Learning to read books - recommendations please(24 Posts)
I don't think my daughter is gifted or talented (although she is obviously lovely) but I don't know where else to put this post!
So DD is 2yrs old, she has just started reading a few words by herself, pointing to them in books when we read to her and on signs. Simple things, Mummy, Daddy, Dog, Fox etc. The books we have are story books, not exactly perfect for first readers as all the type is different and some is small. I wondered if anyone could recommend some first reading books that are used in nurseries / pre-school that I might be able to buy for her. I remember books that the parent / teacher reads the first bit and the child reads the next bit (learning by repetition I guess) but can anyone recommend a good series to start with?
DS was a precocious reader and although the school were absolutely horrified (to put it mildly) about the level of his reading when he eventually started school; I know it was the best thing that I have ever done for him.
What I would say though, is that it is important that your DD learns to read via a phonics method, rather than a sight method, as there could be difficulties with spelling later if not.
We used Jolly Phonics and DS was enthralled by the DVD. I then bought a set of Usbourne phonics books from the Book People, I think they were all at the same level, but as he had such a good foundation of phonics he never read another graded reader. He then progressed straight to Dr Seuss and would sit reading to himself giggling his head off. Friends also bought him a few audio books. As he was turning 4, he was then reading Horrid Henry, Winnie the Pooh, Beatrix Potter and all the ladybird classics, Snow White, etc, along with his favourite Thomas and friends and Mr Men books.
At school and home, his party trick when forced to read anything boring, was to read each word phonetically backwards.
Roll on a few years and by 8 he had the reading age of a 17 year old and absolutely adores reading - do not let anyone tell you that teaching a child to read early will put them off. On the contrary, it has opened his eyes to the world around him and he enjoys a good debate on a diverse range of subjects. I have tried, from time to time, to limit the reading a bit, but he was able to have a very mature conversation about it and told me how much enjoyment he got and how he could not imagine a world without books.
She is a little young yet to learn writing but I would also suggest that you start this as soon as she has the fine motor control, as ideally, you do not want a huge gap between reading and writing.
I like the songbird phonics series as they're easily accessible, have good stories (as far as early readers can) and have guidance on the different phonic sounds in the books. On amazon you can get them 12 books or 6 books in 1 so not too expensive either.
I would second the songbirds books. book people had the set of 36 books for £15ish again very recently - worth a look
School tested and apparently there is a new test, (GL? ) that they use which gives a reading age and an NC level for comprehension. The max age it tests to is 17. The HT said it was not previously possible to track to this sort of level in one test.
You can get free ebooks on the oxford owl website which would give you a chance to try some series out.
I taught both my children to read as we lived abroad, so there were no other options for english speaking children.
on the advice of friends with children at school in England, I imported a pile of jolly phonics.
Then on the advice of a (now sadly closed) children's specialist bookshop in London, I bought a range of interesting story books for early readers.
The jolly phonics were barely touched - most still have not been opened. My sons found them intensely boring.
The books on the other hand were read and re-read, with more demanded. It gave them both a love of reading which has stood them in good stead. Ds2 is 10 and he's on the sofa right now reading Lemony Snickett no. 7.
Both children are excellent spellers - tested at adult level whilst still in primary school - because (I think) they learned to sound the word out when learning to read and then blend the sounds.
Either way both learned to read remarkably quickly - about four months from start to being able to laugh at Horrid Henry.
I am not saying phonics aren't invaluable for many children, its just that if a children is able to do without them, then they may enjoy reading more if they get onto stories asap.
I think that the phonics can wait until later, given how young she is.
We bought a whole heap of the old Ladybird Learn To Read Books from eBay for about 2p each, mostly for retro fun value. But it turned out that she absolutely loved them and insisted on reading them over and over again (Here is Peter. Here is Jane. Here is the dog.) And then insisted we got he rest of them.
She may or may not need the phonics later - when they got round to testing DD at school she had a spelling age of 11 when she was 6, so she'd clearly worked it out for herself.
Try the Reading Chest website, and Oxford Owl, before forking out for sets of books!
try looking in baby books... they are usually simple text.
ort traditional stories... phonics ones.
the ruth miskin ones are not so colourful for littlies.
The ladybird "read it yourself" series were excellent early readers for my children. e.g. "little red hen" and "ginger bread man".
They have lots of simple, repeated words so the child feels progress very quickly and has the confidence to complete the book.
Thank you, lots of good tips here, I will be on ebay / amazon later this evening!
Another vote for songbirds! Really good stories and lovely illustrations!
the usborne phonics set were good. stge three, yellow band for when they can do a bit more.
usborne do several sets of phonics books that can be used to supplement other things.
Dd loved the Usbourne early readers series: Sam Sheep Can't Sleep; Fox on a Box, Pig on a Dig etc.
She too was reading before school. I taught her wrongly using the Buh, Duh etc way of doing phonics I did as a child. It made no difference; she got the idea and started to read.
She too now loves reading.
The Jelly and Bean series is fantastic/ amazing/ one of the best learning to read schemes I've seen. My two DC have flourished with it.
DS started reading with the Biff, Chip and Kipper books and liked them but now prefers to read books with humour (the BCK books can be a bit dry!).
Another vote for songbird phonics. DD has more or less taught herself with these and is flying through them. She starts school in September. They were also invaluable for DS in reception as everything can be sounded out.
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This is a Zombie thread, but if you click to the advert, do not teach a child to read using upper case letters.
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