Many parents are familiar with such a common problem as the unwillingness of children to read. Let me tell you one secret: in most cases, it’s not the kid to blame – it must be the wrong book offered. And pretty often, parents buy books that do not correspond to kid’s vocabulary. How to choose a book for a child so that it would be easy to read? Here’s one interesting trick called “The rule of five fingers”.
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The “Five-Finger Rule” is a test that can be used to decide whether a child’s vocabulary is big enough for him to understand and read a particular book. Before a child learns to use this rule on their own, parents should practice it with their kids at least several times.
So, how does it work?
Five Finger Rule
Here’s what you should do:
- Straighten your fingers on one of the hands.
- Open the book in the middle – on any page.
- Start reading. When you meet a word that your child does not know, bend one finger.
- If you meet other words that your child does not know, continue bending fingers. One unknown word – one finger.
- At the end of the page, complete the test.
- Now, judging by the number of bent fingers, you can decide whether the chosen book fits your child.
Summarizing the test:
- 0 fingers – the book is too simple.
- 1-2 fingers is a great choice.
- 3-4 fingers – worth a try (1–5 fingers is just the book you should buy).
- More than 5 fingers – the book is too complicated for your little one yet.
If you or your child bent 1-5 fingers during the test, this means that you are holding the right book in your hands. It is well suited for your child and will contribute to his further development and learning. This is the best choice.
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No simple books then?
You didn’t bend a finger while testing a chosen book? It must be too simple for your kid. However, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy it – your little ones are free to select any stories that seem to be appealing. Besides, it helps to get accustomed to comfort while reading, as well as to the diversity of literature – dealing with different difficulty levels is important.
What about complicated books?
If a page contains more than 5 unfamiliar words, this means that the book is too complex, will cause internal stress, and possibly discourage your kid from reading. Such books can be set aside for later reading when the child’s vocabulary is enriched and allows them to be read more freely.
Next time, when you visit a book shop and ask yourself ‘How to choose a book for a child?’, keep in mind that the plot and illustrations are not the only criteria that matter. Kid’s vocabulary should correspond with what’s on the pages.
There are no kids who hate reading – it’s just important to select a suitable book. I hope that the Five finger rule will help you purchase the literature that your children will truly enjoy. Only this way, you will fuel further interest in reading.
Cover image: Daria Shevtsova (Pexels)