Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Five Finger Rule

How do I know if a book is too challenging for my child or not challenging enough? Should I challenge my child with tougher books to strengthen her reading level? Grade level books should be a good fit right?

Unfortunately, not every child reads on the same level. Some read on higher levels while some read on lower levels and that's okay. No matter what level your child reads on, that doesn't mean it's a life sentence. Childhood is riddled with milestones and sometimes reading isn't a priority. It's not unheard of for reading levels to spring up later in life. Forcing a non-reader to read can backfire and you don't want that to happen! Keep reading a fun and enjoyable pastime! Make sure the subjects are of interest to the child and that the level is just right and this is where the Five Finger Rule comes into play. Take any book and pick any page. Let your child read a couple pages and hold up one finger for every word they come across that they don't know. See the chart below.

                                              -  0 to 1 fingers - Too easy
                                              - 2 to 3 fingers - A good, comfortable level
                                              - 4 fingers - A slightly more challenging level
                                              - 5 fingers - Danger zone...frustrating level

Make sure to read with your children too! Children follow Mom and Dad's lead and you can share more challenging books with your child and make it a learning experience by talking about and defining those trouble words.

Happy Reading!!

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