazing educational videos on YouTube. They can not only help teach your child to read, they can teach anything from math to the solar system, etc.

Spend some time on YouTube and create a playlist for your child.

Am I Missing Anything?

What sites have you used with your children? Which have you found helpful, and which were not so helpful?

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Your Baby Can Read: How to Select Books for Early Readers

So you taught your little infant, toddler, or preschooler to read a bunch of words, some couplets and you are working on sentences. What should you look for in a book for your little one?

Your Baby Can Read Flipbooks:

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I first started by using the Your Baby Can Read books that came with that companies kit. Now I do not own the whole reading kit. I actually bought each DVD on Amazon back in 2007 before YBCR really blew up in the mainstream. But I did find 4 of the 5 books at our local thrift store. Can you say score!!

Preschool Prep Sight Words books

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These were passed down to us a year and a half ago by a good early learning friend. Her little ones loved them, and so does Little Z. The words are on one page in bold black font. Perfect for little eyes. The pictures are on the other page. The best part is there are 3 sets of books with 12 books per set. Lots of fresh materials.

Meet the Sight Words – Level 1 – Easy Reader Books (boxed set of 12 books)
Meet the Sight Words – Level 2 – Easy Reader Books (boxed set of 12 books)
Meet the Sight Words – Level 3 – Easy Reader Books (boxed set of 12 books)

LeapFrog Book Sets

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These were also passed on to us from the same friend that gave us her children’s Preschool Prep books. While the writing is on the same page as the picture, they separate the two. The picture on top, words on the bottom, but not in the picture.

LeapFrog LeapReader Learn to Read, Volume 1 (works with Tag)
LeapFrog LeapReader Learn to Read, Volume 2 (works with Tag)
LeapFrog LeapReader Learn to Read, Volume 3 (works with Tag)
LeapFrog LeapReader Learn to Read, Volume 4 (works with Tag)

Little Champion Reader

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Reading Kit for Baby, Toddler and Kids – Little Champion Reader 3-Level Reading System

Little Champion Reader is a complete learning program for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. There are several books and flashcards that come with the series, that are awesome!. As you can see the words and the pictures are separate, making them ideal for little ones. Also, there are larger words and the sounds are colored differently to help a child sound out the words if they are at that stage in the game.

What if you can’t find books that have a clear print for your child to read?

2014-12-11 08.54.13A good friend of mine passed on this book to us. She covered the words with words she printed out. While they are still in the picture, the white background separates them enough to hold the child’s attention.

This is a great thing to do when you find a well-illustrated book at the library book sale, but the story is too long for your child.

What books do you use with your child? Please share them with me as we are always looking for new books to explore!

Sorry about the lack of updates this week. We had our NACD meeting last week and received our programs on Friday. I have been processing them, and working them into our schedule. I’m hoping to have figured them out enough this week to share what we are doing. (UPDATED NOV2020: in 2016 we switched to Doman International)

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What to Learn More About Doman International?

Click HERE to fill out a quick form and a representative from Doman International will contact you to set a FREE 30-minute consultation.

Disclaimer: This page may include affiliate links. I appreciate it when my readers use them as it provides me a little compensation and no extra cost to you.

Can I Teach My Newborn, Infant or Toddler Basic Kindergarten Skills? YES YOU CAN!

Babies are smart! Newborns, Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, learn faster and easier than you and I.

What can you do to help your little ones learn right from birth??

#1 Sing to them!

Yes I said sing to them. Sounds so simple, but it really is! But don’t feel you need to stick to the basic Row Row your Boat or Mary Had a Little Lamb. Of course use these fun songs and what ever song your Mom or Dad sung to you as a baby. But lets get creative! Sing the ABCs, count to 100, count backwards from 100, skip count by 2s, 5s, 10s, days of the week, months of the year, etc.

By doing this you are bonding with your child, comforting them, loving them and educating them. My now when Baby Z was an infant, he hated car rides. Our whole family would sing to him, “The A says ahhh, the A says Ahh. Every letter makes a sound, the A says Ahh!” and so forth throughout the whole alphabet. This helped calm him, but it also helped him learning the letter sounds (phonics) at a really early age.

#2 Label EVERYTHING

Little Reader, MemoFlix and Wink to Learn English helped expose Baby Z to so many words. But you don’t need to buy DVDs or computer programs to do this if you don’t want to. (Though it does help a lot.) Label your house and do little home tours pointing to all the words as you walk by with your baby.

When your out with your baby talk about what’s happening. “Oh look! Its starting to rain. Do you feel the drops on your head?’

#3 DVD and Computer programs
Technology is not bad. It can be used for the wrong reasons, yes. However I believe it can be a powerful tool to help educate our children. I know what the AAP’s stand is on screen time before 2. Thing is I’m not one to let to government tell me how to raise my children. Yes, I follow car seat safety rules to the tee, but we don’t vaccinate. I choice to educate myself, and make a decision for my family. Not blindly follow like sheep.
My personal experience is, if you choose high quality, educational materials, screen time can be very helpful in educating my children. It’s something you will have to look at for your family. I should also point out I am talking about real educational materials, like Your Baby Can Read, Little Reader, and Monki See just to name a few. 

