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#1 of 25 Old 03-14-2010, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bear with me, as I don't know how coherent this will be.

DD1 is homeschooling. She'll be 7 in May. She isn't reading yet. I'm honestly pretty much okay with this, although I can't help but be a bit surprised (dh and I were both self-taught readers and were both reading before starting kindergarten). My approach to "teaching" reading has definitely been a bit hit or miss. I'm drawn to unschooling, but I wouldn't call us a true unschooling family (ds1 is in high school, ds2 is in preschool). DH is not of an unschooling mindset at all. He's okay with loose, easy going and child led, but not to the point of trusting that she'll pick it up without a significant amount of teaching.

So, we both thought she'd be reading by now. I'm not concerned, but am kind of picking up on dh's concern. Plus, he tends to push it a bit harder than I'm totally comfortable with (dh is 100% onboard with learning at home, though - just a different mental picture). I do feel that I haven't been as creative and resourceful as I could have been with her "official" education. (Last year's pregnancy and related fatigue, some issues with ds2's behaviour, my physical energy level with a newborn, and my sister's heart condition - 6 bypasses, valve replacement and valve repair - over this past winter have all combined to leave me a little...scattered.)l But, I feel her real interest just lies elsewhere right now. She became interested in letters at a very early age (wrote her alphabet at about 2.5 or so), but then got into other things...bugs, spiders (her favourite), "nature" in general, the human body and how it works, and art. Those are her "things".

While I don't share dh's concern, I don't want to just dismiss it, either. He's genuinely concerned about dd1, and I think he's starting to feel that there's something wrong with her or something.

So...that's my scrambled background. I read to dd1 quite a bit, as does dh. She's done a bit of workbook stuff (she went through a phase last year where she really got into workbooks). She knows all her letter sounds, and even a few of the blends. She knows a few sight words, but...she just doesn't seem want to learn to read. She wants to read - but doesn't want to learn to read, yk? I think she just finds it incredibly frustrating, so she doesn't want to try.

This is getting long. DD1 hates primers, because they're "for little kids". I tried to explain that they're just simple words to practice reading, not because she's too little to understand anything more complex, but she won't have any of it. The books she wants me to read her are Harry Potter (she got fed up partway through Goblet of Fire, though - she started finding it too complicated and a bit too dark), R.L. Stine's "Mostly Ghostly" series (blech), and she's interested in the Little House books. But, except for Amelia Bedelia, I haven't found much in the middle...things that interest her, but are simple enough for her to work on reading through (words she can sound out and/or recognize).

I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for practice reading books for a very bright, very articulate, very stubborn, very intense, 7 year old, with a very large vocabulary, and a small repetoire of words that she can read.

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#2 of 25 Old 03-14-2010, 11:37 PM
 
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My daughter thrived on the progressivephonics.com ebooks largely because it's team-reading, so she was practicing but the script wasn't limited to only what she knew how to read. She learned very fast with these, both the words bolded for her to read and the small print words that I read while she followed along.

Another series like this that takes turns reading (page by page) is http://www.webothread.com series, which have a 'reference book' type tone to most so maybe something your daughter would like particularly?
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#3 of 25 Old 03-15-2010, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh - those We Both Read books look perfect!
I'll check out the other ones, too.

Thank you!

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#4 of 25 Old 03-15-2010, 05:34 AM
 
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If it seems really difficult and like her eyes get tired or the process is not making sense, you may want to have an exam by a pediatric developmental (or behavioral) optometrist who offers vision therapy. This thread has more info about that:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1199929

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While I don't share dh's concern, I don't want to just dismiss it, either. He's genuinely concerned about dd1, and I think he's starting to feel that there's something wrong with her or something.
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She knows all her letter sounds, and even a few of the blends. She knows a few sight words, but...she just doesn't seem want to learn to read. She wants to read - but doesn't want to learn to read, yk? I think she just finds it incredibly frustrating, so she doesn't want to try.

DS1 March 2003DS2 Sept 2005,
and 3 , in our happy secular
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#5 of 25 Old 03-15-2010, 07:47 AM
 
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What about non fiction subjects that interest them??

