Weekly Visits To The Library

Both you and your child can be benefit greatly from weekly visits to your local library.

Take your time in the library. It is very helpful to ask the librarian for help in choosing books. Spend time discussing what books to choose. Read the blurb on the back, skim through the book' look at the pictures and size of the text. Make sure to borrow books that appeal to your children. (Forget the difficulty level for the moment.)

Children Benefit From Three Levels Of Books

1. Read-Aloud Books

Read the harder but interesting books your child wants to listen to, as your child ‘follows with his eyes’ whilst sitting next to you. This is how good readers became so good – by being read to, and then finishing the book themselves.

2. Books Children Can Read Themselves

a) Five-Finger Method

This is a great method for silent testing. Have your learner read aloud with no help at all from you. To gauge their current reading level, put a finger down for every unknown or difficult word. Don’t count names of people or places. If you end up with five fingers down on any page, the book is too hard! Choose an easier one – lots of easy ones!

b) One-Word-In-25 Unknown

Use this method as a benchmark for books that have only a small amount of text on each page, e.g. there are many excellent illustrated children’s books.

3. In-Between Books

In-between books are books that are a bit too hard for your child, but they want to read the book anyway. You can skim-read each chapter first and note the sentences or parts that your child could read aloud. Then stop at an interesting part.

Let your child finish reading the rest of the chapter silently to himself or herself before going to sleep. Don’t worry if your child can’t read every single word, provided that he or she understands and enjoys the story. Read the rest of the chapter yourself but pretend you haven’t, and then ask your child to tell you what happened.

Choose A Suitable Place For Lessons

Use comfortable side-by-side seating at a table. Shared reading may be side-by-side on a sofa. Sometimes it’s just great to sit on the floor! Find a quiet area with no other children running around, and keep the television and radio turned off.