How do you know if your child is struggling with reading? This infographic highlights some important indicators that your child is on track with language development and reading.
Of course, it's important to remember that these are all general guidelines. All children are unique and develop differently. Some learn very early, while others learn later. Those who read at a very young age do not necessarily go on to become stronger readers than their peers. However, if you don't see your child reaching these milestones, it may mean you need to dig deeper and find out if he/she needs extra assistance.
If you think your child is struggling with reading, here are 3 tips on how to support them:
- Be sure to let your child know that he/she is loved, accepted and supported. Children who struggle with reading can feel embarrassed and frustrated. Reading struggles do not mean a lack of intelligence. In fact, struggling readers or those with reading disorders like dyslexia are often creative and outside-of-the-box thinkers. Entrepreneur and billionaire Richard Branson and Albert Einstein are just a few examples of dyslexics. Everyone struggles with something, and those with reading struggles have many strengths and talents to tap into. Sometimes a person struggles with reading because of differences in how the brain is wired. Other times, the child may need a different type of instruction. Whatever the reason, let them know that this will get better and that you are there to help.
- Check out your local library or bookstore and pick out books with HIGH interest. If a book is not interesting to your child, it is not the right book. Help them pick a book that they're excited about. Have your child read a few paragraphs aloud to you. As a general rule, if your child misses more than 3–5 words (other than names) within each paragraph, the text is likely too difficult.
- Find the right time and place for reading. A struggling reader must work about three times as hard as a non-struggling reader to read. Try setting up very short chunks of reading time. Reading should be done for no more than 10–15 minutes at a time, with a maximum of 30–40 minutes per day. Reading more can increase frustration and make things worse.
Determine what time of day is best for these short chunks of reading time and make them part of your daily routine. Be sure you provide a place for your child to read that is well lit and free of distractions. It can be very helpful if everyone in the house reads at the same time to highlight the importance of reading for the entire family.