I've be guilty of forgetting this. DD is almost 7 and does attend public school but I did all her preschool teaching at home and she was reading when she entered K. Its been mostly child led. She had a great interest in computers and particularly starfall.com. So she really learned with that and reading every night.

I'm just thinking out loud here because it struck me tonight when dd was telling me about reading a book about sharks at school that another child had brought to class. She is in a group of 3-4 kids that are the top readers in the class so they get special reading projects while the others are working on basics of phonics. Well this is what her teacher described to me anyway. And this incidence is one that makes me believe they do. But it totally struck me that we should and could be getting more non fiction books for her to read now that she is reading chapter books and has great interest in many subjects that I want to help her explore.

I was shocked and quite frankly appalled that her current public elementary school does not allow the kids to bring home the books they check out of school library. Of course this is the first public school I've heard of asking for donations for field trips and then drilling in to the kids that they could not go without the money. She is totally going to another school next year. I so wish I could home school but being single parent now and needing to work I just can't see it being easily possible.

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#6 of 25 Old 03-15-2010, 08:35 AM
 
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I didn't read the other responses so I don't know if this was suggested. My 5yo is like your dd. She was interested in letters at a very early age. She taught herself how to write all the capital letters before age 3. At age 5 she has outstanding printing. She loves to write stories...it is all about words and writing for this kid But, reading was a struggle. Like your dd she wanted to read, but didn't want to learn. I think part of the problem was the small steps needed in phonics. She just didn't see what the end result was going to be. I mean, she knew it was that she was supposed to be reading at the end, but couldn't understand why we were "reading" things that weren't words, at least this is what I figured her problem was. So she had no interest and it was frustrating. She is very smart, but we couldn't get past pre-reading blends. We were on them for weeks and weeks and weeks. Finally, I decided phonics wasn't working so we set it aside and started working on flashcards with sight words (I used the Dolch sight words). I was shocked by how many words she knew! We worked on them every time we did school and made a bit of a game out of it. After a several months (with a good deal of time taken off because of a newborn) I saw interest in the sight words waning and also she would try to sound out ones she didn't know (this was completely unprovoked by me). So, we went back to our phonics program and she really took off (I mean like lightning speed). Now, things are progressing quickly and dd is happy and confident and loves phonics when before she HATED it.

I honestly thought dd would be a self taught early reader, but she wasn't for some reason. I am just glad that I found a path to reading that was good for her.

Beth wife to Tom and mommy to Therese 11/4/04 Anna Mary 6/15/07 and Veronica 10/20/09
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#7 of 25 Old 03-15-2010, 09:23 AM
 
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I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for practice reading books for a very bright, very articulate, very stubborn, very intense, 7 year old, with a very large vocabulary, and a small repetoire of words that she can read.
My younger daughter was a late reader (age 8ish) and really enjoyed the Mr. Putter and Tabby series by Cynthia Rylant. They're charming, funny stories that didn't seem "babyish" like a lot of other early readers. But the sentence structure and vocabulary are simple.

Margie
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#8 of 25 Old 03-15-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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I was going to suggest something similar to the we both read books that the pp mentioned. With dd#1, when her interest level didn't match her reading level, we read together with her reading a few sentences or a page and then me reading a few pages. She was reading fairly well at this point, though, so we weren't starting from quite the same spot.

Do you think that she could start learning some sight words (you could put up a word wall with Dolch words) and then you could read to her with your finger running under the lines you are reading? She could follow along with your finger with you pausing slightly when you get to a word she knows & she reads those words. Over time, you could add more & more words into her repetoire. I was more of a whole word reader than a phonics person as a child myself. I don't think that I really learned phonics until 2nd or 3rd grade but I was reading long chapter books long before that.
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#9 of 25 Old 03-15-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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My ds was a lot like that- I tried many things to get him reading, but nothing seemed to really click. He turned 7 in November, and just took off in the last month or so- he's not fluent yet, but is getting much better every day and is enthusiastic about his progress- the books that were most successful for him when he started were the Dick and Jane books. I wouldn't sweat it too much though- I was getting nervous even though everyone said it would just happen, and it did!
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#10 of 25 Old 03-15-2010, 03:00 PM
 
