Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bob books

We have been using Bob books as our reading books as we have progressed through our phonics lessons. (For reviews of our phonic resources see here and here.) I remember these box sets from my days at Barnes & Noble Booksellers but I never examined them in light of homeschooling a beginning reader.
Once I realized how much Set 1 corresponded with our phonics lessons, we were off and reading. The illustrations are mostly simple black and white line drawings with a little color to add interest. But the best thing about these books is that they are truly geared towards explicit phonics instruction. Many, many beginner books and workbooks that crowd the bookshelves claim to be "phonics based" but a simple look inside shows that that they mainly rely on sight words repeated throughout the book. I could really post another diatribe on that whole issue, but I digress.
The first Bob book in Set 1 is entitled Mat, has an illustration on every page and goes like this:
First page: Mat.
Second page: Mat sat.
Third page: Sam.
Fourth page: Sam sat.
Fifth page: Mat sat. Sam sat.
Sixth page: Mat sat on Sam.
Seventh page: Sam sat on Mat.
Eighth page: Mat sat. Sam sat.
Final page: The End
Now to you or I as an accomplished reader, this seems painfully simplistic and well, boring. But to a child who as just learned that blending letter sounds together makes words like at, sat, cat, mat, etc. and to be able to read those newly learned words in a story is very satisfying and exciting. I was a bit, shall we say, leery that my son would enjoy reading the books and not become bored with the simple sentences. However I was soon convinced that he loved reading a whole book with little help. Especially satisfying was the "The End" at the end of every book.
We now have gone through all the books in Set 1 and 2(24 books in total) and have skipped to Set 5(8 books) dealing with long vowels. Once again, these little books are giving my son the needed practice and encouragement to learn new reading skills. These books are widely available in store and online. Also check with your local library as you may be able to borrow them instead.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:48 PM

    Nannie's enjoying hearing about his reading:-)


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