There are lots of tools, activities and methods to teach and assist children as they develop reading skills.  One site I go to often as I teach Aubrey how to read is Reading A-Z.  

Reading A-Z offers numerous resources that help teach the alphabet, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension and more.  It hosts a strong selection of leveled readers that make teaching through guided reading possible for parents working with their child at home.  For classroom teachers, these books can be used to supplement your guided reading core.  I believe guided reading is the best approach for teaching early readers because it incorporates all the important reading skills into an approach that is individualized for each learner.  If you are unfamiliar with guided reading and would like more information, let me know and I'd be happy to discuss it with you and pass along more resources.

As a parent working with children individually, I recommend using these Reading A-Z leveled books mainly for early readers.  On their website this would be the Early Emergent(aa-C) and Emergent(D-J) books.  It is a big timesaver because books for true beginning readers can be challenging to locate, especially since your child will read many books at each level.  They save some planning since these books are pre-leveled and have worksheets and lesson plans that help you pick out particular ways you can use the book to build your child's reading skills.  Supplement your child's reading program by selecting books with very simple text (that resembles the leveled books they are reading) from your home or public library.  By the time your child is able to read on an early 2nd grade level (level K), I would suggest flip-flopping the way you select books.  Work with your child to choose books from your home or public library that aren't too hard or too easy.  Focus on building comprehension, developing interests (topics, authors, series), and exposing them to a variety of genres.  Make reading fun!  You can supplement with the Reading A-Z leveled readers particularly when practicing a certain skill.

Now that I've told you about some great benefits of the website, let me give you some of the specifics.  The website offers some free samples, but in order to fully use the resources it provides, you have to buy a membership.  The membership is expensive for one household, in my opinion.  It cost $89.95 and is only good for one year.  I would take the year to print all the books/activities/lesson plans you expect to need and file it by level so you don't have to subscribe again.  This would be quite an undertaking, but would save some money in the future!  They also offer a 7 day trial membership that you could use to print/make many books and then use them over a longer period of time before deciding whether or not a membership would be worthwhile for you and your child.  Either way, you should definitely explore their website and see all they have to offer!


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