Reading Help for Struggling Readers: Tips for Reading Better

Is your child struggling with his or her reading skills? Do you think that your child could benefit from some extra help? If so, read on to find out a few tips on how you can help your child get over the hump and become a stronger reader.

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Ways to Provide Your Child with Reading Help

Determining What Your Child Needs

Before you begin seeking reading help for your child, you should determine what aspect of reading he or she is having difficulty with. Consult your child's teacher, counselor or any other reading professional working with your child. Have your child complete some basic reading assessments to determine strengths and weaknesses. At the minimum, you should know whether instruction should focus on fluency or comprehension; but the more detailed your understanding of your child's ability, the more effective your reading intervention will be. The issue may even be physical and your child simply needs a new set of glasses.

It's also possible that your child has developed a sense of low self-worth when it comes to reading. It's often of the utmost importance to reverse such a trend. Maintain a positive attitude about your child's abilities and be encouraging at all times.

Helping Your Child with Reading Fluency

If your child's struggling with reading fluency, you can make flashcards with sight words, which will help him or her get through texts more easily. You can also go over the sound combinations that your child struggles with when reading. For example, if your child frequently stumbles over words using the 'ou' vowel combination, you may want to focus on that particular sound.

Helping Your Child with Reading Comprehension

Comprehension is your child's ability to read and fully understand a text, as well as think critically about it. One way for your child to improve comprehension is by using pictures. Before reading a story, look through all the pictures and ask him or her to make predictions about the text.

Read books together and stop after each page to discuss what's happening. Ask your child questions about what he or she thinks about the text. If your child's forming opinions, then he or she is thinking in a critical way. Ask your child if an outcome may have been different had a certain character made a different choice at some point in the narrative.

Seeking Professional Guidance

Sometimes it becomes necessary to bring in a professional in order to provide your child with the reading assistance he or she needs. An after-school or weekend reading program at your child's school or a local library may do the trick. In other cases, you might want to hire a private reading tutor. If you suspect that your child might have a learning disability, you can consult a learning professional or child psychologist.

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