The Reading Corner: Reading With The Reluctant 5-8 Year Old



5-8 year olds!    These kids are little intellectual sponges who can soak up an unlimited amount of information.  But what if your child is intelligent,  yet hates to read. First of all, no child will learn to read with ease until he is ready.

Think about when your child learned to walk.  Some children can walk at 10 months of age and some can’t walk until they are 12 or 13 months old.  There’s nothing wrong with a child who is a late bloomer.  The child who didn’t walk until they were 13 months old caught up with the child who walked at 10 months.

So take a deep breath and RELAX!  I would not worry if my child couldn’t read until he is  about 8 or 9  years old.  Until then, read to your child, listen to books on tape, and be creative.  Once your child is 8,  you may want to seek additional help.

Children need to feel comfortable with books.  If your child is not reading, get some picture books and let him make up stories. Read the material to him.  Use audio books.   Let him read road signs, magazine, comic books.  The goal is to let reading be enjoyable and not a struggle.

Don’t let your well meaning family members or friends dictate the reading habits of  your family.  Don’t compare yourself or your child with anyone else.  Remember we are all “uniquely and wonderfully made in the image of God” and it doesn’t matter if your child is a later bloomer.

Chapter books can be a bit daunting for a young child.  If they are story books with ease, slowly introduce chapter books.  First of all, show the book to your child and explain that they don’t have to read the book in one sitting.  Read with them.  Maybe you can read the first chapter together and then they can read by themselves.  Or you can read the book together.  Consider letting your child read a chapter book aloud to younger siblings.

Listed below are some books that your 5-8 year olds may enjoy reading:

1.  Magazines:  Highlights, Humpty Dumpty, Ranger Rick

2.  Books in the Easy Reader section of the Library such as the “I Can Read Series”, “Dr. Suess’ Beginner Books or “Bright and Early” Series or   “Berenstein Bears”

3.  Curious George series by H.A. Rey

4.  Madeline series by Ludwig Bemelmans

5.  Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

6.  Flat Stanly series by Jeff Brown

7.  Amelia Bedilia  series by Peggy Parish

8.  Nate the Great series by Marjorie Sharmat

9.  Harry the Dirty Dog series by Gene Zion

10.  American Girls series by various authors

11. Ramona series and any book by Beverly Cleary

12.  The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner

13.    Mr. Poppers Penguins by Richard Atwater

14.   Charlotte’s Webb by E.B. White

15.   Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald J. Sobol

16.  Hank the Cow Dog series by John R. Erickson and Gerald L. Holmes (the audio books are great)

There are a lot of great non-fiction books for children this age written with all interests in mind.  Look at any  book that might appeal to your child carefully before  you check in out of the library or buy it.  Look for great illustrations.  Some of these books may be too difficult for kids in this age group to read alone but are great books to simply “read the pictures” or to use as read alouds.  These are also great books for dad to share with the kids. National Geographic has a great series called “Explore My World” for the animal lovers.  National Geographic has a great series called “Explore My World” for the animal lovers.

And above all, PRAY and ask God for wisdom.  Remember He gives wisdom to those who diligently ask, so ASK!



About pcobb0

I am a wife and mother to two wonderful adult children who I had the privilege of homeschooling from their pre-school through high school years. While homeschooling, I served in various leadership positions in local homeschool support groups including president. I also served as the Education Coordinator and Director of ENAACT Family Academy, a homeschool co-op in New Braunfels, Tx .Prior to homeschooling, I spent 11 years teaching elementary school aged children in both public and private schools. During my time teaching in the public school system, I earned a Master's Degree in Reading Education as well as a Reading Specialist certification. My hobbies include reading and cooking and I plan to take up scrapbooking and maybe photography in the near future. I am now an empty nester discovering what God has in store for me during this next season of life.
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