Is This Book Too Difficult?
Parents often do not know when a book is too difficult for a child or when it is time to move the child to a more challenging reading level. The way to determine if the book is too difficult is to count the number of reading errors your child makes, divide by the number of words in the book, and multiply by 100, thereby arriving at percent accuracy (% accuracy = number of errors/total number of words x 100). If the child skips a word, misreads a word, or inserts an extra word, it is considered a reading error. If a child makes a mistake and then self-corrects, it is not counted as an error. Repeating a word or words is also not considered a reading error. If the reading accuracy is less than 90%, the book is too difficult.
Children should all begin reading in Level 1 (Level A) and then move up when they are ready. It is important to give children reading material on which their reading accuracy is between 90 to 95%. Otherwise the child will become discouraged and frustrated. Giving a child books to read at the appropriate reading level helps the child to feel successful and gain confidence in reading. Every few books, parents can inconspicuously assess the child’s reading level by jotting down the number of mistakes and then counting the number of words in the book, after the child has finished reading.
Make reading a positive experience. Try to read in a quiet area with few distractions. Always praise the child’s efforts!