Find Out Exactly What Skills Your Child Needs to Master Reading

Using Our Simple Reading Tests Below, Discover Where Your Child Needs Training to Move Forward

Use this checklist to determine exactly where your children are at on the path to reading. Included in each step are simple tests you can give your child which will reveal any specific gaps in their skills that need filling in. Additionally, we include the materials you'll need to build those missing skills.

STEP 1: Phonemic Awareness

Mastery: Your child can tell you the beginning sound of simple words.

Go here for complete information.

Test for competency:

Ask your child slowly and clearly: "Can you tell me what sound the word, 'dog' starts with? It starts with /d/. Let's say /d/ /d/ 'dog' together, [she should be able to repeat with you] /d/ /d/ 'dog', /d/ /d/ 'dog'."

"Let's try another word. Can you say the first sound of 'cat'? What's the first sound you hear in 'cat'? [wait to see if your she can say the first sound]. Let's say it together, /c/ /c/ 'cat', /c/ /c/ 'cat'."

Success: If your child can easily detect the beginning sounds of simple words, your child has mastered this skill and you can go to Step 2: Alphabetic Principle.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems discerning the beginning sounds of words, use these games and lessons until they master this step, then your child is ready for the next Step.

Partners in Rhyme - Game App

Letter Sound Alphabet Printable Cards - PDF Download

$6.95

STEP 2: Alphabetic Principle

Mastery: Your child can tell you the common sounds that letters make.

Go here for complete information.

Test for competency:

Gather pictures of an apple, dog, cat, paleā€¦ any pictures that do not have blended beginning sounds. (Frog is not a good choice because the beginning sound of the word has an /fr/ blended sound, which is too advanced a concept for this level.) Make sure the pictures don't have anything else in them and are accurate renderings (not cartoon, distorted versions). They need to be only the object too (not distracting graphics around them). Beside each picture, put a nicely rendered version of the beginning letter. Let's use the apple as an example.

Point to the letter 'a' beside the picture of the apple and ask your child: "Can you tell me what sound this letter makes?" [He should be able to see the apple, detect that it begins with the /a/ sound and say it].

Do this with several pictures.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems saying the sound of the letters, he is ready for Step 3: Phoneme Blending.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems detecting and saying these letter sounds, use the following app games to learn/strengthen this concept before moving to the next level of reading.

ABC Magic Phonics 1

ABC Magic Phonics 2

ABC Magic Phonics 3

Letter Sound Matching

ABC Magic Phonics 4

ABC Magic Phonics 5

Connecting Sounds, Letters and Pictures

ABC Magic Phonics 6

Memory Match

Sound Beginnings

Blending, Segmenting and Reading 3-Letter Short Vowel Words

STEP 3: Phoneme Blending

Mastery: Your child can blend 3- and 4-letter sounds into a word.

Go here for complete information.

Test for competency:

Start by gathering the following accurately rendered 3-letter lowercase words: 'ram', 'bed', 'sit', 'log', 'run', 'bend', 'clap' and 'drum'. Make them large - about an inch tall.

Starting with the word, 'ram', don't tell her what the word is but just show the word and ask her to say what each letter sound in this word says. [She should be able to say, /r/ /a/ /m/]. Next, ask her to say the letters together and tell you what word this is. [She should be able to say, /r/ /a/ /m/, 'ram'].

If your child doesn't have any problems saying the sounds of these 3- and 4-letter words and their names, she is ready for Step 4: Phoneme Segmenting.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems saying the sound of the letters, he is ready for Step 3: Phoneme Blending.

Needs Work with 3-letter words: If your child is having problems with 3-letter words, use the following app games and printable booklet lessons to strengthen this skill.

ABC Magic Reading 1

Short Vowel Words

3-Letter Phonetic Word Cards

6 Sets, 60 3-Letter Word Cards - $14.95
 

Needs Work with 4-letter words: If your child is doing well with 3-letter words but having trouble with 4-letter words, use the app games and printable booklet lessons below to strengthen this skill. Once she has mastered both 3- and 4-letter words, your child is ready for Step 4: Phoneme Segmenting.

ABC Magic Reading 3

Consonant Blends

4-Letter Phonetic Word Cards with Consonant Blends

7 Sets, 108 4-Letter Word Cards - $22.95

Phonetic Word Cards With Two Consonant Blends

15 Cards - $3.95

Phonetic Word Cards With Triple Consonant Blends

15 Cards - $3.95

Multiple Syllable Word Cards

9 Sets - 114 Cards - $24.95

STEP 4: Phoneme Segmenting

Mastery: Your child can dissect a word into its letter sounds without seeing the word.

