As parents, we are always looking for ways to help our children succeed. When we see that they are struggling to read, we search for the best help we can find.
Technology is now a big part of how children are learning. Incorporating technology such as apps into their learning can help struggling readers to see how reading can be fun and interactive.
What is a struggling reader?
A struggling reader is a reader who is not meeting their reading level. There are many ways a child could be struggling to read and often this might lead to becoming reluctant to read.
They might struggle with recognizing enough sight words. By the end of first grade, your reader should be able to recognize about 100 sight words. They could also just be identifying words but not able to understand the meaning of the reading, so their reading comprehension might be the problem. Some new readers might struggle with fluency and have to frequently stop to sound out words. Some struggling readers might have some or all of these issues.
Helping a struggling reader to catch up takes time and patience. But it is possible for struggling readers to be able to catch up to their reading level. While some children are able to catch up on their own, many others need guidance and help. The key is to provide opportunities for practice and tons of encouragement.
What are the best ways to help a struggling reader catch up?
The key to helping a struggling reader to catch up to their reading level is to try a variety of methods and use different techniques to get them to practice often and enjoy reading.
- Read at home regularly with your child to give them practice outside of school. This also builds good reading habits that they will carry on themselves. Even just 4.7 more minutes of reading time can improve your child’s reading skills.
- Practice sight words to help them build vocabulary and increase fluency. Being able to recognize more sight words will help them to read quickly and understand sentences easier.
- Choose a variety of books at different reading levels so that they have books that are at the level they are reading as well as slightly more challenging books to help them increase their reading level.
- Try echo reading to show them a good model of reading. When you have your scheduled reading time together, you can read one sentence and then have them repeat that same sentence.
- Practice Intensive reading which is all about reading a lot and reading only for pleasure. Practicing intensive reading will help your child enjoy the act of reading and want to practice it more.
- Use reading apps as a great way to incorporate technology into reading practice to make it more interactive. There are tons of reading apps that help to improve different reading skills.
What are the best apps for struggling?
There is a variety of reading apps out there, but these will specifically help struggling readers in various reading skills.
- Readability is a great app to help with reading skills overall for struggling readers. The app essentially works like a private tutor for your child and reads with them using A.I. and speech-recognition technology.
- Merriam-Webster is a dictionary app that can help your child build vocabulary and learn more sight words.
- Flashcard apps such as Quizlet or Flashcard+ can help with learning new sight words. They are great for on-the-go learning for when you want to keep your child busy but learning at the same time.
- Endless Alphabet is an app for new readers and helps build vocabulary early on. It again helps with sight words familiarity which is essential for new and struggling readers.
- Rewordify also helps with reading comprehension. This takes a complex text and rewords it to be much more simple and understandable sentences.
These reading apps all help with various aspects of reading. Reading involves a variety of skills that need to be developed in struggling readers. But practicing one reading skill will often lead to the other skills improving as well.