Most kids need some form of help with reading. However, for those that are struggling, it is vital they get help quickly. There are a lot of barriers to becoming a good reader, and in this article, we look at what they are and how to overcome them.
Online reading programs for kids can be a helpful aid in this journey, as online programs remove the fear of embarrassment and are always available. However, the program you choose needs to both support and encourage reading.
How can I improve my child’s reading?
The first step for many is to acknowledge and accept that there is an issue. Parents sometimes simply hope that it will fix itself, but when left unaddressed, your child can fall further behind. Your child also needs to realize that it is OK to struggle sometimes and that it is perfectly normal to find reading difficult to master.
They will, of course, need a reading program that focuses on improving their level, and that is followed in school and at home (at least it should be complimented at home). This program also should look to build their confidence and their own desire to read more.
How to break through reading barriers
Before any reading program can really take hold and yield results, there are likely to be a few barriers to break down first. Online reading programs for kids could help with some of these issues, as they allow a safe haven for exploring books and their own reading skills without judgment. However, let’s take a look at some of the key barriers to reading:
- Motivation – Reading can often be judged as being boring, difficult and time-consuming. It takes effort and if someone is not motivated to read, chances are they will fall behind in their ability. Often the key to fixing this is to find interesting and level-appropriate reading that they want to explore. Once they discover stories they like and can read without struggling too much, they should gain interest. However, it is also important that the parents set the tone and show an interest in reading. As role models, having a reading time or showing your child that reading is fun can change their attitude.
- Concentration – Many kids struggle to focus, especially when their energy levels are full. Children with ADHD struggle more than most. This is when varying the program times or combining them with activities can really help. For high energy children, reading for 30 minutes followed by 15 minutes of mad play, before returning to reading can help to bring in focus. Often the time spent on reading can be divided into easier to manage (and focus) chunks.
- Type and size of the book – A large book can seem extremely daunting to a child. If pages are full of text and no pictures, it may also seem boring and like an impossible task. This is why it is good to start out with smaller books that include fun pictures to help explain the story. Pictures also help with reading comprehension.
- Feeling Isolated – Many children who struggle with reading feel like they’re alone. They feel that they are stupid, or not normal, and can start to withdraw. This is when teachers, parents, and counselors can help by showing them how normal this is. Consider sharing your own experiences of weakness or failure, even if it isn’t related to reading. This can help the child to feel more ‘normal’.
- Poor environment – Where you read will almost certainly affect how much you read. The environment should be clean, bright enough (to avoid eye strain), comfortable, and positive.
What is an online reading program?
Online reading programs for kids are designed to support children through the various levels of reading development. It’s important that they have a range of related literature that is fun and at the right level to avoid boredom. Ideally, they will allow for the text to be read aloud, but also for the child to follow the text on the screen and practice reading.
In the case of our online reading program, we also integrate an advanced AI reading support system to help their reading growth. Not only can they read aloud to the AI, but it will also provide feedback and an assessment of their accuracy. This system monitors everything they do in the application, which means that the AI can develop a perfectly matched reading program with reading materials that match both the interests and the ability of the learner.
Online reading programs for kids are an amazing support system for parents and schools. They are a tool that supports school and parental efforts. The system is available anytime the child wants to read, and can, in fact, become their hobby. It encourages the exploration of text with live support, but no judgment and no embarrassment. All of this helps to hold their focus, encourage reading even larger books (as the book is not visibly thick), and boosts their confidence.
Parents also get ongoing updates and reports from the AI, showing exactly how their little one is progressing and where the weaknesses are. It allows parents to then interact with children about what they’ve been reading and support the issue areas.
This is a relatively new tool for reading practice. However, online education applications are starting to gain more acceptance, respect, and development around the world, even at the university level. They have been proven to work, and their flexibility and personal focus is a large part of the success.