Tag Archives: reading problems

How to improve your child’s reading abilities

So I ended the blog last week without providing any solutions to your child’s reading problems. I understand that might seem odd, but don’t freak out, because this weeks blog will focus on the best way to improve your child’s reading skills.
Yes, you read that right. I purposely used the singular “best way” in my description. I say this because I believe the best way to improve reading skills is to read more material, more often. In fact, as a parent you can take certain actions to promote your child to read more. Here are some of those actions.
1. Read to your Child
Your child may not be reading because they are struggling to read. This creates a catch 22. You can break the cycle and help build your child’s confidence by reading to them. As you read together, get them to read and sounds, then words, then full sentences, and finally whole pages. Slowly they will eventually be able to read basic words and sentences by themselves.
2. Surround Your Child with Books
In order to boost your child’s vocabulary, they need to continue to read more material.  Yes, you could buy one or two book at a time, but I recommend having a great variety of books on different subjects. The reason for this choice is because it will help ensure that your child will find a book that they deem interesting. If your child is interested in the book they will be more engaged and read more often.
3. Set up a Reading Time
If surrounding your child with a greater variety of books doesn’t spark their interest, it’s a good idea to become more active and make sure that they are reading. You can ensure that they are reading by setting aside a time in the day that they have to read. This can be whenever, but at least an hour (can be more) should be set aside for reading. If you need some help to ensure your child is reading, Light in the Attic learning has a homework hub with a licensed instructor who can do this, and also answer questions about a word’s meaning and pronunciation.
4. Reading is Just Not About Books
Reading can be done anywhere. I take this notion to heart and when my son was learning to read I took flash cards and labelled the entire house. This is a true story and just proves that your child can read anything, anywhere as long as they are reading. It is important to find something that interests them and run with it. The only thing is to make sure you can sustain your child’s interest in this type of material over time. Broadening the material your child’s reads will ensure they never run out of content.
Before I close this blog, I like to say that all of these options are not mutually exclusive and can be used together! Which way do you think is the best?
All the best,
David

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Key signs of reading problems

Girl readingAs children head back to school for the winter semester, parents want to give their children the best opportunity to succeed. Even with the best intentions, parents sometimes let one of the most glaring problems slip their attention. I’m of course referencing reading problems. Reading is an essential skill that every child must learn and falling behind in reading comprehension is a major detriment to a child’s academic and regular life.

Being such a detriment, figuring out the signs of reading problems is very important for both the parents and the students. In order to help you out, I’ve organized, by grade, some key signs that your child might be having reading problems.

1. Before School, Preschool and Kindergarden
At this time a child’s vocabulary begins to expand. They should be learning new words and sounds. If your child is struggling to understand new words and sounds, and their vocabulary seems stunted, your child might be experiencing the first signs of reading difficulty.

Here are two examples to help identify this problem. The first example is when your child is learning their ABCs. If they have trouble learning or skip certain letters your child might have trouble understanding sounds.

The second example is with nursery rhymes. Nursery rhymes are a great way to measure a child’s ability to understand sounds. Your child disliking nursery rhymes and/or having difficulty to understand the rhymes even after hearing the nursery multiple times might also be an indicator that they will have trouble reading in the future. Overall, these are some keys ways in which you can tell if your young child might or is developing reading problems.

2. First Grade
I believe the first grade is the quintessential grade in developing strong reading skills. The reason first grade is so important is because it is the time where students begin to learn many key words. In fact, if your child currently in first grade has not learned at least 100 words by this point (mid way point of the year) they are having trouble with their reading comprehension skills.

Another way to really tell if your first grader is reading well is to hear them read (crazy right?)  Here are some indicators that they are having trouble reading:

  1. Skip words when reading.
  2. Guesses words they don’t know.
  3. Has trouble remembering words

I like to end today’s blog by saying that these signs are not guarantees that your child is having trouble reading. So take everything in stride and if you need help identifying if there is problem, we are here to help!

Thanks and all the best,
David

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