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2014-05-14 09.50.45My oldest will be starting pre-school this August. He is pretty excited about it, and as most mom’s are, my feelings are bittersweet. Like most parents, I had all these plans and goals for him before he was born. He was going to be a prodigy! Reading by 2! Playing the piano by 4, and ready for organic biology by age 8!

No, I’m kidding. I didn’t really think this, but I did have certain plans for things I would do with him by the time he entered school. He needed to know all of his letters and sounds before preschool. I didn’t want to push him if he wasn’t ready, but if he seemed capable, I wanted to make sure he had the opportunity to learn. As it turns out he knows all of his alphabet and the sounds the letters make. He has a solid grasp of counting 1-20, with a flub now and then around 16, but who needs 16.

Anyway, as I was working with him on his letters and sounds I came across an app for the iPad called Bob Books. I checked it out and bought it. It is a great app. They work on letter sounds and combinations using simple words and sentences. There are four levels and each one gets progressively more difficult, moving on from just identify the letters and sounds, to putting them in the proper order for words and sentences. There are more advanced Bob apps that your child can progress to as he masters the previous ones. There are simple line drawings and a little animation to make it more fun, and the characters are reoccurring which helps each level of books seem familiar and comfortable to your child.

Having found the app, I discovered it was based on a learning to read book series titled, you guessed it, BOB Books. So, next time I was at Barnes & Noble I picked up the first series of BOB Books.

Here is a sample page from the first BOB Book.

Here is a sample page from the first BOB Book.

I have not been pushing Ben to read these. We do sit down, when he requests it, to work through a book now and then. He often earns a piece of candy or cookie for working on a Bob Book (these treats are rare and dear in our house). Anyway, I love them, and when he starts reading in school I may pull them out more regularly. They are about 8 pages long and the first book starts out with 2-3 word sentences. Each book adds letter sounds and words to build on the last.

In my blog trolling I’ve discovered that this series is popular with some homeschooling moms for their kindergartener. I can see why. It is easy to use, instructions are included, and they are fun for the kids. I mean, they can read a whole book on the first try! This series was created by an elementary school teacher, and she brought her years of experience to the books and a great understanding of pre-schoolers. If you are looking for some books to enrich your beginning reader at home, these would be a good choice.