The Goldilocks Rule
We all know the story of goldilocks and the three bears, but here is a quick recap just in case. Goldilocks eats their porridge, sits in their chairs, and sleeps in their beds. When she tries the bowls of porridge, the first one is too hot, the second one is too cold but the last one is just right. This pattern of finding the perfect fit continues as she sits in their chairs and sleeps in their beds. Hidden behind the moral to never take or use things that belong to others without their permission, another lesson can be learned. What lesson is that? How to pick the perfect book of course!
When your child is looking for a good book to read she should follow the Goldilocks rule. The book shouldn’t be too easy or too hard. It needs to be just right! Here are some tips for helping your child find their next book.
Too Easy: An easy book offers no challenge for your child. A book may be too easy for them if your child:
- knows all the words
- reads the book too quickly
- has read the book a few times before
- has the book, or parts of it memorized
- is bored when reading
Too Hard: A hard book offers too big a challenge for your child. A book may be too hard for them if your child:
- struggles to sound out most of the words
- reads the book word by word, sounded robotic
- doesn’t understand what is happening in the story
- gives up, or gets frustrated while reading
Just Right: A book that is just right, offers an achievable challenge for your child. A book maybe just right for them if your child:
- knows most of the words
- reads the book smoothly
- understands what is happening in the story
- gets excited to continue reading
Try using the Goldilocks rule with your child the next time you visit the bookstore or the library. Finding the right book is an important part of developing your child's confidence and enthusiasm for reading. The best way to test the Goldilocks rule is to have your child read the first page of a book before taking it home. In most cases the first page is enough to determine if a book is too easy, too hard, or … like Goldilocks … just right!