Q:

How do I know if my two children in elementary school are currently reading on grade level? -- Want to Know

A:

You can study your children's report cards and talk to their teachers to find out if your children are reading on grade level. This may or may not give you an accurate picture of their reading levels, as teachers as well as school districts often have different grade level standards.

You can find many websites online that offer tests to determine children's reading levels. What you want is a simple test that does not require interpretation by parents. One of the most accurate and simple tests for parents to use is the San Diego Quick Assessment. You can find it on our dearteacher.com website in the Checklists section under "Find your child's reading level."

The San Diego Quick Assessment measures the recognition of words out of context. It has 13 graded word lists from preprimer to 11th grade. Within each list the words are about equal in difficulty. The list works for good readers who can read words equally well in and out of context. It also is accurate for poor readers who tend to over rely on context to identify words.

Don't just use this test once a year. It is a good idea to use it at the beginning, middle and end of the year to get a good picture of how your children's reading skills are progressing. Bright children should usually be reading above grade level.