2021 May 20

How to Read our Decodable Books in 5 Steps

When we buy books to read for ourselves, we typically just dive right in and read it. We may prepare by reading the blurb at the back of the book to set the stage before we begin.

For emergent readers, and especially with our decodable books, it's important to get your child ready so they are successful. That last think you want is a frustrated child who learns to hate reading!

Here are 5 steps to help prepare your child to read our decodable books:

1. Make sure your child knows their letters.

Before your child reads one of our books focused on a reading code, they must have some foundational knowledge of the alphabet and their sounds.

They should be able to:

  • recognize upper and lower case letters
  • know the sounds each of these letters make (hard and soft consonants and long and short vowels)
  • segment words
  • sound out (decode), blend and chunk words.

If they don't have this foundational knowledge, it will take a lot longer to see success. Check out our 5 Steps to Success in our Free Basic Starter Kit.

A mother of one of our young readers went through the starter kit, sent us a note saying: "Every parent should have this starter kit."

2. Choose a book at your child's appropriate reading level.

We've structured our books in a way that allows us to reach many emergent readers wherever they are on their reading journey. Books 1 and 2 you'll some repetition and a simple story line. As you move to books 3, 4 and 5, there's less repetition more of a story line and more characters.

The purpose for this structure was to be able to reach multiple levels of readers and to encourage growth as they read through the full 5 book series.

Should your child struggle with book 1 and 2, you'll want to wait to move on to the next level until they are ready.

3. Introduce the reading code to your child before you start.

All of our books target a specific reading code. You'll want to explain this reading code to your child before attempting to read the book. To help, at the back of the book, there is a Skills Page that tells you as the 'teacher' what the main reading code is as well as minor reading codes in the story.

With each series, you have the Brook the Book ebook that your child can read to prepare them for the reading code. Brook the Book introduces the reading code by sharing what the letter combination is and the sound it makes.

Here's a sample of Brook the Book introducing the general concept of reading codes.

4. Have Child Read the Book with You

Once your child knows the main reading code, choose the appropriate book level and ask them to read it.

Give them your full focus as they are reading. As they read through the pages and get stuck, they will look for you for guidance. They may need a reminder of the sound of the reading code or may run into a minor reading code.

It's important to pick a time and space where your young reader can concentrate. Less distractions and your full focus is important for success.

BEWARE: Make sure you don't read the book to them! Children have a memory like dolphins and will memorize the book. We do have some tricks to help with this (like reading the book backwards!).

5. Leverage the 5 free extensions for each Book

Finally, with each book we've developed 5 extensions that will help solidify what they've learned. The power of combining each book with extensions is what will propel your child toward reading fluently with confidence.

A parent of one of our readers sent us a message saying: "Sophia was able to read the 1st book, but the biggest hit was the extensions that went with the book. They were amazing!"

We've put all of the resources for each book series in one area. Check out the resources for Dirk the Bird.

Need more help?

These are the steps we suggest you go through as you dive into our book series.

We've also created a step by step guide you can follow. It's 5-Week Road Map Guide that provides you with a detailed daily list of things to do with your child.

Remember, you're not alone in this adventure! Reach out to us if you need help getting started.

Happy teaching,

The Sister Duo (Lisa and Nicole)