On Our Bookshelf: Teaching Reading Part 2


Welcome Back to Part 2 of the Teaching Reading Post

Resources we are using at age five and a half:


[] A Handbook for Reading. We are half way through this book and read one page every third day or so.

[] Basic Phonics Readers. We have two booklets left in this series and read one page every third day as well.


[] Hooked on Phonics. We are beginning boxed set 2.


[] Peter and Jane Ladybird Readers. (search amazon, alibris, paperbackswap, etc. to find these for a dollar or so) I have nearly a whole set of these very old hardback readers that I have been gifted to me secondhand (well, more like many many hands later) I learned to read using this series as a child. This series relies on learning sight words and then practicing with these readers or having your child already know short and long sounds. Since my son did not respond to learning sight words as a beginning approach (I started with phonics and sight words through flashcards) I thought I would not be using these books at all. However, now that he has gotten the basics down and can read long, short vowel words and some special sounds (see the Abeka program for practicing special sounds) he is able to read these books almost completely correctly on his own. Since these are longer readers and he is older, he can manage to read the 25 pages at once.


[] Read With Me Ladybird Readers. I found the first 12 (of 16) of these readers at a thrift store years ago. (here are a couple links http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?browse=0&keyword=0721416187&mtype=B&hs.x=40&hs.y=11&hs=Submit

http://www.amazon.com/Kate-Crocodile-Read-Me-Murray/dp/0721416209/ref=pd_sim_b_2) Again, once your child knows the basics, these are just another great reader to practice with.

[] Fun With Pets 1.1 Abeka 1st grade reader (Abeka http://www.abeka.com/ABekaOnline/BookDescription.aspx?sbn=94951) I already owned most of the set of first grade readers from Abeka from using them with my older kids. This reader begins with simple short vowel words and works up to special sounds all in a short story format. Azure reads between 2-4 pages in this reader every third day. He is nearly finished this book and is moving along to…

[] Tiptoes 1.2 Abeka 1st grade reader (Abeka http://www.abeka.com/ABekaOnline/BookDescription.aspx?sbn=94986) In this reader the child continues to practice reading short and long vowel words, words with special sounds, words with blends in a short story format. You can find these readers every where. If I were to buy one now, I would go with a secondhand one instead of new. I would also not mind an older out of print copy. Generally, they update the pictures and covers, the content is the same. If you are following the entire curriculum and all the workbooks, using answer keys, etc. (though at this level, you really don’t need answer keys) you may want a new, up to date copy. I do not own any of the teachers editions for these readers either.


Tips & Suggestions:

Make a statement that books (and therefore learning) are important. Teach your young child to handle books with care, don’t allow them to stand on, write on, or throw them. Read for your own pleasure and learning often. It sends a message that reading and learning are for everyone. Both my parents love books and are always reading. All six kids in my family are avid readers, including my fashion loving, cosmo girl of a 17 year old sis and a sis that is majoring in literature in university. My three older boys read constantly. Well, ok, now they ‘balance’ things out with minecraft and other games. They still manage to get nearly the highest AR points in their classes, participate in Battle of the Books (book club at school) and all read at a 12th grade or higher level. NOT tooting my own horn here, just letting you know that your actions speak volumes to your children. To be clear here we ARE NOT ‘Tiger’ parents, nor do we push our kids to do any of these activities. They are simply following their interests and love for books. We have only fanned that fire by teaching them to read at an early age, providing quality reading material and setting an example as much as we can. We are pretty busy parents to five monkeys, but we try.

Take your kids to the library. I know this can be quite a feat if you have a bunch of kids, alternately you can stock up on a variety of age appropriate books on your own. When I make a library trip I stock up with books on a variety of subjects and reading levels. Some will be simple picture books with short stories and others are short chapter books that will take us 30 minutes or a few days to read through. I also get a large amount at once, say 30-50 books at a time. That way I am set for 2 weeks and don’t end up reading the same books over and over again. Since we are reading 2-3 books each evening, we are able to get through most of them.


Have a small budget for books. I ALWAYS find new books for my kids at thrift stores. Many are under $1 and in good shape. Some thrift stores have certain sale days on certain items, so its worth knowing which days you’ll get best value on. I have gotten many devotional (think Chicken Soup for the Soul, a ton of different ones) and pretty much all my kids picture bibles from thrift stores. I’ve also collected many fiction, classics, educational and board books from thrift stores. Garage sales is another even cheaper way to go. While you will have less to choose from, generally the prices are less expensive too. Most I snatch up are between .25-$1.

Ask for books as gifts. Whenever family or friends ask us what to get for the kids, we always include a few books or book sets for them to choose from. Often times my middle and high school aged kids will have liked a book in a series and I will put that whole series on my amazon wish list for a quick referral in the future. That way if some one asks or I happen to see one of these books while thrifting/garage sale searching, I know its something they would like to read. I also tell the gift givers that we are happy with second hand books! That way someone can make their sweet gift go farther. It doesn’t always work and some people will insist upon gifting a new book. No sweat, except this wonderful gift graciously.


Keep books around the house or on a electronic device. We have two large bookshelves filled with books in a hallway and smaller collections of books in different rooms of our house. These house our ever growing collection of books. Our older boys also have a kindle, mini nook and nook (one device each), that they have received as gifts or school rewards that they have some ebooks on. We haven’t really invested in many ebooks yet, but if you are short on space, its a good option.

Make a few reading slots in your day. For us it might be a few pages before school, after school and before bed. This is a combination of Azure reading to me and me reading to him. We’ll read anywhere from 30- 60+ minutes a day between these reading times.

Help another little reader. After Azure is finished with a set of books I am passing them along to cousin for her to practice with and then she’ll give them back for Brecks to learn with. If you don’t have any more kids needing to use your readers, consider donating them to charity, a school, a church, hand me downs to another family, and don’t forget to keep a few to gift to your kids when they become parents!

I hope this post is able to help get you started and inspired to helping your child master reading and a lifelong love for books.


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