Select Page

How to Determine and Test your Child’s Reading Level

Finding your child’s reading level is really important because books that are too easy can become boring to read and books that are too difficult can become really frustrating. This really defeats the purpose of reading for fun.  How do you find your child’s reading level? You use what is called the 5 finger rule. It is so easy! On today’s post, I will share with you this easy trick that will help you find your child’s reading level.

Use the 5 Finger Reading Level Trick


Have your child pick out a book that they really want to read and that interests them.  


Ask your child to turn to a random page in the book and start reading it.  


While your child is reading the page, you will make a fist and hold that fist behind your back.  For every word that your child doesn’t know, you will hold up a finger.  


If you have 5 or more fingers up by the end of the page, the book is most likely too difficult for him or her to read independently. 

Do you let your child know that you are doing this?  I wouldn’t. It is pretty discouraging for a child to see themselves struggling with a book.  I usually stop the child when they get to 5 fingers and encourage them gently to pick out a different book.

Also,  If your child misreads names of people or places, especially when reading non fiction, you might let these slide.  I never count these as errors.   


You can use the following guidelines to determine your child’s reading level:

0-1: Too easy for your child

2: A good choice for independent and pleasure reading

3: Your child might need some help, but still a good choice for independent reading

4:  This might be difficult for your child to read on their own.  

5: A bit too advanced.  Try a different book

Here is a Short Video…

Watch this video I made for you that explains the 5 finger rule and how to find your child’s reading level in more detail: 

In Conclusion

Thank you so much for reading my post today on finding your child’s reading level! You might enjoy reading my previous posts:

My Favorite Sight Word Activities

My Favorite Multisyllabic Word Activities

Please don’t leave without checking out the PRIDE Reading Program.  The PRIDE Reading Program is an Orton-Gillingham curriculum that is used by teachers, tutors, and homeschooling parents worldwide with great success.

PRIDE Reading Program


Karina Richland, M.A., is the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers. Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices. You can reach her by email at or visit the website at

Don't go without signing up for the Weekly Roar! Get the latest posts and helpful information from the PRIDE Reading Program.

Join our list to receive the latest news and updates with The Weekly Roar.

Thanks for signing up for the Weekly Roar. If you would like to learn more about the PRIDE Reading Program, please continue to explore our site, or feel free to contact us at any time.