Reading

Day in the Life | What Homeschooling is REALLY LIKE!

Let's Read by WordUnited

Watch this video and spend the day with us! See what home education in the UK really looks like for Our Muslim homeschool!

Home education simply means to educate your children outside of the mainstream school system. What that looks like for each family is different but for us, as it does for many others, it involves plenty of time outside, sports and activities with friends and formal studies at home.

To get a better idea of what Homeschooling looks like for us, Watch this YouTube video!

Watch how we teach Quran, our swimming classes, outdoor time and a heart-to-heart chat about “What homeschooling is REALLY like!”

 

This video and blog-post was sponsored by WordUnited, who kindly sent me their Arabic and Phonics programs, and compensated me for my time. This blog-post also contains affiliate links. See Disclaimer for more information.

Homeschool UK Vlog

WordUnited

WordUnited is an incredible website that stocks hundreds of high-quality educational resources for children aged 0-13. They have everything you can imagine on that site, from beautiful baby toys, resources for literacy, numeracy, science, special needs and even multicultural toys section! With hundreds of new products being added every week, WordUnited is set to become the next big thing!

Let's Read by WordUnited

WordUnited kindly sent me two sets of books to review; the “Let’s Read” program, which teaching children the foundations of phonics, and the “Let’s Read Arabic” program which teaches children how to read Arabic words.

Phonics books by WordUnited

Each set consists of eight books. As your child progresses through the program, they gradually increase in complexity and build upon lessons learnt in previous books.

Learning Phonics with WordUnited
I love visual cues under each word to highlight the different sounds!

The books are small and easy for young hands to hold, as well as colourful and engaging to to children. They illustrations feature realistic high-quality images of objects that children will be familiar with in their lives. I really appreciate how the creators of these books have used visual cues to highlight the individual sounds that make up each word.

Let's Read Arabic WordUnited

These books are ideal for home educators are they include parent guidance at the beginning of each book. This is really important to read as it clearly explains what is being covered and how to use that particular book effectively. I love it when a curriculum make it simple for parents!

Let's Read Arabic WordUnited

The books can be purchased individually, or as a complete set.

Let's Read Arabic WordUnited

To see my children using the books, WATCH THIS VIDEO.

Make sure you also visit their Amazing Website. You will be blown-away by the variety of products they have on offer!

CLICK HERE for the “Let’s Read Arabic!” 8-book set.

CLICK HERE for the “Let’s Read!” 8-book phonics set.

 

Other Products Mentioned:

Safar Qaidah (Indo-Pak Script)
Graded Steps in Quran Reading (Uthmani Script)
Digital Timer 
Audible 30 FREE TRIAL + 1 FREE AUDIO BOOK

Go Outdoors Store

If you are interested in seeing what homeschool curricula we are using with our children CLICK HERE!

Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to watch our YouTube video. I hope it’s left you feeling inspired and given you something to think about.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Please remember us in your duaas.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth our muslim homeschool

Why Online Learning Really Works | Reading Eggs Review

Reading eggs homeschool review

Online learning games are an effective method of improving children’s literacy skills and increasing their confidence in reading.

For years I have been using Reading Eggs in our home to teach the children to read. You can imagine my delight when Reading Eggs reached out to me and asked me to review their online reading programme! My children have enjoyed and learnt so much from Reading Eggs and I am so excited to have the opportunity to share that with you here!

Reading eggs homeschool review

Reading eggs homeschool review online reading programme

This blog post has been written in collaboration with Reading Eggs, who gave my family free access to their online Reading programme and compensated me for my time.

Why I love Reading Eggs

Why do I love Reading Eggs? The answer is simple…it works!

I have used reading eggs with both my sons from the age of 4. After beginning the programme, I witnessed their literacy skills improve tremendously in a short space of time and, most importantly, their enthusiasm for reading grew!

Reading eggs is so much fun and it works!

 

What is Reading Eggs?

Reading Eggs is an Award-winning online reading programme for children aged 3-13. It is a safe online learning environment that gives children access to hundreds of reading lessons, thousands of interactive activities and over 2500 e-books!

Reading Eggs have also recently launched a Reading Eggs Junior, which is a new online learning programme for toddlers (ages 2-4) to introduce younger children to letters and pre-reading skills through songs, picture books, interactive activities and videos. It’s a lot of fun!

