Learning to read has always been one of the most challenging parts of helping our children. This pandemic has only made it more difficult through missing instruction and online learning. However, all hope isn’t lost. By following these tips below, you can get your child back on track with reading.
1. Stay on top of grades
As a tutor, I was always shocked to hear that schools didn’t show parents how to look up their child’s grades online. By checking on your child’s grades weekly, you can bring attention to missing assignments and low grades. This information can be used to help identify what they are struggling with and make a plan. You can also use this information to sit with your child and set goals to improve these grades by the end of term. If you are a parent in a public school in North Carolina you can use this link to create an account to review your child’s grades as often as needed: https://ncedcloud.mcnc.org/ Parents can also use this sheet to help set goals with your children about their reading grade:
2. Read together nightly
One question I hear a lot is, “how do I get my child to love reading?” Surprisingly, the answer may sound really simple. By reading together nightly and providing your child with a choice of what they read, they can become more engaged with their reading. A push towards leveled text has caused children to abhor reading as they see it as tedious and one-dimensional. Don’t get me wrong, leveled texts have their place and purpose. However, these books only serve to improve your child’s phonic and fluency development while they may not catch your child’s interest. Going to the library as a family and choosing out books can be fun. If your child chooses a book that you think may be too challenging for them to read on their own , use it as a book you can read together. If your child struggles to sit and read for the full recommended time, start with just a few minutes per session and grow that time each week. Here is a list of great books divided by grade levels that your child may enjoy: https://k-12readinglist.com/
3. Open Communication
Another great tip is to have consistent and open communication with your child’s teacher. Sending weekly messages to stay up to date can provide you with great tips the teacher has for what should be worked on at home. It also provides information for your child’s tutor if you hire one. Here is a freebie that gives you great questions to ask their teacher when your child is struggling with reading.
4. Phonics Instruction
Sometimes, the reason your child is struggling with reading is because they have gaps in their phonics instruction. This could be caused by the recent pandemic or different changes that may have occurred during their time in lower elementary. By focusing on age appropriate phonics instruction for 15-30 minutes a day, your child can learn to read with ease. A tutor that is also a certified teacher can help ensure that the instruction matches what they would have learned in school. Go to our website to learn more about our tutoring services here: https://myteacheronthego.com/
Maybe your child’s phonics skills and fluency is on or above grade level but their reading grade is still low. If your child is able to read the words on the page just fine but still has a low grade in reading, this could be due to comprehension. Comprehension is a skill on it’s own and must be modeled and taught. This skill focuses on the ability to understand and answer questions clearly and concisely. There are great questions that should be asked when your child is reading and answered with evidence from the text. Use this list of great age appropriate questions to ask to your child when reading at home.
6. Positive affirmations
This tip is last but not least important. When the low grades start coming in, it’s easy for your child to lose motivation. This can cause behavior problems, become apathetic or lower grades. By sharing positive affirmations with your child, you can inspire them to keep trying and to have a growth mindset. To get more tips on how to increase your child’s motivation, join our email to learn when our Motivation and MIndset course will be released: https://match.myteacheronthego.com/
Learning to read isn’t easy, especially during a pandemic. Remember to be patient with yourself and your child. Each day can be a fresh start if you allow it to be. Once you implement these steps it will take time but your child will be reading soon