The thrill of cracking open a brand new book. That feeling of endless accomplishment as you reach each new chapter. A delightful realization that time has flown by while you’re lost in a different world. Welcome to the exciting age of grade-level independent reading.
As your Sage enters these formative ages of 7, 8 and 9, it’s important to remember that every child will be at varying reading levels. There’s no need to rush, and no need to worry if independent reading still feels just out of reach. Late readers often grow up to be more enthusiastic readers, so keep calm and let your Sage set the pace.
Whether they’re sounding out every word or speeding through chapter novels, the only important factor here is whether or not they’re enjoying it, all on their own. Your young reader should be forging emotional connections to stories, and that’s the beauty of reading for pleasure that we live for here at Literati.
What Makes a Good Book for Club Sage?
Literati’s Club Sage subscription delivers kids books that span the wide variety of reading levels in this age range. What should you be adding to your child’s collection?
- As your child starts to get a better sense of relationships, particularly among their peers, they’ll resonate with plots that focus on friendship themes.
- To cultivate empathy and sensibility, look for stories that contain deeper emotional truths and social interactions.
- Books right at their reading level are great for encouraging frustration-free independent reading.
- Books above their reading level are great for you to read together. (See, you don’t have to be done with storytime just yet!)
- Look for bigger words. A more challenging vocabulary will teach them how to utilize contextual clues and figure out new words as they go.
- Choose books based on your child’s interests. Even most video games have corresponding books, and that’s a bridge you can use.
When you bring new books into your home, it’s time to get excited! If new books feel like presents, reading time will feel like a party.
Your Sage is becoming independent—but they can’t do it alone.
Don’t retire those character voices just yet. (What a relief! We know you’ve worked so hard on them.) While your emerging reader may be turning pages on their own, you still have a big role to play.
At school, they learn to read. At home, they learn to love it. So, Sage mom & dads, are you ready for your challenge? At Literati, we’ve got a few tips and tricks up our sleeves for establishing fierce devotion to reading:
— Mix It Up
Even if your child is reading well on their own, they still benefit tremendously from you reading to them. While tackling a book together, point to a few words for them to read. If they’ve mastered individual words, try alternating pages. Let them re-read their favorites to you or choose a longer chapter book for you to read to them. Casually test their knowledge and gently correct their mistakes, but refrain from too much quizzing—keep it light and fun!
— Monkey See, Monkey Do
Not that your kid is a monkey. And if they are, we’re not judging, but reading might be tough.
Jokes aside—at this age, children are especially likely to mimic those around them. They may feel older than they are and they want to be just like Mom and Dad (and who could blame them). What they see you doing now can establish their own life-long habits. So, it’s particularly important right now that parents display their own love of reading. Your child will follow suit!
Pro tip: If you have a reluctant reader on your hands, this is a great time to use the ol’ reverse psychology method. Dramatically act like you love reading so much, and the book is so good, that you’re just going to read it by yourself. Your kid can join if they change their mind. (Spoiler alert: they probably will.)
— Treat Reading Like a Treat
Don’t give ice cream in exchange for 30 minutes of reading— the reading is the ice cream. Treat them to a story when they’ve finished their school work. Maybe keep a secret stash of books that you can break out as rewards for good behavior. Take their favorite or current book away as a punishment instead of the iPad. It might sound a little backwards, but if you make reading a fun activity in your house right now, it will be a fun activity in their minds forever.
— Discuss the Process
While you’re reading together, speak conversationally about the process of reading. Tell your Sage what you do if you don’t understand a word or don’t comprehend what you just read. When they see you walk through the process for yourself, they understand that reading brings challenges for everyone—even grownups. And they will start to follow these strategies when reading on their own.
— Read Between the Lines
Your Sage can comprehend a story and predict what might happen as you turn the pages—but they can also begin to articulate themes behind the stories. They can deduce character traits and draw conclusions, too, because they’re no longer purely reacting to books. They’re analyzing them and honing important life skills that will determine their own characters—and it’s quite magical to watch! To encourage this critical reading, ask open-ended questions, like: “Why do you think the Princess kissed the frog?” or
“Did you learn anything new from reading this?” Encourage them to draw their own conclusion about the bigger ideas behind the story.
Pro tip: Watch the movie! If your child is reading books that have been adapted on film, watching the story come to life on screen is a great way to re-engage with its underlying themes and lessons.
Above all else, have fun.
If you believe in the overwhelming enchantment and power of books, your child will notice. Enjoy this enlightening age with them! They won’t be small forever, but they can be readers forever—and that’s a connection that you can share with them throughout the years.
Ready to Read?
Discover our best selections for ages 7-9 in Club Sage today.