If you ever wonder why schools put so much emphasis on reading at home, it is because reading is the single most impactful literacy task you and your child can partake in, so it’s understandable its tough to choose the right book for your child. Reading develops your child’s ability to decode words, soak in new vocabulary which they can then transfer to their writing, expand their knowledge of people, places and situations, empathise with a character and consider their own position in the world. Reading is fundamental and a fantastic way to encourage children to engage in their learning in a simple and pressure-free manner.
Considerations to make when choosing a book for your child
When choosing a reading book for your child, it is crucial to consider both level and interest. I will explain the considerations needed when choosing a book for your child.
Reading should be fun! Studies prove that children learn best when they are enjoying themselves. Let your children have a say in their reading material so they learn to see reading as a fun activity and not a chore.
Child’s Reading Level
One of my key goals as an educator is to support your children in becoming independent learners. Part of this process is to enable autonomy through choice and responsibility. By making choices, children become responsible for their learning. To do this, we must give children the tools to make independent choices.
Five Finger Rule
One fantastic method to enable your children to choose correctly levelled reading texts for themselves is to use the ‘Five Finger Rule’. This is a simple and easy method for children of all ages to use as a form of self-assessment.
Ask your child to choose a book they like and to open this book to any random page to read.
If your child:
- ? reads every word perfectly or only
- ? reads one word incorrectly, then this book is not going to sufficiently challenge,
- ? reads 2 words incorrectly, this sits just on the line between a good fit and not challenging enough,
- ? reads 3 words incorrectly, this books is a great fit; levelled appropriately whilst also sufficiently challenging for growth,
- ? reads 4 words incorrectly, this book is now more suitable for a guided reading task with an adult rather than an independent reading book,
- ? reads 5 or more words incorrectly, this book is too challenging for your child’s current level and should be read in the company of an adult.