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Is Your Child Struggling with Reading?

by Jennifer Baker

August 29, 2011


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Is Your Child Struggling with Reading?


Here are some clues to help you determine if your child needs help.


If your child:


Does not recognize word that rhyme

Sing nursery rhymes with your child.

Does not recognize most letters of the alphabet.

Play with words and letters using alphabet magnets on the refrigerator.

Cannot say the common sounds of most letters.

Say words that begin with the letter sounds and say the sounds and words:  “B is for bear- /b/ /b/ bear.”

Stumbles through words

Use flashcards to practice sight words and label household objects

Reads very slowly with many pauses

Read stories several times while keeping track of how long it takes to read.  Try to read the same story in fewer minutes each time.

Reads too fast, blurring words, rushing through information

Practice pausing at periods and commas.  Also use correct expression with exclamation marks, question marks, and quotation marks.

Reads words but can’t answer questions about what he/she read

Practice retelling a story a page or chapter at a time, either orally or in writing.

Does not believe he/she is a good reader.

Build confidence by encouraging reading and good book choices that are on the child’s reading level (not necessarily grade level).


Does not enjoy reading

Help your child select books that interest him/her, such as books about ballet, space, motorcycles, etc.  Visiting the school or public library will expose your child to a variety of books.

Appears to have difficulty using science, math, or social studies textbooks to complete assignments and/or does not appear to put much effort into reading assignments

Point out the ways that non-fiction reading is different than story reading.  Practice using bold print words, captions, headings, highlighted phrases, etc. when determining meaning.