Go here for complete information.

Test for competency:

Gather several accurately rendered pictures of a cat, pumpkin, fabric, star, creek, ship, cake, bike and a home. Make sure these images are not surrounded by distracting graphics but are only the object on a white background.

Start with the picture of the cat. Ask your child to say what this picture is and then tell you what each letter sound of the word. If needed you can demonstrate this first one by saying, "'cat' - /c/ /a/ /t/". Ask your child to repeat what you said.

Now, without saying what it is, show the picture of the pumpkin and ask him to tell you what this is and then say each letter sound that makes up that word. Do this will all the pictures mentioned.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems saying what each object is and breaking the words into their letter sounds, he is ready for Step 5: Word Decoding.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with all of the words, he needs to use all these apps to gain mastery before moving on to Step 5.

ABC Magic Reading 3

Multiple Syllables

ABC Magic Reading 4

 

Needs Work only with silent 'e' words: If your child is doing well all words except those that end in silent 'e', you just need to use the app below to fill this gap in his reading education. Then you can proceed to Step 5: Word Decoding.

ABC Magic Reading 5

Silent Final "e"

STEP 5: Word Decoding

Mastery: Your child can correctly pronounce words by affiliating the letters within them by CVC, CVCC, multiple syllables and silent 'e'.

Go here for complete information.

Test for competency:

There are four tests you need to administer at this level to determine which skills are strong and where there are gaps that need filling in with specific training in that skill. These tests are:

  1. CVC words (consonant-vowel-consonant)
  2. CVCC, CCVC words (consonant-vowel-consonant-consonant and consonant, consonant, vowel, consonant)
  3. Words containing multiple syllables, and
  4. Words that end in silent 'e'

Your child must be competent in all four before moving on to Step 6: Reading Sentences. The appropriate game app lessons are provided for your child to master each skill.

CVC Test

Gather accurately rendered pictures of a cat, box and a rug. Make sure these images are not surrounded by distracting graphics but are only the object on a white background.

Start with the picture of the cat. Ask your child to say what this picture is and then tell you what each letter sound of the word. [Your child should easily be able to say, "'cat' - /c/ /a/ /t/"]. Try the other two words.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems saying what each object is and breaking the words into their letter sounds, note this down and go to the CVCC Test.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any these words, he needs to use the game app lessons below to master CVC words.

ABC Magic Reading 1

CVCC, CCVC Test

Gather accurately rendered pictures of a lamp, jump, nest, frog, clip, glass and a clock. Make sure these images are not surrounded by distracting graphics but are only the object on a white background.

Start with the picture of lamp. Ask your child to say what this picture is and then tell you what each letter sound of the word. [Your child should easily be able to say, "'lamp' - /l/ /a/ /m/ /p/"]. Try the other six words.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems saying what each object is and breaking the words into their letter sounds, note this down and move on to the Multiple Syllable Test.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any these words, he needs to use the game app lessons below to master CVCC, CCVC words.

ABC Magic Reading 2

ABC Magic Reading 4

Multiple Syllables Test

Gather accurately rendered pictures of a pumpkin, nugget, fabric and a camel. Make sure these images are not surrounded by distracting graphics but are only the object on a white background.

Start with the picture of pumpkin. Ask your child to say what this picture is and then tell you what each letter sound of the word. [Your child should easily be able to say, "'pumpkin' - /p/ /u/ /m/ /p/ /k/ /i/ /n/"]. Try the other three words.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems saying what each object is and breaking the words into their letter sounds, note this down and move on to the Silent 'e' Test.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any these words, he needs to use the game app lessons below to master multiple syllable words.

ABC Magic Reading 3

Silent 'e' Test

Gather accurately rendered pictures of a cake, bike, home and a wave. Make sure these images are not surrounded by distracting graphics but are only the object on a white background.

Start with the picture of cake. Ask your child to say what this picture is and then tell you what each letter sound of the word. [Your child should easily be able to say, "'cake' - /c/ /a/ /k/"]. Try the other three words.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems saying what each object is and breaking the words into their letter sounds, note this down.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any these words, he needs to use the game app lessons below to master silent 'e' words.

