Is your child an avid reader? Or do you find that it is an endless struggle to convince your child to read a book? Whether your child loves to read or only reads a book when necessary, it is so important that your child chooses a book that is a good fit. With so many school-age children beginning the upcoming school year virtually, we wanted to share a blog post that discusses how to help your child choose a book that is a good fit. Below, we have included some points that you should kept in mind when helping your child choose their next book:
- Your child should be able to read most of the words on the page. There is an easy test that you can perform to determine your child’s readability of a selected book. Open the book to a random page and have your child read that page aloud. If your child struggles with reading five or more words, then the selected book may be too difficult for them to independently read at the moment. This does not mean that your child should not read that book. Rather, this is a perfect opportunity for your child to make a reading goal (see tip number 4 for more details)!
- The book should be interesting to your child. This tip may be the most important aspect to keep in mind! If the book is not interesting, then your child will have no desire to read it. To keep a child engaged in reading, the book has to appeal to their interests (graphic novels count, too!). Even if the selected book is above your child’s reading level, you should still encourage them to read it. The book can easily become a reading goal for your child to achieve, or you and your child can even read the book together.
- Your child should be able to tell you what the book is about. When asked to explain what is happening in the book, your child should be able to recall most of the story’s details. If your child struggles with recalling the story, try reading the book with them. Many publishing companies offer free discussion guides for their children’s books. These guides are good starting points for book discussions with your child.
- If your child is eager to independently read a book that is difficult for them, make it their goal book. Tell your child: “You aren’t quite ready for this YET! This can be one of your reading goals!” Your child should be reading books that only require your help with some of the words. As your child practices, return to their goal book and let them see how much they have improved over time. This strategy will help motivate your child to continue reading so that they can eventually read their goal book independently. This will also hopefully encourage your child to set other reading goals for themselves in the future.
Children may not be attending school physically, but that does not mean reading should stop. Starting in August, our goal for each month will be to share at least three reading resources for parents, teachers, and other educators. These resources could be part of a blog series or one-off post like this one. The COVID-19 pandemic has created very unusual times and we want to provide helpful reading resources. We hope that you find these tips useful the next time that you help your child with choosing a book.