Tips to Help Your Struggling ReaderLisa Trombley
One of the greatest struggles I have had in 10 years of homeschooling 7 children was something that I never expected: teaching children to read.
There are some children who pick reading up very quickly and move right along. My oldest two children practically taught themselves to read by age 5.
And then came my third child.
I started him off the same way I started the others, but nothing clicked. There were many days I thought he would never be able to read. It can be very frustrating for both the child and the parent when reading is a struggle, but here are some tips that I discovered.
Stick With Your Reading Program
Find a good multi-sensory reading program that can grow with your child. If both you and your child like it, stick with it even if you don’t see immediate results. Keep the lessons short and to the point and offer help as needed.
Read Aloud Often
If a child cannot read well, school work can be very difficult. We use curriculum that can be read aloud as a group and rather than fill out worksheets or take quizzes, we answer those questions orally. I also read aloud from two different books during the day, one non-fiction and one fiction that they children enjoy listening to and beg for “just one more chapter!”
Use Audio Books
I encourage my children to read at night before bed. When my first struggling reader would watch the others reading at night, he would grab a book and pretend to read it. It broke my heart! Then I discovered audio books. We bought an inexpensive MP3 player and loaded it up with free audio books that I found on sites such as booksshouldbefree. Many libraries have audio books you can borrow either by checking out the CDs or downloading them to an electronic device such as an iPod or tablet. We have also purchased several audio book CDs to listen to while we are driving.
Try Immersion Reading
This is something fairly new but wonderful for the struggling reader. Some tablets such as the Kindle Fire offer Immersion Reading. To use this, you purchase the ebook for device and add the audio book. As the child listens to the audio book, the words on the ebook are highlighted so they can see and hear the words at the same time.
Relax and Be Patient
Just because a child does not read as early as others does not mean that they never will or that they won’t be successful adults. Encourage a love for reading by exposing them to lots of different types of books and do what you can to lessen their frustration. As parents we want to help our children overcome their difficulties, but we have to remember that God did not create us all the same and often blessings come through the struggles we face. That child of mine who I was afraid would never read now reads every chance he gets!