ABC Magic Reading 5

 

As mentioned earlier, your child needs to have mastery with all four of these skills before moving on to Step 6: Reading Sentences.

STEP 6: Reading Sentences

Mastery: Your child can read simple complete sentences.

Go here for complete information.

Test for competency:

There are 13 sentence-reading tests you need to administer at this level to determine which of your child's skills are strong and where there are gaps that need attention before moving on to reading books.

Your child must be competent in all 13 sentence-reading skills before moving on to reading books. Because each test becomes more difficult, each needs to be administered in sequence from 1 to 13. Start with Test 1, then move to Test 2, etc. as your child shows competence in the last. The appropriate game apps and lessons are provided for your child to master each sentence-reading skill.

Test 1: Reading 2-Word Sentences with CVC Phonetic Words

Using clearly-rendered large typing, create the following sentences:
1. Dot hops.
2. Jan fans.
3. Pam gabs.
4. Liz mops.

Showing your child one at a time, ask her to read each sentence.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems reading these sentences, move on to Test 2.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any of these sentences, use the game app and printable booklet pack below so your child can build up his mastery before moving on to Test 2.

Sentence Reading Magic 1

2-Word CVC Phonetic Word Sentence Booklets

40 booklets - $5.95

Test 2: Reading 3-Word Sentences with CVC Phonetic Words

Using clearly-rendered large typing, create the following sentences:
1. Al can add.
2. Dad hugs Sal.
3. Mom fed Liz.
4. Tess cuts it.

Showing your child one at a time, ask her to read each sentence.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems reading these sentences, move on to Test 3.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any of these sentences, use the printable booklet pack below so your child can build up his mastery before moving on to Test 3.

3-Word CVC Phonetic Word Sentence Booklets

40 booklets - $5.95

Test 3: Reading 4-Word Sentences with CVC Phonetic Words

Using clearly-rendered large typing, create the following sentences:
1. Todd cut the logs.
2. The bus is big.
3. A jog is fun.
4. A pop is fun.

Showing your child one at a time, ask her to read each sentence.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems reading these sentences, move on to Test 4.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any of these sentences, use the printable booklet pack below so your child can build up his mastery before moving on to Test 4.

4-Word CVC Phonetic Word Sentence Booklets

40 booklets - $5.95

Test 4: Reading Long Sentences and Two Sentences with CVC Phonetic Words

Using clearly-rendered large typing, create the following sentences:
1. The dog will not let him get it.
2. Bev has fun. Bev sits in the sun.
3. Matt will hop on for fun.
4. Mel has a big rip. Mel is sad.

Showing your child one at a time, ask her to read each of these sentences.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems reading these sentences, move on to Test 5.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any of these sentences, use the printable booklet pack below so your child can build up his mastery before moving on to Test 5.

CVC Phonetic Word Sentence Booklets with 2 Sentences

40 booklets - $5.95

Test 5: Reading Single Sentences Consonant Blends

Using clearly-rendered large typing, create the following sentences:
1. Brad can camp in the tent.
2. Tess was not glad and wept.
3. Stan held the twig in his hand.
4. Brett can grab the stem and sniff.

Showing your child one at a time, ask her to read each of these sentences.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems reading these sentences, move on to Test 6.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any of these sentences, use the games app and printable booklet pack below so your child can build up his mastery before moving on to Test 6.

Sentence Reading Magic 2

Consonant Blend Single Sentence Booklets

20 booklets - $3.95

Test 6: Reading Double Sentences Consonant Blends

Using clearly-rendered large typing, create the following sentences:
1. Stan will not miss. Stan will hit the golf flag.
2. Jill can stand in the grass. Jill held on as the rod bent.
3. Tess got a gift. Tess can fill the gift in the slot of the pig bank.
4. Scott ran fast. Scott jumps and lands in the sand.

Showing your child one at a time, ask her to read each of these sentence groups.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems reading these sentence groups, move on to Test 7.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any of these sentences, use the games app and printable booklet pack below so your child can build up his mastery before moving on to Test 7.

Sentence Reading Magic 2

Consonant Blend Double Sentence Booklets

20 booklets - $3.95

Test 7: Reading Single Sentences Advanced Consonant Blends

Using clearly-rendered large typing, create the following sentences:
1. Brent can blend a drink.
2. For a stunt, Fran twists and flips.
3. The crust got crisp.
4. The craft did drift in the wind.

