The New Year is the perfect time to hang unmarked calendars, make resolutions and revel in the feeling that we can "start over." And, while it certainly does feel as though our collective slates have been wiped clean, let's not forget that our children are smack in the middle of the academic school year. This is the perfect time for parents to ask, "Is my child reading at grade-level (or higher), and is he making progress?"  And, one of the best ways to find out your child's reading level is to give them a grade-level fluency test.

Fluency is reading speed and accuracy, and a student's fluency rate should steadily increase throughout the school year. For example, at the beginning of the school year, the average 2nd grade student reads about 53 correct words per minute (CWPM); after three months, one would expect that number to have increased to 70 CWPM.

Ask your child's teacher for a grade-level fluency test; or, look online and in reading/tutoring books. With only a little instruction, most parents find fluency tests easy to administer. It is worth a little time and effort to discover for yourself how your child is doing, wouldn't you agree?

Don't wait for a disappointing report card or low test scores- find out NOW if your child is on target in reading. Have a fun, safe New Year, but don't forget that January is the ideal time to give your child a fluency test!