As a Reading Specialist in an elementary school for 18 years, I’ve been to many, many Book Fairs and I can tell you this: most kids do not know how to pick out an appropriate book. That, of course, results in not reading, fake reading, or avoiding reading. So let’s find a better way.
Once books are in your home, you want and expect your children to read them.
Here is your 5 minute homework:
The 5-Finger Rule: Ask your children to randomly choose a page from the book they are reading and then read it out loud to you. Every time they don’t know a word on the page – or can’t read it correctly – they hold up 1 finger. If they have 5 fingers up at the end of reading one page, then you know the book is too hard.
Congrats! You earned an A+ for helping your children choose an appropriate book.
If your children are not yet in school and reading on their own, then it’s up to you to choose the right books to read to them. Children can understand books read aloud to them that are about 2 years above their reading level. You are the best expert on your children, so pick a book that looks interesting and be sure the words on a page are not too many for really young kids’ attention span. More on attention spans in Course #2 “Happy Reading!”