Showing your child one at a time, ask her to read each of these sentence groups.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems reading these sentence groups, move on to Test 8.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any of these sentences, use the games app and printable booklet pack below so your child can build up his mastery before moving on to Test 8.

Sentence Reading Magic 2

Advanced Consonant Blend Single Sentence Cards

20 booklets - $3.95

Test 8: Reading Double Sentences Advanced Consonant Blends

Using clearly-rendered large typing, create the following sentences:
1. The cramp stops Brad's sprint. Brad will not win.
2. Frank stands on his stilts. Frank will not trip.
3. The stump had a split in it. Ants had a nest in the stump.
4. Gwen will not stand, but sit. Gwen strums the strings.

Showing your child one at a time, ask her to read each of these sentence groups.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems reading these sentence groups, move on to Test 9.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any of these sentences, use the games app and printable booklet pack below so your child can build up his mastery before moving on to Test 9.

Sentence Reading Magic 2

Advanced Consonant Blend Double Sentence Booklets

20 booklets - $3.95

Test 9: Reading Single Sentences with Multiple Syllables

Using clearly-rendered large typing, create the following sentences:
1. A trumpet is a brass instrument.
2. A plant did exist to the left of the cabinet.
3. A satin ribbon was on the kitten's neck.
4. The robin trills at sunset.

Showing your child one at a time, ask her to read each of these sentences.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems reading these sentences, move on to Test 10.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any of these sentences, use the printable booklet pack below so your child can build up his mastery before moving on to Test 10.

Multiple Syllable Phonetic Single Sentence Booklets

20 booklets - $3.95

Test 10: Reading Double Sentences with Multiple Syllables

Using clearly-rendered large typing, create the following sentences:
1. Gavin travels fast on his sled. His mittens stiffen in the frost.
2. Dennis prospects in the sand and gravel. Dennis spots a nugget hidden in the gravel.
3. Allison selected cotton napkins for the picnic. Allison set the picnic up on the blanket.
4. The kitten did not relax in the basket. The kitten pretends to hunt.

Showing your child one at a time, ask her to read each of these sentence groups.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems reading these sentences, move on to Test 11.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any of these sentences, use the printable booklet pack below so your child can build up his mastery before moving on to Test 11.

Multiple Syllable Phonetic Double Sentence Booklets

20 booklets - $3.95

Test 11: Reading Single Sentences with Silent Final 'e' Words with the Same Vowel

Using clearly-rendered large typing, create the following sentences:
1. Kate left the grapes on the plate.
2. The crane wades in the lake.
3. The tame mare had a big mane.
4. The fake rake was on the gate.

Showing your child one at a time, ask her to read each of these sentences.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems reading these sentences, move on to Test 12.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any of these sentences, use the printable booklet pack below so your child can build up his mastery before moving on to Test 12.

Silent Final 'e' Single Sentence Booklets with Same Vowel

20 booklets - $3.95

Test 12: Reading Single Sentences with Silent Final 'e' Words with the Mixed Vowels

Using clearly-rendered large typing, create the following sentences:
1. Duke rides the waves for fun.
2. Mike did not close the safe.
3. Kate set a note on the frame.
4. Mike digs a hole at the site of the X.

Showing your child one at a time, ask her to read each of these sentences.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems reading these sentences, move on to Test 12.

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any of these sentences, use the printable booklet pack below so your child can build up his mastery before moving on to Test 13.

Silent Final 'e' Single Sentence Booklets with Mixed Vowels

20 booklets - $3.95

Test 13: Reading Double Sentences with Silent Final 'e' Words

Using clearly-rendered large typing, create the following sentences:
1. The fire is hot and Fred is brave. Fred can use the hose to help stop the fire.
2. The dog bites the bone. The dog runs to hide the bone in a hole.
3. Scott is at the lake. Scott uses a lure to get a bite on his line.
4. Gwen got the note. Sal did invite Gwen to the lake home for a fine time.

Showing your child one at a time, ask her to read each of these sentence groups.

Success: If your child doesn't have any problems reading these sentences and has mastered all 13 levels, he is ready to start reading books with simple sentences!

Needs Work: If your child is having problems with any of these sentences, use the printable booklet pack below so your child can build up his mastery before moving on to reading books

Silent Final 'e' Double Sentence Booklets

20 booklets - $3.95