Brains that are learning to read are engaged in three ways- through ears, eyes, and heart.

EARS and BRAIN books:

  • Keep reading aloud to your child while they are learning to read.
  • Children hear and understand text at much higher levels than they can decode and read by themselves.
  • Build vocabulary through hearing new words used in context.
  • Talk about the story or ideas in the book to deepen comprehension skills.

EYES and BRAIN books:

  • A “practice” book deals with whatever reading skill your child is working on
  • Repeated reading develops mastery (just like practicing piano scales)
  • Check with your child’s teacher for suggestions of what skills to practice
  • Encourage your child, celebrate each new skill, and reassure them that growing into a terrific reader takes practice.

HEART and BRAIN books:

  • Motivation is critical to help new readers persist through the not-so-fun early stages of learning to read.
  • Any book that your child enjoys, spends time looking at, and wants to hear over and over builds motivation to learn to read.

Make sure you are spending time developing your child’s brain in all three directions (and don’t be surprised if the same book moves through more than one category, as your developing reader engages with it)!

Here are some booklists to help:

Early Readers

Leveled Books

Want more info? Check out our “Learning to Read is a Puzzle” post