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. Next they read it out loud to you. Finally, they hold up 1 finger every time they can’t read a word. 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.
Today, reading levels of books are measured in what is called “Lexile Levels.” Check the book cover, look it up on amazon.com, or ask your librarian or teacher what the Lexile Level of a book is and be sure to ask the teacher what your child’s current Lexile Level is based on school tests. This chart will give you a guide to match your child with a book Lexile Levels. You are the best expert on your children, so pick a book that looks interesting and be sure there are not too many words on a page for really young kids’ attention span. More on attention spans in Course #2 “Happy Reading!”