First grade is an important year for children. In first grade, children must leave the days of recess and nap time behind in order to learn various skills that will help them achieve academic success in the years ahead. One area of focus is reading skills, which is why “my 1st grader struggles with reading” is a common complaint among parents of children this age.
If your child is falling behind in first grade, it’s important to address the situation as soon as possible. Here’s what parents should know to help their children catch up with their classmates:
What Reading Skills Should My 1st Grader Have?
Some parents aren’t sure whether or not their child is struggling because they don’t know what reading skills their child should be developing in first grade. During this school year, some of the reading skills that children should master include:
- Understanding the basic components of a sentence, including a capitalized letter at the start, and a punctuation mark at the end.
- Learning how to read simple one syllable words.
- Grasping how adding an “e” at the end of the word can change the sound of the vowel in the middle of the word.
- Sounding out unfamiliar words by breaking them down into syllables.
- Understanding what they are reading enough to compare different stories, plots, and characters.
- Expanding their sight word vocabulary, which are words that are frequently used in the English language.
If your child is struggling with any of these skills, they may need additional help outside of the classroom.
What Are Common Reading Issues Found in Children?
The key to helping your child improve their reading skills is understanding why they are struggling in the first place. Some of the most common issues that can cause reading difficulties among 1st graders include:
- Poor vision or hearing can affect a child’s ability to see the words on the page and learn the different sounds that each letter makes.
- Dyslexia is a learning disability that is characterized by problems with word recognition, spelling, and decoding, which is a skill that involves saying a word by blending the sounds of each letter in the word together.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may affect a 1st grader’s memory and ability to process information.
- Tracking issues, such as reading the words out of order or reversing letters within a word, can also impact a 1st grader’s ability to read.
- Children with word reading difficulties may have average or above average comprehension skills, but still struggle to read words.
- Children with reading comprehension difficulties may have average or above average reading skills, but struggle to understand what they are reading.
Some of these issues are easier to address than others. For example, poor vision can be easily fixed with a pair of eyeglasses, whereas treating dyslexia is much more complicated. But knowing what the underlying issue is can help parents provide the support and resources their child needs to succeed.
What Are the Early Signs of Reading Difficulties?
Your child’s teacher may alert you if they notice that your child is struggling with reading in the classroom. But parents can also keep an eye out for some of the early signs of reading difficulties that children may exhibit at home. These signs include struggling to:
- Sound out new words
- Break down words into syllables
- Blend different sounds together to form words
- Remember the words they have learned
- Identify sight words
- Spell words correctly
- Read the words in a sentence in order
- Remember the sounds associated with each letter in the alphabet
- Remember the details of the story they read
- Use context clues to figure out what a new word means
If your 1st grader is exhibiting any of these signs, they may benefit from a reading tutor who can provide additional help outside of the classroom.
How Can I Help My 1st Grader With Reading?
Working with a private reading tutor can be expensive, not to mention inconvenient. Fortunately, there is a way to get your child the help they need without hiring a private tutor. Download the Readability app so your 1st grader can connect with a virtual reading tutor any time, any place.
On this app, first graders can choose to either listen to stories or practice reading them aloud. Regardless of which option they choose, the app uses advanced speech recognition and artificial intelligence to help them develop the crucial reading skills they need to set themselves up for success. Download the app on your smartphone or tablet so you can start your free 7-day trial today.