Reading levels: Going to homeschool from PS

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pamh
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:16 am

Reading levels: Going to homeschool from PS

Post by pamh » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:39 pm

I have a question regarding reading levels. My son is currently in our ps but will homeschooled once again next year. Unfortunately, he's in the accelerated reading program at school. He progresses thru reading levels thru school as long as he scores 80 to 100% on AR tests. This makes no sense to me, as the teacher does not "hear" my son read and has no idea of what his capability is

How do you know what reading level your child should be at in homeschool? There are students in my sons class who were told to seek tutors because even though they read at grade level or higher, they read slower than they should. I'm preparing our homeschool for next year as I'll have my youngest entering Kindergarten as well as a 4th grader.

Thank you in advance for all of your help!

Pam

doubleportion
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Re: Reading levels: Going to homeschool from PS

Post by doubleportion » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:34 pm

When my dd was in PS and doing the accelerated reader program, they had a computer that they took tests on to check for comprehension. Something like book adventure is online. The books had reading levels listed that were pretty standard across a bunch of places.

I think all you will need to do is spend some time with your dc reading some library books together and you should see pretty quickly where they stand in level. You can do that now with your dc before you bring him home. Then when you get to ordering your reading books, you will know where he stands.

Do not know if that helps or not. Just my 2 cents.

Edie
dd 13 -Rev2Rev (enjoyed PHFHG, CTC, RTR)
ds 8 -Beyond
ds 6 LHFHG & ds 2 & ds 6 months
4 waiting for us with Jesus

cirons
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:17 pm
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

Re: Reading levels: Going to homeschool from PS

Post by cirons » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:39 pm

Hi there,

one of the lovely ladies helped me out with this a while back. They shared this link to find out what reading age my kids were at:

http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/articles/060899.htm

HTH,

Corrie
Homeschooling 2 dc since Feb, 2008
Preparing with dd 9
Beyond with ds 7

pamh
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:16 am

Re: Reading levels: Going to homeschool from PS

Post by pamh » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:12 pm

Edie and Corrie,

Thank you for your replies. I, personally, am not a fan of AR. Sometimes, I have the chance to oversee my sons class take their AR quizzes and I don't find the program very accurate at all. Plus, I know at my sons school they are struggling with the students starting to dislike reading because of the constant testing on AR. I've looked into the Barnes and Noble version that you mention, Edie, but compared with AR, they almost use only newer books and not ones I can find at my local library.

The reading level test/article that you posted, Corrie, is just what I needed. I'm not struggling with "what" my son can read but it's his pace that I question. I was wondering how other homeschool parents, accurately, know what level their child is reading at. My sons ps teacher periodically has the students read a story and they're timed for one minute. I honestly didn't realize that "speed" mattered so that is my homeschool downfall where I "hurt" my son by not making him read faster.

I do have to caution those of you who go by the BL/RL that the books sometimes post. My son got a short chapter book at our library and it actually said it was a first grade level book. Yet, when I looked up the AR quiz # on it, it came back as a RL of 3.6!!! This has happened on our last 2 books. We used Abeka readers when we homeschooled and they also did not compare to the schools AR program....fustrating!!!

Thank you, ladies, again for your help and your advice!!!

Pam

Carrie
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Re: Reading levels: Going to homeschool from PS

Post by Carrie » Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:20 am

Pam,

I honestly wouldn't worry too much about how "fast" your son reads. Remember that public school teachers need to use assessments to help compare students to other students for grading purposes. This is where the assessments for speed come in. It is just one assessment among many required, but is often not a good indicator of reaidng ability. My husband is an excellent reader, currently reading the 1600 page Les Miserables, yet he is a slower steadier reader who likes to take in every word of what he is reading and savor it! :D Speed does not necessarily make a good reader. :wink:

As far as what your son should read for your schooling time at home goes, it should be pretty easy to decide which book pack to choose for DITHR as we use a form of AR when listing a level for the DITHR books. So, the level you see next to the DITHR Book Packs will help you choose. :D I honestly think there are years where the actual reading level of a book makes less difference than interest, especially as kiddos get older. :wink:

