Why You Should Track Teen Reading

Does your teen like to read?  Do they drudge through any book you put in front of them? Do you have trouble knowing if they are really reading and comprehending what you have put before them? I know that I struggle with holding my teen accountable to her reading, especially when I haven’t read the book myself. Finding a way to track teen reading has been something I feel is important, yet find it difficult to do.

Why You Should Track Teen Reading from Starts At Eight

It used to be that my daughter read so much that I couldn’t keep up with the volume of books she read. Between her reading, my other two reading, and my own stuff, it was just impossible to read everything.

Why do I need to read everything you ask? I have always felt like the best way to asses comprehension and engage their minds is by having read the book myself and talking to them about it. The problem becomes having too many books to read and not enough time! That led me to searching for ways to asses comprehension and track reading without having to read each book myself. I would scour the Internet for comprehension questions for each and every book. I have printed countless numbers of reading logs and summary sheets throughout the years. The question now is, why?

Why You Should Track Teen Reading

There are many reasons why you might want to track teen reading. Some may be academic and some personal.

Comprehension – Tracking what your teen reads is a way to track their comprehension skills to. By finding or asking questions about each book read, you can get an understanding of whether or not your teen comprehends what they are reading.

Diversity – Tracking teen reading allows you to see if their selections are varied. Reading all of the same genre of book does not create a well rounded reading list. For instance you wouldn’t want them reading all sci-fi, but instead want them to branch out and a read a classic, or a mystery, poetry, or contemporary fiction. By tracking their reading you can easily see if their selections are varied.

Rewards – Whether you set up your own rewards/incentive program for reading or you find a bookstore, library, etc that offers one, tracking your teens reading will allow you to offer a system of rewards for the type or volume of reading you are looking for them to achieve.

High School Credit Fulfillment – Living in a state that has stricter requirements, I find myself documenting and keeping track of many things. Tracking your teens reading may help them fulfill high school English course requirements, and possibly even history when historical fiction comes into play.

College Admissions – Especially as a homeschooler, college admissions offices are looking for evidence of work completed. College like Columbia University ask for specific titles of the books students have read. For this reason it is good to track teen reading just in case they may need it down the road.

Reading Portfolio to Track Teen Reading

Reading Portfolio is an online tool that recognizes and encourages independent reading in teens. {Disclosure: I received a Reading Portfolio subscription for free to review and I was compensated for my time in writing this article. All of my opinions are my own and I was not required to post a positive review. Your experience may vary. Please see my full disclosure policy for more details.}

Reading Portfolio Screenshot

How Reading Portfolio Can Help Track Teen Reading

Reading Portfolio offers multiple features that solve the problem of needing a way to track your teen’s reading.

1. Keeps a Record of Books Read

How does Reading Portfolio do this? They do it by having your teen take short quizzes. You can see the book list here. They must achieve a score of 6 out of 10 or higher to be considered passing. This allows for showing comprehension of what they have read.

2. Holds Teens Accountable to Comprehension

By setting certain checks and balances in place, Reading Portfolio helps to ensure student accountability.

  • Each quiz is timed.
  • They use a web cam to record your student taking the quizzes which they can compare to their profile photo to help ensure it is them taking it.  (While my daughter did not like this feature as she did not want to be recorded, I see it as a way for the company to put more weight behind their service because it helps to show accountability.)
  • They offer a verified scoring system to be used for college admission. It gives you a way to account for the work your student has done and to quantify it by an outside source.

Taking a Reading Portfolio Quiz

Purchase Reading Portfolio

Track Teen Reading with Reading Portfolio

Available to students 13 and older, Reading Portfolio credits students for every book they read and every quiz they pass on their site. Reading Portfolio allows students to build a score that reflects the depth and breadth of their reading history and shows college admissions officers that students are well-read. They have both one year and ten year options:

  • one year subscription $15.95
  • ten year subscription $24.95

The ten year subscription allows you to build up a Reading Portfolio score during the middle school, high school and college years, for a maximum of ten years, but you will have access to your scores and portfolios forever.

For more information on how to track teen reading, follow Reading Portfolio on: