Reading Resources to Use at Home - SPELD NSW

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Reading Resources to Use at Home

Reading Resources to Use at Home 

To help parents and families who are supporting students learning at home this term, the team at SPELD NSW have brought together some of our favourite online and family friendly resources for student learning to read.   

These resources are great for Kindergarten to Year Two students along with older students who are working on developing their reading skills. 

We know that students learn to read best when explicitly taught phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary knowledge and comprehension and the resources in this blog are grouped together under these skills.   

Join Veronica Alexander from SPELD NSW talking about supporting reading at home: SPELD NSW Supporting your reader at home ( 

Helping your child with reading at home SPELD NSW


Phonemic Awareness 

Phonemic awareness is the ability to identify and work with the individual sounds in words. Phonemic awareness is important for reading as: 


Phonics involves learning the relationships between sounds and letters. The evidence around best practice reading instruction tells us that students benefit from phonics instruction that is explicit and systematic.
When students learn phonics systematically and explicitly, they start out learning that we use individual letters to spell the sounds in words. For example, they learn that: 

  • the letter “p” can be used to spell the sound /p/; 
  • the letter “a” can be used to spell the sound /a/; and 
  • the letter “t” can be used to spell the sound /t/. 

Students can then blend those sounds together to read the words “pat”, “at” and “tap”. They will then go on to gradually learn the rest of the single letter sounds in a systematic manner. After students have learnt all the single letter sounds, they can start to use them to read longer words using those single letter sounds (eg, “blend”, “slip” and “plant”). 

The next concept that students will learn in systematic and explicit phonics program is that two letters can together spell one sound.  The sounds that will be introduced to students are the consonant digraphs (eg. ch, sh, wh, th) and when a letter is doubled at the end of a word to make a single sound (eg, ll, ff and ss). 

After students have mastered the initial part of the phonics code, they can move onto learning about all the different ways that we spell vowel sounds (for example, they will learn that the /A/ sound can be spelt “a”, “ay”, “ai” and “a_e”). Students benefit from explicit instruction and lots of practise of this extended part of the phonics code. 


Sounds Write Resources for Parents:
Resources available from the SPELD NSW Bookshop:
Resources available from the DSF Bookshop: 
More Great Resources for younger students: 
More Great Resources for older students:

The SPELD NSW InfoSheet on Reading Programs to use at Home has some other great options to explore. 


Fluency in reading is the ability to read easily and accurately with few errors.  Fluent readers use proper expression, have grammatically appropriate pauses and correct word emphasis.   

Fluency in readingis achieved when students have gained mastery and automaticity of both phonically regular and irregular words such that their reading seems effortless.  Reading fluency can be  practiced  by reading suitable text using repeated reading.   

For beginning readers, reading decodable texts will allow students to improve fluency and to consolidate the automaticity of letter-sound knowledge and decoding skills. 

SPELD Decodable Readers

SPELD NSW sells a range of decodable readers for students in Kindergarten to Year 2 and also for older students 

You can also borrow decodable readers from some local libraries and from the Jill Sherlock Memorial Library.  

We have set out below some of the free decodable readers / texts that you can access online: 

  • SPELD SA free phonic readers – SPELD SA has an excellent range of free phonic readers that can be downloaded from their website or read on an iPad – here and here 
  • Phonic Books UK have published some free decodable readers with their Moon Dog characters doing activities at home.  There are also worksheets to use with each book.  
  • Oxford University Press at the Oxford owl website has a range of free decodable ebook readers.     
  • Flyleaf publishing have made some decodable readers freely available 
  • Fun Phonics free readers  
  • Free Phonetic Readers 
  • Decodable Readers by Auburn University 
  • Core Knowledge have free online decodable readers which can be accessed here and here 
Vocabulary and Comprehension 

Vocabulary is the understanding of the meaning of words and is essential for comprehension. Oral vocabulary is the knowledge of words in speaking and listening and it is the foundation of reading comprehension.  Background knowledge is also essential for reading comprehension.  

Activities that expose students to a wide range vocabulary and background knowledge will help students develop skills in this area: 


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