The homework book is chosen from the familiar books that were read that day. It should sound quite easy because it has been read at least 3 times at school (when it was introduced, as a running record, as a familiar book).
The purpose of sending ‘easy’ books home is:
- to give the student confidence to read (and proudly show off) at home,
- to give the student the opportunity to be phrased and fluent (sound like a good reader- fluency is important because it helps the student to maintain meaning, and therefore more readily predict what is likely to come next) and
- to give the student the opportunity to notice more visual parts of words. When familiar books are reread the meaning is already known and more effort can go into looking at the print. (Each time the student rereads a book there is an opportunity to notice something that has never been noticed before, e.g. at and cat look similar, yesterday has 2 words l know in it, clever and mother end the same way.)
I am constantly judging if l think that the student is ready to go to the next level of books. This is based on:
- how the reading sounds, (the words may be correct but it may be painfully slow)
- how much reading work the student tries and how often he / she succeeds, (some children only know a word because the teacher has helped, some children wait to be told what to do, sometimes a child may only try one time, or one way, to work out a word and then give up) and
- how much the student understands the meaning of what has been read. (Some children need a lot of help with the vocabulary and sentence structure because it becomes less like his /her speech the higher the level.)
Be careful of pushing your child to read harder books at home because he or she may not be ready, and may stop enjoying reading. You can always borrow more challenging books from the library and make this a sharing time. You could do most of the reading and your child could join in.