Reading & Graded Readers
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Graded Reading Books and Levelled Readers
Children reading books are one of the most effective ways that parents can promote their kid’s language and cognitive skills. Reading early reader books to your kids helps form an intimate bond, and gives your young ones a sense of love and wellbeing. Kids will associate these positive emotions with reading, and develop a positive attitude towards books as they grow up. This makes it easier for them to do better at school. Kids reading books also promote the expansion of a child’s attention span, which is essential for the development of prewriting, mathematics, and other skills.
You can also use early reader books as a way to prepare your child for some challenges they may go through in life. For example, you can choose books about insects, if they are afraid of them, or about going to school, before their first day at kindergarten.
Fostering the love of reading for kids
If you are like most parents, you would like your child to discover the love of reading early in life. Kids naturally develop a love for books as toddlers when they look at picture books. They may even like going through some early reader books. As kids reach the ks1 reading levels, there are more and more bigger words to learn and reading usually becomes hard work. In this modern world, where kids are surrounded by so many screens and other distractions, reading may feel more of a chore than play.
How then can you motivate a long-lasting love of reading to your child?
Children are more likely to follow what their parent do than what they say. The first and best way to teach the love of reading for kids is, therefore, to let them see you read books. Your child needs to feel that reading is a pleasant experience, not something chore that you are forcing them to do.
You should, however, let your child learn at their own pace. Once they develop the preliminary skills, kids usually naturally learn to read. If you push them, they will feel dumb and avoid reading, perhaps, for most of their lives. An effortless way to avoid such situations where your child gets frustrated is to teach them using graded readers.
Graded readers provide children with a reading development path. As children grow up and get exposed to more advanced reading material, their comprehension and reading levels also improve. As such, books are graded according to different child reading levels.
Grading is based on vocabulary, the complexity of grammar structures and also by the number of words. Graded readers cater for all reading levels, from reception reading levels to books for 6-year-olds to read themselves. Reading levels for books also enable parents and teachers to choose books that will be most interesting and are appropriate for their kid’s age and needs. For example, year 1 reading level kids enjoy books with colourful drawings and pictures of people.
Graded readers allow parents to choose books from a range of publishers, while maintaining a consistent and appropriate challenge for their kids. This flexibility brings a wider selection and scope to children’s reading material, making reading more fun and autonomous for them. There are several ways that kids reading books are graded, such as book band colours, year groups, the PM reading levels, and the Egmont reading ladder.
Book band Colours
The Primary school reading levels colours commonly begin at Lilac (wordless books for primary reading levels) through, pink, red, blue, green, orange reading level, turquoise, purple, gold, white, lime, brown, grey, blue, and dark red(books for 6-year-olds to read themselves). Children advance through the book band colours as their reading ability improves. There is a wide variety of books available in each colour-band, and kids can find books that they find fun and engaging at each stage.
Parents and teachers can continually assess which reading level kids are at and when they should move up. School reading levels reading material is too complicated and can put off budding readers who are still at reception reading levels. At the same time, you need to avoid the trap of over-simplification. Kids should read books that are a little above their level, so they can get challenged to learn more.
Children’s stories to read
Stories are undoubtedly an essential part of children’s literacy development. They offer a rich source of vocabulary and familiarity with narrative structure. They are also a good motivator for kids to read and tackle the next reading levels. Parents can read a book together with their kids until the child is hooked and wants to know how the story ends. You can then tell them to try and finish the book alone and tell you how the story ended. If they find it difficult to finish the book, you might have to drop back one child reading level or two. Explore more literacy resources here.