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Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

How to Help a Child Struggling with Reading

Early readers progress at all different rates. If you have a child who’s struggling with reading, the summer holidays can be a welcome break from the routine. It can also be the perfect time to help them build their literacy skills in fun ways. Here are five things you can do to ensure that your emergent reader continues to progress and to feel more confident when it’s time to return to school in the fall:

1. Embrace summer reading. Learning to read is hard work. If you’ve been reading aloud to your child, keep it up! Reading for just 15 minutes a day can have a huge impact. Encourage them to read to you, but if they push back, try to let it go and revisit the issue another time. You want them to associate reading with good stories rather than a forced chore. Instead, read to them and focus on sight words. See if they can find certain words on a page, like “to” or “the.” Tasks like this can feel more like a game and give them a sense of accomplishment.

2. Choose books that are the right reading level. I Can Read offer a ton of great books for emerging readers at all levels. If you’re unsure of where to start, we suggest using the five finger rule to determine if a book is the right level for your child. Have them read a page from a story to you. If they get stuck on more than five words on the page, the book is most likely above their current reading level. It’s okay to read a little bit, but you don’t want them to feel discouraged if they start to get frustrated.

3. Let your child choose his own books. You probably have a genre you gravitate towards. Chances are that your child is the same. One of the things we love most about I Can Read books is that they feature timeless characters and a variety of genres. If your child has always loved the Berenstain Bears, they’ll be motivated to read a book about them to you. And it will be a great boost to their self esteem when they realize that they can. You can download activities to accompany many of the books here !

4. Sneak reading into other activities. Keep in mind that reading things other than books counts too. Encourage them to get reading when you are out and about. Have them identify letters on a stop sign or help them find a certain item in the grocery store. You could also play a rhyming game to help them identify letter sounds and patterns. Games like this help with reading comprehension too!

5. Be positive. Praise your child for their hard work, especially when it pays off. Tell them about a time in your life when you struggled with something and then mastered it.

Click here for more tips for beginning readers. How do you help your struggling reader?