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April 16, 2010

Lexile: Reading Assessments

The state of Illinois is just one of the many states that is using Lexile as means to assess a child's reading level. Lexile is now apart of the I-SAT.

Learning this today made me wonder what is Lexile? Well the following 6 minute video will answer that!

So now that I know what Lexile is how do I find out what my child's Lexile score is? The only "affordable" resource I found for homeschoolers is Total Reader for those children 3rd-12th grade. (If you know of another resource to find out what your child's Lexile score is please share)

Total Reader is a web-based reading assessment program that gives out Lexile scores. It cost $39.95 for ONE child for ONE year. If you have more then one then you automaticaly get 10% off for each child. You can add up to 6 children. Once you have a Total Reader account you have unlimited access to the program. The more the child uses the program the more accurate is the Lexile score.

There was standard testing options that were comparable in price, however I felt it was best to use something that allowed us to gauge reading levels over time vs. a one time test.

Once you know your child's Lexile score you can use Total Readers recommended reading list or you can use Lexile.com book finder to help find books in your child's reading level.

Personally, I liked the Lexile.com book finder because not only does it filter books based on Lexile Score, but it's possible to filter the selection by topics and age range too. I can see the advantage of using that to select materials for your child.

  • First go to Lexile.com find books on the topic you want in your child's lexile range.
  • Second take that list of books to your local library (or look on your library's online catalog) to see if they have the book.
  • Third, check those books out!
I was browsing my library's online catalog, comparing what my library has to offer against the list I got from Lexile.com. Honestly, there are books that I never would have even consider for my kids. Why? Because they are located, shelved, in an area that I assumed to be younger then my children's reading level and/or are shelved in an area that I assumed to be above my children's reading level.

In addition it's possible to buy books at barnes and nobles website based on Lexile score. At the very least the whole idea of using Lexile score is interesting!


  1. Thank you for sharing this, I am gonna go check it out now...

  2. If you have a Scholastic Books homeschool account, their catalogs also have the lexile listed next to the books. If you don't have an account, it's very easy to get one. They also have a website where you can look up the titles of thousands of books and find out what the reading level for that book is based on three different reading level assessment methods.

  3. Thanks for sharing Karen, I had seen that scholastics was on the the publishers using lexile. It's great to know that they also have a list of books based on lexile. Your reply mention it list books on 3 different reading assessments. Do you happen to know the other 2?

    I know lexile really doesn't give grade levels, but many publishers, schools, etc have translated lexile levels to grade levels. I had found one resource that list several types of assessments in one page with an grade level.


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