15 July 2011

Reading...Reading...and more Reading

It shouldn't surprise you that we love to read over here, or that we love going to the library.  I blog about it often.  And last week I shared how we just signed up for the Summer Reading program at the Matawan-Aberdeen Public Library.  Each week the kids bring in their reading log, and all the books they read that week get logged in and signed and their names get entered into a drawing for free books!

But this week was really special because Julia and I started 100 Easy Lessons (to teach your child to read...a homeschool program) with Mark, my 2 year old.  Mark did wonderful!  He completed the first 5 lessons in a snap!  How can you go wrong when the first sound and letter is m???  He knows how to spell his name, so the introductory sounds were all easy for him!  And I say Julia and I (Julia is a 1/3 of the way done with the book...by the end of the summer she will have completed the program) because as I teach Mark the lesson, she gets a review, and she likes to "help" Mark by saying the answer out loud when I am writing the letter sounds on the board. 

I began this reading journey with Julia before she was even one, with the Your baby can read series.  The videos and flash cards were really fun for her, and she WAS reading, but by the time she turned 2 I realized her reading was more memorized rather than phonetic, so we started asking our home school friends for ideas and advice, and our pastor's wife (recently moved to Louisiana to a church down in Baton Rouge) suggested 100 Easy Lessons.  We began the program in January and have been trucking away ever since, some days we skip, some lessons we review, but we are on a literacy journey and I LOVE it.  I taught third and fourth grade and so teaching a child to read was never a job of mine, teaching my 3rd and 4th graders how to understand what they read was my job!  But now I get to start at the very beginning, and at first I was really overwhelmed, but now I'm just taking each day as it comes.  And seeing your child sound out words on their own, and read mini sentences is so cool!  And now Mark has an extra teacher.  You should see Mark and Julia reading to each other on the floor or at the library, it is the sweetest thing!

Our recent trips to the library have caused me to take more action in the books we take out and the books we read at home.  I want to surround my kids with a wealth of different stories.  I recently got a pamphlet from the Matawan Library called: Books to Read in Kindergarten.  We are checking off the list as we read each book, and you have to ask for help which helps you to get to know all the librarians, and I'm even going to start having Julia ask the librarian for books we are looking to check off our list.  We are working on public speaking without fingers in our mouth, and being kind and friendly to people, so this is a great way to teach that.

Recently, some great books I've found for beginning readers are:

Max Goes to School by Adria F. Klein (and I love how Max is black...I really want my kids to read books with children of all different races, I grew up thinking all books were about Caucasian people).

* I like this book also because the sentences are short and the pictures help to clue you in on the subject matter.  There are also different levels...we are starting with the purple level of course.

Katie Woo: A Happy Day by Fran Manushkin (I love this book because it is about an Asian girl and her two multi cultural friends) They also have a glossary at the end of the book for the kids to learn new words and their meanings.

* This book is almost like a novel, but a super short one.  I like how it has chapters.

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown (I love historical fiction)

*This book has great illustrations, and it is a classic!  Mark liked the soldiers!

The Jellybeans and the Big Book Bonanza by Laura Numeroff (she wrote the series...if you give a mouse a cookie)

*Julia picked this one out because of the title (she likes jelly beans) and also because the cover had glitter on it.  I liked it because of the message about friendship and helping each other out.

Happy Reading!


  1. The program your working with them sounds awesome..and how fun that Jules is helping Marky...I LOVE IT! Thanks for the book suggestions; I thought I knew a lot about children's literature but you're introducing me to some new ones for sure! xoxoxo C

  2. opps! *you're
    xoxo C

  3. And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that picture of Julia reading. First because she's reading and second because I LOVE her shirt...where can I get one for Lizzy (okay, it's really for me? where can I get one for me?) ;) xoxo C

  4. Thanks Christy, she got that shirt at OLD NAVY, can you believe it? When I saw it I had to get it for her!!!!!!!!

  5. I have so many fond memories of childhood reading! I have kept a lot of my books so I can read them to my kids someday too!


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