By grade 5, reading problems must be tackled immediately, consistently and effectively. When your child goes on to high school, he will have a much more difficult time developing real and lasting improvements in his reading abilities.
One-on-one reading is the best approach for developing reading skills and attitudes for children age 10 and up. The readability level of text must be closely matched to the tested reading level of your child – check with your child's teacher on this, or use the HIP Three-Minute Reading Check for a rough guide.
Children at this age will no longer read picture books, nor will boys read books where a girl is the central character, nor will children read non-fiction that isn't connected to a topic of interest. Therefore, book selection becomes a key factor in keeping up regular reading at home.
- HIP Junior or HIP Senior novels, depending on the reading ability of your child.
- Series books – Goosebumps, Captain Underpants, Gordon Korman adventure series
- Comic books
- Joke books, humor
- Non-fiction that connects to your child's interests (sports, cars, motorcycles, hunting, whatever)
At this age, your child may or may not be willing to read aloud for you. Unfortunately, unless you can hear your child read aloud, you'll have a hard time providing word-level support for him. On the other hand, you can offer comprehension support by asking questions or using graphic organizers such at those in our HIP teacher's guides.
Here are some questions that will help boost comprehension:
- What happened in the chapter you just read?
- What do you think is going to happen next in the story?
- Does the central character remind you of any of your friends? How?
- What would you do if you were in ____'s situation?
- Can you point out three funny (exciting, weird) parts in what you read?
- Does the story (issue) remind you anything in real life?
- How do you like the book? Why do you feel that way? Can you read me one particularly good (or bad) section?
- If you could ask the author a question, what would it be?
One of the differences between a good reader and a reluctant reader is that a good reader has a variety of fix-up skills to help when comprehension breaks down. The most important of these is a reader knowing when he's “not getting it.” Identifying that point is a key skill. Once a child understands where his comprehension breaks down, he can try to fix it by any number of means:
- Rereading tough text
- Slowing down the reading speed
- Looking back (or forwards) in the text
- Taking on-going notes (on characters, or plot issues)
- Asking for help from you or the teacher
Without a doubt, the amount of time a child spends reading has a tremendous impact on how well he or she reads. If your child's school is pushing books that are too hard to not very interesting (the recent Common Core Standards movement is behind some of this), it's important to have readable and enjoyable books available at home. HIP has three series of books that are useful with this age group: HIP SR, HIP Fantasy and HIP Xtreme. The best book for your child depends on his or her interests and abilities.