Playing With Time

April 28, 2017

Wow! This stay-at-home, technology-deprived, non-millennial mama has created a website. It has been a fun process, but it took me a bit longer than I originally anticipated. I’m nearly ready to launch it, and I realized I’d better explain the posts to come a bit. When I originally conceived of the idea of a website/blog, I thought it would take me a few weeks to get up and running. Months later, I’m nearly ready. As I was creating the website, I occasionally would write a blog post with the intent of sharing them weekly or bi-monthly once things were rolling. I still intend to do that, but they’re not necessarily going to match what is happening in our lives right now. I think they’re still relevant, but the timeline might not exactly fit given I started writing them in November of last year. I figure if I put them all out now, though, it would be a lot to read all at once. Hope it still works.

Join Our Journey

My son’s art in October of his kindergarten year. (Astronaut, ship, suit)

This year, my youngest is learning to read. He is currently in kindergarten, and he is buzzing along with the process of reading just fine. He’s not zooming ahead of his peers, nor is he lagging behind. I’m guessing at a certain point, when his brain is developmentally ready to fully comprehend and retain the knowledge required of a more fluent reader, his reading abilities will make a giant leap. I’ve seen this before. Until then, however, I want to find resources to help him remain engaged in the process of learning to read. As I hunt through our home collection, the local book stores, and the library trying to find texts to support his growing abilities to read, I’m inviting you to join our journey. My idea is to share the books we have enjoyed or those that helped him figure out a specific word or skill.

That’s it. Nothing major, except that I have spent countless hours perusing the stacks and I thought it would be nice if I shared my findings with others. I hope this will help at least a few families get ideas for great reading materials for their kids. Enjoy!

 Here We Go….

Prior to this year, I have given my son many opportunities to “read” books on his own using wordless picture books , alphabet books, and by using the text that artists embed in the illustrations . We’ve also come across some fun nearly wordless picture books featuring one or two-words throughout the whole book.

When he started to pay more attention to those words embedded in the illustrations, I purchased some easy readers from Scholastic. I thought they might work because they were non-fiction, and they were actually kind of written in a developmentally appropriate way. Unfortunately, they were not a big hit. So I turned to my old stand by…I made him a couple books using photos. When it was reading time, he consistently grabbed those from the stack. But producing your own books for kids takes time, and I wanted to find other books he might enjoy that were at a good level for him.

I had been searching online since my daughter was a beginning reader using terms like “early readers,” “emergent booklist,” and “beginning level books.” For the longest time, I found nothing.  Then, I stumbled upon a list entitled “Easy Reader Books That Are Actually Easy” at fantastic site called What Do We Do All Day? The list included a couple titles new to me. I was inspired.

Eventually, I found a few more lists when I searched the terms “Leveled Book Lists.” The problem with the lists I’ve found is two-fold. First, most of the lists I found varied quite a bit in what they termed “emergent.” They might include wordless picture books in the same list as Go, Dog, Go by Dr. Seuss (a level F or mid-year first grade book according to Fountas and Pinnell). The other part of the problem is that the books I found were either hard to come by, because they were books normally sold to a school market, or some of the lists simply didn’t offer many titles in all. From my experience, many emergent readers need to read at least a few books that feature the same sight word before it becomes part of their repertoire.

So, while I continue to look for a comprehensive list, I’m going to do the best I can to add to the lists currently out there. If you know of beginning readers that are fun reads, that I haven’t listed yet (I know there are many), please send them my way. I’d love to get a big list of resources out there.