The Just Right Book
Finding The Just Right Book
The most important thing you can do to support your child at home is to help him/her find a joy in reading. I know that may sound silly, but it's essential for all future reading success. The more children read, the stronger they become! Just like the more a child practices basketball or plays the recorder, the more skilled they become. Reading must be enjoyable for students, which is particulary difficult for children who find reading to be a challenge. That's why giving them a chance to enjoy a book/article/magazine etc. of their choice in a comfortable environment (and never a punishment) is the best thing you can do! I know it can be easier said than done...
The key to success is finding reading material that is in their just right zone (not too easy and not too hard). Here's the catch - if a child is VERY motivated, he or she may want to tackle a challenging text. You could also offer to read with them or be their support. Sometimes students like reading books that are too easy. If it's helping with the motivation piece - let it go. Eventually start encouraging your child to try something else.
How do I know what is JUST RIGHT?
I believe that our leveling system is a very important tool for teachers, and can be valuable information for parents too! However, parents and teachers should not always box kids into a strict level because it can really eliminate the joy of reading and feel deflating. The most simple way to find a just right book is to see if your child can read most of the words on a page. If they can, then carry on! If there are more than 5 difficult words...it's probably too tough and won't be fun for them anyway.
You can also check out "AR Book Find" - this site allows you to search for books related to age level, interest level, and lexile complexity. You an find topics that your child loves at levels he/she can read! Email me if you need some guidance on how to use this helpful site! AR Book Find