Parents may be at their wit’s end when trying to provide help to a child who struggles to read. All the helpful tips aren’t helpful. Maybe children don’t view their parents in a teacher role, and they might express frustration when parents try to provide help.
Children also might not have qualified for additional enrichment or reading help at home, and this could be another issue of frustration for parents. When the learning falls to parents, and the available resources aren’t helping, parents may feel beaten down.
The Parent as the Teacher
Some parents don’t know how to step into the teacher role. Parents might have struggled to read, too, or maybe they just can’t explain reading fundamentals in a way that’s easy for children to grasp and understand.
There are so many helpful tips that can help parents teach children how to read. Yet, for parents whose child is struggling, these tips might not be any help. Reading struggles vary, and each child is so unique. Their learning preferences and personalities are unique, too.
Some children are on the autism spectrum, and they may struggle with comprehension or other literacy skills. Other children have ADHD and sitting down to focus could be such a struggle. Other children could have dyslexia and struggle with different aspects of reading.
Hyperlexia also can mean that a child can seemingly read anything but perhaps might not be able to comprehend beyond a certain point; parents whose child is hyperlexic might not know how to teach their phonetically fluent child how to better comprehend.
The list of reasons and medical conditions could go on and on. Hearing impairment also can affect reading. So can different learning disorders.
The reality is that parents might not know how best to help and teach their child. Parents—most parents—haven’t majored in education. They don’t have the same resources as a specialized teacher, and some children could even push back when parents try to help.
The parent as teacher role doesn’t always work. And this can make parents feel powerless, helpless and unsure what to do. And this is how reading programs can help both the struggling reader and the parent.
The Program Becomes the Teacher
There are many different reading programs that parents can use for their child at home. These programs typically require a subscription and each one may vary in its structure and methodologies. There are programs that focus on one aspect of reading, and there also are programs that focus on all literacy components.
Some programs—including Readability—also provide guided help during reading lessons. Readability includes a built-in AI tutor that serves as the program’s instructor. The AI tutor is programmed with voice-recognition software, and this technology allows it to understand each child’s different vocal tones and inflections.
Children who struggle to read may have difficulty sounding out words or struggle with sound blends. When a child stumbles during their reading lesson, the AI tutor will recognize that the child is having difficulty. The tutor will provide assistance so the child learns how to say and read the word or passage.
The AI tutor also helps with reading comprehension. At the end of each story or book, the tutor will ask questions about the plot and characters to assess a child’s comprehension of what they read. This is how the tutor and Readability measures comprehension.
When parents try to help teach or instruct children at home, they might not know what questions to ask to help gauge comprehension. They also might not know the best way to guide a child’s struggle with phonics and decoding.
Sometimes feeling lost in guiding their child can make a parent feel helpless or even frustrated. With reading programs like Readability, the program guides lessons. And the program was designed to guide the lessons knowing that children might have different difficulties and/or struggles as they read.
Finding the Right Stories and Books
A parent might know a child’s reading level and try to find books that fit this level. Or they might not know what books a child should be reading. Reading programs take the guesswork out of reading levels.
While parents can set their child’s reading level when using Readability, the program also can determine the best reading level for the child. This can help ease a child’s frustration with reading and ensure that stories aren’t too simple…or too difficult.
If a child is reading a story too far below their level, they may lose interest or feel upset. However, text that is too difficult can cause the child to struggle even more with lessons. Readability finds the perfect level for each child to ease their reading journey…and help them on their way to reading confidently!
Help Children Discover Interesting Stories
A child that is reading a few grades below their peers might feel that they have to read books for younger children. Reading difficulties can already cause a child to feel embarrassed, and feeling that their reading materials are different from books their friends enjoy may heighten their frustrations. One study noted “…that being a poor reader increases a 3rd grade child’s risk of self-reporting feeling angry, sad, and unpopular by 5th grade.”
Parents might not know how to find books that are both level-appropriate and age-appropriate. Finding books to keep children engaged in reading and interested could be a struggle.
However, reading programs to help struggling readers are typically designed with the understanding that children who use these programs may be reading below their peers. To ensure that books aren’t too immature for older children who struggle to read, these programs may include a variety of different topics to appeal to different age groups.
Readability includes both fiction and nonfiction stories and books. Children can read about sports heroes and even discover new characters and adventures. Readability’s authors write books that children want to read; these stories include immersive features and colorful photos to keep readers engaged.
Encourage Readers to Develop Their Vocabulary
Books often include words that a child might not understand. Parents don’t always have a dictionary on hand, and sometimes they might not know how to easily explain a word’s definition.
Reading should broaden a child’s mind and help them add to their individual word banks! Readability helps children increase their vocabulary by allowing them to explore the words they don’t know in stories.
When children stumble on a word or if they discover an unfamiliar word, Readability allows them to click the word to discover the definition! Not only can this help children build their vocabulary, but understanding that word also can help them better understand what’s happening in the story, too!
Readability encourages children to explore stories and engage their curiosity. And parents don’t need to have a dictionary on hand! Readability offers its own built-in dictionary!
Help Children Gain Reading Confidence
Children who struggle to pronounce words or stumble while they read may feel discouraged and lack confidence. It may be difficult for parents to know how to help their child build their confidence.
If children don’t see their parents as a teacher, they may feel that parents can’t understand their struggles or even know how to encourage them in the way that they need to be encouraged.
Readability requires children to read stories out loud. This is how the reading tutor can determine when a child struggles. But it can also help the tutor identify when the child needs encouragement and feedback.
Children also might feel more comfortable reading to their virtual tutor. Maybe children feel that parents correct them too much. Or children may feel that their parents correct them before they are able to figure out the word on their own.
With a virtual tutor, children can gain help and confidence!
Parents Understand their Child’s Progress
Acting as a teacher or as a reading tutor may leave parents unsure if their child is advancing…or if their help is actually helping. A parent might not know how to ascertain their child’s progress or know if their child is gaining proficiency.
With a reading program, parents can discover all their child’s reading data…including their progress. Readability gives parents a special portal called the Parent Dashboard that displays all the reading data for their child.
Parents can view the child’s current reading level, the words read per minute (fluency) and see how long their child has used Readability. Parents can instantly understand if their child is advancing and progressing. And this reading data via the Parent Dashboard can be compiled into a report and emailed to the child’s teacher.
Provide Help Anywhere
Parents are busy. Some work full-time. Others work multiple jobs. There are so many commitments, and sometimes there just doesn’t feel like there are enough hours in the day.
Parents may be trying to care for multiple kids. They may need to shuffle children to sports practices and other extracurricular activities. There might not be a lot of time to sit down and provide one-on-one time for reading enrichment.
Reading programs like Readability can go anywhere there is a wifi signal, hotspot or cell phone coverage (if children are using the program on a phone). Children can practice reading at a sports practice for their sibling, in the car or even on the beach during a family vacation.
If parents are making dinner, children can read at the table while a parent prepares the meal. Or they can read and practice via Readability in another area of the home. The tutor can go nearly everywhere! The child will always have support and assistance as they read!
If parents are feeling that they simply don’t know how to help their struggling reader, maybe it’s time to try out a reading program. Readability offers a free seven-day trial so parents and their child can check out all the features and try out the virtual AI tutor. Sign up for a trial today!