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How To Help Your Child Who Struggles With Reading

Photo via Pixabay by Adamova1210


Some kids love to read, but for millions of children in the U.S., sitting down with a book seems like the most boring thing in the world. It’s no wonder; in this age of technology, many children have any game or activity they want within reach at all times. Cartoons and other kids’ shows are bright, loud, and fast-paced, so books likely seem pretty lame in comparison.

The best way to help your child who struggles with reading is to make it fun. Find ways for them to engage with books and storytelling, and let her see you reading, too. Setting a good example and keeping a shelf full of great tales in the living room will allow her to see that you practice what you preach.

Here are some of the best ways to help your child get into reading:

Consider a tutor

If your child is struggling to read in school and his grades are suffering because of it — or if he’s feeling self-conscious — consider hiring a tutor. Having help from a tutor can help boost your child’s self-esteem and allow them to find different ways to learn.

Encourage creative writing

Reading and writing go hand-in-hand, so have your child write a short story to fire up their imagination. If they are having trouble with inspiration, look online for interesting photos that could be a good jumping off point and suggest writing a story about the picture. This is a great place to start.

Indulge interests

It’s important to help your child find books on topics that spark an interest. Indulge her — within reason — and, on your next trip to the library, look for several different books on topics she loves. Fairies, robots, monsters, animals…whatever she’s into, check out as many books as you can on the subject.

Include reading in your routine

The more you include reading in your daily routine with your child, the more he’ll want to explore books on his own. Let him or her choose a book before bed and read it together. Including books in your child’s routine will help them see the value of the written word.

Add active activities

If part of the problem for your child is sitting still to read a book, find ways to help her get up and move around while incorporating words. Organize a scavenger hunt with printed clues that he’ll have to read in order to get to a prize.

Keep it relaxed

Kids will experience anxiety if they feel pressured where reading is concerned so keep it low-key and relaxed. Start with short books and don’t force your child sit and finish an entire story if they lose interest. Move on and look for something you will both enjoy.

Give them space

Consider creating a special reading and writing area that’s all his own. Involving your child in designing this space will only make it more special, and the time spent there may also become more productive. If space is limited, learn how to make the most of your square footage here.

Instill independence

You can encourage reading by letting your child interact with their peers without your direct oversight. Sometimes, social interaction that revolves around academics without being school focused can go a long way toward helping your child develop the drive to learn and practice. Consider joining a book club at your local library or enrolling your child in a creative writing workshop. You’ll not only help them academically, but by letting them have some time away, you’ll also offer independence, which will encourage them to move forward without your constant reminders, and that’s the end goal for all parents.  

Try to stay patient with your child and keep things light and fun. Remember that many kids feel very self-conscious about their reading skills, especially if they’ve been having issues with it in school. Show support and let her know how proud you are of her efforts, even if she isn’t reading at grade-level. Celebrate even the smallest victories and soon your child will want to reach new reading milestones without your insistence.

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