#4 Tablets
If you have access to a iPad, take advantage of it! Baby Z learned so much from several apps. Even though many of them were WAY beyond his ability, we did them for him and had him watch. Input, input, input! When he got a bit older I took his hand and made his little hand operate the app. (with his cooperation of course.) Then eventually he was able to operate several of them without my help. This is an awesome way to teach your young child colors, shapes, numbers, letters, letter sounds, sight words, etc. 

Stay tune! I am compiling a list of AWESOME IOS apps for babies and toddlers.

#5 Carefully picked toys
  
If you step into the toy section at Walmart or dare to enter Toys R Us, you can easily see there are many, many options for toys for your young child. Not all toys are created equal. But there are certain brands that are usually a pretty safe bet like Leap Frog and Melissa & Doug. But the best places I have found GOOD quality toys are thrift stores and garage sales. With a little soap and water they are good as new and a fraction of the price.

Letter blocks, matching games, stacking cups, etc are all great toys for little hands. These toys are perfect for little hands to explore on their own when you are making dinner or need two seconds to eat the said dinner. Also they a great to play together with your child.

Watch for an entry about great education toys that we love!



#6 Flashcards


 This is where I might get some grief. Yes there is a place for flashcards in an infant, toddler and preschoolers life. My boys LOVE flashcards. But its because I do not drill them with the flashcards. I show them to Zakari the same way as I would show him a book.

A few books with looking into at the library or Amazon would be:
How to Teach Your Baby to Read (The Gentle Revolution Series)

How Smart Is Your Baby?: Develop and Nurture Your Newborn’s Full Potential (The Gentle Revolution Series)

These are good reads too, but I would focus on reading the first two listed. Then read these if you have time.

How to Teach Your Baby Math (The Gentle Revolution Series)


How to Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge (The Gentle Revolution Series)

Now it should be noted that Doman’s method is a lot of work. I did not follow Doman’s method to the tee. I did make many flashcards. I also used multimedia, little Little Reader, DVDs, etc. 

There is also no need to make the flashcards as large as Doman recommends. Yes bigger is better, but I found 8×11 works well too.  

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You can teach your baby to read, count, know basic kindergarten knowledge in toddlerhood. I know this from experience! The best part is they love it! Children are little sponges, and the younger they are the easier they learn. Why not teach them to read when they are able to do so with less effort at one or two instead of waiting till they are 6 or 7 years old. 

Oh but I know what some are thinking. Monique just let them be babies. Tiger mom! Why rush them to grow up? Let them be kids! 

My reply to this is, why hold back our children? My two year old loves to read. He gets excited at the grocery store when he can read the words on the wall. He reads what’s in his fruit pouches first to see what flavour he is about to eat. I have by no means forced him to learn. I just enriched his environment. Carefully selected only highly educational programs to expose him to during screen time. Used car time, waiting rooms, potty time, and bedtime to expose him to good quality apps or books with large words.

What did this do? It helped my son who is now 27 months be able to:

  • read any 3 letter word he is presented
  • know all his colors
  • know all his shapes, including shapes like octagon, oval and 3D shapes like cylinder.  
  • know all his basic farm and zoo animals and their sounds
  • knows all his letters and letter sounds. Even is starting to figure out letters like c and g have two sounds.
  • know how to read more words then I’m able to keep track of. (we were in the hundreds not including 3 letter words a while back, my guess is we are now in the 1000s)
  • understands phonics and can sound out new words he has never seen
  • Counts to 20 by ones forwards and backwards(has gone higher but usually only goes to 20 because he loses interest
  • Counts to 100 by 10s and 5s
  • Counts to 30 by 2s
  • knows his days of the week and months of the year
  • and much much more
I’m not listing this to brag, nor do I think my son is special. He has just grown up in an enriched environment and was exposed to this stuff in a fun way. ALMOST ANY CHILD CAN LEARN THIS STUFF TOO! Even children with special needs.

When people asking me, “Why teach them to read?” I ask “Why not!” It opens a whole new world to them. 


A few weeks ago we were at Shoppers Drugmart, and I was wearing Baby Z on my back in an Ergo carrier. We were waiting in line when he noticed the words over the cooler and started pointing at it and yelling, “Water! Water! Water!” I walked up to pay for my items and gently said “Yes sweetie there is water in the cooler.” The older woman behind me said with her jaw dropped, “No! He’s not pointing at the water in the cooler, he is pointing at the word. I think he just read the word water. Can he read?” I just brushed it off that he knows a few words because I didn’t have time to have a conversation. But if I had time I might have gone into details if the woman was open to it. Who knows maybe she has grandchildren. 

The point of this story is, instead of Baby Z just being able to look into the items around the store and try and figure out what they are that way, we have given him another piece to the puzzle. The ability to read what the words are.