How To Teach Your Child to Read Using Bob Books: Increasing Child Literacy

Updated: Aug 12

When starting the process of teaching your child to read it can seem scary. There are so many products available, it’s hard to decide which program will be right for you. Here is our little secret. There is no one “best” product. What really matters is which one works best for your child. For us, one of those products that works for so many children is Bob Books. Teach your child to read in a few weeks!


There are a number of reading programs available for you to use to help teach your child to read. While most have some useful information, there are only a few that I stand behind and one of these products is” Bob Books”. I am not the only one! Speech Language Pathologist Steve Brim, and Early Childhood Special Educator Tim Ostdahl, recommended this series to me in my interview.


I have received my copy of the beginners set and trust me there is a reason teachers, literacy experts, and speech pathologists are suggesting this product!


When my son finished reading book 1 from set 1 of “Bob Books” for the first time, he was filled with joy and a sense of accomplishment that only encouraged him to want to read more. This is the single most important thing that we as parents can do for our children to encourage them to keep reading. Their own sense of satisfaction and fulfillment will increase their own desire to read. Remember to keep reading fun for as long as you can. Reading at home should be fun, not work!


So why was my 4 year old able to read Bob Books so successfully?


Bob Books utilizes a technique called scaffolding. In the education world, it is a well known system that allows students to build on their learning as they go. For example, in book 1 they introduce four “sounds”. These include a picture for children to recognize and remember, it will help children associate the symbol with its sound. The sounds in book 1 relate directly to their story, “m”, “a”, “t”, and “s”. With these letters they can be rearranged into different words to tell the story of “Mat”.


Kids will never learn their letters alphabetically if it’s a good program. Scaffolding is utilized in all of the following books by continuing to introduce new sounds (letters), while still incorporating all of the previously learned sounds. For example, book 1 is all about “Mat”, and book 2 is all about “Sam”, we’re using the same letters from the previous book, but also adding in “c”and “d”. Kids get to practice new and old information as they work through the entire set.

In the “Bob Books” system kids see a picture on page one, the correlating letter, and parents teach their child the sound of that letter. By putting these things together, it allows kids to connect the item with the letter and the sound all on their own. This promotes their own independence in reading the book with little help once they can associate the letter symbols with the sounds they make. Many times “Bob Books” smartly makes the associated picture of something they will read about in that book like a dog.


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Another important teaching technique used in “Bob Books” is repetition. Your child will read the same words over and over with new meaning, new books, new characters. This helps them learn to read faster. They simply recognize the words from the patterns of sounds. Another way “Bob Books” makes learning to read easy is through rhyme. Many words in the same sentence have the same ending such as “at” or “it”. Kids will automatically start grouping letters together when they see the same end sound over and over. An important tool when learning to read.


Reading Tip #1 Associate Names of Letters with the Sounds they Make


Now, “Bob Books” will have tips for parents, but one thing they do not say is something I learned from a kindergarten teacher. Teach your child to associate letters with the sounds they make and not the names of the letters. This means you should call the letter “A”, “ah” instead from now on, making the same “A” sound as in “apple”. This reduces confusion allowing your kids to start reading as they identify the sounds the letters make in the word correctly.


Don’t worry, if your child already connects letters with their names, it is a simple and easy process to change it up! Just go back over the letters with your child a few times, calling them by their sounds instead.


With each book in the Bob Books series you child will learn new letter sounds and their literacy will grow! My favorite thing about Bob Books is that they give kids a sense of accomplishment. When they finish reading that first book all by themselves, they will be hooked!


Don’t forget to keep reading fun at all ages! Promote reading by allowing your child to set the terms. What do they like to read about? Do they like to draw what they read? Do they like to make up the ending of a story? Your child will let you know when they need a break or when they want to keep going. Always encourage your child to continue but don’t force it. Eventually they will be able to handle more with each sitting!


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