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www.progressivephonics.com might fit the bill
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#11 of 25 Old 03-15-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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Is she reading Amelia Bedelia? If so then I think that she is doing fine and you should allow her to keep reading books that have funny plot lines like that until she is ready to move on. Their AR level ranges between 2 to 2.8, so they are second grade books. Even if she only reads Amelia Bedelia she still has a lot of books to choose from and can get introduced to many words from that for now. Letting her read some of the sentences or words as you read bigger books may also help her develop as a reader. My friend started loving reading after she did the summer reading program and got prizes for reading and she kept loving it even after the prizes were gone.
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#12 of 25 Old 03-15-2010, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is she reading Amelia Bedelia? If so then I think that she is doing fine and you should allow her to keep reading books that have funny plot lines like that until she is ready to move on. Their AR level ranges between 2 to 2.8, so they are second grade books. Even if she only reads Amelia Bedelia she still has a lot of books to choose from and can get introduced to many words from that for now. Letting her read some of the sentences or words as you read bigger books may also help her develop as a reader. My friend started loving reading after she did the summer reading program and got prizes for reading and she kept loving it even after the prizes were gone.
No. She's not reading it. I picked it out one day, because I remember really enjoying it. She likes it a lot, but it's one I read to her, and she's willing to try a word here and there...but she has it almost memorized, so...

Let me think:

Sight words.I should probably do more with this approach. She has more of them than she realizes, so I'm trying to help her realize that. I'm kind of astonished at how often she announced that this sign or that poster has such-and-such word on it.

Non-fiction. We do a lot of this, anyway. We have a weekly library day, and she picks out her own books. This means we always have at least one non-fiction book on spiders - there are currently three - kicking around the house. She loves books about the things that interest her...but she does not want anything that she deems too babyish.

I really think she's convinced herself that she can't read, or that it's too hard, or something. I've been trying to keep it low key, and I'm not sucking at that too badly...but dh is getting more and more concerned, and he's not as good at being low key as I am (probably partly because he's really not convinced that low key is a good idea in the first place).

Thank you all for the great suggestions. I think that the We Both Read books will be a good avenue to try. She loves being read to, and making it more interactive that way will probably help a lot.

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#13 of 25 Old 03-15-2010, 10:49 PM
 
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Are you averse to teaching her to read? She may be resistant to learning because she just doesn't know how to put it all together. Many, many children do not pick it up on their own and need reading instruction. Why not do about 15 minutes of a good phonics program each day, and then read to her from books she is interested in.

Also, once she starts to read, take a look at the reader packages on the Sonlight website. They list the books in each package (most of which are available at the library). There are some really good, interesting readers listed, and they do a great job of gradually stepping up the difficulty.
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#14 of 25 Old 03-15-2010, 11:02 PM
 
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We've had problems with this. And, I'm slowly beginning to accept that my daughter is a sight word girl. She just has some troubles sounding things out.

Here's just a few total random suggestions for you.

My kids love the Mercy Watson books by Kate DiCamillo.

We've had lots of luck with sight words with a game my husband made. he took an old candyland game and made new cards (on red, blue, yellow, green) paper. Each card has a sight word or just a word we are trying to teach on it...

at, cat, the, on, off, is, it, as, etc...

If you get the word right, you go two spaces ahead. If not, you go one. My kids have been doing this for about a week and they're both reading simple sentences from the sight words we use in the game:

The cat is on the snack.

But my daughter is still having some issues, though this is helping build her confidence as well. (She's the same as your daughter, wants to read, just can't get it.)

We're also about to start Spell to Write and Read. It is a much different approach than phonics, but I'm going to hope this will help us along.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#15 of 25 Old 03-15-2010, 11:19 PM
 
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My daughter was self teaching herself words at age 4 and then hit a road block. We realized she could sound out just about anything in isolation but didn't like practicing. We found out just 2 months ago that she has an astigmatism that needed to be corrected. She's had glasses for about 1.5 months now (she's 5.5). She was really frustrated with them at first because she wasn't used to them and she said letters/numbers looked different now.

