HomeSchool Mom of 8


Reluctant reader

Teaching the Reluctant Reader

December 27, 2022 Adrienne Brown 0 Comments

Teach your reluctant readers by using flashcards

Teaching the reluctant reader is made easier with flashcards.

Some of the tools that I used when I first started teaching my kids how to read included lots and lots of flash cards. I bought many of them from Abeka books, however I found several sets from different stores.

I used these to teach them the different letter sounds. They’re basically what you would call phonics cards. You know the ones that have the alphabet on them.

Most of the sets have reference pictures to help the child to pronounce the letter sound, oh, and many times the child already knows the reference word.

Why? Because you have already been saying the words and sounds to your kids, like forever.

Now you have to help your child to tie the letter sounds and the reference pictures together.

Do this using the following methods:

  1. Show the child the letter, say its name, say it’s sound.
  2.  Point the letter and its sound out in books, on posters, on video…. anywhere there is writing.
  3. Do this until your child has learned all the letters and their sounds.
  4. Now match other real-life objects with that same letter sound.

In my experience this method has worked extremely well, especailly with my most reluctant readers. You see, I have been homeschooling for 26 years and have taught 5 kids to read using this flashcard method, and it worked.

Even when I was still in the stage of reading books to them, I showed them flash cards. Even before I really knew what I was doing. The flash card method worked.

My kids would spend many hours just looking at the pictures.

 Teaching the reluctant reader with confidence

Since the Abeka teacher’s manuals train the parent so well about how to teach reading step by step, It is really the only tool needed in the beginning.

The Abeka method helped me to teach five of my children how to read, even when they were fighting the process.

This step-by-step method taught me how to teach them from the beginning stages all the way up to my kids becoming independent readers.

Another benefit of using the Abeka method is that it gave me confidence. Now I was able to branch out and use other teaching tools more confidently and efficiently.

For instance, I begin to buy other flashcards from the places like the Dollar Store and Walmart.

By now, I felt assured when I found other affordable flashcards to purchase them.

By adding these extra simple flashcards to our routine furthered my child’s ability to sound out letters and words.

As the parent, the more you learn about the phonics method, the easier it becomes for you to pick phonic jewels out from any pack of flashcards, or workbooks that you discover.

Unlocking the world of words

Your reluctant child’s key to reading progress is comprehending letters and sounds first.

Most importantly, you want to be thorough when it comes to teaching your kids. So I advise you to expand the tools that you are using to tools, such as Abeka charts.

Abeka charts are a perfect addition for you to expand upon what your child is mastering in phonics, and letter recognition.

Each chart has a letter or letter blend, a picture, and a sight word to help the child remember the sound.

You will go through these with your child every day until they start to memorize them. Then your child will get to a point where they can read the charts without much prompting from you.

Another benefit of using this program

In addition to learning phonics, your child is introduced to letter blends and beginning sounds, and cursive letters. All of this input will start any new reader to read books faster.

Oh, and Abeka has perfect little booklets that correspond to what the child is learning. This allows the child to put what he has learned to practice right away. You will be amazed at how well this technique has worked for our kids.

Testing your child’s mastery

Teach the sounds and blends until they know them instantaneously. If you teach them thoroughly, they will be able to unlock any book.

I always test this theory by using other books and resources. The testing resource must teach the same concepts but in a slightly different way.

One source that I used was Hooked on Phonics. This is another old but thorough resource. Their cards also have reference pictures and words on one side and just the letter on the other side.

I test my kid’s memory and mastery with this resource once I feel that they have progressed enough.

Teach the reluctant reader by starting them early

The best method to start your child reading early is to let them look at the cards. Just give them the cards and let them become familiar with the pictures.

Let me tell you, do this even if you have a reluctant reader. Particularly, if your child has Apraxia. Which is the inability to connect the thoughts and words in the brain with the tongue muscles.

Even if your child has Apraxia, you can still teach them to read. It may take them a little longer to comprehend, but giving them tools earlier on will spark their curious minds sooner.

Although, in homeschooling, you don’t have to rush them into reading. However, you do need to make sure that they are actually learning.

By utilizing these few simple steps and tools this will help you to do just that.

Remember, some of these cards you can make yourself. It’s not imperative to go out and buy every tool on the market, many of these you can make yourself.

Give yourself time and grace

Homeschooling and teaching your child to read is more about persistence and consistency. Take your time and give yourself grace.

It will be difficult at times, and perhaps you will have hard days. But that’s okay, you keep doing it anyway.

 Many times, I remember getting so frustrated because I had to say something over and over again. Which seemed like a hundred times, but I kept doing it anyway.

Now my apraxia, dyslexic child reads books all the time.

Just when I thought, “Oh this is going to take forever” it did not. My child reads for pleasure today.

So, if you have a reluctant child that you are trying to teach how to read don’t forget to get some flashcards.

Be sure to get reference books and CDs to go with them. Have your child listen to them or you say it over and over and over and over again until it is in their heads.

Most importantly, read to your child every day. Don’t underestimate the beauty of them hearing the written word.

Reading to them with excited animation helps to create a love for reading within them.

 So, that’s how I taught all of my children to read, and today they are excellent readers. Most of my kids love reading and always have their eyes and noses in books. Even my grown-up kids still love books.

Thanks for reading!


If you would like to read about my homeschooling journey click the title ‘Commanded to Homeschool’

Disclaimer: I may receive a small compensation for some of the affiliate links in my post. Yet, these cost you nothing.

#reluctant reader

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HomeSchool Mom of 8