6 Things to Try When Helping a Struggling Reader

Thursday - September 18, 2014

All children are unique and learn how to read at a different pace, so it's natural for some children to struggle more than others.


For a child still new to the English language, reading can be challenging. Some students become natural readers, able to pick up the skill quickly, while others tend to fall behind. This isn’t an indication that there’s anything wrong; it’s perfectly natural for some children to struggle more than others. But in order to help your child the best you can, it’s important to incorporate these six strategies:

1.       Set realistic goals. Don’t try to force a fast pace on your child. Instead, work with goals that are reasonable and conservative. Take baby steps by starting with lower level books, and work very gradually up to more complex ones.

2.       Express your own challenges. It’s easy for children to get frustrated with their abilities, especially in comparison to other kids. It can be helpful if you share things that you have struggled with in the past as an empathetic reach.

3.       Read aloud. Sit down with your child often and read aloud to him/her. It’s a great way to bond and build reading skills.

4.       Encourage slow reading. Trying to read quickly can put too much pressure on your child and cause them to stumble. Instead, ask your child to read slowly and emphatically to develop their skill.

5.       Celebrate every success. No matter how small, it’s important that you celebrate—or at least reward—every step in the right direction.

6.       Find material they like. It’s important to use books your child is genuinely interested in. It will make them more excited about reading.

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