Holly Swinton: dyslexia speaker, trainer, author and assessor » News » How Do I Find Out My Child’s Reading Level?

How Do I Find Out My Child’s Reading Level?

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A quote ascribed to lots of amazing authors is:     “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book”

I would disagree a bit – if a child is struggling visually, or is too slow or guessy, then reading just isn’t going to be fun, but once those issues are sorted, the world is their oyster!  Pick the right book at the right level and watch them fly…

How do I find my child’s level?

The easiest way is to find a book that they:

a) can read 19/20 words automatically and sound out/guess 1/20;

b) are happy and confident reading;

c) are following well enough to be able to tell you what is happening.

Then look up the Lexile or AR level of that book.

Once you know their level you can use the search facilities on the AR and Lexile websites to find books with the same level and narrow it down using age ranges, genre etc.

For reluctant readers, look out for series of books, action-adventure page-turners, non-fiction and funny ones!  Or start with audiobooks, to break the cycle of fear.  Here are some free and low-cost services.

How Do I Know If a Particular Book is too Easy/Hard for Them?  

Try the AR BookFinder and the Quick Book Search Box on the Lexile website.  They are great for finding out the level of a particular book. Then compare it to their level (see advice above).   Click here for a list of 100 brilliant books?  

For example, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playscript has a reading age almost three years below the other books, so if your child is finding reading difficult, it might be best to listen to the others (esp. the very challenging final books in the series) and then maybe read the ‘Cursed Child’ add on instalment.

Whereas the other Harry Potter add-ons ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and ‘Quidditch Through the Ages’ both have a higher reading age than any of the books, so would be best avoided if your child is struggling or make a good challenge if you’re lucky enough that they need extending.

Need a plan to pinpoint exactly how to help?