Reading eggs homeschool review online reading programme
Checking with their big brother!

Benefits of Online Learning

Here a some of the benefits of incorporating online learning in our homeschool:

  • Encourages Independence

Reading Eggs has been cleverly created to allow children to maneuver their site with little need for grown-up assistance.

My children were easily able to progress through their lessons without my help, and soon worked out how to access all the other features of the programme.

  • Boosts Confidence

Nothing hinders learning more than a lack of confidence. I have seen this in my own home. However as our children became more fluent in reading and progressed through the various levels of Reading Eggs, their confidence grew!

Reading eggs homeschool review online reading programme

  • Builds Positive Associations with Reading

Reading Eggs is so effective at teaching reading because its is fun. From my experience, I found my kids wanted to do their reading lessons and were disappointed if, for some reason, they couldn’t do it one day!

My eldest son really enjoyed the phonics songs and the interactive nature of the lessons.

My youngest son loves the reward system they have in place! After completing the lessons, the children are rewarded golden eggs that can be exchanged for virtual prizes. This was a great incentive for him to work through the various levels. He loved completing his lessons so he could fill his virtual house with all the prizes he had won!

It’s wonderful to know that whilst they are playing and having fun, they are learning to read!

  • Mummy can rest!

Let’s be real for a moment! Online learning is not only an effective method of teaching children, it also has real benefits for homeschooling parents.

It gives me time to do other much needed things; like putting on the laundry, preparing lunch, teaching my other children, or just unwinding for a moment with a cup of tea!

Reading eggs homeschool review online reading programme

Free 4-Week Trial

Reading Eggs are currently offering a 4-Week Free trial  in USA and a 5-Week FREE Trial in U.K.!

The  FREE TRIALS will give you access to all of their online learning programmes! This includes:

  • Reading Egg Junior – ages 2-4
  • Reading Eggs (ages 3-7)
  • Reading Express (ages 7-13)
  • Mathseeds – Online Maths Programe (ages 3-9)

 

US Customers: CLICK HERE for 4 Weeks FREE (Offer ends 6th October 2017)

U.K. Customers: CLICK HERE for 5 Weeks FREE (Offer ends 30th September 2017)

Reading eggs homeschool review online reading programme

Online learning is a fantastic means for parents to educate their children at home. Reading Eggs is an incredible programme and resource, and I would genuinely encourage you all to visit their website to see if their programme would work for your family.

If you have any questions about how we incorporate Reading Eggs into our homeschool curriculum, or if you have any queries about the programme itself, please leave me a question in the comments below.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

 

 

How to Teach your Four year old to Read…if they want to!

How to teach your 4 year old to read

Learning to read is one of the most important skills our children will ever learn, yet as parents, most of us have no idea how to begin!

Keep reading and I will walk you through the 3 simple steps and show you how to teach your 4 year old to read!

How to teach your 4 year old to read. Resources, books, online programmes and tips to help your 4 year old learn to read.

This blogpost contains affiliate links. See Disclaimer for more information.

This article is written from my own experience. By the age of 4, my son was reading fluently. Now at 5 years-old, he can pick up almost any book, read it and enjoy it. At the moment he’s especially keen on our encyclopedia!

And that’s what it’s all about for me; opening up the world of books to them whenever they’re ready.

Whether you home educate, or your children go to school, these simple steps will help you to teach your 4 year old to read. insha’Allah.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
Not all children are developmentally ready to read at 4 years-old.
PLEASE PLEASE don’t force a child who is not ready!!! It will do more harm than good!

However, if you’re child is ready and eager to learn to read, this article will show you how I did it, so you can ‘Teach YOUR Four year old to Read In 3 Easy Steps.’

1. Develop their Love of Books and Stories

If a child love books, the he will love to read.  If he loves to read, he will love to learn. Insha’Allah.  

This is by far the most important factor in teaching your child to read and if you take nothing else away from this article please take this…

A child who is self-motivated will learn to read, and learn any other skill that they want to learn, much quicker and more easily than a child who is not self-motivated.

Love books, love reading , love learning

If you have to force your child to read, it will be much harder for both of you, take longer, and may even cause your child to dislike reading altogether.   

So how can you encourage this self motivation?

There are several ways that you can nurture a passion for reading in your children.

