Sweet Pea is 5 years old.
From: Several people told me that “Bob Books” are fantastic for beginning readers, so when Sweet Pea started showing an interest in reading, I bought the first set for us to try.
- A set of Bob Books.
- Before your child tries to read the Bob Books, he should be showing signs of reading readiness. For example, he should:
- Be able to handle a book correctly. He should know to hold the book upright and be able to turn the pages by himself.
- Enjoy listening to stories.
- Have an understanding that written words convey information.
- Know the letter sounds . Note that the name of the letter (“A”) is NOT the same thing as the phonemic letter sound (“ahhh”). (Tad from the wonderful Leapfrog Letter Factory dvd sings, “The letter “A” says “ahhh!”)
- Your child should be clearly interested learning to read. Most children in the USA start learning to read at about 5 years old, although some do it a little earlier or a little later. It is critical that you do not rush your child into reading. Especially in beginning, reading should be a fun and pleasant activity, not something that you have to force your child to do. As Maria Montessori said, “Follow the child.“
- Sit somewhere cozy next to your tot and show him the set of Bob Books.
- Take out the first book in the set. Before you start reading the book, review the first page that shows the letter sounds which appear in the book and ask your child to say them to you.
- Ask him if he can sound out the word on the first page. The first booklet is a very easy and your child may be able to read the entire thing without any help. If so, just let him read it.
- If your child can not sound out the words, then try using the “I Read / You Read” approach:
- Read the first page to your child. (“Mat”)
- Invite your child to re-read the first page back to you. (Say, “Now, do you want to read this page?” as you point to the word “Mat”.)
- Turn to the next page, read it, and then invite your tot to re-read it back to you.
- Repeat the “I Read / You Read” pattern for each page until you finish the book.
Observations: These books are perfect for a very beginning reader. Sweet Pea loved everything about them and we had a great time reading them together.
Sweet Pea was so proud to be able to read an entire book by herself!
I really liked the Bob Books, but I don’t think that these books work as an independent activity. If your reader is just starting out, then they will be unsure enough about some words that you will need to sit right by them and help them (which is fine!). But, if they already know how to read a little bit, then these books will be too easy. We found them exactly perfect for a very narrow, but critical, window when Sweet Pea was starting to learn to read.
I would highly recommend Bob Books, Set 1 for all very early beginning readers.
Notes from the Trenches: I think it helped to keep Sweet Pea excited to read the next book in the set because I limited her to 1 new book per day. I would highly recommend making your reading sessions short to keep your tot from growing board or anxious.
As I said earlier, Bob Books are for very very beginning readers. So if your child can already read, then I these books will clearly be too easy for him. I have read very few complaints about Bob Books, but the main one seems to be that the stories are too simple. We tried another set of beginning reader books, which did have better stories, but the words got too difficult very rapidly. So, the thing people tend to dislike about Bob Books, the simplicity, is the exact thing that makes them so great for beginning readers.
I thought the blog Teaching Reading with Bob Books looked very interesting. It was a bit too involved for our purposes, but you might want to check it out if you are interested in homeschooling / actually teaching your child to read.
Rating: 2 Stars * (Fun, Easy)
The Giveaway is now closed. JenRay was the winner.
Since we are done with set 1 of the Bob Books, I thought I would give them away to my loyal readers.
How to Enter: Just submit a comment below telling me the title of your favorite children’s book.
The Fine Print: This giveaway is for one (slightly used) box of Bob Books, Set 1. You must leave a valid email when you submit your comment so that I can contact you in the event that you win the contest. I am using random.org to select the winning comment number from all of the valid entries. This contest is open to continental U.S. residents only. The deadline for entry is Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 11:59pm Central Standard Time. Winners will be contacted and announced shortly thereafter.