How to Help Your Child Find a “Just Right” Book

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Beginning readers at Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven, MA

Welcome back to another week of Teacher Mom Monday! This week we are talking more about helping your child with reading.

Do you ever take your children to the bookstore or the library and wonder if the books that they pick out are the right reading level for them? As an experienced teacher, so many parents ask me what level books should their child be reading at home. Finding the answer to this question is much easier than you might think.

I want my students to read books that are just right for them. What is a “just right” book? It is a book that a child can decode (read the words) and comprehend (understand) independently. For more information about decoding, read my post 5 tried and true decoding strategies to help your child learn to read.

How can you help your child find a book that is  “just right” to read independently?

Use this simple list of guidelines. Open up the book and find a page for your child to read.  The book should be one that:

  • is interesting to your child
  • can be read fluently, with just a few bumpy or choppy parts
  • most of the words can be decoded easily
  • has just 2-3 challenging words on the page
  • when your child does encounter a challenging word, he/she can figure it out without losing the meaning
  • your child can retell to you in their own words

Many times, children want to read books that are above their reading level.  If your child wants to read a book that is more challenging, read it to your child or with your child. Then, talk about the book. Your child will hear the fluency and intonation in your voice, as well as develop the vocabulary as it is used in context. You will create wonderful memories through books.

I hope you find this post helpful.  Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

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