One of my biggest goals two summers ago was to work with Ani on her reading.
She made huge strides during her kindergarten year and I wanted to make sure she didn’t lose it over the summer.
We spend 10-15 minutes almost every evening before bed reading together.
I’ve found that, for her, this time works really well because she’s not anxious to go to bed, so she’s happy to work on her reading if it means she gets to stay up a little later.
Plus, she LOVES one-on-one time, so the chance to snuggle up together and read is really appealing to her as well.
It’s also good for me because I can unplug and let her read at her own pace, just helping here and there when she needs help with a word or correcting the occasional mistake. It’s a great end to my parenting each day.
As she’s gained confidence over the summer, I suggested that perhaps she start reading on her own each afternoon at the end of quiet time, and to my surprise, she was THRILLED by the idea.
She’s always required the most alone time of any of our children (her introvert soul speaks to mine) and she loves going to a quiet space with a book and setting a timer for 15 minutes.
At first, she was just working out of our Phonics book, but she quickly got tired of just reading lists of words and asked if we had some REAL books she could read.
Often, we’d read them together in the evening and the next day, she’d read it on her own to help her gain fluency and confidence.
It was such a thrill to watch her reading really start to take off this summer and she was so proud of herself for being able to read actual books.
Because she was reading so much, I had to bulk up my collection of beginning reader books for her, so I was delighted to find out that Harper Collins is offering 2 FREE beginning reader books (you just pay $1 in shipping) from their I Can Read! books collection.
The only thing I like better than books is a free book.
And after that, you get 5 I Can Read! books at $3.99 each plus $4.99 shipping and tax (which makes it $24.94 for 5 books).
It’s such a simple and affordable way to build up your home library of beginning reader books, and it’s so helpful to have lots of options on hand for your new reader to practice with, since the best way to get better at reading is as much practice as you can.
You can grab your free I Can Read! books here (it’s also an easy way to help your child’s classroom – you can donate them to the classroom library and help your child’s teacher build up THEIR collection).
And I’d love to hear what tools you’ve used to help your child gain fluency and confidence as they start reading independently!
Photos by Heather Mildenstein