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Best Books for New Readers

Forum: Homeschooling


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March 16th, 2010, 07:21 AM
broxi3781's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: belfast, northern ireland
Posts: 1,563
Hi, I dont get oline here often but was wondering if any of you would be willing to suggest best books for new readers( just turned 5)? Our library service is extremely limited, i honestly have more quality childrens books then a number of our public libraries combined. We also dont have much selection available in local bookstores so most come from amazon, which means we dont get to see them first.

We have Bob books and I am ordering the only starfall set available in the uk.
We also have usborne phonic readers, and one set of brand new readers, and he is starting on a couple of the dr seuss easy books like Hop on Pop.
Could you suggest your favourites?
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March 16th, 2010, 12:11 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
Posts: 50,214
I like all of the Dr. Seuss books, for sure! Look at scholastic's site (Teacher Book Wizard: Find Children's Books by Reading Level, Topic, Genre. Level Books | Scholastic.com) to find two cool features... one is a leveled search (you put in the reading level, age-appropriate content level, subject preference, etc. to find a selection of books that meet your needs) and the other is the "book-alike" feature, where you tell them what book you've already read and liked, and they'll tell you others that are similar in content, style, or level.

Walmart usually has several readers for levels 1 and 2, but I've only found readers for levels 3 and 4 at specialty toy stores or book stores. If all else fails, you can find anything you want at Amazon.com. It also has a search feature for age, type, etc.

Have you looked into any read-alongs? Like the ones with the talking pen or a CD? Ben likes those, and I loved having record-books as a kid. (Actually, I still have most of my old records, but I don't have a record player anymore. )
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March 17th, 2010, 09:07 AM
broxi3781's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: belfast, northern ireland
Posts: 1,563
Oh you have dated yourself, record player, LOL I dont think kids now even know what that is. Dont worry though, I'm even older yet I remember the read along books too, but Billy isnt that intersted although he quite enjoys the few interactive storybooks we've been able to order from ebay usa on cd.
I live in Belfast so we dont have Walmart, mores the pity, or even a good bookstore with a decent selection of childrens books. I am the only parent I know who actually reads to their children, outside of a few other oddball's who home educate, and sadly none of the children i have talked to have ever read a book that wasnt required by school. I've even heard of home educators who didnt think learning to read is neccesary
One of my reasons for home ed, apart for early school starting age was the very low expectations for literacy for a boy of our background. They learn a few flashcards often before even speaking well, and they have educational goals in the national curriculum, but they are never met in areas like this. the local headmaster laughed when I mentioned them and said they would hope most boys could read a few simple sentences by age 8.
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March 17th, 2010, 12:49 PM
therevslady's Avatar Built for Birth
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 6,194
I am a big fan of Dr Suess as well!

We also love Shel Silverstien. But she isn't reading enough to try and read those alone... even though she has a lot of them memorized.

We use a lot of what our library has, and free online readers whenever we can. So our personal library is not very large.
Previously known as ~~Que~~

Student Midwife, Doula, Placenta Specialist, and Lactation Counselor
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March 17th, 2010, 02:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 83
I'm a fan of Dr. Maggie's Phonics Readers, Phonics Comics, Little Bear, Frog and Toad, and Owl at Home. My son now 6 has read many of these and we both enjoy them.
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March 17th, 2010, 05:03 PM
dalynnrmc's Avatar pronounced (day-lynn)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: near Waco, TX
Posts: 3,305
We loved Bob Books and Dr. Seuss as well.

Depending on how you taught your child to read, be careful of levelled readers from places like Scholastic and Wal-Mart. A lot of those books use sight words and are often off-kilter for a phonics-taught kiddo. They introduce difficult phonograms long before most phonics readers are ready for them, but I've found that type of teaching (sight words) to be detrimental. I have a niece that will only read ONE book at my house... because it's the only one she CAN read. (She's the same age as my middle son - both first graders. He can decode and read most things he wants to, and she can only read x-number of words they've told her what they are.)

Another set we've enjoyed, but is a little pricey (worth it!! and great if you can find them used!!) is called Now I'm Reading - for Beginning Readers. Written by Nora Gaydos and Illustrated by BB Sams. There are (at least) 4 levels, with 10 books per level, and they are *excellent* phonics readers. The best I've seen.

Also, we've enjoyed the Biscuit books! There is a phonics readers set for that also; it's a super simple set, three words and short vowels, 12 books. One intro book that does have a few sight words like Biscuit and woof.

