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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Review: Beehive Reader 1 from AAS

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Last year when I reviewed All About Spelling, I was excited about the possibility of using it not only to teach spelling, but also reading. Little did I know that this year I’d be holding the Beehive Reader in my hands.

For review purposes, I received a free copy of Beehive Reader 1 by Marie Rippel from All About Spelling. I received no other compensation.

If you’ve ever tried to pick up an easy reader from your local library, only to find that it’s full of “sight” words that your beginning reader cannot decode, this book is for you. With over 150 pages of charming pencil drawings accompanied by just a few lines of simple, yet entertaining text on each page, this hardcover reader is a treasure for any child’s bookshelf. But more than that, you’ll love the decodable text.

Mary (age 6) has been reading for a while, but lacked confidence in her reading. It seemed she always ran into words she couldn’t sound out or recognize as sight words, so we’ve been working on her fluency by “taking turns”---she’d read the simple words and I would read the more difficult words. Her fluency was improving, but she was still frustrated. She was dying to read on her own. With the help of the Beehive Reader, Mary has become an independent reader. The stories start very simply and slowly become more difficult, adding compound words and consonant blending, but sight words are kept to a minimum and the words are models of the rules. She loves the book and reads it just about everyday, which is helping her fluency. I’ve also had her copy sentences out of the book for copy-work, which has helped reinforce her reading and spelling skills.

I only have a couple of caveats:

  • If your child is like mine, always wanting to get to the end, she may not want to put it down.
  • There are several instances in the book where sentence punctuation is used for a sentence fragment. This is not uncommon in literature, and there’s nothing wrong with it, I only mention it as a possible issue when you are teaching proper sentence structure.

Beehive Reader 1 is available from All About Spelling for $19.95.

For reviews of this product by other homeschoolers, please visit:

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