So I have a daughter who is 8 years old and is not reading yet. Her older brothers picked it up easily with the help of Hooked on Phonics, old-school style. You know, you learn the names of the letters, then learn their sounds, then string them together. They were both reading by the age of 7.
My 5-year-old daughter is starting to put alphabet magnets on the fridge in order and if you toss out a word at her she will tell you the letter it starts with.
My 8-year-old does not seem to care, and I know she will learn in time. Of course there is outside pressure from SOME people ... but I don't care. I've seen sparks of her being able to do it, but she just doesn't seem motivated right now. And I wonder, "What's the rush?" ... And I know she will pick it up soon enough. One day it will click. If you in the same boat as me and are considering sending your non-reader to school, please stop and ...
I used to be a little freaked out about it, but it's not like I'm lazing around all day ignoring her. Adults all learn at a different pace, so why are we appalled if all 6-year-olds who have graduated Kindergarten can't read?
By the way, she went off a diving board and rode a bike much earlier than her older brothers and earlier than most of her friends. So there is some sort of connection there between the body and the brain and what/how we learn.
Here's what we use to work on reading, lots of different methods at different times. (Not all at once, silly ... can you imagine me following her around all day trying like 10 different methods to get her to read? OMG!).
ABCMouse.com. I pay a few bucks a month for my 3 youngest to mess around on here. So far they love it, and I love that I can see their progress. It's nice sometimes to pass the teaching on to someone else, and the kids love learning and buying things with their online tickets.
Alpha Phonics. I was given this to review and she doesn't love the paper version. We're going to work on the CD version.
Clifford Phonics. This is an old CD-ROM where you play word games and get things to decorate your parade float.
Education.com. I spend just a tiny amount every month for this online gem. They have colorful worksheets and projects and crafts that kids of any age can do, which is perfect since I'm homeschooling kids ages 3-12.
Explode the Code workbooks.
Hooked on Phonics. Mentioned this above.
LeapFrog toys on the fridge. We have two sets of letter magnets so we like to try to make words on the fridge.
Sight Words. I print colorful sheets of these from Education.com. You're supposed to laminate them and cut them out, but we just do them sheet by sheet.
Writing. I'll have my daughter copy something I've written, like a thank you note for something someone gave her. That way, it's in her writing and maybe she's figuring out how to put words together a little bit.
I'm sure I'm forgetting a few methods we have laying around the house. I'd love to hear your ideas!