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Is your kid a struggling or frustrated reader? I’m here to reassure you that you do not have to struggle alone; How To Teach My Child is here with some reading tips for your kid. I acknowledge that teaching the skill of reading to struggling readers can be a stressful task. Here are some useful tips that will aid you and your child during this task. As a teacher over the years, I have seen some amazing progression in children’s reading when implementing these tips.
1. Don’t give up
My first advice to anyone teaching a child to read is that they must not give up! I stress the importance of researching tips and techniques to help your struggling reader. The more you research; the better you become at teaching struggling readers.
Secondly, I would advise that you do not see reading as a race, by comparing your child to other children or that it defines your child’s level of intelligence. No matter who tells you this, hold onto your firm resolve. Every child is unique and has their own learning styles and a pace in which they learn.
The reason this is important is because children can feed off from the worry and anxiety you project. Your anxiety does not have to be projected verbally but children are very attuned with the energy of the adults around them, and one of the key elements of helping a struggling reader is to build confidence. You must believe in the child so they can believe in themselves.
However, if you have been researching and feel lost or overwhelmed by information, then there is no harm in investing in a course that will help guide you to the right techniques when teaching struggling readers. This also applies if your child is attending school. Remember, teachers are trained to teach so there is no harm in you investing in a course too.
2. Choose The Correct Books
Let me ask you a question. Were you more eager to read when you had the liberty to choose your own book or when it had been picked for you? As a child I had a room dedicated to books, you could say it was a personal library, you would find me spending hours at a time within the room lost in a book. However, When beginning my first year of A level Literature, I didn’t even want to read one page of the book recommended to me by the teacher. It was a book about a butler who was sad for some reason. I do not remember the name, but I do remember the frustration I felt from both teachers picking books they loved but did not take into consideration the students they taught. What kind of 16 year old wants to read about a butler and his issues?!
The point I’m making is that reading isn’t about YOU or what you expect them to do. It is about opening their world to new information that they love. Some children struggle to learn to read for a simple reason. They do not care. This is of no fault of their own. What I am saying is to look at your child’s interests and teach them with topics they love! Do they love football? Then teach them to read with football cards or books based around the theme of football, and if you don’t know what they like then there is no harm in asking them what type of books they want to read.
Here is what you need to type into Amazon to find it:
It should look a little like this if your child is interested:
- Football Children’s Book set or Paw Patrol Phonics book set.
Remember, even with this they might show no interest, but as an avid reader as an adult, books can be hit or miss. Take them to your local library and find something that they DO like.
3. Practice everyday
This sounds super easy and simple but studies have shown that studying or learning for 15 minutes a day can greatly improve memory or work. The video below elaborates on that:
4. Read ‘’Choose Your Own Adventure’’ Books
This is an underrated technique! These are books with multiple endings! When I was a child, on my sick days I would stay in my mother’s office reading ‘’choose your own adventure books’’. It was thrilling to know that every time I read there could be a completely different ending! I read the books multiple times, in fact, more times than any of the other books I had read during that period of my life. How does this help a struggling reader? It removes the stress of reading by interjecting excitement instead. Your child is so eager to read the book that they challenge themselves to learn new meanings of words and decode longer words!
5. Have your child read only the easy words.
This tip links in with my previous tips! Now, when teaching struggling readers to get them into books you must become enthused about reading too! Take an interest in their reading! Read to them at bedtime. My father used to read books to me like ‘’To Kill A Mockingbird’’’ at a young age that opened up very deep, thought-provoking discussions. This was repeated in the future when reading to my nephew stories like ‘’Heidi’’ or ‘’The Little Prince’’. Stories I never thought would peak his youtube charged brain captured his attention.
Reading to your child is very important. You could encourage them to read by looking up the definition of words they don’t understand as you read to them or have them help you with words that they find easy to read to help build their confidence.
6. Listen to audiobooks
Now, I never thought about using this as a technique until a YouTuber with over 16 million subscribers suggested it. He is an animator who creates comic books and videos for a younger audience. I will have to say his video warmed my heart as he opened up about his dyslexia in a creative way to younger audiences. He used the technique of reading alongside an audiobook! I have linked his video below, it may be inspiring for your young reader to watch or listen.
7. Visit the Library
Once the pandemic is over, you can choose to visit the library. As children, after school, we were only allowed to visit the library. Here is where you make friends, play computer games and READ! It doesn’t mean you force your child to read as soon as they get there, sometimes it’s just about having a family visit and staying for an hour. They are BOUND to find a book they want to take home!
8. Model sounding out words
When teaching your child to read, it is always a good idea to model to them how to break up words as you read to them. Here is a video with an example of a basic phonics lesson!
9. Invest in a reading program:
If you still feel like you’re struggling to help your frustrated reader, then I advise you to invest in a course that will give you the guidance you need. Children Learning Reading offers a reading course for children. I have attended and participated in four different phonics training and the article of my review of them can be found here.
However, when I saw how Children Learning Reading handled teaching phonics, I was genuinely impressed. I researched it before sharing the course with you guys. I saw that the programs used amazing methods for blending and I will be using this course to support my teaching in school, and for the next generation within my family!
It is easier to do a course rather than scavenging for information across the vast internet, and doing a course helps prevent you from making deadly mistakes when teaching your child to read. Have a look at their official page and see if it’s for you www.childrenlearningreading.com
I hope this blog post helps your child on their learning journey if you want to be notified about more blogs like this. Place your email in the subscription box below and leave a comment if you want me to review any other homeschool resources.
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