Parents of early readers in kindergarten and primary grades will find it is a bit more difficult to find “just right books” for their children. Some books are too easy and most are too hard for independent reading. Summer is near after an incredibly difficult challenge of parenting AND teaching our children at home. Now many parents are faced with the worry of the summer slide.
The time off from school causes many kids to slide backward in their learning. Without the rigor and expectations that occur in the classroom setting, some kids lose some of that knowledge that just didn’t stick. This leaves many families worried about finding appropriate reading materials for their children. It was hard enough to do so during the school year.
Most of our books we have in our home libraries do not support independent reading for our kindergarten readers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they are not good books. I’m saying they may not be good books for your kindergarten reader. Parents tend to have their child read books that are too hard for them because that is what is available. Then they tell their child every word they pause on. It’s natural. We all tend to want to speed things along OR help. I’m afraid this is not the best way to support your young reader. We must find books closer to their level so the reader can figure out their own words. That is just not easy to do!
Finding books for kindergarten readers at their reading level
Without access to my classroom library, I spent a lot of time using online resources during our distance learning. Library.org has lots of options if you know what you’re looking for. It’s free and easy to plug in your title and borrow it online. I actually used it a lot for accessing making videos of my read alouds. This is a great option for read alouds and more experienced readers. I didn’t find that they offered as many options for independent reading materials for my youngest readers.
It is important to have leveled options and books sorted and based on their interests. I wanted options like our own classroom library bins offered them. In addition I was giving some of my kids reading instruction, too.
Try Epic! as an online resource for kindergarten readers
So I suggested reading ideas using Epic!. In our virtual learning environment, I was actually able to Google Meet with my students for a guided lesson. We each pull up the designated book at the level I have chosen for us to work on and then I can give a guided reading lesson! Parents can use the teacher’s suggested level or find an appropriate level that works for their child. Check out the reading suggestions for knowing if a book is just right in my post about just right books here.
Fountas & Pinnell is a reliable leveling system to use
I use the F & P reading level – that stands for Fountas & Pinnell – which is a researched leveling system that educators use in classrooms. It is more consistent than some of the other leveling systems out there. You may find when searching for books for your child to read that they are marked with numbered or lettered levels. Unfortunately they are not consistent. With every publisher, comes a different method of leveling a book. So I like to go with the researched option above. Epic! offers many books in their database that are leveled in this way.
One of my kindergarten readers and I worked on F & P Level G books today and found they were JUST RIGHT! I was glad that Epic! has a tab for pulling up this leveling system in the Learning to Read section. We were able to pick books quickly together. Students that I’m not meeting regularly with are enjoying books surrounding their interests, favorite authors, and classroom favorite read alouds. They can have the some books read to them and there is even a language feature for my ELL students.
Let me promote this resource a bit more for you and your kindergarten reader!
This digital library for kindergarten readers gives you a free trial for 30 days! Epic! is the leading eBook subscription service for kids, and consistently a Top 5 app in the Kids category of Apple’s App Store. Epic!’s award-winning library provides instant access to more than 10,000 high-quality books for kids 12 and under.
The list goes on and on for reasons this subscription is so widely popular with educators and parents.
- Kids on Epic! can read as much as they want, anytime, anywhere (unlimited reading on the Web, Android and iOS devices).
- Kids discover new books they’ll love with personalized recommendations based on their reading level and interests. Badges and rewards offer extra motivation to read.
- Popular and award-winning books and series include Ramona, Big Nate, Flat Stanley, National Geographic, Disney, Goosebumps, Ella Enchanted, Fancy Nancy, Warriors, and more.
- A wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles in a variety of formats including picture books, early readers, chapter books, Read-to-Me’s and Audiobooks.
- Epic’s library includes more than 500 Spanish and bilingual Spanish/English books.
- In a recent survey of 1,000 teachers who use Epic!, 98% of educators would recommend Epic!
The support and awards this digital library has received is quite impressive and you may view their Press Page here. I think you will find it easy and fun for your kids to use!
Check back soon as I continue to try out quality resources to recommend for learning at home.