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Kindergarten reading curriculum for homeschool {Most recommended}

When I first began homeschooling teaching my kids to read was definitely what I was most nervous about. I love to read and would consider myself good at it but teaching someone else how to do it was a daunting affair.

I’m going to break down the most highly recommended kindergarten phonics curriculums for homeschool. We’ll look at full curriculums, smaller curriculums which I’m going to call curriculum lite, learning to read apps, and going off curriculum and building it on your own.

Hopefully, this will help you narrow down which homeschool kindergarten curriculum is going to be the best choice for you for this exciting first year.

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As with most things in homeschooling which of these options is the best curriculum for your kids and your family will depend on your child’s learning style and your teaching style. It may also differ between kids.

Full reading curriculums

Full reading curriculums will give you all the tools you need to teach your child phonics, which is the key to learning to read. They are usually extremely in depth and will walk you through exactly what to teach.

You might be interested in: Sight words vs. phonics (what’s the difference)

These curriculums often include several books and perhaps letter tiles or flashcards of some sort for some hands-on activities. They may also include reading passages within the book itself or include a set of early reader books.

These are also generally the more expensive options as they have so many components. It’s also a bit more difficult if you want to learn on the go.

All About Reading

All about reading is perhaps the most recommended curriculum. It outlines exactly what to teach and how to teach it. It’s like having a detailed lesson plan to get you through each lesson. This option is very in depth and will teach all the different sounds letters can make.

all about reading level 1 items

Personally, this was a bit too structured and dry for us but it is a very popular option. You will need their phoneme cards and letter tiles for this curriculum as well.

You can check out this review of the program.

Logic of English

Logic of English is the other commonly suggested full kindergarten curriculum. This one also comes with cards, workbooks, and a set of early reader books.

Logic of English Foundations A curriculum

This program does seem to be slightly more colorful and slightly less dry. It also somehow teaches you to sound out what most programs call sight words and have you memorize.

Both All About Reading and Logic of English will give young children a strong foundation to build upon in future years.

Small scale curriculums – curriculum lite

Another option is to use a smaller curriculum. These will often cover phonics skills but will need to be supplemented with or paired with beginning reader books and other apps or worksheets.

Treasure Hunt Reading

Treasure Hunt reading is a free, largely online based program. Some people do consider it a full program but many have thought it wasn’t enough unless you have an advanced reader.

treasure hunt reading

There is also a workbook you can purchase or print to go with this program.

Explode the Code

The Explode the Code series can be a great way to teach or reinforce phonics. These books are also inexpensive which is great especially if you’re looking for a supplement.

There are 3 parts to this curriculum. Get set for the code covers letters and their sounds, there is also some letter writing practice.

explode the code workbooks 1-8

Once they have the letter sounds mastered kids are ready for the core part of this program, explode the code. There are 8 books that cover everything from blends, to digraphs, to syllables and more. You can find the scope and sequence here.

Finally, there is a 4 books series called beyond the code

There is also an online version of the program.

Teach your kids to read in 100 easy lessons

This was actually one of the first curriculums we tried…but we abandoned it after just a few lessons as me and my daughter both hated it.

I feel like this one is either a love it or hate it curriculum. I rarely here anyone say they kind of liked it. Either people hate it and quit or they love it and rave about how well it worked.

teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons

The nice things about this curriculum are that it’s inexpensive and it’s open and go. You don’t need other worksheets or manipulatives, you just use this one book.

This is phonics based and at the end of the 100 lessons they predict your child will be reading at about a 2nd grade level.

Learning to Read apps

Learning to read apps can be a great tool for extra practice or even used as a sort of curriculum lite and then supplemented with additional books or worksheets.

There are a lot of apps out there so I picked my two favorites to include in this list.


Reading.com is my favorite of the reading apps we’ve tried. This one is not a game type app that’s meant to be a supplement. It’s actually meant to be done with you and your child and is a learning to read program.

reading.com app for kids

The one downside is it picks up speed quite quickly. We did come to a point where we put a pause on it and needed to do some more practice on our own before diving back in. We do plan to pick it back up once we’re reading to learn more words at a time.

I also love the song they use to help kids learn there letter sounds. The app does also include some games the kids can play once you finish the lesson.

Duolingo ABC

Duolingo ABC is from the makers of the Duolingo language learning app. It can be great as a supplement and my 5 year old can mostly use it on her own.

You work your way through levels and have to collect enough pancakes at the review stage to get through the door to the next level.

My kids love the stories and that one activity has you make slime as a reward.

This app is also completely free so you’ve got nothing to lose by checking it out.

Go off book

The last option is to sort of craft your own curriculum. You might use pieces of the reading apps or curriculum lite options but also pair it with specific studies of areas you find your kids need help in.

I’d say this is sort of the approach we ended up taking. Once we knew letters and sounds we would learn something specific like sight words or digraphs while working through beginning reader books.

When we started coming across sound patterns frequently we might do another unit study on those, like blends or vowel teams.

Use lots of readers (link to post about favorite early readers) and worksheets for specific things you need to work on.

No matter which of these you choose to start with the most important thing is to be flexible.

You may think one strategy will be best for you and your child but if it’s not working you need to be prepared to pivot to something completely different or bring in supplemental activities for places you struggle with.

kids reading books with text reading best kindergarten homeschool curriculum

Thanks for sharing!

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