How can I find a "just right" book? Is this book too hard for my child? Too easy?
As educators, we hear these questions from parents every year. All are great questions, but not all may be necessary when helping to select a book for your child.
First off, your child should be interested in the material they are reading - especially over summer break or during a “free read” (when there is no assignment attached to the book). They are essentially reading for pleasure! What a nice thought! Help your child jot down a few ideas of what they like or items they want to know more about. Then head to the library, a favorite book store, online or even a rummage sale. A great book never goes out of style you know!
Next, select a few interesting texts and flip through the first few pages. Have your child read a page or two. If they have trouble reading five or more words on a page, then it is probably too difficult for your child to read independently. If they have trouble with fewer words but are unable to tell you anything about what they just read, the book is also too hard. Once you have found a book that they can read with little difficulty and that they can understand, you’ve found a book fit for your child.
Yes, some books may be “too easy”. However, it’s okay for your child to read books that are labeled as “easy” as long as they are reading other books too. Also, if your child is interested in a book that you feel may be too difficult, try doing a book share. Your child reads a page, you read a page, your child reads a page, you read a page, etc. Then check in at the end of every chapter or every five or so pages in a picture book, and share what’s happening in the book. Happy Reading!