If your child is struggling with reading due to a learning difference or ability, you can help them with their reading by providing support at home as well. Here are a few ways you can support your struggling reader at home.
#1 Set Small, Achievable Goals
Do not overwhelm your child with lofty goals. Set, small, achievable goals so that your child can feel successful and like they are making progress.
For example, instead of setting a goal of having your child increase their reading level by two grade levels in one school year, focus instead on micro-goals that will help your child achieve their overall goal. Instead, set a goal of having your child read a specific list of words accurately. Once they meet that goal, set another small, achievable goal for your child to work on.
When your child meets a goal, celebrate your child’s success. Realize that your child is working as hard as they can at their ability level. Don’t go without praise just because your child is not the top reader in their class. Give them positive affirmation about little successes, and celebrating meeting large goals together.
#2 Let Your Child Know It Is Okay To Read Slowly
Many struggling readers read slower than their peers. This is okay. Let your child know it is okay if they are reading slow; let them know that reading more quickly will come with time and practice. Instead of focusing on speed, encourage your child to focus on reading words correctly.
Do not pressure your child to read faster. Praise your child for reading accurately, and help your child focus on remembering what they read. You can help them remember what they have read by having them summarize what they read to you, by writing a sentence about what they read, or by drawing a picture about what happened. This will help your child see that reading accurately and understanding what they read is more important than reading quickly.
#3 Read Aloud To Your Child
Learning to read is not just about being able to read, it is about being able to comprehend what is being read. Read aloud to your child every day. Your child’s reading comprehension levels may be far above their actual reading level. This is a great way to expose your child to information that is at their comprehension level. It will also help your child increase their reading comprehension.
Reading out loud to your child is also a great way to model appropriate reading behavior to your child. Your child will see you following along with the book and will be able to hear you pronounce words.
You can help your child who is struggling with reading by setting small goals that are easy for them to reach that work up to a larger goal. Make sure you also let your child know that it is perfectly okay for them to read slowly and take their time. Finally, continue to read to your child every night. This will help increase their reading comprehension and will help them experience the joy of reading.