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5 strategies for helping struggling readers learn to read

There are several strategies for helping struggling readers learn to read. As a parent, it’s always devastating to see your child struggle in school, but when that struggle comes from reading, it can be even more difficult to know how to help them improve their reading skills. Fortunately, there are a lot of strategies you can use to help struggling readers learn to read and become better readers overall. If you’re ready to get started helping your struggling reader improve their reading skills, check out these 5 strategies that teachers use every day!

1) Read Together

The first of the strategies for helping struggling readers is simple. Read together. Research has shown that the benefits of shared reading include increased vocabulary, comprehension, and even math skills. You can share books with your child by:

  • Picking an age-appropriate book.

  • Sitting close to each other or side by side.

  • Turning pages together and pointing at pictures as you talk about them.

  • Asking questions about the story as you go along (for example, what do think will happen next?)

  • Sharing a favorite part of the story at the end.

little boy reading on a tablet; one of the strategies for helping struggling readers

2) Use Technology

Another strategy to help your struggling reader is to use technology. Many schools now use technology as a way to teach reading. It can be a great tool for kids who need a little extra help. There are many apps and websites that offer interactive lessons, practice reading, and other features that can be beneficial in teaching children how to read.

  • Reading Eggs

  • ABC Mouse

  • Hooked on Phonics

  • Learn to Read with Homer

  • Night ZooKeeper

3) Try Different Methods

Try Different Methods. There are several strategies for helping struggling readers learn to read better. Some kids do well with a traditional phonics system while others may work better on new-age apps with lots of repetitive actions. Most kids will do better with a combination, of repetition, and phonics-structured education. However, it's really all about finding ways to make learning how to read fun for your little one.

  • Use phonics flashcards

  • use sight word flashcards

  • build a word wall in a family room

  • draw pictures for words

  • Create simple two or three words sentences with the words you are teaching

  • play word games

father and son at the table with school work in front of them using strategies for helping struggling readers

4) Encourage Them

The fourth of the strategies for helping struggling readers is to encourage them. When reading or working on sight words remember that one negative or disadvantaging comment can set a child back several steps. Keep an encouraging tone while they try their best to read something. Help them if they forget the sound of a group of letters, and don't feel like you can't help them out. Reading is a practice that will get better with time. Don't worry, they will pick it up eventually. Just stay positive.

5) Don't lose faith

Finally, don't lose faith. As previously stated, they will pick it up. Reading is part of life. The best thing you can do as a parent makes it fun and interactive. Don't get upset if they struggle or start to get discouraged. Help your child see the fun in reading. The more you stay positive the more positive they will be when reading at home.


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