The sweet folks at Bob Books sent us both a Kindle set and a box of readers to try out after I mentioned how much we loved the Bob Books Set 1 that Nathan's Aunt Abi gave him Christmas before last! We have dabbled in a variety of phonics programs with Nathan since he was about 3, and Bob Books have definitely worked the best for him!Nathan only has one more book in Collection 1! :) We told him when he read them all we'd take him to the bookstore and let him pick a book out! But I think he'd still be excited anyway. :) The books are short enough that he can easily read one at a sitting and get that feeling of accomplishment, which I love! And, I'm looking forward to trying out the Kindle version and Set 4 mini books that the good folks at Bob Books were nice enough to give us! :)
I loved having the Kindle set on the tablet, but I will say that we often accidentally turned pages pointing to the words. On the other hand, none of the little readers went missing from that set. ;) If you're frequently on the go that may be a great option for you, otherwise I think I prefer having the hard copies.
He already knew his letter sounds, so when we tried 100 Easy Lessons with him, it only lead to frustration since he had learned different vowel sounds than the ones they started with. Blending has always come very easily to him, so simple two and three letter words were not a problem, but he needed practice. I had the Veritas Press readers on hand, but the length and complexity of the story meant that he had to read it in pieces, and have it all explained to him. The length of the Bob Books were better suited to a wiggly boy just beginning! We still started out doing half a book at a time, or less if he was getting burned out for the day, but were able to make it through whole books after a few sets.
We chose to incentivize his reading - one sticker per book, and every time he read a set? A bookstore trip where he chose a new book for himself! This definitely sweetened the deal for him. And made for some fun family outings!
Nathan is now 6 1/2, and we're done with set 5 (long vowels). He's been able to do some of the Veritas readers easily and now that he's faster, the story makes more sense to him. He has also read several beginning readers we picked up on our last bookstore trip - this Wild Kratt's book on reptiles was a big hit especially!
I really wanted Nathan's beginning reading experience to be enjoyable. Granted, not every time we sit down to practice is it going to be met with squeals of glee, but if we're both pulling our hair out, what is really getting taught? I want my kids to LOVE reading and books! I figure if I'm dragging everyone through things then all we're really learning is that learning isn't enjoyable. Not that there aren't times when we need to buckle down, but especially in the early grades I want them to love learning and I want to enjoy it with them!
Now that Nathan is reading pretty well, and just needs to keep practicing, I am going to start working with Miriam more. She has a completely different learning style that I haven't figured out yet, so our path to reading will probably look completely different! I may try 100 Easy Lessons, and then Bob Books with her. We'll see! :)
We're going to keep doing readers and rewarding "sets" with bookstore trips for a while, until it becomes too expensive due to the pace picking up because it's so much easier for him. Reading is it's own reward...but one good book deserves another, right? ;)