BOB Books

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The well-worn box of BOB books that both of my kids used. Given how the kids would carry the books around the house it is something of a miracle we still have them all!

With so many reading sets, why did I choose the Bob books?

1. Phonics!

As I mentioned, they are phonics based and 100% accessible to early readers.  They are short words, short sentences, short pages, and short books.  Even their size was geared towards my little ones’ hands.

2. Availability!

The BOB Books can be found used on eBay, many homeschooling sites, Craigslist, and sometimes in Consignment Stores.  They are also available new on sites like Amazon.  They are now also available for the iPad (in iTunes) and electronic readers.  I stayed away from the electronic forms.  I wanted my child to do the work, and felt that if I read the story first (or the iPad read it first), then my kids would memorize the words and not actually learn to read.  These first books are made for early readers, so I let my kids succeed.  I’ll get to HOW in another post.

3. Cost!

The first set is currently selling on Amazon for just over $9.  For that, you get 12 books that are 12 pages each.

4. Font!

Some early readers use fancy letters like this: a.  I had taught my kids their letters using my handwritten cards, so they were familiar with typical printed letter forms.  My daughter in particular was very confused when she first tried reading a book with a “funny” a.  The size of the font was also accessible to my kiddos.

5. Simplicity!

There are no colors, the initial books have only one sentence per line per page, and the text is all at the bottom of the page.  The first book uses 4 words.  My kids, who have no distraction issues, were very distracted by flashcards with pictures, readers with lots of drama, etc.  Again, I wanted the focus on the words.  Because the text was all at the bottom, I had no problems covering the pictures to help them focus when they were getting distracted.

6. Giggles!

The story lines were just silly enough to engage my kids without being distracting.  Several of the books elicited giggles every time they read them.  Reading is fun, and I didn’t want that lost in the hours of practice ahead of them.

7. Tried and Tested!

The final reason I used this set was that I heard from several other families that these were the way that their children had started to read.  What works for the goose… might just work for my kids!


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