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"It makes a lot of sense why you would want to keep your child from feeling overwhelmed or turned off from reading…"

-Ms. Schelzi

Have you ever emptied your child's backpack at the end of the day or on Friday afternoons (or let's be honest…Monday morning as they run out the door…) and seen those black and white paper books and immediately wanted to dump them in the recycling?…

Maybe you thought to yourself they're not REAL books!

Maybe you thought, these aren't worth reading - there are so few words on each page, how could this possibly be “worth reading”?

Maybe you thought - no wonder my child struggles to read - these black and white books are so BORING!

The truth is, to develop fluency, your child needs to re-read the same book multiple times.

The first read through, your child might initially sound out every word and re-read every sentence.

And the mistake I see most parents make is they stop there.

They think, “yikes, this is such a struggle I don't want to make my kid hate reading, so let's stop here”.

And if that's you - that's ok!

It makes a lot of sense why you would want to keep your child from feeling overwhelmed or turned off from reading.

And.. I encourage you to not stop after one choppy read through.

You see, with practice, the blending will become more automatic.

When your child re-reads the same book a 2nd and 3rd time they will be able to read at a steady pace with minimal sounding out. (Cue: the confidence and momentum building!)

And you're right.

These black and white books DO look boring to us…because we can read them. But to a child who is just learning to read - these books are MAGIC!

When a struggling reader opens a book (even black and white photocopied book) and they slowly begin to see they can decode and read every word on the page - it's MAGIC to them!

I know, because I've seen their little eyes light up when they read a book that initially they thought they could never.

It changes their whole world!

It changes their whole relationship to learning!

And when your child feels seen, supported and recognized for being able to read these books, it builds their confidence and motivation to want to keep reading.

If we want our children to grow to be confident and fluent readers it has to start here with these paper decodables.

If we try and skip this step…

If we wait until they are bringing home REAL books in order to validate their reading progress….we will be waiting forever. And we will be continually delaying their reading progress.

Decodable books will:

- support the learning of letter-sounds and blending in a sequential phonics order

-help students to develop their independent decoding skills

These books contain limited high frequency words AND provide questions and activities to focus on increasing vocabulary, comprehension and fluency to encourage students to connect with the story.

Confidence with reading will begin the moment you celebrate your child where they are in this moment.

With the books they are able to read today.

I promise you, if you start reading the books that come home and keep them in a shoebox next to their bed for nighttime reading and give your child the attention, validation and celebration they are seeking - their momentum for reading will exponentially grow!


Every night.

5 -10 minutes.

It adds up.

I promise you.

You can do it!

And they can too!

I can't wait to experience the shift with you as your child becomes a more confident reader!

Cheers to nightly reading of black and white paper books tucked away in under-the-bed shoeboxes!

Ms. Schelzi

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