If you want to make sure your child is developing as a reader, you need to make sure they are reading books on or around their level. So how do you find appropriate books for your child?
There are many lists of leveled books on the internet. If you are not sure of your child's reading level, please don't be afraid to ask. Remember, a child can still benefit from reading books that are a little lower or a little higher than their level. Just don't let them go too much above their level or they will spend so much time trying to decode the words that they won't understand what they are reading. Try this leveled book site, it's one of my favorites: Leveled Books
How can you tell if a book is too hard for your child?
Try the Five Finger Rule!
1. Let them choose a book that they think they will enjoy.
2. Have them read the second page to you.
3. Have them stick up a finger each time they get stuck on a word.
4. If they put up five or more fingers on that page then the book is too hard, have them choose another book.
If your child has less than five fingers up after reading that page, does that mean the book is appropriate?
Not necessarily. The next step is to have them read the first three pages and answer the following questions:
What if the book is too hard for your child?
No one likes to be told that something is too hard. Let your child know that they will enjoy the book more later in the year after they become a better reader. Be honest with them and let them know that they won't understand it if it is too hard. Or, of course, you could always read it with them!
- Do you understand what you are reading?
- Can you read it smoothly when you read it aloud?
- Does the topic interest you?