Learning to read opens doors up to books, the Internet, and a world filled with information your child needs to succeed at school and life. How does a reading assessment play a vital role in your child’s education? Read on to find out…
Why Proper Reading Level Assessment is So Critical to Your Child Learning How to Read:
- Assessments Help Teachers and Parents Determine What Level the Child is Reading At
If teachers attempt to teach reading skills at a level higher than your child, confusion and frustration are inevitable. And if educators teach below your child’s reading ability, they may become bored or disinterested. A reading level assessment helps teachers avoid these pitfalls and make sure your child is being taught at the right level and making progress towards fluency.
- Assessing a Child Helps Educators Identify Weaknesses and Areas for Improvement
In addition to identifying the appropriate level to teach a child, assessments also help pinpoint any weaknesses or issues the student is having before long-term bad habits form. It is vital for young children to build good reading habits and quickly fix bad ones before they lead to long-term problems that ultimately impair development.
My Experience with Assessment:
While reading assessments are vital to your child’s success, they can also spell trouble if conducted improperly. To help you better understand this very critical issue regarding your child’s overall success in life, I would like to share some insights from my own experience.
I’ve been reading with my son since he was very young. Just before he started elementary school he was easily reading at Green Level (around Level 5). On his first day in elementary school, my son’s reading was assessed by one of his teachers. They put him in Pink Level, the very lowest reading level.
I was shocked at their assessment! At first, I thought it best to trust the teacher, who mentioned confidence-boosting amongst other things. I still wonder what happened during his first reading assessment for his teacher to determine his level was so low. Was he nervous? Distracted? Tired? Was the teacher distracted, tired, or running out of time? But, I still trusted his teachers and their assessment so I went along with their suggestions.
Three months later, all his classmates were leveled up. My son was the only student still stuck on Pink Level! So regardless of the teacher’s reading assessment of my son, I decided it was finally time to step in before it was too late. I emailed the teacher with my concerns and she brought in another teacher to re-assess my son. They agreed he should be raised up to Green Level (finally). All they could offer was a short, insincere apology for their terrible mistake during the initial assessment.
What?! My son spent 3 months reading at a level much lower than he should’ve been! It felt like a slap in the face because he had just wasted 3 vitally important months of his life! As Malcolm Gladwell famously wrote in ‘Outliers’, if your child is held back at the beginning of their education, this can trap them “into patterns of achievement and underachievement, encouragement and discouragement, that stretch on and on for years.” If my son had continued reading at pink level for another 3-6 months, he would’ve been miles behind his classmates for the rest of the year, and possibly for the rest of his life.
Imagine it: Your child being behind for years and years (possibly their whole life) simply because of a mistake on the initial reading assessment. But, this is exactly what happens to thousands upon thousands of children every year.
Here is How Red Cat Reading Can Help
My son’s incorrect reading assessment was one of the biggest reasons we decided to start Red Cat Reading.
At Red Cat Reading, we have more time to pay attention and correctly assess a child’s reading level. Plus, we will assess your child’s reading level for free so you know exactly which leveled books they should be reading! (Email us for a free reading level assessment).
Just send us a message and we will set you up with a teacher to carefully assess your child’s reading. We use video and audio to assess your child and monitor their progress with our leveled books. Your child will practice reading and listening with our fun and educational videos, songs, interactive e-books and worksheets.
Using our reading programs, they’ll learn to read in just 3 months! Starting with phonics and moving on to leveled books, your child can make enormous progress reading only one book a day.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up now for your Free Trial with RedCatReading.com to give your child the best head start in life!
~ Peter Galante