My husband and I have been working with our daughter since she was two. We worked on the alphabet, number recognition, drawing, writing, and numerous other subjects. Because of this, when she was barely four she told us she wanted to read. Of course this thrilled us to no end, and I immediately set out in search of a beginning reading program.
Having lived a mere five blocks from the library as a child, and having spent almost every waking moment of each summer there; I decided this was the place to start my search. So a hunting I did go. What I found was the BOB books.
BOB books are a series of books designed to gently guide children into the first stages of reading. The first few books use just a few letters to make simple words. These few simple words are then repeated on almost every page so the children become familiar and comfortable with how letters form words. Each new book adds a few new letters and sounds. The set I found at our local library also happened to have audio Cd's which could be listened to while reading.
While it took most of the summer and the first part of pre-school for her to actually get the hang of phonics, once she did, she was reading everything in sight. She now reads shampoo bottles while taking a bath, store fronts when we shop, road signs when we're driving, and books from both the public library and our own collection. The BOB books definitely helped her develop the pre-reading skills she needed to get started.
So if you have a child who is on the verge of reading, I would suggest you check out BOB books at your nearest library or at http://www.bobbooks.com . Signing off for now with wishes for a bright and beautiful day!