The coronavirus pandemic has closed school for more than half of all children in the United States. There’s no telling when the coronavirus crisis will be over, which means millions of children may be at home for the rest of the school year.
Many parents have responded to this unique situation by taking on the role of teacher for their children. If your kids are at home due to the coronavirus school closures, use this time as an opportunity to help them work on their reading skills. Here’s how to help your child read at grade level:
What Age Should A Child Read Fluently?
Every child is unique, so the age that a child learns to read fluently can vary. But there are some important reading milestones that your child should reach as they blossom into strong readers. Some of the skills they should have at every grade level are:
- Late Preschool
- Write their names
- Understand how words rhyme
- Become familiar with some letters of the alphabet
- Read simple words
- Recognize written words they are familiar with
- Guess what will happen next in a story
- First and Second Grade
- Sound out words they are not familiar with
- Use punctuation
- Read short stories that they are familiar with
- Second and Third Grade
- Read longer books
- Use context clues to define unfamiliar words
- Understand how to incorporate humor and new words/phrases into text
- Fourth through Eighth Grade
- Read many different types of texts
- Know how to find specific information within a text
- Analyze text for meaning
If your child is not meeting these milestones, they may be falling behind.
How Can I Test My Child’s Reading Level At Home?
It’s hard for parents to determine whether or not their children are reading at their grade level. Fortunately, there are several ways for parents to assess their child’s reading skills at home, including:
- Does your child have a few favorite books? If so, look at the reading level of these books. If your child is choosing books that are below his reading level, this could indicate that he is experiencing reading difficulties.
- Have your child take a quick online test to evaluate their reading skills.
- Ask your child’s teacher for their opinion. Teachers are still in communication with parents even during the coronavirus crisis, so reach out to your child’s teacher to find out whether or not your child is reading at grade level.
Use these at-home tests to determine what grade level your child is reading at so you know whether or not this is an area that they need to improve upon.
How Can I Improve My Child’s Reading Level?
There are plenty of ways to improve your child’s reading level at home. Start by following these tips:
- Read aloud to your child for 30 minutes every day. Make sure you choose stories that are of interest to them.
- Ask your child questions about the book that they just finished reading. Who were the characters? What did they like or dislike about each character? What happened in the story? This is a great way to improve their reading comprehension skills.
- Invest in a dictionary. If your child runs into a word that they’re unfamiliar with, look it up in the dictionary together.
- Give your kids background knowledge on relevant topics before they begin reading a book. For example, if your child is about to start reading a book set in the civil rights era, tell them a little bit about this historical time before they begin.
- Encourage your child to read as much as possible. It doesn’t matter what they want to read—let them read comic books, newspapers, books, or magazines. The more they read, the better they will become.
By following these tips, parents can help their children drastically improve their reading skills by the time schools reopen.
Take Advantage of Homeschooling Resources During the Coronavirus Crisis
The schools may be closed, but that doesn’t mean that your kids have to stop learning. Use the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to improve your child’s reading skills by taking advantage of the helpful tools available to you, including the Readability app.
The Readability app acts as a digital reading tutor for your child. Using artificial intelligence and advanced speech recognition technology, the app helps kids develop the crucial skills they need to become better readers. Unlock your child’s reading potential by downloading the Readability app and starting your free 7-day trial today.