The average American reads 12 books a year. That’s one book per month. However, not everyone is able to determine the appropriate reading level of their child, so a lot may not be reading what they should at their level.
It is also very vital that you understand the essence of determining your child’s reading level before introducing them to any complex reading materials. Yes, it feels good to see your child’s nose in a book, but it will always be best to let them enjoy what they can while learning.
Importance of Determining the Reading Level of Your Child
Reading is filled with vocabulary that is often generally seen in other parts of life and can be used every day. Reading is easier if the person first knows their reading level. If a child reads below his or her level, he will constantly adapt to the contents and actually act as a buffer for his friends who may be at an appropriate level to read.
It is important that you understand where your child stands in order for you to know what books will be most suitable, and here’s why:
- You may find that your child has difficulty with vocabulary and comprehension.
- Your child may be aware of the reading level but can’t read more than 50 words per minute.
- It may turn out your child loves reading in general, but doesn’t like certain books they are reading or they are not paying attention to the book’s contents.
- You may find that your child loves reading, but you have a hard time helping them find an appropriate book.
- You may have difficulty in finding suitable books for your child because your child’s level is too high or too low compared to other children of the same age and grade.
10 Steps to Determine the Reading Level of Your Child
You will find various methods to determine your child’s reading level, but it is best that you study them thoroughly before finally deciding on what works best for you. Remember, what works for one child might not be the best method for another. For example, some children like having a variety of reading materials available to them while others don’t like being forced to read, so you have to find a method that fits your child’s needs.
So here, we prepared ten easy steps on how you can determine the reading level of a child:
1. Ask the child what they can read
If they are able to read more than one word at a time, keep going. If your child is only able to identify words that have pictures as support, then start with books that are suitable for their level and get them to associate the picture with the written word. This will assist in building their confidence gradually until they are able to read alone.
If they identify one or two words, find a book with simple words starting with these letters. Sometimes, children may think they can read, but when asked questions about the story, they don’t understand what the words mean.
2. Match the book to the time you have
If you have a short amount of time, try a shorter book. If you have a long amount of time, pick a longer one. You can also read stories to them (they can listen but not read).
If you want to try to make the book longer, hide the words while you read. Look away as someone else is reading a book. This should make them want to open the book and flip the pages on their own.
3. Talk to your child about what reading material they are interested in
If they are interested in animals, then choose books about animals. If they are interested in fairy tales, then choose those books. You can also read to them a story with no pictures. This will help in building their vocabulary, and their interest level will be made more than any other method.
If they don’t like certain animals, try others until you find one that captures their attention. This will make them focus on all the words. If they don’t like fairy tales, then find another story that has a good message.
4. Try not to compare your child to other children of the same age
If your child can read well, then let them enjoy it. Don’t compare your child with other children of the same age. That will only make them feel inferior and won’t help them build themselves up as a reader.
There are many different methods to determine what reading level a child is in based on certain criteria like reading speed, comprehension, and number of words. There are also books that you can look for that have quizzes at the end of the book that will help you in determining their reading level.
5. Some children are able to read words but not pronounce them
Pay attention to what they read and how they read it. If they don’t know certain words, go back after reading the story and have them read the word out loud. If they are able to say the word, then it is likely they can pronounce the word as well.
6. Use other methods to determine their reading level
If they have no trouble naming animals, then you can try naming them while reading a book aloud to see if they understand what you are saying. Find books with short words and the length of a story. This will help with building their vocabulary.
7. Teach your child to read by using flashcards and matching the pictures with the correct word
If you have a flashcard with an animal on it, try not to read the word at the bottom or on top of the picture. If your child is able to recognize the animal, then he will be able to pronounce the words in his head.
8. Keep your reading material varied
You can also use books that have a lot of different kinds of words. This will allow them to get used to words that are not common and not easily associated with the picture on the page.
9. If, after reading the book, they are able to correctly answer questions about the story, then he/she is ready to read by himself.
If they can tell you a story about what they just read, then it is likely that by just reading the picture, they will be able to understand what is written on it.
10. If you are trying to teach a child to read, then your primary focus should be on learning letters and sounds
Once they have learned how to pronounce the sounds of letters, your next step is reading a book. If you are going through books that have pictures, make sure that you don’t read the words on the page. It is best if they learn how to sound out words from looking at just pictures and being able to understand what is written about them.
It is essential for a young child to have good reading skills. You need to teach them how before they go into school. The earlier you start, the easier it will be and the more likely they are going to be able to succeed from the start. Reading can be a large part of their education, so it is something that should be started early on in life.
Awareness of a child’s learning style is essential for the success of your child’s learning. These tips can make a big difference in determining the learning style of your child.
By observing the behavior of children, you can easily know which one likes to read and which does not. Some children prefer hearing stories and others are more into doing math or science.
For some kids, learning is a straightforward process. They are able to learn quickly and easily without too much effort. They are the ones that get good grades in school without being too much of a concerned parent. But for most children, especially in math and science subjects, learning can be a challenging process that takes time and practice to master.