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Lexile ludification November 23, 2014

Posted by mareserinitatis in education, younger son.
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A while back, I wrote about our first experience with lexile ranges.  The short story is that lexile ranges are indicators of reading levels that are determined by sentence length and word frequency.  While they may be a useful tool to picking out books for children, they don’t at all address the complexity of themes or topics addressed in the books.  My concern was that the library at school would try to prevent the younger son from picking out books that may be above his lexile range but are ones that he is nonetheless interested in reading.

It looks like that’s not a concern now.  The younger son recently got some new lexile ranges from fall testing, and they are apparently higher than most high school students.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find books for a kid in elementary school who is reading at high school level?  The teacher is adamant we find him some books in that range, but it’s extremely difficult to find ones that are emotionally appropriate.  There are several that are non-fiction, but let’s be realistic: they may not keep his interest.  About the only thing I did manage to find was the DragonSinger trilogy by Anne McCaffery.  Interestingly enough, these were books I’d been suggesting for a while as they were some of my favorites as a child.  There are some of CS Lewis’ writings in the list, also, but nothing from Narnia fits the bill.

I dug through my library and found a book I had intended to use for the older son: Some of my best friends are books.  (The older son was never in need of book suggestions, so it’s been sitting there unused.)  This is a book that suggests age appropriate materials for gifted readers.  I was glad to see that I was on the right track in suggesting several books to the younger son in terms of emotional content.  However, most of the books are still technically too low in the lexile category.

I don’t know that I feel good giving him books that he’s not emotionally mature enough to handle.  The older son has been combing through his library with suggestions of some of his favorite books.  However, even between the two of us, virtually everything keeps coming up short.  I’m contemplating telling the teacher that until younger son is ready to read War and Peace, we may have to worry more about maturity than lexile range at this point.  I would rather he read a good book than a difficult one.



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