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Reading is one of the most important skills we can teach our children. It is something we stress about as parents and work our tails off to make sure our kids are doing it and enjoying it. As homeschool parents, I know this is especially challenging. I have tried many different reading programs and resources in our homeschool. I was recently given the opportunity to review a book called Reading Champs by Rita M. Wirtz, MA. It is a step-by-step guide to teaching kids to read from a teaching EXPERT.
The author of Reading Champs, Rita Wirtz, is a language arts and reading specialist who has taught at all different levels for forty years. Along with 40 years of teaching experience in the k-12 schools, she has a BA in English and speech, a Master’s in reading, and administrative services credentials. This is an impressive resume! With that background, I trust her advice and ideas very much. Wirtz describes a Reading Champ as someone who is high-achieving and able to enrich their lives through their ability to read well to become better-informed. They read to learn more, read quickly, read for enjoyment, and excel in life because of their skills in reading.
We all need great tips and advice to help us teaching these essential reading skills to our kids. Reading Champs is an excellent resource that will be helpful to many parents and teachers! The book begins with teaching motivation. If kids aren’t motivated, there is not much that will encourage them to read. Find what interests them and start there. I found this to be so true with my kids as they were learning. If it was something they loved, they worked so much harder to learn it. Also, if reading is important to you and your family, your kids will do all they can to learn how to do it!
Her program is set up with what she calls “Common Sense Mini Lessons” or CSML for short. It is meant to be a support to regular curriculum, not to replace it. It’s easy to start and helps motivate struggling readers to feel more confident and excited about reading. Each mini lesson gives a WHY? Why do we need to know this? Then it outlines the instructional activity, practice ideas, coaching activities, guided silent reading and other teaching tips. The lessons are simple to follow and easy to prepare for. It begins with letter sounds, covers phonics, vowels, consonant blends, word families, and more. Each section gets a little more advanced and moves the child through to reading fluency.
The book will help your readers with the following:
- recognize words
- increase reading speed and fluency
- build and boost vocabulary
- correct basic reading errors and difficulties
- build confidence as readers
I do not have a struggling (or beginning) reader at the moment. I am in-between kids learning to read, but I am looking forward to trying this out with my up-coming preschooler who will be learning to read soon. My older two are already reading well and loving it! I have read through the book, though and am impressed with the skills and knowledge of Wirtz.
If you have a child who is struggling with reading, or needs some extra help to learn the basics, Reading Champs is a great option to help!