Developing strong reading skills is crucial to a child’s success. But unfortunately, it’s estimated that about 40% of children struggle to learn to read. If your child is struggling to read, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. The longer you wait to help, the harder it will be for your child to improve their skills. In fact, research shows that if a child is still struggling to read by the end of third grade, they may never catch up with their peers. Don’t wait any longer to help your child become a better reader. Here’s how you can help with reading at home:
Why Does My Child Struggle With Reading?
A number of factors could affect a child’s ability to develop crucial reading skills. Some of the most common reasons why children struggle with reading include:
- Limited experience
- Inadequate instruction
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Lack of confidence
- Difference in learning style
Identifying the underlying issue can help parents determine the best way to provide their children with the support they need to improve their reading skills.
How Do You Identify A Struggling Reader?
It’s not always easy for a parent to recognize that their child is struggling to read. Some of the signs of a struggling reader that you should look out for include:
- Avoiding reading aloud or expressing a dislike for reading
- Guessing or making up words when reading
- Recognizing a word on one page, but failing to recognize the same word on another page
- Struggling to sound out an unfamiliar word
- Failing to recognize words that rhyme
- Not being able to identify or remember letters of the alphabet
- Forgetting the sounds that each letter of the alphabet makes
- Skipping over words in a sentence when reading
If you spot any of these signs, you may want to consider setting aside time to work on your child’s reading skills at home.
How Can I Help My Child Who is Struggling to Read?
There’s no need to panic if your child is exhibiting the signs of a struggling reader. There are plenty of ways for parents to help their children become better readers at home. Start with these simple strategies:
Take the time to read aloud to your child on a regular basis. Studies have shown that reading aloud to children can improve their language skills, broaden their vocabulary, and improve their ability to learn to read.
You should also ask your child to read aloud to you. Try taking turns reading the same story or passage aloud to each other. Reading aloud in unison can also be beneficial if your child needs to work on their fluency skills. This will challenge your child to match your speed and natural flow.
Play With Letter Magnets
Make reading fun for your child with letter magnets. Use these magnets to help your child learn how to create new words and broaden their vocabulary. This is a great way to teach your child about special phonetic rules, such as long and short vowels and silent letters.
Create Graphic Organizers
If your child is struggling with reading comprehension, create graphic organizers together to help them interpret the text.
For example, create a Venn diagram that compares and contrasts two main characters in a story or two stories written by the same author. Or create a flowchart that helps your child understand the sequence of events that took place.
Encourage your child to reread their favorite stories over and over again. Reading the same story more than once can help your child improve their fluency, which is a crucial reading skill.
Help your child gain a deeper understanding of the text by asking them questions. Some examples of questions you could ask include:
- Who were the main characters?
- What caused this event to happen?
- Why did this character act in this way?
- How do you think this event made this character feel?
Asking these questions will force your child to recall information, analyze the text, and make inferences, which will improve their reading comprehension skills.
Use the Readability App
One of the best tools that parents should use to help their struggling readers is the Readability app. This app reads stories aloud, listens to your child read aloud, provides instant feedback and correction, and asks questions about the text to keep your child engaged. Using the Readability app is just like working with a digital reading tutor. With regular use, your child can drastically improve their reading skills at home.
Help Your Child Become A Better Reader
It’s never too early to step in and help your child become a better reader. By implementing these simple strategies, you can do your part to help your child become the strong reader they were born to be!