Testing for Reading Disabilities: Home-School Reading Assessment Tips

Do you think your child may be suffering from a learning disability in reading? Does he put up a fight when it’s time to read? Does it seem to take an unusually long time to complete reading assignments? If you suspect that your child is struggling with reading, you may want to consider testing for a reading-related learning disability. reading2

It’s often overwhelming when facing the decision to pursue testing for your child, especially if you homeschool because you have to find testing yourself. The good news is that there are numerous reading assessments available to home-schoolers, and many of them can be taken for free or at a low cost.

Before testing for a reading disability, you should understand how these tests work and what they measure. Most reading assessments consist of three parts: decoding, fluency, and comprehension.

Decoding is the ability to make sense of written words to know how to correctly pronounce words on the page. Fluency is the ability to read a text correctly and quickly. And comprehension is the understanding and interpretation of what is read.

Scores on these skills are looked at both independently and comprehensively to determine where your child excels and where your child may struggle and need additional assistance. Being able to target the problem area allows you to provide the appropriate learning tools for your child’s reading success.

Many assessment materials are available free to download for educators and homeschooling parents. Some can be taken directly online. But with so many of these reading tests out there, how do you choose the right one?

First, look for a test that has been recommended by reading experts or educators. Secondly, remember that free is good, but it’s not necessarily always the best. Finally, you may want to use a testing method that monitors your child’s progress by providing further assessments throughout the year.

There are many resources that provide testing for reading disabilities. The following sites, which provide free reading assessments, can be used as a self-starting point:

The National Right to Read Foundation: http://www.nrrf.org/

DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills): http://dibels.uoregon.edu/

Remember that you may not be able to tackle everything on your own. And that’s okay. That’s why there are organizations who have staff on hand to help you.

If you have a child who struggles with reading, you may want to look into Verticy Learning as a way to help your child learn. Verticy specializes in home-based curriculum for struggling readers and utilizes many multisensory techniques.

Verticy is a joint learning initiative of Calvert School and Jemicy School. Rekindle your student’s love of learning with Verticy. Learn more about Verticy Learning on the Calvert website.

Crystal Pratt is Calvert Education Services’ Social Communications Specialist. She has been involved in education for 20 years. Crystal is a certified teacher, a writer, and a lover of all things that sparkle.