Coinciding with this was about the 1 year mark since we took her out of pre-K during which we hadn't done any structured learning at all. We had envisioned ourselves as unschoolers but DD flat out told us that we weren't doing enough organized school stuff with her. She wanted us to give her more structure.

So, despite my own inclinations, I got the Ordinary Parents Guide, All About Spelling, Explode the Code, and the book The ABC's and All Their Tricks: The Complete Reference Book of Phonics and Spelling. We have a mix of Bob books, some great Waldorf readers, Progressive Phonics, and a bunch of other things like reading games.

I've learned:
- She knows a whole lot more than she thought (or I realized), but she lost confidence because of her glasses/vision issue.
- She HATES any repetitive work. I have to mix things up, let her skip things, etc.
- She is a whole body learner---you hear people talking about visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners... I'm convinced that she is all of these. She thrives on all the different approaches.
- She LOVES knowing the rules and explanations behind things. She does not like just doing something for the sake of doing it. Learning the rules behind writing, spelling, and reading has been the ticket for her.
- She wants to learn the history of language now too, and the science behind it. It's taking off into new directions (and as a former neurolinguist, I'm thrilled!)
- She really doesn't like most of the early readers either; she much prefers non-fiction so I've had to try to find some. I just discovered the We Read Together books this weekend and am going to order some also.

In our case, it was so much more than just "learning how to read". Now that I've tapped into all these amazing discoveries about her interests and learning style, we are having a blast. It's really awesome!

But, it hasn't been just one thing that's done it for us, and we did have some true vision problems that threw obstacles in our path.

Good luck!
Holli
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#16 of 25 Old 03-16-2010, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Are you averse to teaching her to read? She may be resistant to learning because she just doesn't know how to put it all together. Many, many children do not pick it up on their own and need reading instruction. Why not do about 15 minutes of a good phonics program each day, and then read to her from books she is interested in.

Also, once she starts to read, take a look at the reader packages on the Sonlight website. They list the books in each package (most of which are available at the library). There are some really good, interesting readers listed, and they do a great job of gradually stepping up the difficulty.
That was more or less how we started out. She hated it. I had originally been thinking I would need to teach her how to read, and that just did not work out well. She just gets too frustrated. She has almost all the pieces, but putting them together makes her just...quit.

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#17 of 25 Old 03-16-2010, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We've had problems with this. And, I'm slowly beginning to accept that my daughter is a sight word girl. She just has some troubles sounding things out.

Here's just a few total random suggestions for you.

My kids love the Mercy Watson books by Kate DiCamillo.

We've had lots of luck with sight words with a game my husband made. he took an old candyland game and made new cards (on red, blue, yellow, green) paper. Each card has a sight word or just a word we are trying to teach on it...

at, cat, the, on, off, is, it, as, etc...

If you get the word right, you go two spaces ahead. If not, you go one. My kids have been doing this for about a week and they're both reading simple sentences from the sight words we use in the game:

The cat is on the snack.

But my daughter is still having some issues, though this is helping build her confidence as well. (She's the same as your daughter, wants to read, just can't get it.)

We're also about to start Spell to Write and Read. It is a much different approach than phonics, but I'm going to hope this will help us along.
I like the sight word game. We actually have a sight word bingo game, but we have not played it in a while. Maybe I will try that again, or try some other sight word game. This game is actually what triggered my decision to put ds2 in preschool. He was soooooo disruptive.

OT: My computer keyboard is not working well and I have no apostrophes, which is why my phrasing probably sounds overly formal. I am going to address this later or tomorrow...it is a recurring thing.

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#18 of 25 Old 03-16-2010, 12:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Holli: I have been meaning to get dd1 in for an eye exam, anyway. Your story just spurs me. DH and I both have vision issues - I am short sighted and have no depth perception, and dh is extremely short-sighted and colour blind - and it seems unlikely that our chlidre are all going to end up with perfect vision, yk

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#19 of 25 Old 03-16-2010, 05:37 PM
 
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Sight words.I should probably do more with this approach. She has more of them than she realizes, so I'm trying to help her realize that. I'm kind of astonished at how often she announced that this sign or that poster has such-and-such word on it.
When I started doing sight words with my dd I think this was the case as well. When she saw how many she knew she got a ton of confidence. I think perhaps she was starting to think she couldn't read. Then we did the sight words and she could read so many of them!! That little diversion and confidence booster was all she needed.

