starting chapter books

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starting chapter books

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1honeydew69862004
Fév 21, 2011, 9:03am

I was thinking about starting a chapter book with my son who is 6. I'm not sure if this is a good idea. When did you start reading a chapter book to your child? Or should I just let him read chapter books himself when he gets to the right age?

2SylviaC
Fév 21, 2011, 10:33am

There's no reason not to start now, just make sure it's something that will interest him. I found that around the age of 5 or 6 was the only chance I had to read chapter books to my kids, because once they could do it on their own, they didn't want me to read to them any more.

3CalicoCat
Fév 21, 2011, 10:46am

I started reading chapter books to my daughter (now age 7) when she was 4. We have read Magic Treehouse, Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume's Fudge books, Boxcar Children, Puppy Place and many more.

I has worked great for us! I enjoy reading books with a little more substance and I think it's been good for her reading skills - comprehension, etc.

Even though she can read really well on her own now, she still loves to have me read to her, especially at bedtime.

4bookel
Fév 21, 2011, 3:20pm

Reading to your child a chapter book is a great idea, even if it is beyond their current reading ability as the above poster said. Teachers sometimes read books to their students and these will be remembered when the child is older (eg. I recall my grade 5 teacher reading to the class The Twits by Roald Dahl and The Hobbit, and a book about Helen Keller), and they might want to read the book to themselves. So there is no reason why parents can't do the same thing.

5DK1010
Fév 21, 2011, 3:29pm

You can (and I think should) read to him at any time. His understanding and comprehension will be far above his reading ability. Keep him interested by reading the classics and some kids books.

When reading way above his level - just read and share the pictures with him. Don't try to involve him in the reading. Even get some audio books, and let them do the reading.

To help teach him to read: Choose very simple books.
Before you start reading together, choose an easy word (like a, I, me, an, the, bee, his name, the main topic's word). Show him the word and tell him that every time he sees that word, he will read it. Use your finger and move it along under the words as you read them; pause when you come to the chosen word and let him read it. You can do this with him for one or two short books a day. For a few weeks, choose a different word every day. After a month or so when he can handle it, start again at the a. From now on he always reads every "a". When that is not a struggle, add "I"; he always reads a and I, when that is comfortable, add "an" as a third word and keep building. In a year or so, he'll be reading full books.

Some of our favorite first Chapter books a little above the very basics were:

Nate the Great by Marjorie Sharmat (our first mystery series)

Mr. Putter and Tabby by Cynthia Rylant

Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant

Titch by Pat Hutchins (this might be a picture book, but we loved it)

If he likes non fiction find some of the How it works books by Gibbons like How a House is Built

I always keep the books he reads very simple. But read more complex ones aloud to and with him.

In second grade, my boy took and read the 2nd Harry Potter book because he couldn't wait for me to finish my chores and come read more to him. I was reading about two chapters of literature a day to him at that time.

6bookhobbyjapan
Fév 21, 2011, 5:27pm

young children who are used to listening to picture books will handle listening to longer books with ease.

have a look at the the read aloud handbook for lots of information for parents and reading to their children.

7theexiledlibrarian
Fév 26, 2011, 9:58am

I am currently reading Toy Dance Party by Emily Jenkins to my 1st graders at school. They love it. We read Toys Go Out last semester, so start with that one if you go for this author. Any kid who has seen Toy Story will like it.

I read aloud to my own children from the time they were babies until they were older elementary. I started chapter books with my daughter when she was fairly young...things like Peter Pan, The Fairy Rebel, and her favorite Winnie the Pooh. At the age of 4, she could pick out her favorite Pooh chapters (the one where he's stuck in Rabbit's hole and where Piglet is rescued from the flood were re-read a lot) to re-read; and she could quote passages! She now has a 2 year old, and is reading to her.

8ltcl
Mar 9, 2011, 10:28am

I think a mixture of both is in order- love "Mouse and the Motorcycle", "Encyclopedia Brown"
and abridged versions of classics for you to read to him. He will find out the joy of reading a big kid book all by himself to be a great reward. I would suggest- "Ready Freddy", "Flat Stanley" , "Magic Tree House" and "A-Z Mysteries" for starters. Best of luck!

9smilinkyn
Mar 9, 2011, 4:49pm

Ahh...my first chapter books! Classics like the Ramona series, James and the Giant Peach! Sadly, they didn't have out all the cute books they do now, like Ron Roy's series or the Bailey School Kids series! Instill a love of reading in them now, and you nor your child will ever regret it! God Bless! Happy Reading! ;o)

10hollyhox
Modifié : Avr 3, 2011, 3:26pm

I just want to second how brilliant Judy Blume's Fudge books are, particularly Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. I think it's the perfect first chapter book for a child to read (or to read to a child).

It's written from 9-year-old Peter's point of view, and 6-year-olds are always interested in what older kids are doing. The incredible thing about ToaFGN is that the main conflict doesn't take place until the final (10th) chapter. The rest of the chapters of the book can be read as stand-alone short stories. This is great for kids with short attentions spans - if they get antsy, there are many good stopping places, and the story is easy to get back into.

Although the first 9 chapters are vignettes about life with a 2-year-old, the set-up for the final conflict was there all along. (SPOILERS) It is established in the first chapter that Fudge will eat anything, no matter how bad it tastes. It seems implausible that Fudge could eat a turtle, but in chapter 4, Fudge fell and knocked out his front teeth, which would make it easier for him to get a turtle into his mouth. The set-up was there all along.

It's hard to believe this is only the second book Judy Blume ever wrote! Reading it again as an adult for my Children's Literature class gave me a whole new appreciation for it. I feel like this is the point where children's literature achieved perfection.

11redturtle
Avr 17, 2011, 12:15pm

Good quality chapter books are great for younger kids, because the vocabulary and ideas are stimulating. They should also have lots of picture books, too. So many parents think that when you begin reading chapter books or a kid reads on his own there is no need for picture books. Not true! A good early chapter book is My Father's Dragon because there are wonderful illustrations every few pages. Another good one is The Mouse and the Motorcycle and a shorter one is Jane Martin, Dog Detective or The Enormous Crocodile. I read one of these to my preschool class at the end of every year, and most of the 4 year old kids are ready to listen!

12NoraMaher
Juin 27, 2012, 12:18pm

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