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Sometimes things happen that make you wonder if your child is really yours. Today I’m talking about reading. I’m an avid reader. I can’t stand to be without a good book. I’m in three different book clubs and used to devote the whole summer to reading before I had kids. So how in the world do I have a child who doesn’t like to read? I had researched just about every blog I know to find chapter books to hook my second grader into reading. It was such a challenge to find chapter books she could read on her own. She’s not a confident reader and if a chapter book looked like it had too many words she would automatically become anxious and not want to read the book. I knew one of the best ways to become a better reader was by lots of practice, but finding a book that she enjoyed was just so hard!
I even tried reading my favorite chapter books as a kid to her: Little House on the Prairie, Ramona, The Boxcar Children. It just wasn’t working. She hated our nightly read a-louds and quickly got bored with the books. I was so discouraged! Luckily, I found a post from Step Into Second Grade about doing lessons with the Henry and Mudge series. Thank goodness not only could she read the books, but she liked them!
I was so ecstatic to find these little gems! The Henry and Mudge series really helps build confidence in beginning readers. They are easy to read books about a boy and his dog who go on many adventures. We can use these books for our reading lessons during the day, or Princess can read these during her quiet reading time in the afternoons. These are perfect beginner books.
I’m so thankful our local library had a shelf for high- interest level books. This is where she found her favorite books right now, Tom and Ricky Mystery series. These books are engaging mysteries with plots but with controlled vocabulary so she can feel confident to read the books on her own.
She loves these books so much that if she doesn’t have one to read she is begging to go to the library to get a new one. Sometimes I’ll find her curled up in the sitting room reading one of these books, and then she’ll excitedly tell me about what was happening in the book. She’ll also read a chapter before her writing lessons so she’ll get some ideas for her next mystery story.
Any Trixie Belden lovers out there? These are my absolute favorite series of all time. In fact, if my house was on fire, these books would be the first thing I would grab after I made sure I had my family and dog out of the house. Since Princess wasn’t loving any of my favorite read alouds, I pulled out the big guns and introduced her to Trixie Belden.
And yes, she’s hooked. It’s been thrilling to see her so excited about these beloved books as I am. Some days she’ll follow me around the house and beg me to read them to her. It doesn’t take much arm pulling to get me to sit down and jump into the world of Trixie with her. We finished book 1 last week and have just started the second book. There are 34 books in the series so I’m hoping she’ll be able to read these on her own before we are through with them.
Books I’m reading with Pixie (6)
There are a few books I’m reading with my 6 year old to help her become a confident reader. I began reading the Dick and Jane books with Princess when she was little, and even though the plot lines are a little silly, the repetition of the words have helped Pixie feel like she is a true reader!
One thing Pixie always points out in these stories are the way the kids are dressed and the differences in their toys. This brings up conversations about life back in the 1930’s. This little sight word reader has been a joy to read at night with her.
Another one of our favorites is the Biscuit I Can Read Series. Pixie and I love reading these books together at night. We cuddle up together on the couch and this is the time when I can have one -on- one time with her. She gets excited to find a Biscuit book that she hasn’t read at the library and eagerly checks it out with her library card.
She can’t read all of the words on her own, but she does get excited when she finds one of her sight words. Princess also reads these with her when I’m busy with household chores and it’s an endearing sight to see them sitting close, reading together. Those kind of moments makes this homeschooling gig worthwhile.
What are YOU reading with your kids?