It frustrates me when people think that every kid should fit into a standard phonics program. I have a friend whose dd read really early using Hooked on Phonics and Explode the Code. She kept pushing me to get them and basically seemed to be saying that my dd wasn't reading because I was using the wrong program. She seemed less than impressed with my doing the sight words. I am so glad I followed my dd's lead and my mama's intuition and figured out a path that was good for my dd That is the point of hsing...not every kid fits in a box.

Beth wife to Tom and mommy to Therese 11/4/04 Anna Mary 6/15/07 and Veronica 10/20/09
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#20 of 25 Old 03-17-2010, 08:07 AM
 
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I think what helped dd was seeing the words and hearing them on starfall. She loves that site to this day. She knew that she could click on the word but before I know it she was putting words in the right picture and reading at 4. By 5 she was doing really well. I didnt really have much structure. We just read a whole lot together everynight before bed.

I think some just take longer to build the confidence in themselves. I noticed dd would read alone if I wasn't right with her and it was the same if it was a book she was holding or a story on starfall. Slowly she started helping me read and I made it a game at one point saying oh I forgot whats that word do you know?.


I think memorizing is good. Eventually they see it elsewhere in other stories or day to day life and blurt it out of nowhere.

Melissa mama to Zoë 7/26/03
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#21 of 25 Old 03-17-2010, 10:31 AM
 
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what helped my daughter was the primer treadwell readers. they didn't seem babyish to her, but they're repetitive enough that she wasn't frustrated. you can buy them, or you can download them for free:

http://www.mainlesson.com/author.php?author=treadwell

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#22 of 25 Old 03-23-2010, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Holli: I have been meaning to get dd1 in for an eye exam, anyway. Your story just spurs me. DH and I both have vision issues - I am short sighted and have no depth perception, and dh is extremely short-sighted and colour blind - and it seems unlikely that our chlidre are all going to end up with perfect vision, yk
*sigh*
I took her in today. Holli's post and a couple of things I've noticed in the last week or so finally got me off my butt. I feel like crap. Her vision is quite poor - very short sighted, and pretty bad astigmatisms. I can't believe I didn't pick up on this. I thought she was, at worst, slightly short-sighted. How could I have not realized this? She sat there reading out letters - incorrectly - while I looked at the chart and tried not to cry.

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#23 of 25 Old 03-23-2010, 11:02 PM
 
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It's easy to miss eyes since it happens gradually. Hurray that the fix is here! What a relief for both of you.
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#24 of 25 Old 03-23-2010, 11:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
*sigh*
I took her in today. Holli's post and a couple of things I've noticed in the last week or so finally got me off my butt. I feel like crap. Her vision is quite poor - very short sighted, and pretty bad astigmatisms. I can't believe I didn't pick up on this. I thought she was, at worst, slightly short-sighted. How could I have not realized this? She sat there reading out letters - incorrectly - while I looked at the chart and tried not to cry.
Don't beat yourself up. Kid's vision can change drastically over a few months, and they still may not complain about it, because it's a gradual enough change for them. My oldest dd's vision changed drastically between 7 and 8, and even after she'd gotten glasses, I didn't realize when she needed new glasses (after only 6 months) until we happened to be in an odd situation, discussing something far away, and she was baffled that I thought she'd be able to see it.

There's no way to know how long this has been an issue.
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#25 of 25 Old 03-24-2010, 05:29 PM
 
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Haven't read this all through, but since your daughter is a nature lover (like DS, 7, also just beginning to read) I thought she may enjoy Thornton Burgess' books? (Such as Old MOther West Wind)...DS (who usually goes for things that seem much more mature than this) LOVES them. (And they're only like 1.50$ each for the dover thrift classics on Amazon.

caution: one-handed nak

typos likely

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