In the early years, before kiddos are reading well, reading level can make or break a child's reading experience. As children mature as readers, and can handle a wider range of reading levels, it becomes less important. Then, in late middle school, the reading level becomes fairly important again, as it's needed to push kiddos up in the level of what they read in preparation for more classic high school level literature. :D Many of the history spines in our programs are designed to do this very thing, which is why it is so important for the kiddos to read these materials themselves. :D

For your son's free reading time, I would let him read widely across varying levels, driven by interest. This post of my3son's explains "why" so well: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7885

Hope that helps! :D

Blessings,
Carrie

doubleportion
Posts: 198
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:40 pm
Location: Arkansas
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Re: Reading levels: Going to homeschool from PS

Post by doubleportion » Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:14 pm

pamh wrote:Edie and Corrie,

Thank you for your replies. I, personally, am not a fan of AR. Sometimes, I have the chance to oversee my sons class take their AR quizzes and I don't find the program very accurate at all. Plus, I know at my sons school they are struggling with the students starting to dislike reading because of the constant testing on AR. I've looked into the Barnes and Noble version that you mention, Edie, but compared with AR, they almost use only newer books and not ones I can find at my local library.

The reading level test/article that you posted, Corrie, is just what I needed. I'm not struggling with "what" my son can read but it's his pace that I question. I was wondering how other homeschool parents, accurately, know what level their child is reading at. My sons ps teacher periodically has the students read a story and they're timed for one minute. I honestly didn't realize that "speed" mattered so that is my homeschool downfall where I "hurt" my son by not making him read faster.

I do have to caution those of you who go by the BL/RL that the books sometimes post. My son got a short chapter book at our library and it actually said it was a first grade level book. Yet, when I looked up the AR quiz # on it, it came back as a RL of 3.6!!! This has happened on our last 2 books. We used Abeka readers when we homeschooled and they also did not compare to the schools AR program....fustrating!!!

Thank you, ladies, again for your help and your advice!!!

Pam
So glad to see that Carrie chimed in here. :D Her advice is invaluable.

Just wanted to say I wasn't supporting the AR program just trying to help you get a sense of the how the reading levels were listed. I have to agree that the computers tests were really just testing super basic stuff to essentially see if they read it or not. We were happy to drop out of their "program" when we started homeschooling and got to talk much more deeply about the books we read together.

I actually have to keep on top of my daughter with her speed. Sometimes she reads fast or even skims and then may not have actually fully assimilated the content (miss the beautiful scene descriptions etc). I think HOD will help you to be sure that clear reading with understanding happens. There are lots of wonderful guided questions to check for comprehension and see things more deeply in the assigned readings. That skimming issue with my dd is one reason why I so wanted to use the DITHOR program. So just to agree with Carrie, that I know first hand that SPEED has nothing to do with true comprehension and informational digestion. Some can be fast readers and "get it" but that is not everyone. My hubby is a slower reader and I am a faster reader but both of us comprehend the same information when we complete the book. Isn't that the point in the end?

Edie
dd 13 -Rev2Rev (enjoyed PHFHG, CTC, RTR)
ds 8 -Beyond
ds 6 LHFHG & ds 2 & ds 6 months
4 waiting for us with Jesus

pamh
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:16 am

Clevels: Going to homeschool from PS

Post by pamh » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:11 am

Carrie and Edie,

Thank you for more of your very valuable advice! You wouldn't believe how many students in my sons 3rd grade ps class are being made to pay for tutors due to their "speed" of reading. I get the pleasure to read with these students a few days a week and most of them can read just fine...just at different paces. It's amazing at the stress that ps can put on our children. In our ps, our curriculum is absolutely horrible (especially math...very difficult for parents and students to understand) yet the students are expected to succeed. I cannot wait to get back to homeschooling for good!

Unfortunately, my ps sees hs children as failures because our learning styles aren't the same and the ps is viewed as better (I can quote them on this). I'm thankful God has put hs on my heart and you are all here to help each other out!

Have a great Sunday!!

Pam

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