Bob For The Win!

So when last I left you all with the learning to read stuff, we were using The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Reading. But despite knowing that lots of mom/child dyads have done well with it, we had to drop it. I think it would be much better for a 6-7 year old reader but for a 4 year old, well, it's boring. Then I tried the Charlotte Mason style reading lessons and while I think those probably work well, I still don't have a good grasp on what you do day to day with that. So we tried Bob books. And she loved them! It's probably the opposite of what I said about OPG though -if you have a 6-7 year old, they might they these are boring and childish. But they were perfect for Lucy, she found the stories really amusing - and she has enough imagination to fill in the details of what exactly Mag was playing with the rag.

So how do I use them? I'm glad you asked! Oh, you didn't. Well, pretend you did :-)

I do basically the same thing I was doing in The Ordinary Parent's Guide except I'm introducing things in a slightly different order. I started this on my own but then found Brandy's Teaching with Bob page and that was very helpful. I suggest taking a look at it if you are using the Bob Books even if you change things up like I am.
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I pick up the next book in the series and look though it for any new sight words or sounds (blends, digraphs, etc). Brandy's sight has a post for each book that explains what sounds/words she choose. I didn't always use quite the same (sometimes I added a sound earlier than her to avoid as many sight words, sometimes the opposite) but its a great start. Those I write on a 3x5 card. I use blue and green for sight words, pink for sounds but that's just because I had those on hand and I'm cheap. Brandi has a whole neat binder system but I'm not that organized. She also writes a few words as examples for the sounds while I just write the sound/word.

I started out thinking I'd do it in advance and type them up so they'd look all pretty and quickly realized that was silly. This takes about 2 minutes of my time and I just keep the sharpie is our basket so I can add them in a second if I accidentally miss one, which has been known to happen.

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My basket of gear - the opposite of complicated

Then I'd call Lucy. We'd talk about the new sight words and/or sounds. Sometimes we'd practice building a few rules with the new sounds and magnetic letter tiles but not usually. And very rarely I made a fun coloring sheet or activity. By very rarely I mean twice. I did it twice. This time I talked about here and once when the book was all about colors, I wrote the colors on one side of the paper, colored a rectangle on the other and she got to draw lines to match them. So I'm not going crazy here with activities and worksheets is what I'm saying. I've seen Bob book printable freebies online and they just seem like a lot of busywork. But they are out there if that's your thing. It's just not mine.

After we learned any new sounds, we'd do a bit of review. Lucy prefered to review exactly seven from each category so I would pull the front seven green/blues and the first seven pink. Instead of using Brandy's neat binder system, I put them back up in a way that facilitates needed review. It's not as fancy as it sounds - if she got it right quickly, it went to the back of the pile. If she hesitated, guessed or gots it wrong, I put it back at the front of the pile so it got included in the next day's "seven." This was all done without her even knowing it so she didn't feel penalized if she got it wrong, I just keep my finger between the stack in my hand. Every once in a while I would go through and pull the ones I knew she really had down so our pile was never huge and we could work through them all in 3-4 days. That way we never went too long between reviewing any one word or sound.

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Then we read the new book for 5-8 minutes. If we finished it, great. If we didn't, we stopped. If she ever asked to stop or seemed tired, we stopped. We probably averaged 2 days/book but that really varies. Set 3 is a big jump as is Set 5, both in new sounds and in number of words per page. The sight word books contain more new words but are pretty short sentences so those go fast. I think mixing the sight word books with Sets 3-5 works well. When we finished a book, we add it to our Hundred Books List, another idea I stole from Brandy.

We just finished Set 5 about a month ago and honestly, that last book was a bit of a struggle. It's an odd book (she clanged the clong? Really?)  and I could tell Lucy just didn't care about the story so it took us 4 days . But in other books, she took off. She went from sounding out almost every word to just, well, reading! So for now, we've dropped the index cards and are just reading for about 10 minutes a day, either from the Treadwell primer (free online) or the Pathway Reader Primer (passed down to me by my mom). Since I have and like both sets, we are skipping back and forth. She's also started to enjoy easy readers from the library and some of our picture books (although those are a bit harder for me to gauge her on since she has a lot of them memorized already!).

I did look though the Ordinary Parent's Guide to see what rules we've covered and which we haven't. Between the Bob books and my pointing out other rules as we see them, she's knows most of them. And I have a good idea of the ones I need to keep an eye out for so I can explain them if we run into them during our reading practice time. But for now, I think we're done!

1 comment :

  1. Thanks to linking to the Teaching with Bob page - it gave me an activity to do for today! Also, I put the first Bob set on reserve at the library :) We'll see!