Mrs. Pizzo’s Workshop: Should I only select books at my child’s reading level?

photo of Mrs Pizzo

A: No, children should enjoy books at every level if the book is interesting to them.

Picture this: a table stacked full of brightly illustrated, fun and engaging books ready for children to select. Only there’s one problem. When a child chooses a book that might be more difficult than their reading range, often the adult instructs them to return it and select something else. The child is typically heart-broken and uninterested in selecting another at this point.

I know adults have the best intentions in helping children select a ‘just right book’ for their skill level. But one of the main aspects of becoming a reader is reading books that are of interest — even if it means the adult must help by reading the book to them.

Yes, as an educator and former literacy coach who has helped reluctant readers become great readers, I know there are many strategies to develop essential reading skills. However, parents and caregivers should not feel pressured in carrying the sole responsibility for skill development. I believe a parent’s key role in raising a reader is to model consistent reading habits and the enjoyment of books.

Some books are meant to challenge and stretch a child in their reading growth and some books are nostalgic and reinforce great memories connected to reading. Reading skills develop more quickly when children are engaging with books they have chosen and excited to read.

Happy Learning,
Mrs. Pizzo

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