How to boost your child's reading age using simple strategies and reading lists

How did you find the previous article on The Reading Age? Did you measure your child's Reading Age? If you haven't, I hope this article will motivate you to conduct the test. Read on...

This article is all about why you should be measuring your child's reading age and taking the next step to improve it using some simple strategies. There is a comprehensive reading list for higher KS2 years sorted out by genres. So there's absolutely no excuse! Head to your local library which should have many of the listed books.

Q: HOW CAN HIGHER READING AGE HELP YOUR CHILD?

Reading in itself has several benefits: educational, economic and health. With improved Reading Age, these benefits are realised earlier in child's life and stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Some of the benefits of higher Reading Age are:

  • improved cognitive development.
  • higher results in Maths, Vocabulary and Spelling Tests than those with average Reading Age.
  • children with higher chance to secure managerial or professional jobs in later life.
  • better health and wellbeing.
  • low level of depression.
  • low risk of developing dementia. 
  • overall happier and confident children with 'feel good' factor. 
  • improved empathy and relationships with others. 

Q: WHAT CAN YOU DO TO IMPROVE YOUR CHILD'S READING AGE?

Improving your child's Reading Age is not a rocket science and there are extensive (and expensive) programmes available. There are few simple strategies you can implement at home. They will not only improve the Reading Age but also improve vocabulary and help comprehension in other subjects like Maths and Science.

  • Time Duration: Regular reading, at least 20 minutes a day. If your child doesn't like reading for 20 minutes, it could be due to several factors. It could be because they're a slow reader, uninterested in the book (use the reading list below to choose one they like) or simply tired. Try with 10 minutes and slowly build up over the time. 
  • Time of Day: Best time to read the books is before going to sleep. Believe it or not, our (subconscious) brain is still working hard when we go to sleep. It is scientifically proven that during the sleep when our conscious brain is resting, the subconscious brain sorts information and links neurons so we can retain and recall the information when required at a later date. Hence, enough sleep is always recommended.
  • Variety:  Your child may like Roald Dahl, but reading the whole series by the same author will limit some of the benefits of reading. Encourage your child to pick a book depending on their interests e.g. humour or war or fiction or non-fiction. In short, let your child experience all the flavours of books.
  • Most schools (around 80%) follow 'Oxford Reading Tree' scheme which gives a systematic approach to reading with a variety of over 800 books and reading styles. Your local library should have plenty of ORT books or you can even ask your child to read FREE e-books online on Oxford Owl(highly recommended)
  • If your child is finding it difficult to find a book, why not choose one from the Recommended Reading Lists compiled for Years 4/ 5/ 6 to help them get started. 

Year 4 - Recommended Reading List

Year 5 - Recommended Reading List

Year 6 - Recommended Reading List

Q: WHEN SHOULD I RETEST TO CHECK THE PROGRESS?

Like any other test, The Reading Age Test is a continuous programme. It is highly recommended that you wait at least six months before retest on the same test.

I hope you found this article useful and kindly request you to share with as many parents as possible. 


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