Reading is one of the most vital skills your child will learn in elementary school. You may receive regular communications from your child's school about the importance of reading to your child daily or have requirements straight from your child's teacher that require you to let your child read every night.
However, boosting your child's reading level may seem like a complicated task. How can you help your child with reading above grade level, especially if you aren't sure what types of materials your child might benefit from most?
A tutor can help your child improve their reading level—and even get your child above grade level.
Why Is Reading Level Important?
The average classroom uses a complex system of letters and numbers to measure reading level and determine where a child is performing.
Which system your child's school uses isn't critical, but that system should provide a clear measure of where each child in the classroom is performing compared to others their age, not just in the classroom itself but across the district and even across the country.
That doesn't mean your child's educational future is dictated by those reading levels. In fact, your child may excel in school while struggling with reading levels—especially if the reading material presented in school is not something that interests your child. However, improving your child's reading skills can have many advantages.
A child with a low reading level may have a hard time keeping up
Often, textbooks, worksheets, and other curriculum is geared toward a certain reading level. Content creators may assume that a child in a specific grade will be able to absorb and read material of a certain level—and if your child is struggling, you may notice their grades in areas other than reading going down steadily.
A child with a high reading level may have higher overall self-esteem
A child with a high reading level may feel confident, assured, and eager to read and write. Knowing that they have a high reading level compared to their peers—even if they're not necessarily peers in the classroom—may make your child feel better prepared to take on challenges they may face in the classroom. A great deal of student performance relies on self-esteem, so building your child's self-esteem with better reading skills can make a big difference.
Reading level can have a direct correlation to student vocabulary
Words are important—and finding the right words for a given situation can prove essential. A student with a high reading level is more likely to be exposed to new and different words, which will become a vital part of the student's vocabulary over time. As a result, those students will be better able to present their ideas, share their feelings, and communicate with others through both written and verbal communication.
How a Tutor Can Help
Hiring a tutor to work with your child can help their reading level and overall reading confidence skyrocket.
A tutor can tailor instruction directly to your child's needs
Whether your child is reading consistently below grade level or they're ready to move up to higher-level books and concepts, you may find your child's teacher doesn't present content directly to your child's specific reading level.
The average number of students in a classroom varies by state. Nationwide, however, it hovers between 17 and 23—and that means many classrooms have considerably more students in them. Even if teachers break students down into reading groups based on reading level, those groups may have 4-5 students or more in them—and if your child is at the very top or the very bottom of the group, reading instruction may not be tailored to their needs.
On the other hand, a tutor can provide instruction and reading materials directly tailored to your child's current needs. As your child's reading comprehension increases, the tutor can supply materials that grow with them at their preferred pace, rather than holding them back—or rushing them—along with the needs of other students in the classroom.
A tutor can provide reading materials that fit your child's unique interests
Many classroom reading materials are somewhat generic. While plenty of classroom teachers offer an array of reading material for students to read on their own time, all too often, the instructional materials presented may fail to catch their interest.
On the other hand, a tutor can provide reading material tailored to your child’s interest. Are they into mysteries? There are plenty of books to choose from. Do they prefer video games over books? A book about their favorite characters could spark their interest. A tutor can dive deeper into your child's interests and preferences—and omit materials that don't grab their attention.
A tutor can help boost your child's confidence
Sometimes, advancing a student's reading level isn't about providing an educational foundation as much as it is about increasing student confidence and willingness to try.
Some students have a hard time leveling up their reading because they aren't sure they're getting pronunciation right or because they're not sure the words flow as well as they should in their minds when they check out new material.
A tutor can help organically enhance your child's confidence by providing one-on-one support in a lower-pressure environment than many students find in the classroom. As a result, those students are better prepared when asked to read aloud in class—and they feel more confident about their skills.
Your child's reading level is just one measure of academic success—but it's a crucial one. If you've noticed your child isn't reading at grade level, or you're concerned your child isn't receiving the high level of support they need to advance their skills, a tutor can help. Check out our online tutoring services today to learn more.