Books for the Beginning Reader

Posted by  | Sunday, September 18, 2011  at 10:37 PM  
Samuel is just beginning to read. We've been working our way through Wise & Buffington's The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. We just completed Section 3 "Short Vowel Words". Samuel has also been memorizing a lot of sight words by watching the Meet the Sight Words video series. Both he and Joel can pick out a number of sight words throughout the day after watching these videos. I am really glad that we have paired the two together. The combination of knowing how to read consonant-vowel-consonant words and many sight words has opened up a whole new world of reading for Samuel.

When I tried to teach Samuel to read a year ago, I used the Bob Books by Bobby Lynn Maslen. We stopped and started a number of times, but never progressed out of the first set of books. Samuel just wasn't that interested and I didn't want to push it. The appeal of the Bob Books for me was the phonemic progression and control. If you know the sounds of letters, you are ready for these books. But they are a bit dull and I can see how a child would get bored easily.

This time around, we are still building bit by bit with the Ordinary Parent's book, but the supplement of the sight words has made a big difference. I am able to pick out books from the Easy Reader section at the library that Samuel can read. He feels so good when he is able to read a whole book by himself! And it is a good encouragement to me too to persevere.
The first book he read on his own was Cats, The Sound of Short A by Alice K. Flanagan. This is part of the Wonder books series.
Another series we have read is called Flip-a-Word. The series includes titles such as Crab Cab and Quack Shack. They aren't much for stories, but they practice rhyming word families and are much kookier than the Bob Books.
The second book Samuel read on his own was The Bug in the Jug Wants a Hug. This is Book 1 of the Sounds Like Reading series. This is a great mix of sounding out and sight words. Without the sight words, he wouldn't be able to read this book. But memorizing just a handful of sight words helps so much. We are on the cusp of reading Dr. Seuss. I have had Samuel read some sections of Hop on Pop and he was successful. I think once we cover the next section of Ordinary Parent's, Two Consonant Blends, he will be even more successful. If you are in the beginning stages of reading, I encourage you to add plenty of sight words to your reading lessons. You will be pleased with the number of easy readers it will open up to you.

Are you teaching your child to read? What easy readers do you enjoy? Do you memorize sight words?


Christy said...

I can't tell you how perfect the timing of this post is! I was actually about to email you today and ask if there was a to post a reader question on POH. I have been wondering if anyone has compared Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and Ordinary Parents Guide. Almost everyone we know has used 100 easy lessons, but it looks a little intimidating to me.

Ordinary Parent's Guide suggests using sight words, right?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject! I hope others will chime in too- especially if anyone out there can help me with the comparison between Ordinary Parents and 100 Lessons! Thanks!

Leah said...

I had made a start with 100 Easy Lessons last year. I think part of the problem was that Samuel wasn't ready. Let me borrow the book from a friend again and I'll write a comparison of the two from my perspective.
Ordinary Parent's does use sight words, but they don't introduce them right away and just a few at a time. I've had the boys memorize a lot by watching the Meet the Sight Words videos and then practicing with flash cards. To give you an idea, we are practicing 90 sight words and Samuel (5) probably knows 60-70 really well and Joel (3) knows about 20.

Sarah said...

Hey Leah!

We used the Nora Gaydos 'Now I'm reading series' which is similar to the Bob books but they are more interesting. If I remember correctly the Bob books are all stick men and line drawings but the Nora Gaydos books are color cartoon type pictures. Follow this link to all her books on Amazon :

Hope that helps!

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