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Animated books for children, story songs, sing-along songs, educational games, puzzles, poetry and activities that help teach kids to read. There are books in English and Spanish books for ESL children, learning English as a second language and books for kids with special needs.

2012 – National Year of Reading

I know I have spoken a few times about how much we all love to read books. I fact my ultimate goal in life is to have enough books – and my own dedicated room –  to have my own library… Ambitious I know, but hey, I love books!

I however find it very distressing to know that according to love2read.org.au

Nearly half the population struggles without the literacy skills to meet the most basic demands of everyday life and work. There are 46% of Australians who can’t read newspapers; follow a recipe; make sense of timetables, or understand the instructions on a medicine bottle.

This statistic makes me so sad for all those people who can not read or stuggle with words. Yet it also makes me extremely happy that I have a family of readers, who can not only follow a recipe, make sense of timetables and read a newspaper, but choose to read for the sheer pleasure a book brings to their lives.

For us, the opportunity to read a book is an opportunity to be carried away to a far off time or place. It allows us the privilege of being able to view life through another persons perceptive. It brings far of lands closer to home and the opportunity to step back in time or travel to the future. Every word in every book, brings with it a new experience, an increased level of fulfillment and also contributes to the overall well being of us all.

So if you love books, why not share this love in 2012, by involving yourself in one of the following activities (these are just examples, the possibilities are endless!):

  • Read to your children for a minimum of 30 minutes a day or
  • Incorporate a minimum of one hour of reading into your learning week
  • Share a good book with a friend or family member
  • Buy a book as a gift for the birthday party you or your child/ren have been invited too.
  • Blog about your favourite book,
  • Spend family time around a book, rather than in front of the TV
  • Curl up in bed or on the couch with a good book

What ever you decide to to enjoy yourselves!

Tasmanian Premier’s Reading Challenge 2011

Well over the last week and a half the children have been busy getting stuck into the Tasmanian Premier’s Reading Challenge for 2011. The challenge runs for ten weeks from the 16th of May until the 22nd of July. The idea is that the children each read ten books – around one a week – for the duration of the challenge. The books can be anything they choose to read that is age appropriate. We however set our own goals and rules for the challenge which differ from the exact rules of the Premier’s Reading Challenge.

For Phinee we have decided in consultation with her that she is to read a minimum of 20 books during the course of the challenge- which is roughly 2 books a week. It was agreed that Phinee can choose ten books to read and the other ten books will be chosen by Tata and I. So far Phinee has already read 5 books, 2 of which she has chosen herself and 3 that we designated. As always it is likely that Phinee will finish this challenge way ahead of schedule as she is a very active and strong reader who chooses to read books just for the sheer pleasure of doing it :).

As for Nik well the idea is for her is to try and read ten books during the challenge. Being only new to reading and just 5 years of age, We have chosen books for her to read that are engaging and meaningful plus we take the opportunity to read them with her first a few times, before she reads them to us. Already she has read three books for the challenge in just over a week, so we are very confident that she too will complete the challenge in the designated time frame.

The girls also love reading books together and here they are with a few of their favourites!

Progressive Phonics has returned!

Years ago when Phinee was learning to read, I stumbled across on online website called progressive phonics. This started the whirl wind love affair that I have with this reading program. I found this site as Phinee had struggled through 12 months of learning to read at school and gotten nowhere.

The usual system of how children are taught to read these days totally failed her. So in sheer desperation I looked for an alternative method of teaching her to read. So over the Christmas Holidays of 2006 I stumbled across and started implementing progressive phonics. Back then the first few books were free in order to show you what the system offered and then if you wished you could purchase (for around $15 usd) the whole program. So I bought it and six weeks later Phinee was a confident reader and she has never looked back! My Money was more than well spent!

Roll on 2011, Now it is Nik’s turn to learn to read. She has always had a keen interest in books and loves to have stories read to her, but now she really wants to be able to read herself. So I brought out the progressive phonics books I used with Phinee and decided to also check out the website to see if any new books were available.. Well wasn’t I pleasantly surprised! Progressive phonics has definably progressed. The books have been rewritten and are now available totally free to anyone who wishes to register and download them! – Thanks to some sponsorship the creator managed to gain 🙂 – absolutely fantastic!

So here we are now enjoying the alphabetti books, beginner phonics books and the sheer delight in Nik’s increasing ability to read more and more words.

The books are very engaging, yet simple. The illustrations funny and overall the whole program amazing!

Dod and Bob are definite favourites in our house!

Here is a sneak peek at the Alphabetti books available at Progressive Phonics!

A Royal Story – Reading

This year, has seen Phinee with a keen interest in the Kings, Queens and Princesses of Scotland and England.

Thus a book hunt has been underway to find as many books as possible that have content suitable for her age and reading level. Phinee is quite a strong reader, so finding books on her relevant topic of choice is easy, but ensure the content is appropriate has been a little more tricky. We have however found a wonderful series of books called ‘My Royal Story’ which she has enjoyed immensely. Currently we are re-reading ‘Elizabeth’ together as a family.

This series of books are written in the style of a dairy and blend wonderfully vivid stories about Royal Queens and Princesses based on historical facts in a very engaging manner. And even though Phinee was not initially interested in some of these people, she now very much is! A great read!