How hard should the book be?How do I know if I am buying the right one? I am probably asked this question weekly by parents.
Picking a book to read to your child is pretty easy, finding one that he/she can read independently is a little trickier. Often parents think that should be stretching their child with a “hard book”. I get complaints about school “take home books” being “too easy”!
Children will learn sight words from regular reading. No one is disputing this. It is recommended that children read for up to 10minutes daily.If the books that they read are always challenging it may actually turn them off reading. Reading at home should mostly be about “reading for fun”.
You might actually be surprised by the rule below. Only 2/10 unfamilar words per page is considered the perfect level for both learning and enjoyment.
The 5 Finger Rule
Open a page in the middle of the book and read it using the 5 finger rule:
- Make a fist.
- Hold up one finger for every word that you find tricky
a) Too hard: 5 tricky words = Frustration
4 tricky words = Challenging/instructional level that we would use in school
b) Too easy 0-1 tricky words
c) Just right 2-3 words = Interest level
I made this cute little bookmark for you to downloadand stick into a book or onto a noticeboard for reference.
It is a really great idea to use this rule with your child so that in time he/she can actually make informed choices about what to read.
Clipart by DJInkers