Friday, August 28, 2015


TFF is based on TOP TEN TUESDAY by The Broke and the Bookish. I always frown in a defeated manner trying to come up with ten books for TTT so...
Top five books on my syllabus if I taught "subject" 101. 
This will be totally different than you expected.


I had every intention of teaching my son to read at an early age, but in my mind that would have been around the age of four because that is the age my grandmother taught me to read using my Dr. Seuss book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
However, for his second birthday his Godmother bought him a Magnadoodle...
because he liked to scribble on things (like walls and antique tables). After the party was over he jumped into my lap with the erasable board and said, "ABCs, mommy." After a week of ABCs and what sounds they made,  we segued into blends and two letter words. On our next trip to the library I asked if there were any books about teaching babies to read and the librarian directed me to this book...
1. How To Teach Your Baby To Read by Glen and Janet Dorman.
This book gives instructions on how to make your own flashcards with a wide tip red marker and the backside of large index cards. I bought both of these things at a dollar store. They also give you lists of words to make into flashcards and augmentation schedules. Teaching tips such as always ending each session with a few words the child already knows to build confidence and doing several short sessions a  day instead of one long lesson, were extremely helpful. In three weeks he could read 50 flashcards.

2. The BOB Books by Bobby Lynn Maslen.
When Sebastian had about 20 or so words under his belt, via the flashcard learning, and we were reading actual books during some of the sessions, I was using easier pages in his favorite book Go, Dog. Go! However, I am listing the BOB Books second because they were the first stories he could pick up and read to himself in entirety, with no help from me. I was amazingly lucky in that I stumbled upon this first set of books on a clearance table in Barnes and Noble, marked down 75% with a ripped box, because these books are PRICEY! I think you can probably find them in the library now because they are quite popular.

I think there were only three sets back in 1994, but now it looks like there are ten!
If you go to their website, HERE, there are some free printables and activities.
There is also a game app.

3. Go, Dog. Go! by Dr. Seuess

This was Sebastian's favorite Dr. Seuss book by far, so it only made sense to me to use it as a reading primer. I added my own exercises to the sessions put forth in the Teach Your Baby To Read schedules.
 One was to make flashcards with words from the pages of Go, Dog. Go!, so he could start reading the book a page at a time. He considered it a big kid's book, so being able to read from it was a huge confidence builder.
This was his favorite page.

Of course I had to incorporate the book I learned to read with.

My favorite page.

5. Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss

 This book used many of the original flashcard words from the tuorial book, so it was a good inclusion for my reading sessions with Sebastian. He also loved reading it to his father.

By the time Sebastian was in 1st grade he was tested as reading at an 11th grade level. I attribute his stellar success in school with his advanced reading skills. So it is well worth the time you take, no matter what age or reading level, to pump up your child's skills. With the library, a couple of items from a dollar store, and all the free printable activities on the web, it is nearly free to do!

Keep an eye out on Dr. Seuss's birthday, March 2nd, because earlier this year I was able to buy a bunch of Seuss reading apps for next to nothing (see sample video below). They were not only on special, but if you purchased them from Amazon you got "coins" for each one you purchased, so I puzzle pieced the prices and coins around until I was able to buy ten of them for less than $8.00! They are wonderful. It is like having the ebook, narration, and a reading tutorial app all rolled into one. 
Their webpage, HERE, says there are over 50 Seuss titles. I think at the regular price of $3.99, they are still a bargain. I am hoping next year they feature different titles, so I can harvest some more bargains. I am buying them for babysitting and someday grandchildren, but I will tell you I have rescued more than one parent from their unhappy child in a waiting room, or on the bus with these apps.

Here is a sample. The words light up as you go through, and if you tap them it will say the word, and if you tap the picture it will do sound effects and also say the word for each object!

What is the first book you read all by yourself?


  1. I don't really remember my first book. My mom used the flash card method on me when I was around 2 as well, and I honestly can't remember a time where I didn't have books in my room. It was the one thing she would buy without hesitation, which was a bit annoying as a kid because I wanted a toy...but I came to love it before the end of elementary school. I imagine Dr. Suess was somewhere near the beginning though, since we had a ton of them and they were some of my mom's favorites.

    1. I would love to convince every parent to start teaching their child to read before school because it gives them a leg up in every subject. :)

  2. This post was so timely! My daughter just expressed interest in reading this past June, so we started her on Bob books. We're on the second set now, so she knows a little before heading into Kindergarten this week. I told her if she works hard, she could easily read the "intermediate" Kindergarten books. I also just checked her out Go, Dog, Go and Hop on Pop from the library to read. It's been fun to teach her. She was really motivated this summer because her karate school was doing a "summer reading challenge" and she read 730 pages in 30 days on her own. Not bad for a 4 year old, I thought...but the crazy thing is she didn't win her age group! I was kind of shocked actually! Haha!

    1. If the kindergarten there is like Sebastian's they really didn't teach them any reading. They didn't start formal reading until 1st grade, so she might even get an extra year's headstart! Plus, the extra tutelage at home helps them progress faster. The self confidence that comes from already being a stinger reader is priceless. :)


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