Is your child at that stage where he’s starting to learn how to read? That’s awesome!
Learning this life skill for the first time is always exciting, opening his eyes up to a world full of amazing things.
Still, his reading level limits the materials he can explore.
Don’t let this hold him back. You can help him out by learning how to increase your child’s reading level at home.
We’ve got more than a few tips and tricks you can try, including checking out Children Learning Reading, which helps refine and reinforce your child’s reading skills.
- What Are Reading Levels?
- Different Types of Leveled Reading Systems
- Guided Reading Levels From A to Z
- How To Find Out Your Child’s Current Level
- How To Increase Your Child’s Reading Level at Home
- What Children Learning Reading Can Do For Your Kid
What Are Reading Levels?
Your child’s reading level is a tool that helps educators assess how good he is when it comes to reading.
However, don’t take it as a “label” intended to limit your child.
Instead, it serves the opposite objective—to help both teachers and parents determine the methods needed by the child to progress and increase his reading level.
It can also help you choose the appropriate reading materials for your child, not just based on their age and interests but also according to their current competency.
All in all, it will help build confidence and make reading more enjoyable.
Different Types of Leveled Reading Systems
There are different types of leveled reading systems, but three are commonly used across the country.
It will simply depend on what state you’re in.
1. Guided Reading Level (GRL)
This leveling system runs from A to Z. A is the most basic and the easiest.
Since this is the most commonly used, we will also share more info about its levels to give you an idea of how to assess your child and monitor his progress.
2. Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA)
Another common leveling system is the DRA.
Here, the child reads a benchmark book (determined by asking the parents about the child’s current skill level) and ends by asking him to retell the story.
Thus, this leveling system doesn’t just focus on word decoding but also relies heavily on comprehension.
Like the previous leveling system, the DRA also starts with A as the easiest. Then, it eventually switches to a numeric value that runs from 1 to 80.
3. Lexile Measures
This leveling system is more complex, given the two methods on how a child can get his current level assessed.
First, your child can take a Scholastic Reading Inventory Assessment through his school.
Alternatively, he can take a standardized reading test that calculates the results using the Lexile measure.
Its levels usually range from 200L to 1700L+ for advanced readers.
Guided Reading Levels From A to Z
As mentioned, GRL is the most commonly used among the three, even beyond school.
You’ll see more books labeled according to GRL rather than DRA or Lexile Measure.
Here are the different skill levels and what they mean to help you assess where your child is.
Kindergarteners would usually have a GRA level ranging from A to D.
These are books with just a few lines of text per page, use simple language patterns, are filled with three-letter words (usually in CVC format), and easily decodable sight words.
The stories simply get a little bit longer and more complex when it reaches level D.
First-graders would usually have a GRA level ranging from E to J.
These books will have more lines of text per page, with slightly longer sentences and more advanced sight words.
You will also notice that the fonts in these books are slightly smaller than the previous level.
These books will also be in a less predictable language pattern in favor of the literary appeal.
Second-graders would usually have a GRA level ranging from K to M.
The books at this level will start to look more advanced, and they will be significantly longer. They will come with chapters with no or very minimal illustrations.
You’ll also notice that they tackle more complicated topics that you won’t otherwise find in the earlier levels.
Third-graders would usually have a GRA level ranging from N to P.
It will be closely similar to the previous levels in length.
However, you’ll see the exploration of deeper themes and the use of more figurative language.
Fourth-Grade and Beyond
Older grade-schoolers would usually have a GRA level ranging from Q to W.
To give you an idea, the Harry Potter Illustrated Collection is at level W.
The more difficult levels are reserved for older students, particularly those who enjoy young-adult novels and above.
Now that you know the different reading levels, you can go ahead and give your child a quick assessment.
Since you’re not a professional, it would be safe to assume that your findings wouldn’t be accurate.
Even so, it will still give you more insight. Going through that kind of assessment is critical to increasing reading level.
How To Find Out Your Child’s Current Level
A quick way to assess your child’s reading level at home is to choose a book appropriate to his current grade level.
Ask him to read it aloud and then ask him questions about it afterward to gauge his comprehension.
You can also let him retell the story to you using his own words.
How did he do? Did he get all the words pronounced right? How about the questions?
If everything went correctly, then you can increase the level of the reading material and have him try again.
Go until you determine the highest level he gets perfectly. That would be his current reading level, more or less.
How To Increase Your Child’s Reading Level at Home
So, you now know his current reading level.
From here on out, the challenge is knowing how to increase your child’s reading level at home.
For your reference, we divided our tips into three different subtopics.
First, we will share with you general tips you’ll find helpful whatever your child’s level is on and whatever the setting.
The second will provide actionable steps you can do at home.
Last are tips that will help struggling readers.
How Can I Improve My Child’s Reading Level?
With that said, here are the first set of tips on how to improve child’s reading level:
1. Provide him with the context of the book.
Doing this will help him understand that a book is not just a collection of words.
They tell an interesting story that, hopefully, they will appreciate better.
2. Don’t stop asking questions.
Explore every aspect of the story, from the characters to the setting, the words used, and the plot.
Doing this will help you determine how much your child is really understanding.
It will also send the message that he needs to pay more attention to the words he is reading, preventing him from reading mechanically like a robot.
3. Make reading a daily habit.
Even just reading 15 to 20 minutes each day will already make a significant improvement on his reading skills.
It will not only increase his reading level but also improve vocabulary and reading comprehension.
How Can I Make My Child Read More at Home?
Do you want interesting activities you can try at home that will help increase reading level?
To make him more confident in reading and figure out how to improve reading skills of a child, here are a couple of our favorite tricks:
1. Reading Teatime
This is usually done by reading poetry over tea and cookies. It turns reading into a special treat.
You don’t always have to read poetry, though. Instead, you can do this fun activity with any book.
2. Reading Theater
This is done by acting out the story that has just been read.
You can prepare an actual performance for a special occasion, or you can just do it through roleplaying and voice acting.
How Can I Help My Child With Poor Reading Skills?
Finally, here are a few more tips on how to improve child’s reading level:
1. Let him choose his books.
Take him to the book store, and let him pick out the books he is interested in reading.
2. Get him a library card.
You don’t always have to purchase new books, too. Sometimes, it’s even more exciting to just borrow them.
3. Let him join a book club.
There are book clubs for people of any age, including kids, both offline and online.
Better yet, you can just let him undergo a reading program.
What Children Learning Reading Can Do For Your Kid
One way to increase reading level is to join reading programs designed for this exact goal.
Children Learning Reading comes with a structured and well-researched approach that guarantees to improve your child’s reading progress in just 10 weeks.
We’ve even seen kids that go through it faster, improving their reading levels at such a fast and drastic rate.
As it turned out, they only needed a new method of reading instruction.
Signing up for a reading program, either offline or online, is one of the best ways on how to improve reading skills of a child.
Learning your child’s reading level is essential to choose the books and other reading materials appropriate for him.
There are different ways to assess a child’s reading level based on the reading leveling system the teacher (or parent) will use.
The most common is the Guided Reading Level or GRL.
Once you know your child’s current level, you can then move on to practice the different trips and tricks to boost his progress.
We shared some of our favorite techniques earlier, but you can always get help from a professional reading program, like Children Learning Reading.