Teaching My Baby To Read

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DIY Bob Book Games

Bob Books; boring but brilliant.

That’s one one of my blog’s original posts almost two years ago.  Back then, my son Bruce was in Kindergarten independently cranking through Magic Tree House books.  Part of that success was due to his solid understanding of phonics, and the confidence he gained by reading Bob Books, by Bobby Lynn Maslen.

It’s not rocket science; it’s just phonics.

(Check out my Where to Start page if you are intrigued.)

Fast forward to the present and my daughter Jenna is now 3.5 and beginning her own Bob Books adventure.  The original games I made for her brother are a bit dog-eared, but sill in working order.

This is how they work:

This is the envelope I made to go with Set 1, Book 8, Muff and Ruff.  Inside the envelope are all of the letters you need to make every word in the book.  Vowels get their own color.  The sight-word “for” gets its own color too.

The envelope is not a game piece!  It is just to remind me of the words my daughter needs to spell.

This is how you play:

Find the letter that says “ttttt”.

Find the letter that says “uh”.

Find the letter that says “gggg”.

Put them together “t-u-g”.

What does that spell?

We do this for each word on the list.  Once I know that my daughter can read all of the words from the story, then we get out the book.

I’m showing envelope #8 here because that was the cleanest.  (I did say they were a bit dog-eared, right?)  But right now, Jenna is still on book #4.

Here’s where it gets really interesting.

On the back of some of the envelopes I wrote when Bruce had read each book!

I know it’s wrong to compare your children, but I’m finding this really fascinating. This tells me that Bruce read book #6 when he had just turned four years old.  Meaning, he and his sister are roughly on the same track, even though they keep reaching different milestones at different points.

This is important information, because it shows me that my methods are working! 

Yeah for Bob Books!


1 Comment

  1. Pam says:

    One of the things I would add for your readers….ensure you’re teaching the sounds correctly. There are stop sounds and continuous sounds, voiced sounds and unvoiced sounds. Knowing the difference will make a huge difference when your child needs to start blending the sounds to read a word. One of the things I like about what you are saying is that you are teaching your children strategies to deal with words they may not know (sounding out and rhyming). This is far better than getting children to look at a picture and guess. Guessing is NOT a strategy; however, for many struggling readers this was the first and only “strategy” they figure out.
    I hope this adds to your discussion…..

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