Learning how to determine reading levels for your child is a very important factor to improve or monitor your child's reading skills. If your child is an advanced reader, you can actually hinder him by providing him with books that are beneath his reading level. However, once you have the knowledge of what level your child is reading on, you can choose targeted books to match her reading level. By doing so, you can prevent your children from experiencing future reading frustrations that come from reading books that are not on their level.

Step 1

Select the book that you would like to determine the reading level for.

Selecting a book from the shelf
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Step 2

Browse through the book to choose three small passages. Each passage should contain 100 words.

Open book
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Step 3

Count the syllables that are within the first passage. While counting the number of syllables, do not include numerical numbers. Document the syllable count when you have finished counting. Count the number of sentences contained in the first passage. Document the sentence count. Use Fry's Readability Graph (see Resources) to document your counts on a chart.

Count the syllables that are within the  first passage
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Step 4

Repeat Step 3 for the remaining two passages. Document the count for the remaining two passages on the chart as well.

Addition key on a calculator
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Step 5

Compare the three passages on the chart to determine the reading level of the book. The three passages should be close on the chart. If the passages are not close, it is possible that the book has an uneven readability level. You can choose three more random passages to verify.

Compare the different passages on your chart
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Step 1

Visit a website such as Child Development Institute, Test 4 Free or The Teachers' Cafe to print out materials for manual reading tests. You will also be able to print out scoring tables to determine the child's results.

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Step 2

Ask your child's teacher what your child's reading level is. Because schools are always administering assessment tests, it is likely that your child's teacher already has this information.

Parent-teacher conference
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Step 3

Visit the DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) website. On the DIBELS website you will have access to testing materials to test your child's reading level. Because DIBELS is also an assessment tool that is used by school systems, parents should not use the DIBELS website to prep their child to pass the school test. By coaching the child, it can hinder the teachers from identifying whether or not the child needs additional reading instruction to improve their reading skills.

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