It’s important for parents to make sure their children are developing strong reading skills. But unfortunately, learning how to read is not easy for some children. If your child is struggling to read, it’s your responsibility to ensure they have the tools and resources they need to succeed. Thanks to technology, it’s never been easier to help young readers improve their reading skills. Here’s what parents should know about free online reading programs for struggling readers:
What Is A Struggling Reader?
Some parents may assume that their child is a struggling reader simply because he chooses not to read. However, this isn’t always the case. Parents need to understand the difference between struggling readers and reluctant readers.
A reluctant reader is a child who does not want to read because they find it uninteresting or boring. Reluctant readers may also avoid reading because they think it’s “uncool.” It has nothing to do with their reading skills, but rather their level of interest in the activity.
A reluctant reader prefers not to read, whereas a struggling reader has poor reading skills that make it difficult for him to read.
Parents should focus on helping reluctant readers find books that interest them. However, if your child is a struggling reader, the focus should be on improving their reading skills.
What Causes Poor Reading Skills?
There are a number of reasons why children may develop poor reading skills, including:
- Learning English as a second language may make it harder to learn how to read.
- Inadequate reading instruction. If your child is not receiving adequate instruction at school, they may struggle to develop reading skills.
- Lack of motivation. Practice makes perfect when it comes to reading skills, so if your child is not motivated to practice, they could fall behind.
- Learning disabilities such as auditory processing disorder, dyslexia, language processing disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can affect a child’s reading skills.
- Poor “pre-reading” skills. Learning certain skills, including becoming familiar with the sounds that each letter makes, are crucial to becoming a strong reader.
These are some of the many causes of poor reading skills. But the truth is that it doesn’t matter why your child has poor reading skills—all that matters is that you are willing to make an effort to help your child become a better reader.
How Can You Help A Struggling Reader At Home?
Parents often feel helpless as they watch their child struggle to read. But there are a number of ways that parents can help struggling readers at home, including:
- Set small, realistic goals and celebrate when your child reaches them.
- Create a reading space in your home that your child actually wants to spend time in.
- Let your child choose the stories they read.
- Read aloud to your child on a regular basis.
- Ask your child questions about the story as you read it together to improve reading comprehension skills.
- Encourage any type of reading—even if it’s reading the back of a cereal box!
- Find an effective online reading program that is designed to help struggling readers.
Following these tips can help your struggling reader blossom into a strong and confident reader.
What Features Should You Look For In An Online Reading Program?
There are many different online reading programs to choose from, but some are more effective than others. Here are some of the features you should look for when choosing an online reading program for your child:
- A diverse selection of reading materials. Your child should have access to a wide variety of stories so they won’t have any trouble finding something that interests them and is on their grade level.
- Instant feedback. Research has shown that receiving instant feedback is one of the keys to improving reading skills.
- Performance reports so parents can closely monitor their child’s progress.
- The option to read aloud or listen to stories. This creates a multi-sensory experience that will help children become stronger readers.
Don’t choose the first reading program you come across—take the time to find one that has these important features.
What is the Best Program to Teach Reading to Struggling Readers?
The Readability app is one of the best free online reading programs for struggling readers. On this app, kids can connect with a virtual tutor who will provide feedback and corrections in real-time. This allows children to quickly identify, fix, and learn from their reading mistakes. In just 90 days, kids can dramatically improve their reading skills with the Readability app. Sign up for your free 7-day trial to get started today.