How Can I Help My Child Read When Time is Limited?

March 31, 2020

How Can I Help My Child Read When Time is Limited?

Many households have two parents that work full-time outside the home. In addition, single parents have to do the role of two parents, hold down full-time jobs and manage kids and the home. Time is precious, and when work ends, dinner has to be prepared and all the homework and chores need to be completed. 

Finding extra time to help children read is really difficult. If your child is having trouble with reading, you may be at wit’s end and wondering “how can I help my child read when I don’t have time?”

Here are a few ways to help your child when time is crunched, your mind is frazzled and you’re trying to do it all.

1.   How Can I Help My Child Who is Struggling to Read? When Time is Limited, Create a Schedule.

Tasks are overwhelming if they come at you as a big list instead of a schedule. You don’t have to do everything right when you get home. Instead, make a schedule and stick to it. At 6 p.m., maybe you make dinner. At 7:30, maybe it’s time to review homework and for evening baths. 

Not every family will have the same schedule, and some days you may be shuttling kids to sports, dance or other activities and this makes everything even more hectic. Don’t make the evening harder for you. Sit down, list everything that needs to happen each night and create a master schedule.

For reading, you may aim to help your child during a bedtime story. For many parents, scheduling quiet reading time at night works well and might create less stress.

2.   No Weekday Time? Read During the Weekend!

Yes, your child’s teacher may assign nightly reading homework. However, a great suggestion for managing those minutes is to utilize the weekend for reading goals. Most parents have free time (and much less stress) during the weekends, so this is the perfect time to sit quietly with kids and help them with reading.

Clock those minutes and carry them over during the school week. Reading is reading. Kids may prefer reading when it’s for fun versus being told to read as an assignment.

3.   How Can I Help My Child’s Reading Level?

Practice, practice, practice! For younger kids who are just learning to read, practice at the grocery store or on errands. Help children sound out words on products or on signs.

Or pack a book and read quietly at a restaurant or while waiting for an appointment. Instead of letting them play on a phone or device, help them read a book instead. Get in the habit of keeping books in the car or in bags. That way, you always have the tools with you!

How Can I Help My Child Read When Time is Limited?

4.   How Can I Help My Child With Struggling With Sight Words?

Sight words are everywhere. When you’re out with kids, have them look for sight words. Use reading games to help them gain phonetic proficiency and skill. See how many sight words they can find!

5.   How Can I Get My Child to Like Reading?

It’s easy to say that reading should be fun. Unfortunately, when reading is assigned as homework…it may feel like homework. 

To embrace the joy of reading, you can head to the library. Most local libraries host free storytime events for young kids. Some may even include games or crafts. This is a fun way to get kids to associate reading with having fun. Find out when your library hosts storytime and head to the library!

If storytime events are held during work hours, plan your own trip to the library. Allow kids to have their own library cards and let them pick out their own books. Borrowing books helps teach kids responsibility and accountability.

6.   When You’re Overwhelmed…Ask for Help

Your child’s teacher understands that parents are busy. Sometimes, when life becomes chaotic, helping a child who is struggling academically can seem overwhelming. Maybe it’s not even about finding the time but finding out how to help.

When you’re struggling to help your struggling reader, reach out and ask for help. Email your child’s teacher for advice or meet one on one to discuss options for intervention. Teachers are a great resource, and most teachers truly want to help every child. You may find that your child’s teacher is already helping your child or that perhaps your child isn’t struggling as much as you might believe.

7.   What is the Best Way to Teach a Child to Read?

Children learn differently. Some may take to reading easily, others may struggle. In addition, not all methods work for all kids.

If you don’t have time to help your child, and you don’t know how to teach your child how to improve reading skills, a tutor may be an option. And a virtual tutor like Readability could be the best option. 

When money and time are limited, online reading programs could help your child boost reading skills and gain more proficiency. Look for software that offers a built-in tutor like Readability. Our online virtual tutor helps correct errors and provides encouragement, too.  

Age-appropriate stories and appealing visual illustrations keep kids engaged and ready to move on to the next book. Readability progresses with your child, so lessons are never too easy …or too hard.

Want to know if Readability is right for your child? Try it for free for a week…and get reading!