Reading levels: quick answers to parents’ top questions

October 1st, 2018

In many schools, children are tested to determine their reading levels, and teachers use that reading-level information to design classroom instruction. Last week, we wrote about the important things that parents need to know about reading levels, but there have been lots of other parent questions, too. Here’s our attempt at brief and accessible answers to your reading level questions!

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Summer reading program? A family decides.

June 1st, 2018

At a parent presentation this week, a mom explained that her son’s kindergarten teacher recently sent a letter home saying that he would benefit from reading support in preparation for first grade. The problem is that their summer plans have already been made, and the timing of the offered support didn’t fit their schedule. She was wondering if she should upend her family plans, or not.   Read the article  

Why is there all this talk about proficient reading at 3rd grade?

May 5th, 2018

Research shows that children who are strong readers by the end of third grade are more likely to be successful throughout their school years. Most of the children who are struggling readers at this point in elementary school, however, will probably not catch up — not because it’s impossible, but because they would need intensive and appropriate regular instruction by trained specialists, and the motivation  to keep working hard despite feeling not-so-good about reading.

In other words, a negative cycle can occur for children who struggle: Read the article  

My child hates to read. Now what?

February 15th, 2018

At a recent PUP presentation, a parent asked the following question: My second grader doesn’t like to read and I am not sure what to do. Any ideas?


There are lots of reasons why a young child might not like to read, but the most likely reason (and the one we worry most about) is that the child is struggling as a reader.

Think of it this way – nobody likes to do things that are too hard; it makes us feel frustrated and often feel bad about ourselves. This is as true for reading as it is for anything else. And it can lead to a vicious cycle—getting good at reading, like anything, takes practice.

So what should the parent of a child who doesn’t like to read do? We recommend the following: Read the article  

Meet a PUP mom: Insights and advice from a parent in Greater Boston

January 19th, 2018

As part of our PUP News blog, we will be sharing interviews with parents, pediatricians, educators, and others involved with children’s reading. 

Today we have the first of these interviews, with Jill N. from Greater Boston, the mother of two developing readers — 3-year old and 8-year old boys. 

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Words that matter: How the preschool parent conference relates to high school reading success

November 17th, 2017

As you head into a conference about your preschooler, you’re probably thinking about how she’s adjusting to the new classroom and whether she’s learning from the activities. What you might not be thinking about is how and whether your preschooler’s skills are laying the solid foundation needed for success in school and life. But we know, for example, that a child’s vocabulary at age 3 is strongly related to reading at 10th grade. So, what does that mean for a preschool conference?

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The parent-teacher conference: Are you going in prepared?

November 10th, 2017

It’s getting to be parent-teacher conference time again. I must admit that throughout the years, I pretty much raced into those conferences without a thought about my role. I just hoped to hear good things about whichever of our children was being discussed during that 15-minute timeslot, and then I pried myself out of the little chair and went on my way.

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