Is your child a beginner reader?
Zachary is in the early stages of reading. We are doing lots of co-reading (where I read a few words and pause to let him read some as well.) Right now my goal is not only on reading practice, but also on reading comprehension — lots of questions to see how much he understands, making predictions, etc.
However, one thing I’ve noticed is that his reading stamina is still low since he’s just starting to read. He gets tired quickly and why wouldn’t he? There’s so much mental processing going on — from remembering the phonetic sounds, to stringing them together to form a word, to remembering sight words, and finally pausing to recall what he has read so he can try to understand what it means.
Another problem is that I often find myself speeding through some books just so we can finish it in one sitting (although I realize now that there’s no rule saying we have to finish a story all in one night.) But I mean, combined with intentional engagement and prompting for reading comprehension, one story book can easily take an hour or more on weeknights. And there are nights when Zach wants three books instead of just one. And after one kid is read to, tucked in, prayed over and lights out, there’s yet another kid to repeat this process with.
So I found these educational sets from Home Grown Books NYC and I think they are perfect for Zachary’s reading level and our current goals. Each set has an isolated concept, such as sequencing. The words and sentences are easy for a beginner reader, won’t wear them out like longer books do, and they grow in difficulty level.
Here’s what I like most about them — my kid can read by himself next to me, we can ask questions and make predictions and enter long discussions about the books, we can go off on all sorts of tangents and make connections, and still finish it at a reasonable hour. I absolutely feel on top of the world on nights like this, nights where I have focused on quality rather than quantity. And I know this sounds silly and immature, but as a Type A, it’s not always the natural or easy thing for me.
I found the Sequencing collection particularly useful. Because the concept has been isolated, I can now focus on diving deeper with Zach. We discuss how things might be more complicated if we did the steps in the wrong order, or we talk about how work becomes more efficient if we first gather everything we need.
This series of booklets in the Sequencing collection does a great job of showing children a wide variety of when, where or how sequencing might be used, from the usual baking scenario to the less usual setting-up-a-play-fort scenario.
Sequencing is important to me, not just as a concept or for reading comprehension, but as a valuable skill in life. Children often get frustrated not because an activity is difficult, but simply because maybe they’ve done it in the wrong order or forgot to first gather everything they need. I’m constantly telling my kids “first things first” for just about anything — whether it’s work before play, or main course before dessert, or snowpants before winter jacket. So now I use these books not just for reading, but as reminders of how we can use sequencing in just about any area of life.
The one thing that I didn’t like is that the recipe at the end of “Bake It!” doesn’t match the sequence in the booklet. We talked about how different recipes have different sequences, however it would have been nice if the recipe attached to the book actually matched the pictures.
Thanks to Home Grown Books NYC for sending us these booklets to review. You can find more educational collections from Home Grown Books NYC here. If you are looking for video tutorials on how you can read more intentionally with your children, I highly recommend these videos that they’ve made — they’ve got all the steps laid out. In fact the whole page is chock full of high quality resources, so check it out!