Our Favorite Resources for Beginning Readers

September 13th, 2012 by Dionna | 3 Comments
Posted in Children, Eclectic Learning, Preschoolers

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I never knew how exciting it would be to watch Kieran blossom from a pre-reader to a reader. It is amazing! We laid the foundation for Kieran to love books by reading to him from a very early age. By the time he was three years old, we were reading chapter books (although he still loves picture books). Below are a few things that we did with Kieran once he showed signs that he was interested in and ready to read.

Rhyming games: From the time Kieran understood what a rhyme was, we’ve been playing rhyming games. One of us will say a word (bat), and then we go back and forth saying words that rhyme (cat, pat, mat). It doesn’t matter whether they are real words or not (yat), just that they rhyme.

Once he started learning about the sounds letters made, we talked about the letters that made up the sounds we were rhyming (“a + t = at”). Then we would simply add in learning opportunities when we rhymed. For example, instead of just saying words that rhyme, we say a word then figure out what letter it starts with. When we change words, we go from one sound (“at”) to a sound that is just a bit different (“it”), and we discuss what letter changed.

To reinforce the concept of rhyming from an early age, be sure to get a book of nursery rhymes (we like The Neighborhood Mother Goose). Nursery rhymes can be a great benefit to language and cognitive development. Read more in the PDF Rhymers Are Readers: The Importance of Nursery Rhymes.

Bob Books: A friend recommended these books to me recently. Before we started with Bob Books, Kieran was not actually sounding out words. But he must have been on the verge (or we simply were not reading the right books), because as soon as we opened the first Bob book in the Beginning Readers set, he took off.

Starfall.com: Starfall.com is “a free public service to teach children to read with phonics. [Their] systematic phonics approach, in conjunction with phonemic awareness practice, is perfect for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, special education, homeschool, and English language development (ELD, ELL, ESL).”

Kieran was fairly uninterested in Starfall until he’d started reading with me using books. But now that he is more confident, he enjoys Starfall.

Spinny Speller: For an activity bag exchange we did with some friends, my husband and I made Spinny Spellers, based on the tutorial at Counting Coconuts. Now that Kieran can sound out words, he enjoys playing with it.

What were your beginning reader’s favorite tools?

3 Responses to:
"Our Favorite Resources for Beginning Readers"

  1. Laura   LauraBangerter

    I really like Mo Willem’s Cat the Cat series and Brian Cleary’s early reader series that starts with The Bug in the Jug Wants a Hug. I agree that Starfall is great.

    I created an early reader book for Android devices. It isn’t flashy, but its simpleness is effective, at least with my kids. :) If you search for Corvid Apps on Google Play, Amazon App Store or Nook App Store you can find it.

  2. Vidya Sury   vidyasury

    Books are our biggest treasure. I love your favorites.. I just wish I lived nearer – I would have loved to share Vidur’s books – we’ve got a vast collection. Even though we keep giving them away, the rate at which they accumulate is amazing. I am guilty because we’ve got a lot of second hand book stores in our area – and usually get most books in almost new condition.

    The joy of seeing a child enjoying a book is so satisfying! :D

    Love, Vidya

  3. Janine (Alternative Housewife)   thejaninefowler

    My mom bought us a set of BOB books. :) I didn’t remember them, but she said they helped me and my siblings learn to read very early.

    I’m currently looking into the Montessori idea of teaching writing before reading, although my 2 year old can’t quite write well enough to form letters yet. He does have a handful of letters/sounds down.

    Probably not the best way to learn but he’s also picked a lot up from the show Word World! I know that he’s memorizing the shape of words more than anything, but I think that it would be a good transition into rhyming. – Good tips! I’m so excited about teaching my son to read. Can’t think of many more things more rewarding!

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