Raise a Reader ~ Confidently! #RaiseAReader

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{disclaimer ~ I was sent this book to review, affiliate links are used}

If I were to write a book about reading, this would be it!  I have been online friends with Amy and Allie {the authors} for many years and have known we are kindred spirits in this area.  I LOVE teaching young children to read and love empowering parents to do the same.  I have learned that not everyone feels confident, or loves teaching reading and that’s why I love this book so much! I was sent the book to review, and am thrilled to share with you!

Raising a Rock-Star Reader: 75 Quick Tips to Help Your Child Develop a Lifelong Love of Reading is the answer for many of you, I highly recommend buying this book if you have any hesitancy at all about teaching your young children to read! If you have a friend beginning their homeschooling journey – this would make the perfect gift!


The book itself is broken into bite sized chunks, so it is VERY easy to read and digest.  There are 10 chapters, with a total of 75 different tips, and tons of photos {which I love!}.

Here’s a peek at the layout, the book begins with home library building recommendations for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, Kindergartners, and early independent readers.

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As a former Kindergarten teacher {and one who LOVED teaching reading}, I can’t recommend this book enough!  Build early literacy skills in your children from the start!

Raising a Rock Star Reader #RaiseAReader


You can follow the hashtag #RaiseAReader on social media to see many of the tips and other reviews of the book too!

Teach Your Child to Read Free Flash Cards and Giveaway!

I am excited to have Janine from True Aim here to share how she teaches her children to read with a Free printable and giveaway!

Teaching your child to read is easier than you think and it can be a lot of fun! With just 10-15 minutes a day, you can help give your preschool or kindergarten aged child a head start, or help them improve their reading skills.

First hundred words free flash cards printable

This post contains affiliate links and a giveaway!

When I decided to start teaching my child to read early (around 3 yrs old), there were so many different programs! It was a little overwhelming. I tried Teach Your Baby to Read, The Reading Remedy, Starfall and many others. They were things I liked about them, and things that I felt were missing. There had to be a better way. After researching, My husband and I came up with our own program. The Blue Manor Phonics Reading Set helps your children learn to read by teaching the sounds of the letters first, and in all caps. This is to prevent children from memorizing the shape of the word and has them focusing on what the letter sound is.

Teach your child to read phonics curriculum

The Phonics Book in Level 1 starts with a few basic sounds and has your children blending the sounds to make words right away! This helps motivate them because it makes it more meaningful to them than just learning a bunch of random sounds. Plus, practicing combining the sounds is the KEY to reading. Here’s a quick video to show you what Level 1 looks like.


After completing Level 1, your child will have learned to read their first 100 words! Then they will be ready to read the early readers perfect for their level. These readers are unique in that they have the pictures featured on the next page so your child practices blending the letter sounds instead of being distracted by the pictures. You can use the curriculum just like it shows in the video; review and learn a few sounds each day for 5-15 minutes or however long your children like. Most of the time we do that because it is just SO easy and then sometimes we use activities to reinforce letter sounds or combinations that they are struggling with. Here are some examples of the activities we like to do.

Learn to Read Activities

1. Letter Sounds Bean Bag Toss

2. Alphabet Cube Puzzle Printables

3. Race to a Letter

4. The Reading Road

Use this FREE printable of the First Hundred Words flash cards that go with the curriculum to play exciting Flash Card Games and make it fun for your child!

Teach your child to read flash cards  

To get a FREE children’s eBook each month, sign up for the Blue Manor Newsletter!


Teach Your Child to Read Giveaway!

5 lucky readers will win a FREE Phonics Reading eBook Set from Blue Manor {enter to win using Rafflecopter below.

You can also save 50% on the Blue Manor Preschool Set until 9/30 with code: 1plus1E50

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You Can Read Sight Words Review Unit 1-4

It’s review time with You Can Read since we completed unit one, unit two, unit 3, and unit 4!  Because I never want to move her too quickly, we do tons of review along the way and also take a week out {at least} every 4 lessons to do a full review week. I also slow units down as needed, as this is a mastery program {meaning I don’t want to add new words until she has mostly mastered the previous words}.

Here’s a post sharing You Can Read Review with Krash when he did it!  See all of Krash’s Kindergarten posts here.

You Can Read Sight Word Review


At the beginning of our review week I did a word reading assessment.  She missed 2 on the first try, you can see those below in the purple pen. At the end of the review week I repeated the assessment {in pink} and she could quickly read all of the words!



Bitsboard Review

I created review units for the Bitsboard app and they include more words which makes the games more fun. We played games on Bitsboard to review words from units 1-4 all week!

