“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. ” ~Emilie Buchwald
Mackenzie is getting ready to go to kindergarten in the fall and we are on a serious mission to get him reading-ready by then.
I’ve pulled together some resources that have been helpful to us in reading preparedness as well as compiled a list of books that hold special meaning in our household.
Our local library has a lot of great reading lists (even for adults) that cover a variety of topics, educational purposes, and reading styles. The two that have been really helpful to us are the Kindergarten Reading List and Juvenile Easy Readers, Level 1.
The library also has fantastic resources for parents to read in order to help their children with reading. Creating Readers: Recommended Reading for Parents and Caregivers has a list of books that can help you come up with activities that encourage reading skills.
Check out your local library as well to see if they have additional resources. You can also contact the school district your child will be a part of and request their Kindergarten Reading List.
If you are looking for some off the wall books to add to your collection, might I recommend Curious Pages. This blog is full of “recommended inappropriate books for kids.” Actually, most of the books on that site are really just good for a “grown up laugh” and not what I’d actually sit down and read with my boys. Still, I think its worth a visit. Some of my favorites: Baby Mix Me a Drink. Mother Gooses Melodies. It’s a Book! <– real books, folks! And I love the author of this blog – I love the wit and satire in the commentary on each of the books. Go check it out already! Geesh.
One of my favorite places to shop for books is Goodwill. All children’s books at Goodwill are just 75 cents! I have found that goodwill often has a great selection (unlike other thrift stores) and the books are in good condition. I also love Half Price Books. Of course, the library is a great resource too and its FREE.
If you’d like to keep up with our weekly reading as well as the various skills we are working on – please check out the Kids Reading: This Week’s Reading tab.
Now for the list of books…
Favorites around our house:
All of the Little Critter books and all of the Berenstain Books are great for life lessons. I remember my mom reading me a Berenstain book on why we don’t throw tantrums in the store, let me tell you, I never threw a fit after that. Go ahead, ask my mom…
Mrs. Biddlebox (my personal favorite)
Books Mack is learning to read himself :
When Mack is reading, we focus on having him tell us the letters of each word, making their sounds, and learning to recognize patterns and rhymes. For example, the cat in the hat. learning that -at makes the same sounds in both of those words.
Once he has gone through a sentence, we go back and re-read that sentence while pointing at each word. This reinforces sight/sound recognition.
Finally, once we have finished the book, Mack gets to go through and pick out “words he liked” which he then writes down in his notebook. He can choose as many or as few as he wants – the goal is for reading to be fun, learning at home to be a game and not a chore.
- After reading a story, have your child tell you things that happened in the book – one for each finger.
- Have your child guess what is going to happen based on the pictures. For particularly challenging words, its helpful to use the context provided by the illustrations to make attempts at guessing the difficult word rather than just sounding it out. Try sounding out first, but let the pictures also help your child make connections.
- Make reading fun. Don’t push your child to do too much on their own too soon or too quickly. Make sure the books you choose are short and cater to your child’s interests. The last thing you want to do is make reading a chore. If it becomes a miserable experience early on, its hard to break out of that pattern.
- We have Mackenzie read through one book of his choosing – sounding out the words himself. Then we read a book to him. It is important to have your child hear what a fluent reader sounds like.
- Make flashcards from words in the books you are reading. Work through the flashcards separately from “reading time.” This helps reinforce the words you are learning without making the reading time itself any longer where you might lose your child’s interest.
- Talk about everything – what you see while you’re driving, what you are buying at the grocery store, what you are working on around the house – talk about it all. This exposes your child to more words and improves ALL of their communications skills: reading, writing and speaking skills.