Friday, September 21, 2007

MotherTalk Blog Tour: BOB Books

A day late, not a good start to my second Review for MotherTalk, but luckily for kids and moms everywhere, it's not because of the books. I'm the late one, so let's just get to reviewing!

The BOB Books are amazing. I have a 4+ yr-old son and he's just starting to get good with his letters. The first set of books are so simple that he was actually starting to pick out the words on his own (when he was patient enough) by the end of the first one. These books provided me my first opportunity to see my son read successfully, on his own, and watch his excitement build as he realized, by the third word, that he was, in fact, reading.

Set 1 of the Books are truly for beginning readers. The way each set is organized is specific, and really interesting. Being MUCH older than four, I tend to forget how much benefit little ones receive through repetition. It might drive me absolutely bananas to read the fact that Mat and Sam sat 10 different ways, but as soon as Milo looked at the words and actually read "Mat sat. Sam sat." it was like a light bulb went off in BOTH our heads. I'm pretty sure we both saw them switch on as well.

Each book in the set gets progressively more difficult. They're color-coded so parents can see that as each book of the same color is a baby step further, each color is a larger step further. The set comes with a parent-card to assist us in our efforts. Plus, it all comes in a handy-dandy little box.

The tough part for me now, as a parent watching my son attempting to read, is learning patience, both for me - when he says he doesn't know a letter that he just identified the page before - and for him - when he just says what he sees in the pictures rather than taking the time to attempt to read the words.
Patience is the key, with all facets of parenting, really. But realizing first-hand how proud he was when he read on his own, and also how frustrated he got when suddenly those same words weren't recognizable, is proving that the tools you use are nearly as important as that patience.

I worried about the simplicity of the books. My son is absolutely obsessed with comic books, most I think because he can "read" the pictures without having to be able to read the words. But they're so complicated, so many story lines and characters to follow. I thought for sure he'd look at Mat and Dot and instantly toss them aside with boredom. Luckily, the fact that he wasn't overwhelmed with words and letters gave him the inspiration and excitement to keep reading about the rag and the dog and the hat and the cat.

Quite frankly, it inspired and excited me as well.
Can't ask for much more than that.

until next time....
teach your kids to read... with BOB

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