What does too easy, too hard and just right look like?
We want to make sure the books we send you are just right for your child. The ideal reading book is one that gives your child a little bit of challenge – but not too much!
After finding the right starting point, children are usually ready to move up a book band every three months with the right support at home and at school. When the team at The Bear Can Read are getting ready to send books from the next book band, we include a card to show you the key features at your child’s current level and what is the additional challenge the new level might present. The challenge between book bands is designed to be extremely subtle and to gently lead your child on. Remember you keep all the books so you can always re-read them. When a child is familiar with a book, re-reading it will build up their confidence and help them to see themselves as a reader. Re-reading a book is also a great opportunity to focus on fluency, expression and understanding the text.
Sometimes a child thinks a book is too easy if…
- they can race through it, reading every word quickly, or
- they think it is uninteresting.
Check they can tell you all about the book. Ask your child about the story line, the characters, the main event and the ending. If they are confident readers they will be able to do this and it is a sign that they are ready for the next book band level.
Ideally your child to be able to read 9/10 words independently. If they are sounding out more than this in a sentence or really struggling to read the book it is a little too hard.
Can your child tell you what’s gone on in the story? Who is the main character? Where is the story set? Can they predict what might happen at the end? If they can’t describe the main story, explain new vocabulary and are finding reading it a struggle, this band might be too challenging.
Just the right book!
You’ll know the book is just right if your child has to work out some of the words, but not so many that they keep stopping and starting and lose the thread of the story. Are they enjoying predicting what is about to happen? Can they tell you something similar that happened to them? Can they predict what might happen next or can they think of a different ending? Maybe a different title too? Would they like to go on a similar adventure? Can they tell you why? Does this book remind them of another story they might have read?
You’ll know that your child is on just the right level when they are still sounding out or pausing on a few words, but they are engaged with the book and can have a conversation about it. The right level book will gently stretch them, without causing frustration. Reading for a short time every day will make a big difference. When your child is on the right book band, they will love spending time reading to you.