Reading IQ Scores: How to Improve Your Child's Reading Ability

Regardless of your child's age, the basic skills for reading include word analysis, fluency and comprehension. If your child is struggling to read, use the following tips and exercises to build his or her confidence and ability as a reader.

Find available tutors

How to Help Your Child Develop as a Reader

Word Analysis

In early elementary school, students learn to connect written letters to the sounds the letters make. In addition, students are able to identify individual sounds within a word. Every word can be broken down into syllables. 'Happy,' for instance, has two syllables: /hap/ /py/. Your child can sound this word out by tackling one syllable at a time. This technique becomes even more helpful in later grades, when your child encounters multisyllabic words, like establishment or fluctuation.

Sight words are words that are frequently used in texts and can be recognized instantly by sight, such as 'they,' 'the' or 'is.' Students benefit from learning these words because it cuts down on the number of words they need to sound out. One of the best ways to become familiar with these words is through memorization. As your child reads aloud, listen for sight words that he gets stuck on. Write these words on flash cards and review them every night until your child is able to pronounce them correctly and recognize them instantly.


Imagine reading a text full of long, hard-to-read words, and then being asked what the story was about. When students can read fluently, they are able to concentrate less on sounding out words and more on the content.

Reading fluently means reading with expression and accuracy. To practice, read a poem aloud to your child. Then, have your child read the same poem, pausing at commas and periods and using appropriate expression at exclamation and question marks. Poems are a good way to practice because they're short and they have a predictable pattern that children can easily copy.


Help your child become an active and engaged reader by asking her to reflect on what she's already read. Begin with simple questions, like 'Who's the main character?' Then, challenge your child to think more deeply about the story with questions like, 'Why did the main character make that decision?' or 'What would have happened if the main character didn't make that decision?' To increase your child's motivation to read, try incorporating her interests. For instance, you might ask her to create a comic strip summarizing what happened in the story.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

Other Articles You May Be Interested In

  • More Blog Articles
    Can Reading Bridge Racial, Socioeconomic Gaps?

    Study after study shows the achievement gap in education between students of different cultures and economic backgrounds. Recently, two New Jersey schools successfully used literature to show students how 'the other half lives'. Can this experiment be a model for other schools to use books to bridge racial and socioeconomic...

  • More Blog Articles
    Too Much Emphasis on Reading and Math?

    According to a large number of surveyed educators who teach grades 3-12, U.S. public schools are spending too much time on reading and math and not enough on other subjects. Yes, math and reading are important. But what about science, foreign languages and social studies?

We Found 7 Tutors You Might Be Interested In

Huntington Learning

  • What Huntington Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • One on one tutoring
  • Every Huntington tutor is certified and trained extensively on the most effective teaching methods
In-Center and Online


  • What K12 offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Has a strong and effective partnership with public and private schools
  • AdvancED-accredited corporation meeting the highest standards of educational management
Online Only

Kaplan Kids

  • What Kaplan Kids offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Customized learning plans
  • Real-Time Progress Reports track your child's progress
Online Only


  • What Kumon offers:
  • In-center tutoring
  • Individualized programs for your child
  • Helps your child develop the skills and study habits needed to improve their academic performance
In-Center and Online

Sylvan Learning

  • What Sylvan Learning offers:
  • Online and in-center tutoring
  • Sylvan tutors are certified teachers who provide personalized instruction
  • Regular assessment and progress reports
In-Home, In-Center and Online

Tutor Doctor

  • What Tutor Doctor offers:
  • In-Home tutoring
  • One on one attention by the tutor
  • Develops personlized programs by working with your child's existing homework
In-Home Only


  • What TutorVista offers:
  • Online tutoring
  • Student works one-on-one with a professional tutor
  • Using the virtual whiteboard workspace to share problems, solutions and explanations
Online Only

Our Commitment to You

  • Free Help from Teachers

  • Free Learning Materials

  • Helping Disadvantaged Youth