Reading Placement Guide

In general, I don’t suggest choosing a higher reading level than your child’s natural grade level. While they may be excellent readers, the subjects in books for older students may not be appropriate for young readers.

Preschool – Can’t recognize all of the letters or doesn’t know their sounds.

Sight Reading – Learn to Read – Recognizes the letters and knows their sounds.

Phonics – Learn to Read – Has completed the sight reading course. If your child is ready for kindergarten and knows their letter names and sounds but hasn’t been through the sight reading course, please start there. It is not a full year. It’s about 111 lessons. It’s an important step in our learn to read program. If your child struggles with learning by sight words and would do better with phonics, please choose the Phonics – Learn to Read course.

In Level 1 the students are reading chapter novels. It is advanced but it is our level 1 after completing our learn-to-read program. If your student isn’t ready for Level 1 Reading, they should complete Learn To Read first.

The right level should have new words for your child,
but your child should still be able to understand what’s going on.

Level 1 – Excerpted from The Tale of Solomon Owl by Arthur Scott Bailey

Solomon at last succeeded in falling asleep once more. And he dreamed that he chased
Benjamin Bat three times around Blue Mountain, and then three times back again, in
the opposite direction. But he never could catch him, because Benjamin Bat simply
wouldn’t fly straight. His zigzag course was so confusing that even in his dream,
Solomon Owl grew dizzy.

Level 2 – Excerpted from The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad by Thornton W. Burgess

He had just reached a turn in the Crooked Little Path when who should run right plump
into him but poor Old Mr. Toad. He gave a frightened squeal and fell right over on his
back, and kicked foolishly as he tried to get on his feet again. But he was all out of
breath, and so frightened and tired that all he could do was to kick and kick. He hadn’t
seen Jimmy at all, for he had been looking behind him, and he didn’t even know who it
was he had run into.

Level 3 – Excerpted from Heidi by Johanna Spyri

She was eager to look at the sky and the ground below, as she had always done at home. What was her disappointment when she found that the windows were too high for her to see anything except the walls and windows opposite. Trying to open them, she turned from one to the other, but in vain. The poor child felt like a little bird that is placed in a glittering cage for the first time. At last she had to resign herself, and sat down on a low stool, thinking of the melting snow on the slopes and the first flowers of spring that she had hailed with such delight.

Level 4 – Excerpted from The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss

The tempest had raged for six days, and on the seventh seemed to increase. The ship had
been so far driven from its course, that no one on board knew where we were. Everyone was exhausted with fatigue and watching. The shattered vessel began to leak in many places, the oaths of the sailors were changed to prayers, and each thought only how to save his own life.

Level 5 – Excerpted from The Ride to London by Charles Dickens

The four dappled steeds skimmed along, as if they liked it quite as well as Tom did; the bugle was in as high spirits as the horses themselves; the coachman chimed in sometimes with his voice; the wheels hummed cheerfully in unison; the brasswork on the harness was an orchestra of little bells; and thus they went clinking, jingling, rattling smoothly on; the whole concern, from the buckles of the leaders’ coupling reins to the handle of the hind boot, was one great instrument of music.

Level 6 – Excerpted from Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

I was a surgeon successfully on two ships, and made several voyages for six years to the East and West Indies, by which I got some addition to my fortune. My hours of leisure I spent reading the best authors, ancient and modern, being always provided with a good number of books; and when I was ashore, in observing the manners and dispositions of the people, as well as learning their language, wherein I had a great facility by the strength of my memory.

Level 7 – Excerpted from Penrod and Sam by Booth Tarkington

These broodings helped a little; but it was a severe morning, and on his way home at noon he did not recover heart enough to practice the bullfrog’s croak, the craft that Sam Williams had lately mastered to inspiring perfection. This sonorous accomplishment Penrod had determined to make his own. At once guttural and resonant, impudent yet plaintive, with a barbaric twang like the plucked string of a Congo war-fiddle, the sound had fascinated him. It is made in the throat by processes utterly impossible to describe in human words….


There is an Intermediate Reading and Language Arts course for students who are ahead in one or the other to give them a chance to catch up before starting Literature and Composition I.