Here’s the very basic instructions for finding and using the You Can Read units on the Bitsboard app {which I am fairly certain is only Apple}

  • Open Bitsboard
  • Select “Catalog” over on the right, it’s blue at the top
  • Select “Shared” it’s in the middle at the top
  • Type “You Can Read” in the search area on the top right
  • Boards should show up, bad news they don’t sort them in order so it takes a bit to find the unit or review unit you are looking for.

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Shoot the Sight Words

This was the first time Ladybug had the fun experience of shooting sight words!  She loved it!

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Review BINGO

We used the Review BINGO board, this is a simple and easy review!

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See a video of us in action here!



Sight Word Caterpillar Play

we used all of our sight word caterpillar circles to play smack the word.

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See a video of us in action with me calling the words and Ladybug doing the smacking…


Here’s another video showing Ladybug calling the words for me to smack.  It’s a good review to do it both ways!


We also used them to find words in our easy readers.

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We had lots of fun with our review.  I especially like that I decided to keep the caterpillar circles in the pocket chart this time {I stuck them to a wall with Krash} so we could use them a lot.  She loves getting them down to play with!


Download the FREE printables for You Can Read here

Purchase the You Can Read Bundle here {get access to the bonus items}

See our You Can Read YouTube playlist here

See our post featuring Unit 1, unit 2, unit 3, and unit 4!

You-Can-Read-Sight-Words--Unit-1  You-Can-Read-Sight-Words-Unit-2  You-Can-Read-Sight-Words-Unit-3 You Can Read Sight Words Unit 4

Many of the ideas we use for review come from Word Play ~ Learning to Read is FUN!


Shooting Sight Words ~ Learning to Read is FUN!

Shooting Sight Words with a Nerf Gun!  Great Word Fun for Kids!

Years ago when Krash was learning to read, my husband took over homeschool one day.  This was what I walked in and saw ~ shooting sight words with Nerf guns!

Shooting Sight Words with Nerf Gun! Shoot Sight Words with Nerf Gun!

Needless to say, this was a FAVORITE way to practice sight words for my son and we brought the idea back recently with my daughter who was reviewing her You Can Read sight words! She LOVED it and Krash helped her out and enjoyed being a part of the fun again.  He remembered doing this when he was younger!

You Can Read Review - Shoot Sight Words with Nerf Gun!

We just write the words she is reviewing in bubbles on a dry erase board.

Shoot Sight Words with Nerf Gun!

She uses the Nerf darts with the suction cups on the ends to shoot the word I call out! Simple, effective and FUN!  Lots of giggles too!

Shoot Sight Words with Nerf Gun!


See a video clip of us playing here on YouTube, or the shorter version here on Instagram! In the longer video below you’ll see we switched to sentences instead of bubbles in the end.  This is another variation of making the game work in different ways.

See more Word Play ideas here!

Word Play -  Learning to read is fun!

A Reading Log Printable for My Bookworm

Free Printable Reading Log

My son Krash has become a little bookworm. It developed out of nowhere, as he has NOT been much of a reader until now. He enjoys being read to, but wasn’t like Ladybug who always has books near her and will sit and read for hours.

In the past 5 months or so, something has clicked and unlocked this side of him.  When he read his first chapter book for fun, and enjoyed it, the fire was lit inside of him!  The first chapter book her read was a book I was sent many years ago as a sample copy from Scholastic, Looniverse. It sat on my shelf for years since it was not at a level for any of my kids but then suddenly I remembered it and pulled it out for him.  It was perfect for him…just enough pictures and words, a funny story line and characters he loved. We went on to buy the other 3 books in the series and he read them all quickly, the last one arrived one morning and he had it finished that night!

Chapter Books for 2nd Grade Boys

I soon realized I couldn’t afford to buy his books so we hit the library together.  He chose the A-Z Mystery series and picked out 4 he liked.  He has read 2 of those 4 and loves them.  Thankfully we have many more in the series for him and our library has them all!

Chapter Books for 2nd Grade Boys


I realized too late that we should have had a reading log for him all this time, but honestly his reading enthusiasm caught me so off guard, I wasn’t prepared!  I decided to change that and whipped up a quick reading log printable for him including what we wanted on it.  The title, number of pages, date started and completed,and a place for him to rate the book 1-10.

Reading Log

{click image to download Reading Log Printable}

Here’s his filled in chart, we did the best with the dates we couldn’t remember

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We also have Jigsaw Jones on our list to try next.  Any other suggestions?