One of my very favorite blogs for families learning together is icanteachmychild.com. I just found another great post on there, this time about finding quality children’s literature. Hope you have a chance to read it here:
I recently discovered that goodreads.com has a great area for children’s books. I have only ever used them for keeping track of the adult books that I’ve read. In a quick search, I found a list of popular easy readers – http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/easy-readers. So if you’re ever out of ideas for new authors or books, check it out!
Haley, the author of the blog carrotsformichaelmas.com, put together a fun list of children’s books if you need some inspiration! I say bring the list with you the next time you go to the library or share with a grandparent when they’re asking what your child wants for her birthday.
This is a sad and sobering statistic – 61% of children who live in poverty have no books in their homes. That’s right, zero. It’s hard for me to even comprehend a house with no books. Another depressing statistic – by age three, children living in poverty have heard 30 million fewer words than their peers who do not live in poverty.
I’m sure there are many organizations who try to help solve this problem, but two good ones that I know of are Raising a Reader (raisingareader.org) and locally in Los Angeles we have BookEnds.org. You can actually donate to either cause or you can mail or drop off some of your old books to BookEnds. They have all the details on their website. What a great way to teach your child about giving and sharing a love of reading with others!
B and I just played Endless Alphabet for the first time on the iPad. It’s hilarioius because they make the little letters into monsters who make their sounds each in a unique way. The thing I really like is that it’s incorporating spelling, phonics, and vocabulary together. They pick unusual words and then demonstrate their meaning. Parents also love that the sounds aren't annoying. Very cool and you can’t beat the price! Here’s another review of it: http://ipadinsight.com/best-free-ipad-apps-2/best-free-ipad-app-of-the-week-endless-alphabet/
Oh, I’m so excited to try this app with my son. It’s by Handwriting Without Tears, an excellent program for teaching handwriting to your child. They have so many great things, but here’s the link to their new app – http://wetdrytry.com/ It makes handwriting multisensory. The app replicates drawing on a chalkboard three different ways. The brilliant part is that it gets harder and they can earn stars like on Angry Birds. So smart! I’ll let you know how B likes it. Update: I like it a bunch! Not the most exciting app on the planet, but really great for consistent, appropriate handwriting practice. B found it very easy to use, too!
For Getting Books
Your Library (also good for audiobooks on CD)
Scholastic Book Orders (usually given out by teachers-affordable and good easy readers)
Store.scholastic.com (if you can’t get a book order from a teacher, go here)
Bookworm.com (organized by top lists and age level plus they have deals and discounts frequently)
LA Kids Consignment Sale (visit lakidsconsignment.com for next sale)
Used Book Sales at Libraries
Used Book Stores/$1 Book Stores
• I Can Teach My Child to Read – can print e-book of I Can Teach My Child to Read from here, good activities for little ones
• Pioneer Valley Books – Their leveled reading assessment can help you determine your child’s reading level, provide examples of each level, books for purchase
• Center for Early Literacy Learning – provides free guides and videos for parents
• ReadingA-Z.com and its sister sites like Reading-Tutors.com – print free samples of leveled books, alphabet pages, read articles, or join for a yearly fee
• TeachersPayTeachers – search by topic (sight words, alphabet, etc.) for excellent activities and lessons created by teachers – some free and some for a minimal fee
• FamilyReading.org – book lists, suggestions for family activities
• ReadingRockets.org great resource for parents, top app lists, plus activities for kids
• TumbleBooks – quality animated books read aloud and read along books (click on Children’s section, click on the right on “Websites & Research,” then scroll down to the bottom where you can click on the TumbleBooks icon. This connects you to the site for free)
• StarFall.com – recommended by Burbank teachers for kids going into Kindergarten – okay for word work, beware the strong focus on sounding out everything
• PBS – great resources for parents and activities for kids
• FirstStepReading.com – free videos good for alphabet sounds and sight words
• KindergartenKindergarten.com – Great Kindergarten teacher blog where you can print your own easy readers
• Author Websites – Children’s authors have amazing websites. Check out Mem Fox, Jan Brett, Tomie dePaola, Rosemary Wells and Eric Carle for starters.
Videos/TV Shows that Enhance Literacy Skills
*Most available free at your library, pbs.com, or hulu.com
Leap Frog Letter Factory Video
Between the Lions
Sesame Street (pre-reading)
Meet the Sight Words Videos
Good Literacy Apps (found in the app store for tablets or your phone)
Kids Writing Pad
Ready to Print
Clifford’s BE Big with Words
Word Wagon by Duck Duck Moose
Professor Garfield Fact or Opinion
Simplex Spelling with Reverse Phonics
The Electric Company Wordball
C is for Cow
Dr. Suess’s ABC
Intro to Letters
Pogg – Spelling & Verbs