Friday, June 26, 2009

Journey to Reading

My son has always been interested in books. He would bring us book after book after book to read as soon as he learned to walk and carry a book at the same time. He loves the idea that we can magically decode the marks on the page to always read the exact same story every time to go with the pictures. When he was 4 almost 5 I started trying to introduce him to reading on his own, using "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons." This did help him learn letter sounds and how to blend the sounds together into words, but he found doing the same thing over and over boring. Also, the book indicates that the lessons only take 15-20 min with the child, but if the child is resisting or doesn't want to do the writing part it can take over 1/2 hour. The further into the book the longer it takes to do the sounding out and repetitions. This was too much time for my little guy to do, so we eventually agreed to stop with the program at around lesson 10.

I was still interested in teaching him more about reading and looked for fun ideas. He seemed very receptive to the idea of flash cards, loved the ones he had for numbers and alphabet. So I got him "Picture Me Reading" sight word flash cards. One side of the card is a pictograph of the word and the other side is the normal view of the word with a sentence that goes along with it.
See how "n" can run!
These were fun for him for a little while, but again I think I started too early. In the mean time Kindergarten started and they were focusing on letter names and sounds, and counting so I decided to wait a bit before trying teaching him on my own again.

Son had his Kindergarten graduation this week and has been showing a huge interest in what the words say, he will point at any word and ask what it is and is trying to spell words for us to guess. It's very cute! This seemed like the perfect time to start introducing him to the fine art of Reading again. I started reading when I was 5 and seem to have it in my mind that he should read when he's 5 too. I'm sure he'll let me know if that's a false assumption!

A couple of weeks ago I picked up "BOB Books - Collection 1" which I found on Craigslist. I had read about them before and had been thinking of getting them, but $15 for each set seemed a bit much when I didn't know if Son would like them. $7 for the Collection, which includes 18 books from both the "Beginning Readers" and "Advanced Beginners" sets seemed about perfect! All the letters of the alphabet, except "q" are introduced within the first 12 books with no more than 4 new letters in a book. In addition by the time Son has finished the 18 books he will know 33 Sight Words. I dug out his "Picture Me Reading" flash cards and will review the sight words with him before we read his books. I think this will help him a lot! I have also instigated a "Word of the Day" for him, starting with the first Sight Word he is introduced to in the books "on." This has been a hard word for him to "get" since I started showing him the flash cards, hopefully seeing it on the fridge, in his lunch box, and in his books will help.

Son is soooo excited by these books, he even volunteered to read book 1 to his Daddy just for the fun of being able to say he did it! He is so proud that he can read by himself now! I have made it part of our bedtime routine; he reads a BOB book, with help if needed, and then I read one of his bigger books like a Dr. Suess. This way he gets to practice reading and still gets his usual bedtime story. He is very happy with this routine and already reading books 1 - 3 with only a few stumbling blocks and about to start book 4 tonight. At first I thought we would be reading a new book every 1-2 nights, but I have decided to stay with each book until he is comfortable with all the new sounds and words even if that means 4 nights or more with the same book. I also give him a break by having him read the earlier books instead of the new harder one to give him confidence in his abilities.

I figure by the time school starts in September he will have a really good handle on sounding out words. I think that part of his resistance to learning to read in the past was his thought that we would no longer read to him if he could read by himself. By having him read a book and then me read a book I think he has realized that we will always read to him. That him being able to read is just a way for him to tell himself the story when we are busy with something else, like sleeping in on the weekend. :)

BOB Books Collection 1 - Letters and Sight Words in order of introduction in the collection.

BookNew LettersNew Sight Words
1. MatM, m, A, a, T, t, S, son
2. SamC, c, D, dand
3. DotO, o, H, h, G, g, R, ra, has
4. MacB, bcan, got, had, the
5. Dot and MitN, n, P, p, I, idid, hot, is, not, sit
6. Dot and the Dog? question mark
7. Jig and MagJ, j, W, wbig, ran
8. Muff and RuffU, u, F, fat, for, in, it, to, up
9. 10 Cut-UpsNumerals 1 - 10
Plural Endings - s

10. Peg and TedE, ered, went
11. Lad and the Fat CatL, l, K, k, X, xget, six
12. The VetV, v, Y, y Z, zinto, yes
13. Fun in the Sun
14. Up, Pup

15. Pip and Pog
do, now, saw
16. Bow-wow!

17. The Big Hat
18. Sox the Fox

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