I have no research or data to back this theory up, but I think that 17 is the magic number for Bob Books.
The 17th book was when it all started coming together for my four-year-old daughter Jenna. Before that, she needed a lot of scaffolding.
The first set of Book Books was the hardest. Then she started set 2 and stalled right around “Up Pup”. At that point we purchased the Bob Books Sight Words set from Costco, along with a Princess Book for motivation.
Each Bob Book “unlocked” a Princess story. Jenna was incredibly determined to make this happens. She white-knuckled it through the first 5 books of the new set.
Then something magic happened.
After reading her 17th Bob Book, three times each, it became easier for her. Independent reading became enjoyable. Most importantly, Jenna started seeing herself as a reader. She started pointing out words everywhere and sounding them out.
Does this mean she’s polishing off the rest of the Bob Books yet? No, not at the moment. But Jenna’s reading the books she’s already mastered over and over and over again.
We have Bob Books floating around all over the house. It’s actually getting kind of annoying.
A funny thing is that Jenna is convinced that the bigger Bob Books are easier than the smaller ones, which isn’t necessarily true. The Bob Books Sight Words: Kindergarten set is on par with Bob Books Set 2-Advancing Beginners. The larger format is from Costco, the smaller format is from Amazon.
But since things started “clicking” for Jenna with the bigger, Sight Words set, she thinks the larger format is easier. I bet if I went back to Costco and bought the larger version of Set 2, Jenna would think they were super easy too!
The take-home message here, is that if you’ve been using Bob Books at home, be patient, be creative, and be persistent.
Hold on until the 17th book! Then drop me a line and share your story. Was #17 magic for your child too?