5 signs your child needs extra help learning to read.
The early building blocks of reading are critical to helping your child become a confident, engaged reader. Early books should contain a focus on letters, phonics, and consistent recognition.
Letter and sound recognition
According to Gideon Math and Reading, a reading tutor program in Frisco, TX, letter recognition is necessary for children learning to read. The early steps of learning to read include sounding things out. Words that begin or end with the same letter and sound are common in children’s books and work to reinforce their ability to recognize this letter quickly. If your child doesn’t enjoy reading out loud, it could be because they don’t easily recognize letters.
Comprehension is key
When your child starts on a new book, sit down with them and discuss the story they expect to find. For example, review the cover and read the back or inserted synopsis to them to help them prepare. Read a page together and ask your child to describe what just happened and to consider what may happen next. If your child can’t understand the story, they won’t want to turn the page.
Lack of interest
If your child avoids reading, it’s important that you find books based on a topic they enjoy. What fascinates your child? Children who love dinosaurs probably won’t enjoy books about trees and kids who love cars may not want to read about astronauts. Learning to read takes some practice of reading out loud and to themselves to build and maintain the skillset, so do your best to find books that increase their curiosity.
Lack of connection
Your child may learn to enjoy reading on their own eventually, but take care to avoid too much isolation. Sit close to them and ask them to read out loud to you. Sound out words together and provide plenty of praise when they can do it themselves. Keep a reading journal together to help your child track both their time and their accomplishments. Help your child to be excited about their progress.
Posture and tracking
If your child hunches over a book, they may struggle to see the letters or have a hard time tracking. Use a plain white piece of cardstock as a bookmark and encourage your child to use the bookmark to underline the sentence they’re working on. Over time, they may only need to use the bookmark under difficult words, but the isolating text can help your child focus.
We are inundated with screens. Whenever possible, model the joy of reading for your child. Turn off the television, sit back and open a book. Encourage your child to join you and to learn to relish these quiet moments. Be vigilant about making reading a part of every day.