I'm reminded of my older son's struggles in school. First there was his whole failure to sit on his square during rug time in kindergarten, only to be followed by major struggles with reading in first grade. Oh, reading.
How could something we enjoyed so much together turn into such an incredible nightmare as he began learning to read independently? The frustration, the tears - and not just from me!
As mothers all around the country (myself included) vow to work on developing their children's reading skills this summer, I offer these 10 positive and fun ways to help your struggling reader.
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1. Be patient
Child1st Publications reminds us to nurture our child's literacy experience with gentle encouragement and sensitivity.
2. Become a library regular
The library is a wonderful environment, particularly for a reluctant reader. Encourage your child to participate in the many activities your library has to offer. From story time to computer learning games, time in a literacy-rich environment is time well spent.
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3. They've got mail!
Kids just love to receive mail! Children's magazines are a great way to foster a love of reading. Magazines are a wonderful change from traditional books because the articles are short, fun to read, and filled with colorful glossy pictures.
4. Track the words
When it comes to reading, maintaining focus takes practice. Reading Horizons recommends having your child use a blank index card or her finger to help focus on one word at a time as she reads.
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5. Choose books at his reading level
Opt for fun books that interest your child at his current reading level according to Primary School. As his skill level and confidence improve, adjust his reading material accordingly. Ask his teacher for recommendations.
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6. Take turns reading
Together, you and your child can do great things. Great Schools recommends taking turns reading. Doing so encourages your child to keep trying with your gentle support and allows your child the opportunity to absorb your phrasing, inflection, and general reading fluency.
7. Go for the funny
Laughter holds the key to learning. Choose humorous books that interest your child and encourage him to keep trying.
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8. Lead by example
Make reading a part of your daily routine. According to the Ontario Ministry of Education, when children see their parents reading for pleasure, they're much more likely to view reading as a worthwhile activity.
9. Talk to your child
Difficulty reading can lead to feelings of low self-esteem in children. Make sure your child understands that with a little time, patience, and teamwork, she'll be an independent reader in no time.
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10. Praise your child
Imagine Learning recommends offering specific praise, such as, "Great job sounding out those words" is a wonderful way to focus on the tasks he's done well. Charting your reader's progress is another wonderful way to highlight his success.
- By Lori Garcia
Follow Lori on Babble
For 3 more ways to help your struggling reader, visit Babble!
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