No, I’m not talking about Franklin or Robert Munch, though very excellent books that we read to our kids regularly. The three books that I recommend to all first, second and third graders are the following:
1) The home run book
This is the book that your child can read front to back with ease. They know the story, they can pick it up, read it, and be able to say “I can read this, I’m good at reading.” It’s the confidence building book.
2) The grade level book
This is the book that is at your child’s grade/reading level. This is the book with the new sight words and vocabulary they’re learning. The book with new grammar and sentence structure. With this book, I often recommend parents pre-read the book and pick out any words that are new or have previously been difficult for your child to say or understand. Take these words and practice them on flashcards first, and then when your child sees them in the context of the book, they’ll recall the words from your practice and be able to build a better connection and understanding of the word and its meaning.
3) The good story book
This is the book that you are reading to your child. Whether they’re following along or not, this is the book that fosters a love for reading and books. These are the Harry Potters, or the other chapter books that your child is asking you to read. Learning to read can be an incredibly enjoyable process when the love of reading is kindled with good stories.
Reading is a skill that demands a lot of our visual system. Armed with these three books, the task of learning to read can be an enjoyable and encouraging process.