Reading Assistance: How to Help Your Child with Reading

If your child is struggling with reading, there are many ways you can help. In addition to meeting with your child's teacher and getting specific suggestions for extra practice, your child can use the many resources available online to improve his or her reading comprehension and fluency.

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Providing Your Child with Reading Assistance

Common Issues

There are many common issues that children face when it comes to reading, such as a lack of confidence and enthusiasm or not relating to reading materials on a personal level. Alternatively, the issue can even be something as simple as eye problems or a condition, such as dyslexia.

Many things can factor into what kind of assistance your child needs. How old is your child and is your child reading at his or her grade level? Children can lose interest in reading if the books above or below his or her grade level because they may be too challenging or too easy. Is English your child's first language? Does your child have a learning disability or is he or she gifted and talented? All of these factors and many more may come into play when assisting your child with his or her reading skills.

Helping at Home

Many libraries, schools and websites provide lists of age and level-appropriate reading materials for kids. Sit down with your child and let him or her choose books from such a list that are interesting.

As your child reads a book for school or for pleasure, ask him or her relevant questions about it. Some of the questions can be about vocabulary or the content of the text. Discuss characters in the book with your child and ask him or her to make predictions about what might happen.

Helping at School

While what you do at home can be a key factor in reading successfully at school, there are also a number of things that you can do to directly make an impact. First of all, always be present in your child's education. You may not be able to sit with your child in class, but you can always be in the loop as to what your child is or isn't accomplishing. Maintain consistent contact with your child's teacher and follow his or her advice at home. In addition, always go over your child's reading assignments with him or her to ensure that he or she is getting the most out of class time.

Reading Assistance Resources

The tools on a number of websites are designed to assist children with reading comprehension. At some sites, children at different reading levels can get reading assistance designed for their specific levels. For example, if your child is learning the alphabet and phonics, he or she can play simple reading and grammar games. If your child is more advanced, he or she can read higher-level online texts and complete fun activities that relate to them. When your child reads a short story, poem, work of non-fiction or a novel, he or she can also use online tools like to explore the text more deeply.

Your local library and community centers in your area may also provide reading assistance after school and on the weekends. If your child needs extra help, you may consider hiring a reading tutor or a learning expert who specializes in increasing reading skills.

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