Edie is starting TK (an early transitional kindergarten) this fall. She’s especially excited to learn how to read. Today I’m partnering with the classic HarperCollins I Can Read series of leveled books to talk a bit about how we’re getting her ready…
When Henry was in this same stage, I feel like we pushed the need to learn to read harder than helping him develop a love of reading. Henry loves reading now, and I’m happy he does but there were times when I think it was a bit forced upon him. Long term, I really want to focus more on developing an enjoyment of reading (and also together as a family) that will help them maintain their love of reading into adulthood.
I’m sure you’ve seen the classic I Can Read! series of leveled books before. They’re the gold standard for teaching reading and tracking progress for beginning readers. At least here in the US, if you browse your local children’s library, the early reading section is stock full of these I Can Read! books in a variety of their favorite stories and characters. They’re the perfect books to get kids excited about reading independently.
Before reading independently, there are years of reading out loud. Years ago I read a book called The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. It’s still one of my favorite books about the importance of reading out loud for all ages, but especially in a young child’s development. He says, “children hearing the most language will have the best chance of having the best language skills.” So we try to make a point of reading out loud a whole lot as a family and even with 10 yr old Henry. A couple years ago I shared some of his best tips for reading with young children if you’re interested in that.
(Edie and I here reading when she was a two year old)
Fancy Nancy is Edie’s favorite series and today Edie and I are working on a special project, a book report just like one in the I Can Read! book Fancy Nancy: The Dazzling Book Report. In the story, Nancy has to make her first book report for school but worked so hard on designing the cover she forgot to write much about the book. Since Edie’s still just learning to write, this seemed to be the perfect book report inspiration for her. Mostly pictures. Lots of sparkle and colors.
Edie made her book report on her favorite I Can Read! book that was sent, Pinkalicious: School Rules! It’s about a little girl who love the color pink and has a pet unicorn who she decides to bring to school one day. Pink and unicorns are two of Edie’s favorite things so I wasn’t too surprised when she picked this book to do the book report on.
I pulled out a tray of papers, glues, tape, pencils and lots of embellishments. Nothing is more exciting than a tray of treasures like this to create with!
We started with an outline of a unicorn that I drew for her and she decorated it to her liking. On the next page she drew a picture of the school and dictated the general story to me so I could write it down for her report.
At the end we included an About the Author section which is always Edie’s favorite to write. We used a polaroid and the bio from her art exhibit. It’s always so cute to hear what things kids want to share about themselves.
Lastly we punched holes and thread string through to secure the pages together. Edie is so excited to make more book reports this summer as she gets ready for school. Have any kids you’re getting ready for reading? How are you preparing them?
Thanks to HarperCollins for sponsoring this post and helping Edie get ready for Kindergarten.