Helping struggling readers
Do you remember how you learnt to read? The chances are that if you found learning to read easy as a child, you can’t remember a thing about it! But speak to someone who struggled to learn how to read and they can probably recall the details of every painful moment. So, how can you help your child who is struggling to learn to read? Here are some tips for you to try.
- Take off the pressure. If children struggle with something they are less likely to perform well at it if they put under pressure. So, relax and remember that the vast majority of children learn to read competently enough to succeed at school and in life. Trust that just because your child is taking longer to learn how to read, he/she will get there in the end. No two children are potty trained at the same speed – learning to read is no different!
- Read to your child. Children who struggle to read are less likely to choose to read for pleasure and this is important for literacy development. Help your child to experience the pleasure we get from books by reading regularly to him/her. Read for as long as he/she is interested and then continue at another time if you haven’t got to the end of the story.
- Helped by the pictures. Picture books have more illustrations in them than words. For children who struggle to read, this helps reading feel like less of a chore. Also, the pictures provide your child with clues to what the words on the page are.
- Let them choose. In order for children to remain motivated to read, they need opportunities to choose books that interest them. Visit the library or bookshop with your children and let them choose one or more books that interest them. Don’t worry about whether these books are above the level they are reading at – you can read the books to them!