Reading an easy to decode early reader

Phonics-Based Sets of Easy Readers Your Child Will Want to Read

Do you have trouble finding easy readers that have words your child can sound out?  I talked in Our Favorite Homeschool Reading Curriculum about how my youngest son has a visually processing disorder and had to use a very phonics based program to learn to read.  It was a long time before he started to learn words well enough to recognize them by sight.  During this time, I realized how most of the early readers on the market, especially in our library, are based upon sight reading.

When I took he and his brother to the library, there were almost no books he could check out to read himself despite the fact that he was making good progress in his reading curriculum and doing well reading the reader included with his curriculum.  I wanted books that started with short sentences with three or four letter words and slowly built up from there, only adding in a few sight words at each level.

Thankfully, I have found several sets of books since then that meet these standards and wanted to share them with you.

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Phonics-Based Easy Readers

BOB Books

The one set of books we did find when he was learning to read were the BOB books. There are several sets of these books that build from sounding out simple words in simple sentences to stories with longer sentences and several words.  The early sets are phonics based and more sight  words are introduced in later sets.  Each set has about 12 books and in many of the sets, they are further divided into three reading levels.

For a long time, these were our go-to books that we kept in the living room for ‘pleasure reading’.  I kept the four books that were at the appropriate level in a basket where my guy could grab them.  As he progressed in his skills, I would add in the next four books and slowly remove the ones he had mastered.  I have had many parents tell me that these books were how their children learned to read.  Click the links below to check out some of the sets.

I See Sam, Early Reader Books

This set of 52  books start very simple and work up to about 10 words per page.  Each book is about 14 pages and was part of a federally funded project in 1972.  Therefore, you can download pdfs of the entire series here.  There are also some used sets on Amazon, if you want an actual hard copy.

Miss Rhonda’s Readers

These readers were written by a Montessori teacher who wanted more engaging stories for her children that could be sounded out.  They are phonics based and have a simple story arc.

Now I’m Reading

This is a phonics based series that also pays good attention to having a plot line to engage children in the story.  There are a few sets at each level and they come with stickers.  Now, who doesn’t love stickers?

Usborne Phonics Readers

This set of 12 readers is another phonics-based series.  They are slightly above the first level of some of the series above so you may not want to start with this series, but add it in when your child has some experience with reading.

I Can Read It!  Books

These books have several stories in each book.  They start out with simple words like the BOB books, but have many more sentences on a page.  The words within the sentences are repeated to give children lots of practice.

Used Curriculum

There are many phonics based reading programs out there that include simple books and readers that would also be great for children to read as ‘pleasure reading’.  If you have a homeschool consignment store or a used homeschool book fair in your area, you may be able to find some of these.

Help our readers out:

Do you know of some other phonics based easy readers, other parents would like to know about?  Please leave a comment below and tell us!


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Nynke

    Thanks for the tips, Randi! I’m definitely looking for some fun books for my daughter who is just starting out using the phonics method you describe.
    Greetings from the Netherlands!

    1. Randi Smith

      Thanks for your note. Learning to read is such a fun time in child development! Enjoy!

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