When Reading Levels and Maturity Levels Differ

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by Patrice on March 18, 2011 · 2 comments

in Reading

Moms know that an important part of improving their child’s reading ability is by having them read more. Reading to a young child is more likely to make the child want to read as they become older. Once they start to look forward to the trips to the library and the ability to choose their own reading material, the substance of the reading material becomes an issue for many single moms.

Books are usually organized and rated by grade level. Reading scores are also given as grade levels. Unfortunately, the level at which your child reads is not always the same as the grade level of your child. This can cause quite a gap in how the maturity level of your child compares to the book content.

If your child has trouble reading and scores at a lower grade level, the reading materials that he can read by himself are often written for a lower maturity level that the child has reached. This may make the child lose interest in the reading material that he sees as being babyish. Once the child loses interest in reading on his own, it’s hard to bring the excitement of books back. This will further limit the growth in his reading skills.

Be on the lookout for books on subjects the child is interested in. If the slower reader finds the subject matter exciting, the child is more likely to read everything they can on the topic and not pay attention to the vocabulary structure of the information. It’s the topic that they find exciting, not the way the sentences are structured.

For the single mom who is the parent of a child who reads well beyond their grade level, the content of the material also plays an important part in choosing appropriate reading material. A third grader who reads at a ninth grade reading level would have no problem reading the books in the young adult section of the local library, but does the maturity level of the child match with the content of the book that is targeted toward a teenager?

A single mom whose child’s reading skills are not at the standardized level may need assistance when it comes to monitoring what her child is reading. A meeting with the child’s school teachers will give both mom and instructor insights into the ability to read and the ability to understand and enjoy what is read. The teacher may have a list of appropriate reading materials that will keep the child interested and still allow their reading skills to increase.

The librarian, also, is often familiar with the content of the books in the library and is able to offer guidance as to whether certain books are appropriate for the emotional maturity of your child.

In some cases, the single mom may just have to read the book for herself before giving it to the child whose reading skills are far beyond emotional maturity.


About Patrice

Patrice Campbell is a freelance writer working from the Denver area. Campbell started her writing career in the 1980’s, working for several Wisconsin local papers as a news, human interest and features writer, as well as a photographer.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dane March 22, 2011 at 3:23 am

It’s not easy to teach our kids to read, especially when reading resources used in schools are unfamiliar to us, it’s really going to be challenging. But still we have to try and help our kids.


Savannah March 22, 2011 at 9:07 am

You can try programs at home too. I learned to read from a computer game called “Reader Rabbit,” not from school. Things done at home can make a big difference.


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