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Tucker’s Reading Party

Tucker’s Reading Party: Celebrating Milestones in Our Homeschool

Tucker smiling at his surprise reading party.

As per Little Earthling tradition, Tucker received a reading party once he could officially read on his own. This was so much fun…he made cupcakes with Kalina, thinking he was baking them for Iris’s birthday…but instead was making them for his own surprise party!

Tucker opening up his gift, a new book, at his reading party.
Tucker unwrapping new book.
Tucker with the book he received at his reading party.

And he received this nifty picture dictionary that I picked up at our library’s used book store.

How do you homeschoolers mark your children’s achievements?



  1. karen

    Renee, I just had to tell you that your reading parties inspired us to start them with our kids–my seven year old officially started reading on his own the beginning of this school year, but with a new baby we didn’t get around to the party until last month!

    Because he is a nut for Ancient Egypt, we had an Egyptian theme. I made a homemade mummy-shaped pinata, filled with candy wrapped in either silver or gold (like Rolos). The boys got to paint the mummy and named it “Thutmose.”

    My husband planned a code-breaking scavenger hunt, with hieroglyphics. He found a hieroglyphic font and wrote clues; the boys had to break the code using a key we gave them and find the clues that led to the mummy, which they had to “defeat” (break open) to get the treasure. My husband played various bad guys attempting to guard the mummy.

    We also included a trip to the bookstore where everyone got to choose a book (I didn’t make it out in time to buy books), and had carrot cake cupcakes (24-Karat Gold cupcakes). My son loved it and now my five year old is planning his reading party!

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Karen, that’s awesome! Certainly above and beyond anything we’ve done for a reading party, but it sounds like you have a great time.

  2. liz

    This may be a silly question….what do you consider “reading on their own?” I have a 6.5 yr old who can read alot of the Dr Seuss Beginner Readers without much help at all. He does however have to be “introduced” to them first(meaning us read them to him and then he goes through them real quick and glances up when really stuck and then he does fine on his own) My son has severe ADHD/ODD and it is hard to tell what is ODD and what is true sometimes as far as ability.

    Could I sit him down with say “The Imagination Station” series and have him read…no way. On the other hand I have heard him pick out books in our “home library” and read to his younger siblings.Pretty early easy books.

    I have a 4 yr old daughter who can read the first set of BOB books on her own and just started level 1 books.It’s hard sometimes to pick out true reading and memorization.

    My 6 yr old I am sure has memorized alot of what he reads so that the first letter or so clues him in.On the other hand he was reading signs in the car the other day that he has never seen before.

    Brad and I just read the post and LOVE the idea of a reading party!!! Just not sure if Parker(6.5 yr old) is owed one or not there yet. I have a feeling he may get one soon. It may help with his confidence and motivation.

    I am sure this is all a matter of disgression as I assume Tucker is not reading say super advanced Literature…..but I don’t put it past your awesome family….maybe you use some technique where he can read just about anything?

    Parker won’t read directions in say the geography workbook we use. But he can usually read the words when he does a word search. i think alot depends on his mood and frustration that day(moment) etc…Last night at Bible Time he announced he was reading an “I CAN READ” early reader about Noah and the Arc to us after dad was done with his part. It was about 35 pages long and has about 8-12 words on a page. He didn’t stumble once!

    Parker(6.5) does not do well with phonics. So we just read to him alot and have him read to us. My daughter(4) seems to be able to pick up on phonics as a neuro typical child I assume does.She will sound out words. Parker does to a degree, but is quick to frustrate.

    i have decided before any more books come in the house with those silly number 1,2,3 levels on them I am covering them with stickers. It does not fair well with said son with ADHD when his 4 yr old sister is now reading level 1 books and so does he( along with many others that are not marked liked the Dr Seuss books)

    Anyhow just curious. Is Tucker still 6? Did you use that 100 lessons book I hear about to teach kids to read?

    Hope all is well with Apollo at hospital. Prayers!!!

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Liz, it’s really just a judgement call for each child…when I see them picking up a book and reading for fun, when they begin to read words on signs as we’re out running errands, when they are suddenly reading the salad dressing label…things like that.

      Tucker is still six and, yes, we used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

      • liz

        cool//he reads labels and signs….he doesn’t care to read for will rattle off sugar grams and ingredients…maybe the party will encourage him..

  3. Jo

    I used 100 easy lessons and my son read at age 4, as a 9 yr old he was early highschool. He is 11 now and there is literally nothing that he cannot read, he reads fast and comprehends everything or looks it up. with math on the other hand, he hated it and struggled with it, fought me on it and often we fell behind (he was 1 yr ahead by design so this put us close to just where he belonged over time) until 4th grade. It is easy for him now, but he excelled at science and history due to reading in his first few yrs of school. Then enter my daughter, 18 months younger did not read independently outside of her school reader (mcguffey) until a few months ago. She is 9. However, she was adding non-like common denominator fractions when she was 5 and had her multiplication tables memorized at the same time. She excels at math, especially geometry and fraction material. Now that she is reading on her own, she is flying through small chapter books like Charlottes Web, which is a big difference to nothing in the weeks before. All kids are different I guess, I have only 2 and they are very different in their learning styles and what they enjoy learning.

  4. JCF

    Yes, I too have the same question about what you count as reading independently. My four year old son is reading the level 3 BOB books quite well, as well as level 1 early readers. He can read level 2 early readers with some guidance. I think he’s got some time to go before we’ll do a reading party, but I’m just curious what level earns the party at your house.


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