– Read to your 4 year old

Set aside time everyday to regularly read aloud to your children. Make that time special for them. Cuddle up under a blanket by the fire, drink hot chocolate or just let her sit on your lap. She should look forward to that time with you. Make it magical. Give her your undivided attention, full of your love and affection, and read her incredible stories that will feed her imagination.

– Surround them with books

Fill your home with as many books as you can afford. There should be a small collection of books in every room for your children freely to look at.

If you have space, you may even make a little ‘reading nook’ for your home, a specially designated space, used only for reading and enjoying books.

How to teach your 4 year-old to read! Books, resources, online games, tips and advice.

However you decide to implement this principle, it will teach your child to give importance to books, and thereby give importance to learning and seeking knowledge.

– Take a regular field trips

Trips to libraries and other places of knowledge can show your kids that your family’s passion for reading is not in isolation, but there are many like minded people who share your enthusiasm. When they see other children excited by books, they will join in!

How to teach your 4 year-old to read! Books, resources, online games, tips and advice.

STEP 2: Turn Off the TV

If your television is on all day, the books will most likely be left on the shelves. Not only is TV highly addictive for small children, becoming a bad habit that is hard to break, but it will also teach them that the TV is important; and more worryingly, that what the TV says is important!

There are many benefits to turning off the TV, but the most relevant to this article is that it WILL cause your children to read more. I have seen it in my own home. With no other distractions, children will pick up the books you have put in each room and read for fun.

How to teach your 4 year-old to read! Books, resources, online games, tips and advice.

My children do have restricted daily screen-time, but I work hard to make sure that the TV and other devices are off for most of the day.

So, even if you can’t remove the television completely, try to at least restrict how much TV they watch. Limit the hours that the television is put on, and keep it off the rest of the time.

STEP 3: Buy the right books!

  If you feel your child is ready to start learning to read (often referred to as Reading Readiness) you will need to invest/borrow some books to help you to begin.  

The first thing you will need is a ‘Primer.’

We have used the Primer: The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading  by Wise and Buffington

Another highly recommended alternative is

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

A primer teaches the rules of reading, beginning with the phonetic sounds of each letter. It then progressing to blending, through to difficult multi-syllabic words.

By the time your child finishes one of these primers, you can be completely confident that they can tackle any other book out there.
Although the books above are printed in the U.S. they are suitable for children in the U.K.

Once your child has learnt the sounds of the letters, they can also begin reading short books called ‘Easy Readers’, whilst continuing the later lessons in the primer.

For the early stages I would recommend the easy readers: Bob Books First!

Read With Biff, Chip And Kipper

Having progressed through one of these box sets you can move onto more challenging readers. There are many sets and curriculum available that you can follow if you wish.

My advice would be to choose books according to your child’s interests rather than following a rigid curriculum.

Whether its fairies, cars, horses or monsters, there are a multitude of easy readers available to buy online and borrow from the library.

Elementary Student Reading in Library

Do not worry that you are not completing every book in the series, or reading them in the correct order, because if you are working through a primer, then your child will not miss any of the ‘rules’ they need to know.

What is more important at this stage is that they continue to love reading and books, and the act of reading does not become a chore to them.

After the ‘Easy Reader’ stage they can read anything they want to, with some guidance from Mum!

Related: Day in the Life | What Homeschooling is REALLY LIKE!

Further Book Recommendations

For more comprehensive reading lists, ordered by age, ability and topic, I would recommend Honey for a Child’s Heart
 by Gladys Hunt.

If at any point your child seems to loose interest, just take a break for a few weeks.

Pinterest is full of fun activities for you to do with your child to improve her reading skills without opening up a book. She will be learning to read without realising it!

On those days when the kids are sick, or they just don’t want to cooperate, we love using Reading Eggs, an online reading programme full of games and songs.

Related: Full review of the Reading Eggs programme HERE!

At this young age it is vital that you remain flexible and take a relaxed approach to teaching reading. Make it enjoyable and have fun!

So that How to Teach your Four-year-old to READ in 3 Easy Steps!

Of all three steps it is step one, instilling a love for books, that is the most important.

Without it you will face a constant struggle with your child, in an effort make them cooperate and do something they have no desire to do. If they love books, they will want to read.

Please leave me a comment below and tell me how you are teaching your children to read. What resources have you used? What are some of your children’s favourite books?

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Please remember us in your duaas.    

Peace and Love.

how to teach your 4 year old to read