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We all want our kids to be great readers. We want them to love learning. But when a child struggles to read, that love of learning can be dashed to bits along with self-confidence.
We deal with dyslexia and ADHD in a child who tested at high school level comprehension when he was 7 years old. I can tell you now that when we had him tested officially and got back the results, it was a huge mingling of grief over the struggles and relief over knowing that it wasn’t my teaching that was the issue. As the oldest, he definitely made me question my abilities more than once 😉
Since then, we have found an amazing dyslexia remediation program called MindPlay (you can read about that here) and have a host of tricks and tips that we use to make reading more fun for Mr. T.
One of the best things we have done is invest in several high low books series for him. These resources are perfect to help build up the confidence of a struggling or reluctant reader.
High Interest Low Readability – The What and Why
“Cat sat on Sam.
Mat sat on Sam.
Sad Sam. Sad Mat.”
This little excerpt is perfect for the early reader. It might even elicit a little giggle from the easily pleased 4 year old. But what happens when your eight year old is struggling to read beyond these simple words?
Your older, struggling reader is not going to find a lot of motivation to press on when the stories he’s stuck reading are painfully childish to him. It’s incredibly discouraging, even demeaning, and can be damaging to his self-esteem. Reading can be difficult enough without those added frustrations thrown into the mix!
Reading is a rather complex brain activity. Not every brain is wired exactly the same. This fact can mean the difference between one child flying through The Chronicles of Narnia in 2nd grade and another child struggling to read Bob books in the 3rd grade. Some children have challenges with dyslexia, processing, comprehending, or decoding. Both vision and hearing play roles in reading proficiency as well.
Outside factors often contribute to reading difficulties. The lack of literary experience in the early years, training that doesn’t address your child’s specific needs, or hidden challenges could all be culprits. But the fact remains, an eight year old isn’t going to enjoy the same kind of reading material that his 4 year old sister can’t get enough of. Just because he might share a similar level of reading as his little sister, doesn’t mean he shares her level of interest.
High Interest Books for Reluctant Readers
Enter scholastic high interest low level books for kids! These books are written with struggling readers in mind, providing topics of interest to their age range while keeping it within their reading level. A perfect add on to academic studies! Struggling readers don’t have to feel embarrassed by their reading choices with high/low books. At the same time, they get to build confidence and fluency in reading because these stories fit their level and interest. High/low books are a win all around!
The tricky part can be finding these high/low books. Not all are created equal. A high/low book is very purposefully and carefully written, and includes:
- Compelling story
- Credible and distinguishable characters
- Appropriate illustrations and text placement
- Straightforward plot development
- Reinforcement of vocabulary with a few higher level words to keep building reading vocabulary
- Simple sentences
Mercy Watson to the Rescue Comprehension Pack
Kate DiCamillo, the beloved author of Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux, has a fun and engaging low level chapter book series. The hero of the stories is Mercy Watson, a fun-loving pig who can’t get enough of adventure and buttered toast. The Mercy Watson books are early chapter-book readers that are excellent for children up to 4th grade with a K-1st grade reading level.
This Mercy Watson to the Rescue comprehension pack is 12 pages (plus an answer page) of fun for your student! Spelling, comprehension, and even creative writing and drawing are sure to make their reading lessons fun and encouraging.
This Mercy Watson to the Rescue Reading Comprehension pack includes:
- 3 pages of comprehension questions divided into two chapter sections
- 6 pages of spelling and fill-in-the-blank questions divided into two chapter sections
- Fact or opinion page
- 2 drawing/writing prompt pages
- answer key
You gan purchase this pack in our shop here.
Hi-Lo Readers for Elementary and Middle Grades
There are many wonderful hi-lo readers for elementary and middle grades. These are just a few of our favorites! We especially love the ones that are series because Mr. T can keep reading about the characters he loves.
Niagara Falls, Or Does It?Mercy Watson to the RescueMagic Tree House Books 1-4: Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, Mummies in the Morning, and Pirates Past NoonCam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen DiamondsA Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr.Avalanche Dog Heroes: Piper and Friends Learn to Search the SnowHow a House Is BuiltJudy MoodyBeezus and Ramona
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