Support Literacy at Home With the Daily 5


The Daily 5 is an easy way to make sure your kids are getting enough literacy work done each day, especially if you’re not totally sure what that should look like. It’s also super easy and flexible to use. 

Think of the Daily 5 as a checklist of five things that your child should do each day. The order is not important, and each activity can take a variety of forms. Best of all, you are free to use reading materials and writing topics of your child’s choice. 

The Daily 5 Includes:

  • Read to Self
  • Read to Someone
  • Listen to Reading
  • Work on Writing 
  • Word Work

Usually the Daily 5 is perfect from Kindergarten to second grade but it works well throughout the elementary school years. 

My homeschooling style is very minimalist, and I really avoid anything that requires a ton of preparation or materials. Here’s how I use the Daily 5 at home with my daughter, Kiara:

Read to Self

I leave books that Kiara can read independently in the living room and in her bedroom. I mix them up to keep her interested and I choose her favorite topics and characters, like unicorns and Disney’s Frozen

I’m not yet requiring her to read to herself for any set period of time, but we have a daily quiet time of 45 minutes that she spends in her room with not much to do but read, play with baby dolls, or build with magnetic blocks. 

Listen to Reading

I read a story that I want to share with Kiara each day, whether it’s a classic fairy tale or a modern adventure story. I also take time most days to read to her about something factual. Recently she’s interested in mummies and pyramids as well as sea otters. She loves it when we “play” the topic after I read to her, such as when we wrapped ourselves in “kelp” and used our stomaches like plates as sea otters do, or when she pretended to mummify me on our kitchen table. 

We also allow audio books after bedtime. 

Read to Someone

Every morning, Kiara reads a chapter aloud while I follow along with my eyes, correcting her as needed and stopping to have short discussions about the story. We have hit a groove with the Magic Tree House series and we are now on the ninth book in the series. 

Work on Writing

Kiara is not ready to write her letters yet, so I sometimes have her do a tracing page or practice making letters with her finger in a tray filled with salt. 

I also have her dictate stories or information to me and I write it down in a notebook. This is something I want to do more of, while letting handwriting wait until she’s ready.

Word Work

We used to do daily phonics but it has felt less necessary now that Kiara is a proficient reader. Instead I have been exploring grammar and language concepts. I do believe that word work (studying word parts and the meaning of words) is important to continue though, and I hope to do that soon.

I love how the Daily 5 gives me a sense of structure without overwhelming me or stifling our need for flexibility and adaptability. I hope it helps you too!


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