How did you come up with the questions parents are asked?
We decided on the question sets for each age level by using state and national benchmarks and resources for children. These documents guide educators in the early education & care, and K-12 education systems, and are used by practicing clinicians who regularly evaluate children’s development and milestones. We also drew on our own research and expertise in the three domains of reading development. Key resources that may be of interest include: Massachusetts Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers; Common Core State Standards ELA; Massachusetts Standards for Preschool and Kindergarten; and Massachusetts Social-Emotional Learning Standards.
How do you determine the ratings for each child in each of the skill areas?
To determine the ratings for each child, we tally the answers a parent provides to each of the questions, which fall into one of three skill categories. We then use an algorithm to determine the child’s levels relative to what’s expected based on development among the overall population of children, and the standards and guidelines for early childhood and educational practice. Our algorithm is periodically updated—to reflect even more precision that continues to come out of the research and science of early reading development, and also as we gain more users on PUP–to improve its accuracy and better illustrate where children stand. Note that if a parent has too many “I don’t know” responses, we are unable to provide an estimate of the child’s level. Of course, our ratings are not a substitute for face-to-face evaluation of your child’s skills by a specialist, or a teacher’s evaluation of progress based on classroom experiences. (Read here on why we started PUP as a parent toolkit.)
How do the recommendations link to the research on reading success?
The PUP Recommendations are based on the science of language and reading for each of the reading-related skills, and on the science of children’s social and emotional learning for Everyday Learning Skills. The research includes studies of how the skills develop among children and therefore what to watch for and expect, what the difficulties look like and how to support children with challenges. The research also includes studies that have tested different methods and strategies for promoting development and preventing difficulties. Based on the research and your child’s profile, the recommendations are meant to give parents ideas for activities, routines, and conversations to incorporate into daily family life to get their babies, toddlers, and young children on the road to strong reading.
What do games and puzzles have to do with later reading success?
Everyday Learning Skills is an important area of children’s development that is often overlooked in helping children get on the path to strong reading—and games and puzzles are excellent ways to foster children’s Everyday Learning Skills. During any given game or puzzle, children need to focus on the task at hand, strategize and plan for upcoming moves or plays, perhaps collaborate with others to get things accomplished, learn to control their emotions when they lose (and win), and/or look at things from different perspectives. Some games may also help with developing reading skills more directly—depending on the type of game, the game-playing may encourage learning letter knowledge, word reading practice, and/or building up knowledge of the world. And equally important, both game-playing and puzzle-making offer opportunities to have conversations that go back and forth, and give your child lots of chances to answer open-ended questions that build critical thinking skills (e.g., Why did you make that move? What’s your plan for figuring out this puzzle?).
I didn’t get the result I was expecting for my child. Now what?
PUP Reading was designed to give parents a sense of where their children are on the road to reading in each of three skill areas, and sometimes parents might be surprised by a child’s lower result in one area or another. There are a number of different reasons why your child might have a lower score than you expected: It might be that this is the first really close look at your child’s developing skills—and that the results will improve once you try the PUP Recommendations and increase reading and conversation and play with letters and sounds at home. (Then, after 8 weeks of your support combined with your child’s development, you can go back to the questions and see if the results are more aligned with what you would expect.) It could be that your answers to the questions are not aligned with the assessments that others might make of your child’s developing skills, and it may make sense to reach out to a pediatrician, caregiver or educator to get a more complete understanding of your child’s abilities. And, of course, keep in mind that children don’t develop these skills at the exact same time, so some variation makes sense and scores can change with support and instruction. However, if you are consistently getting PUP Results that point you toward reaching out for further information, it makes sense to start conversations with other adults who are involved in your child’s reading journey, and who might help you get a plan for moving forward. You would want to rule out any hearing or vision difficulty, for sure.
Does my 1-year membership cost cover the price of all of my children?
Yes. The PUP membership is a family membership. Add all of your children, birth to grade 3, to your PUP dashboard and keep track of reading skills for your whole family.
What happens at the end of my 1-year membership?
A few weeks before your membership comes due, you will get an email from PUP Reading asking you if you would like to sign on for another year. If you do not want to renew, you can opt out at that time. If you do not respond to that email or the subsequent reminder emails about the renewal date, you will automatically be renewed using the credit card you used when you signed up.
What is your refund policy?
While we do not provide credit, refunds or prorated billing, we do want to be sure you are getting the most from your PUP Reading experience and membership. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and we will be happy to try and help.