I second Little Bear and Frog and Toad books as well!

Much thanks to Alethia for my beautiful siggie and tags!!
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March 17th, 2010, 05:47 PM
Sandra314's Avatar Homeschooling Mom
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
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In my years of trial and error of our homeschool journey, we had more benefits from reading decodabe books. We do use sight words for introducing new vocabulary words with our ETC books but have relied on books from decodable publishers for reading.

Some parents address the need to have decodable text for beginning readers. There are decodable books from more than one publisher and some children need more practice with a particular orthographic feature than one publisher provides. Hence, the reason for having multiple sets.

Here is a list of Publishers for Decodable books:

Scholastic has the Bob Books for Young Readers. (as already mentioned here) has simple, easy, phonetic based, child-sized books inspire kids to beg for the next book in the set.

Animal Antics: (available at www.innovativekids.com)
for ages 4-7. To quote a past president of IRA: "These are delightful books to promote independentreading. Rhyming and repeating words in each story help children develop an ease in learning to read and a feeling of confidence. The wonderful illustrations and characters provide a positive, fun reading experience."
Carmelita K. Williams, President (2000-2001)
InternationalReading Association
These come in an easy to store format with 10 storybooks and a parent guide. Level Two in the series is called Amazing Animals.

The Wright Group has several sets in their "The Wright Skills" series, moving from pre-reading up through phonics chapter books. They can be purchased with many support materials and teacher's guides or they can be purchased separately. They're very colorful, easy to use and kid friendly. One component that I like is the phonics poetry in the manuals, related trade books lists, reproducibles, writing extensions, etc. We have different levels in each of our K-3 classrooms.

Creative Teaching Press, Inc. has two series. Dr. Maggie's Phonics Readers are a favorite of the two. They are teacher friendly for a number of reasons: they're inexpensive, colorful, and follow a progression of skills in a storybook context. My kids love them. There are 24 books in the series and a wonderful teacher's guide is available. Look for them in most teacher supply stores or at their web site: www.creativeteaching.com.

Their other set is for also for emergent readers. The focus is initial consonants, short vowels, long vowels, and blends and digraphs. The series is intended for K-1 and it's called Itty Bitty Phonics Readers. They're not as cute and clever as their other series since they're in black and white, but they're kid sized and you can get a nice little see through pouch for storing them.

Teacher Created Materials, Inc. has a set that is written in simple vocabulary: Easy Phonics Readers. They are easy to follow and each book stresses a particular vowel sound with controlled vocabulary, and they're affordable.

Remember, you can find many of these books at online auction sites, in thift stores, or used bookstores. Hope this helps.
Sandra. Wife to Timothy and Homeschool mom to Michael and Matthew

Married for 16+ years to the love of my life.
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March 27th, 2010, 12:48 PM
broxi3781's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: belfast, northern ireland
Posts: 1,563
Thanks for all the advice. We ended up with 2 sets from the "Now I am Reading" series, although they will take weeks to get here. Theya re from amazon marketplace but US sellers. We really do try to find books with as many words as possible that he can sound out. They are meant to be starting to teach phonics here next year so maybe there will be more available soon, but at the moment its limited. Even many of the phonics sets I've bought have a few rhyming words but an awful lot of sight words.
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March 27th, 2010, 08:41 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
Posts: 50,214
I hate it when books teach sight before phonics. Yes, some words can only be learned by sight, but most are phonetic. No wonder the U.S. is failing on standardized reading tests!
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March 28th, 2010, 09:17 AM
broxi3781's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: belfast, northern ireland
Posts: 1,563
Bens Mom - sight words are often taught here by flashcard from age 3, in spite of the fact that many educators are arguing that the children should know the spoken word before trying to read it. I have had neighbours who say there child knows all his sight words and can point to the correct cards, inspite of not being able to speak the words.
I dont want to come off as a rampage against sight words, of course some words really need to be learned by sight, like the, and others like a childs name are usually naturally picked up on before the child grasps phonics, but I'm afraid sight reading here is just a lazy way to go about it, easier to get an assistant to drill the kids on flashcards then teach real reading, and of course speech too if required.
As I said they are meant to be starting phonics in schools soon anyway, so this should change eventually, but for years the education boards have argues that teaching phonics i Northern Ireland was impossible due to the local accents, which is something I still cant figure out.
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