This week’s featured giveaway is brought to you by Scholastic! Three lucky winners will each receive a BOB Books lunchbox as well as copies of BOB Books Sight Words: Kindergarten and BOB Books Sight Words: First Grade. This giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only – international readers can enter if they have a friend in the U.S. who can accept their prize. Thanks, Scholastic, for providing not only these great prizes for this week’s featured giveaway, but also a copy of each set of BOB Books for my family’s review!
For those of you not yet familiar with BOB Books, they are the #1 bestselling learn-to-read program. The two brand-new sets that you’ll have the chance to win focus on learning and practicing Sight Words, those words that are recognized by sight rather than sounded out in order for our young readers to achieve reading fluency. These words are the most frequently used words in the English language, and are often unable to be read phonetically (i.e. “was”, “are”, and “out”). BOB Books Sight Words feature the top sight words in two sets – one for kindergarten and one for first grade – in order to allow parents and children to read, learn, and practice easily and enjoyably. Each Sight Words box includes ten original books, thirty flashcards, and a parent guide. To learn more please visit http://scholastic.com/bobbooks.
This contest ends Friday, September 24th at 11:59 p.m. ET. Good luck!
Those of us that have been reading for a while may have forgotten how many steps there are in learning to read. Things we take for granted, like knowing that those little squiggles on a piece of paper represent sounds, are new ideas for your child. As a parent, you have been preparing your child by reading stories, providing alphabet blocks and magnets, pointing out STOP signs. All of these activities help your child understand that letters are symbols for sounds and words.
The idea may be complex, but learning can be fun.
One way to do this is to establish a reading routine. Pick a SHORT time – about 10 minutes – for reading and together time. Be consistent, do it every day. Make your 10 reading minutes a special, fun, reliable part of your life.
Read books you both enjoy. However, this time is doing double duty by preparing your child to read, so pick alphabet books, rhyming books, books with big letters. Some of my favorites – Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, One Duck Stuck, Animalia, My First Bob Books. Visit the library for more books!
As a parent, with all the pressure for early success, I found it tempting to push my child, to test her, and to expect more and more. It is important to keep this reading time fun for both of you, and avoid pressure! The books you choose are doing the job of introducing letters and reading. Your only job is to pick the right tool, be consistent, and have fun. A nice bonus – you’re building a great relationship with your child by bonding over books.
As this routine continues, you can start asking your child to point out letters when you are reading (“can you find the ‘C’? ”), guess rhyming words, or finish repetitive sentences. Point out words as you read. Later, ask your child to point out the words as you read.
At some point, you will realize your child is ready to begin reading. Having the right tool is important for your child’s confidence and success. There are several beginning readers available, but Bob Books has been heralded time and again as the best very first reader.
For reading time on the special day when your child is going to read to you, get out Bob Books Set 1, Book 1, Mat. Open the book together. Look at the page 1 (Mat.). Ask your child to say the sound the first letter makes. Say the sound (mmmm) rather than the letter name “M.” Sound out the first word: mmm, aaa, ttt. Ask your child to say the sounds individually, then faster, until they turn into one word. Give lots of positive feedback when he or she gets it. Your child has just read his (or her) first word!
If the child is having trouble figuring out where to look, use your finger to cover up the letters a and t, and have him read only the mmm. Then uncover the a, then the t. Now say the sounds together. Be willing to repeat this process several times.
The very short words and consistent vowel sounds in Mat mean your child can continue to sound out the entire book (except the word “on”). Most children are very excited to soon say, “I read the whole book!”®
I hope your reading time becomes a magical time of day for you and your child, as together you explore the enchanted world of books.