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Teaching Reading

Homeschooling parents use many different resources and strategies for teaching their deaf or hard of hearing children to read. My daughter taught herself to read, just before she turned five. That's not typical, and it didn't happen in a vacuum. We spent hundreds of hours reading to her in the years before that.

There are a few Reading Curriculums and programs designed specifically for deaf and hard of hearing children. However, many parents have found other materials to be useful as well.

Parent Tips

James Angel

We lean towards the unschooling side of the spectrum, even though I gag at the term. Most of the phonics our kids get are from computer games (e.g. Reader Rabbit, Richard Scarry, and stuff like that) and from videos. We are not hooked up to receive broadcast TV, so all of their screen entertainment is either computer or VCR. Giving them the basic ABCs and phonics videos makes us feel less guilty that they are watching the tube.

Also, when the kids start to learn to read, I sneak in reading lessons when we read together. When reading a book together, I read most of it but ask them to read a word here and there, building up to sentences and then paragraphs. However, I do it as a game and not as a lesson that *must* be done, and if the child isn't interested I back off.

The 'relaxed' approach has worked well for our two older (hearing) children. I suspect that it will work as well for our HOH kids. My three-year old stares at picture books just like his elder siblings did at the same age.

Reading Resources

Making Words: Multilevel, Hands-On Developmentally Appropriate Spelling and Phonics Activities Grades 1-3
Patricia M. Cunningham and Dorothy P. Hall.
ISBN: 0866538062, Published by Good Apple, 178 pages.

From the Back Cover

Here is an innovative, developmental approach to combining phonics and spelling! Engage children with fast-paced, hands-on Making Words activities. During the fifteen minute activities, children are encouraged to explore words, letter-sound relationships, and letter patterns. Choose from the 160 lessons in this book to start children making words, or follow the guidelines for creating your own treasury of lessons for the school year. During each lesson, children use selected letters to make twelve to fifteen words, beginning with short words and continuing with longer words. The final word includes all the letters students have that day.

Phonics Pathways
Dolores G. Hiskes
ISBN: 0962096733, Published by Dorbooks, 256 pages.

From the Publisher

Clear step-by-step directions begin and end every lesson throughout the book - no prior experience or special training is needed. Extensive examples, word lists, and practice readings accompany each lesson - no other material is needed. Lessons are systematic, incremental, and progressive. One book has it all!

Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox, and Elaine Bruner.
ISBN: 0671631985, Published by Fireside, 395 pages.

Book Description

* Is your child halfway through first grade and still unable to read?
* Is your preschooler bored with coloring and ready for reading?
* Are you worried that your child will become lost in overcrowded classrooms?
* Did you know that early readers hold an advantage over their peers throughout school?
* Do you want to help your child read, but are afraid you'll do something wrong?

SRAs DISTAR® is the most successful beginning reading program available to schools across the country. Research has proven that children taught by the DISTAR® method outperform their peers who receive instruction from other programs. Now for the first time, this program has been adapted for parent and child to use at home. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is a complete, step-by-step program that shows patents simply and clearly how to teach their children to read.

Twenty minutes a day is all you need, and within 100 teaching days your child will be reading on a solid second-grade reading level. It's a sensible, easy-to-follow, and enjoyable way to help your child gain the essential skills of reading. Everything you need is here -- no paste, no scissors, no flash cards, no complicated directions -- just you and your child learning together. One hundred lessons, fully illustrated and color-coded for clarity, give your child the basic and more advanced skills needed to become a good reader.

Selecting Read Alouds or Books to Sign

Great Books for Girls
Kathleen Odean
ISBN: 0345450213, Published by Ballantine Books, 432 pages.

This book contains an annotated list of over 600 books that portray creative, intelligent, courageous and confident heroines...covers every reading level, fiction and non-fiction.

Great Books for Boys
Kathleen Odean
ISBN: 0345420837, Published by Ballantine Books, 400 pages.

A selection of more than 600 books that will capture boys' interest and which depict boys with the full complexity of human emotion and character...covers every reading level, fiction and non-fiction.

The Read-Aloud Handbook
Jim Trelease
ISBN: 0141001615, Published by Penguin USA, 402 pages.

Book Description

Every child can become an avid reader, and this beloved, classic guide shows how to make it happen. Jim Trelease explains:

  • How reading aloud awakens children's imaginations and improves their language skills
  • How to begin reading aloud and which books to choose
  • How to create reader-friendly homes, classrooms, and libraries
  • How to lure children away from the television and video games

Jim Trelease has made reading aloud a special pleasure for millions of people. With this revised edition he offers a new generation of parents, teachers, grand-parents, and siblings the chance to discover the rewards-and the importance-of reading aloud to children.

Selecting Books For Independent Reading

The titles in the previous section are all excellent choices for finding books for your child to read.

If your child is an asynchronous reader (reading level either ahead or behind of age/grade level) it generally works best to choose fiction according to interest level (even if it's way too easy) and non-fiction according to reading level.

Related Resources

Books for Beginning Readers in the Middle and High School
"When beginning middle school and high school readers are ready to read, giving them the right books—and lots of them—is as crucial as giving them the right food to eat. These publishers present exciting stories and information by noted authors, along with lively colorful illustrations that make learning to read fun, satisfying, and worthwhile. These books are usually at the 2nd to 4th grade reading ability, and they can be used during guided reading with groups of students, or independently during silent reading."

Favorite Books
An extensive list of books to read.

Reading Education for Hearing Impaired and Deaf Individuals
"The following materials are intended to provide an introduction to Reading Education for Hearing Impaired and Deaf Individuals. They were assembled from the World Wide Web, ERIC Database, and a variety of other bibliographic resources."

Reading to Deaf Children: Learning from Deaf Adults
This book is also available as a free PDF download.
"Reading to Deaf Children: Learning from Deaf Adults by David R. Schleper describes and demonstrates fifteen research-based principles gleaned from studies of Deaf parents and teachers who are effective storybook readers."

Reading Strategies for Deaf Children
A list of reading strategies Deaf parents use when reading to their children.

Shared Reading Project
"A program that teaches parents and caregivers how to read to their deaf children and strategies to make book sharing most effective."

Sign Language May Help Deaf Children Learn English
An article on research into the impact of learning ASL on literacy and learning English.

Reading Curriculums
Overview of reading curriculums for teaching deaf and hard of hearing children.

Reading Lists
Lists of recommended books and magazines.

Fathers and mothers who are wise can train their children first to practise, and soon to like, the sustained mental application necessary to enjoy good books. - Theodore Roosevelt

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