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How to Help Your Child With Reading

By The Understood Team

At a Glance

  • Some kids need extra help and encouragement to get better at reading.

  • There are lots of ways you can help your child improve reading skills at home.

  • Having reading challenges doesn’t mean a child isn’t smart.

Learning to read is a process. Some kids learn quickly and easily. Others may struggle with reading and need extra help. If reading is hard for your child, there are lots of things you and your child’s school can do.

Learn about ways to help your child improve skills and feel better about reading.

How to Help With Reading at Home

The first step to helping your child with reading is knowing what areas need improvement. There’s a lot that goes into reading, from sounding out words to understanding what you read.

If you’re not sure what’s hard for your child, talk to the teacher. Ask about the skills your child has difficulty with and how you can best help at home.

There are many low-cost tools that can help kids with reading. For example, graphic organizers can help kids keep track of their thoughts when reading. There are easy techniques that can help, too. One is to use your child’s senses, like touch or sound, to practice reading skills.

Check out more ideas below. (Your child’s teacher may also use some of these tools and techniques.)

Your child might also need extra encouragement. Start by explaining that everyone has challenges and strengths. Praise your child for working hard at reading. You can also help your child develop a “ growth mindset” about getting better at reading.

Point out how much your child’s reading has already improved. And let your child know it will keep improving over time.

There are also ways to make reading less frustrating and more fun. You can reduce frustration by choosing books at your child’s reading level (rather than at grade level). Also, give your child a choice about what to read, whether it’s books, blogs, or graphic novels. You can start with these book lists.

Reading specialists work with kids who need extra help learning to read. Watch a group of videos where a reading specialist explains how to help kids:

How Schools Can Help Kids Get Better at Reading

Schools can help kids with reading in lots of ways. Teachers may use techniques, like whisper reading, that you can try at home, too. Ask your child’s teacher what helps your child in the classroom, and if you can do something similar at home.

Schools might also provide reading instruction that’s designed for struggling readers. There are also formal supports, called accommodations, that can help. To get this type of help from the school, you’d need to have your child evaluated. A free school evaluation can tell you exactly what your child is struggling with, so you can get and give the right type of help.

Key Takeaways

  • A free evaluation at school can help you better understand your child’s challenges and strengths.

  • Ask your child’s teacher for tips on how to work on reading with your child at home.

  • Praise your child for working hard at reading.

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Share How to Help Your Child With Reading

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Email
  • Text Message
  • Coming soonGoogle Classroom