As you know, JJ is in kindergarten and I’ve been frustrated with her school’s lack of differentiation and reliance upon worksheets during reading time. I couldn’t believe how little JJ could read. We needed reading help. Luckily, Bob Books saved me.
When I asked a trusted reading expert to assess JJ in reading and the results shocked me — JJ was at a preschool reading level and didn’t know half the kindergarten sight words. The expert game me a sight word list, and a book and encouraged me to practice with JJ at home.
Now you’re wondering why I didn’t know this – either about her level or the sight words. I should have been keeping up, you’re right. We had done our sight word wall for a few months, I thought she knew them. But, not so much. Not when it’s not practiced or reinforced – by me or the school.(Duh, right?) I knew better.
However, in my defense, one of the reasons, besides just sucking as a mom, was my worry about pushing her too fast, too soon. Having read enough research on learning disabilities caused by pushing academics at early ages, I didn’t want to push her until she was out of the worksheet environment and showed an interest in reading. But, I really should have been doing something at home besides just reading aloud to her.
So, when Bob Books asked if I wanted to try their early reading sets, I gladly agreed, hoping their books would give me a place to start with JJ for our reading time at home.
We started with Bob Books Set 3, Word Families.
Every day she read two Bob Books books to me. We worked on using her finger to track – she hated that – and decoding.
* Also, I made her a set of sight-word flashcards that she didn’t know on key rings and we reviewed all the others she had learned and added a new one each day.
I really liked the Bob Books and how it made reading accessible for JJ and me. Plus, the books are short and sweet. I liked that the last pages of each book tell you what the book introduced, for example in Cat and Mouse from Set 4, some of the new concepts listed are: “blends: sn – snap, th – that, st – stop, lp – help, ck – back.”
Have you seen Bob Books? Physically, they’re small. The illustrations are line drawings with only a few splashes of one color per picture. I wondered if the illustrations would be a turn-off for JJ but she liked them — and LOVED them on the iPad because reading the word correctly meant the pictures got colored in.
Set 1 – Beginning Readers (12 books)
Set 2 – Advancing Beginners (12 books)
Set 3 – Word Families (10 books)
Set 4 – Complex Words (8 books)
Set 5 – Long Vowels (8 books)
Each set of books includes hints for teaching your child to read and ideas for the specific set.
These books use the common sight words, three new sight words are introduced in each book. Plus they come with two-sided, sight word flash cards. (The sight words are an example of something a child must memorize since they often aren’t decodable and therefore a time when I do endorse flash cards.)