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When are kids ready for Chapter Books (read-aloud-together)?

  • I know some of you are already in this stage, but I'm just on the cusp of it (I think) and not sure when to begin. My son is 4 and a half and we've been reading to him since he was tiny; we read stories every night before bed.

    I don't want to push him, but at what age did you/do you start reading chapter books together? And how do you start? What are some of your favorite books for this purpose? I'm just ITCHING to start on a longer reading project with him -- obviously not HIM reading aloud, but me.

    Or am I jumping the gun a bit?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by el-e-e on 16th January 2009
  • It really depends on the kid. My 6-year-old isn't really ready. She enjoys her Junie B books but wants the whole book read or wants to start at the beginning every time vs picking-up where we left off. And she hasn't showed any interest in any of the other chapter books I've shown her.

    The Junie B series is well recommended but has a girl as the main character. Some boys aren't interested in stories about girls. Some parents also object to the bad grammar. The stories are told in Junie's voice and she talks like the 5-year-old she is.

    I've also heard good things about the Magic Treehouse series.

    We recently discovered Minerva Louise. She's a chicken who gets confused about how the people world works. Kids this age find her very funny. As a sort of chapter book test, you could check out 3 of her books from the library and read one each night. They aren't sequential, but you can see how you son takes to visiting the same character several days in a row.

    the Frog and Toad books (or is there just one?) would also be a good test. Short stories in one book that are about the same characters but aren't sequential. Start looking in the early reader section of the library. Those books are easy to read, tend to rhyme and often tend to be broken into chapters.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jenns on 19th January 2009
  • Start as soon as he wants to. Depending on his attention span, you may want to choose shorter chapter books. Look into the easy reader chapter books from the library. They are shorter and easier to digest.

    The more advanced the book, the more your son will learn. You can read a book that is much more complicated than what your son can handle on his own. Charlotte's Web is a great book that kids love to hear.

    The more you challenge your son, the more he will learn. Try it. If he is bored or frustrated try a different book. Good luck!! I love when kids love to read. It is so great!!!!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kimberly Reddington on 23rd January 2009
  • We started reading beginner chapter books to him between kindergarten and first grade. He's is second grade now and is reading on-grade level chapter books on his own. Without us suggesting he read. Curled up in bed. It makes me so proud.

    He brought home the first Harry Potter book in paperback from his mom's house this week. I've been telling him for a few years that he'll start reading all of mine soon. He never thought he would.

    My little sister loved the Junie B. Jones books when she was little too. I don't think I can get a 7 year old boy to read those though!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 24th January 2009

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