7 Ways to Improve a Child's Reading Problems

Many people realize that their children have some reading problems but they really don't know what to do. Some people may turn to a program like Hooked On Phonics which might not work. In this article, we will show you ways to improve your child's reading ability.

1. Start with sounds
Starting from scratch in reading requires you, as a teacher or a parent, to begin with sounds. Basically, words would not exist without the sounds that comprise it. Try to start making the child with the form of letters and how they sound. Then, gradually form syllable to word until they can read sentences. Unlike normal students, you should give the child with constant and engaging practices and drills. The student should have a mastery of sounds and their forms. So you can develop a child that has a competent reading skill.

2. Let them mimic you
One of the conventional teaching strategies is to let your students imitate you. You may find it absurd, but reading to a child with a learning problem is a great way to improve their reading skills. As you read to them, they have the opportunity to grasp meaning based on your intonation and emotions applied while reading. Aside from that, they are exposed to proper pronunciation and enunciation of words. In this case, it is not just listening skills which are trained but also the comprehension and pronunciation which are primary skills in reading.

3. Make them imagine
Students who have reading problems usually have a short span of attention. To engage them in reading, they should find something astonishing. One thing that can motivate them is by immersing them in situations where they can use their imagination. Aside from helping them improve their reading skills, they become interested in reading more. Therefore, this leads to constant reading practice.

4. Ask your child what's next
These children usually find it hard to easily get the idea or the message from the reading material. To help them gradually understand, you can engage them to artful of questioning, most specifically, asking them to predict what will the next thing that might happen in a fiction, what will be the idea of the statement or what will be the result of the action. This is one way to check if your child really can read and your child’s understanding of the text he or she is reading.

5. Read loud and clear
This practice is about training the child’s phonetic ability which is one of the key components of language. This is a must to learn because reading includes the production of sounds. This lies on the fact reading aloud is inevitable. Encouraging students to gradually read words to sentences can help them to be fluent in producing and using the language.

6. Train them to read between the lines
This skill is important because the message of the text is usually implied and not mentioned in the text directly, most especially, in fictions. Therefore, having this skill can help the child to easily comprehend the text which can also be applied to other reading materials. To teach the child to do this, you can start by asking questions and encouraging them to gradually justify or elaborate on their answers.

7. Utilize the visuals
If you are going to ask a child to choose between a book with no pictures and a book filled with pictures, believe me, they will choose the latter. The reason is that pictures stimulate children’s interest. Aside from that, pictures give readers a concrete image of what is being talked about in the text. With this facts, using pictures in a reading material or associating them like how the word “apple” is associated with the letter “A” can help children to understand the reading material.

Are these something you can use to improve your child's reading skills?

- Shaywitz, Sally E. Overcoming dyslexia: A new and complete science-based program for reading problems at any level. Knopf, 2003.

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Last review and update: August 30, 2021
About the Editor
Ben Benjabutr is the editor of BookWorm4Life. He holds a Master's Degree in business with 10+ years of work experience and 8+ years of experience in blogging and online content production. He enjoys reading books about business, lifestyle and literature and he loves to share what he learns from books. You can drop him a line via e-mail.