How to Find Books at Your Child’s Reading Level

Books are wonderful. In fact, there are few things that can bring joy and peace to a parent like a child getting lost in a good book. After all, beyond a great story, reading can simultaneously boost vocabulary, solidify grammar norms, strengthen logic and reasoning muscles, and nourish creativity. Yet, how can a parent help a child find the reading sweet spot where reading is fun and helping with development?

Getting lost in a good book.
No matter a person’s age, the goal of reading should be to forget that you’re reading and instead be completely absorbed in the book’s story and message. If a child struggles with every 10th word, she may not be able to get lost in the book, causing her to miss some great lessons. If a book is too challenging for a student, two possible responses are to try an easier book or create personalized sight-word flashcards.

Finding a book at your child’s reading level.
The Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) and Accelerated Reader’s Bookfinder are two of many ways to determine a book’s reading level. Most educational publishers use some sort of standard. If you can’t find a book level, try an online tool like an automatic readability checker that can tell you the reading level for a paragraph or page. Beyond these more formal resources, you can also simply ask your child to summarize what she has read to check for comprehension.

Using sight word flashcards.
Sight words are common words that kids should recognize instantly. Because books often use the same words over and over, it’s essential for beginner readers to master these words, and flash cards can be a very helpful tool for practicing those words. Download AOP’s sight-word flash card template and challenge your beginning reader to ace 100 sight words in one minute.

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