Quick tips to help kids with reading anxiety
- Quick tip 1Take turns reading.Take turns reading.
Reading long books or pages can feel overwhelming. Sharing the load can make it feel more manageable. Try reading aloud together and trading off pages. This gives kids a break and lets them hear fluent reading.
Reading helps lots of people unwind. But for some kids, reading is anything but relaxing. It stresses them out. Even just thinking about reading can put them on edge. Here are some common reasons kids get reading anxiety.
1. Trouble sounding out words
Reading isn’t fun when every word is a chore to get through. And sounding out words can be extra stressful for older kids whose classmates have already mastered this skill.
2. Trouble with vocabulary
Kids get frustrated when they don’t know the meaning of a lot of the words they’re reading. This can get worse over time if kids are so frustrated that they avoid reading. Less time reading means less time being exposed to new words.
3. Trouble staying focused
Kids who have trouble with focus may struggle with paying attention to what they’re reading. This can make it hard to understand and answer questions about the text. And that can lead to feeling anxious about reading.
4. Thinking about past mistakes
This is often the biggest source of reading anxiety. Kids remember getting teased for reading slowly or mispronouncing words. Even small things can feel like failures to struggling readers. And thinking about past mistakes can heighten reading anxiety.
Any of the above can make kids anxious about reading. But there are ways to help anxious readers feel more confident.
About the author
About the author
Julie Rawe is the special projects editor at Understood.
Rayma Griffin, MA, MEd has spent her 40-year career advocating for the rights of children with learning and thinking differences, both in the classroom and as an educator.