When kids first start learning to read it is vitally important for them to practice. This is what builds fluency and confidence in reading. Through the course of teaching Dominic to read, I have discovered a couple of great series of leveled readers.
The first step of teaching a child to read is having an awesome, solid reading curriculum. I highly recommend Logic of English Foundations.
Check out these posts for more info on LOE:
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What makes a good leveled reader?
There are so many different leveled reader series. Some just take a familiar book and change it a little and stick a number on the cover. Often publishers categorize a book based on the number of words per page and per book. While this is important, it’s not the most important thing.
You need to make sure that the books you’re choosing are books that your kids can read. They should provide a little challenge, but really be within your kids reading ability.
Logic of English includes some readers in every level of Foundations. However, the readers are my least favorite thing about the curriculum. They aren’t very interesting or challenging.
Dominic would breeze through them and wasn’t interested in them.
A good leveled reader should be interesting and keep the child’s attention. This is what will help them persevere through more challenging parts of the book and make them want to finish it. Plus it just makes the act of reading so much more valuable and desirable.
Our Favorite Series of Leveled Readers
Get these series for your new readers!
These books are reminiscent of Bob Books, which most people have heard of; however, these are better! They are more based on phonics and are easier to introduce alongside a good phonics curriculum.
They’re also just more enjoyable stories! Dominic loved reading them over and over, whereas Bob Books were one and done. This is the best leveled reader series for kids to use as their first real books to read.
These are by far our favorite leveled readers. These books are written to have the parent read the left page and the child read the right page. The right page is leveled for the child, but the parent page is more complex.
This series is so well done and the books have been such a joy to read with Dominic. When I tell him to pick a book to read, he always chooses these! He loves reading the book together. When he first started reading, he would get intimidated by a whole book, but with these he knows that he only reads half the pages, so it just seems easier to him.
There are both fiction and nonfiction leveled readers. There are multiple books in this series ranging from from Pre-K through level 3.
The Pre-K and Kindergarten, and K-l levels are all very basic for the kids page with only 1 to 3 words usually. That makes these comparable to the Now I’m Reading or Bobs Books in that they would be good first reading books. What makes these more interesting is that the parent page allows for more complex stories and information in the books.
These are just some of the books available at these levels. There are many others!
As the levels progress, the books progress in difficulty gradually.
You may be able to find some of these at your library. Ours has a few. I ended up buying a lot of them though because Dominic liked them so much! He was able to start reading these level 1-2 books when he was about halfway through LOE Foundations B. Not all kids will be able to at this point, but he was as long as I helped with words that had phonograms he hadn’t learned yet.
Now in LOE Foundations C, Dominic is able to read these level 2 books. They’re just right for him.
Another great thing about these books is they have good re-read value! Dominic often wants to come back and read these books again a few weeks later.
Other Books for Early Readers
In addition to the leveled readers series above, these books are great for early readers who are at least in LOE Foundations C or above.
Leveled readers are an important stepping stone for kids as they learn to read. They give them just enough challenge while building their confidence through gradually increasing in length and word complexity.