Can I be real with you? I found myself dreading homework time with my 2nd grader. When your child struggles with reading, homework time can become stressful for everyone involved. I could literally see his anxiety when it was time to start his homework during the week. And if I brought a book to read at bedtime, the nervousness that I would ask him to “help” read it aloud was evident and crushing.
It took some time, but we are getting into a routine that is helping him to become more comfortable and alleviate the stress.
5 Things To Do When Your Child Struggles With Reading
Check Your Approach:
Your child can sense your apprehension and frustration. Yelling, getting exasperated or speaking in a condescending tone does not help. Approach reading with a positive and upbeat attitude so that your child will be excited and happy to read together.
Don’t make your child read the entire book on their own. Take turns reading different pages or characters. This helps to take some of the pressure off of them and gets you more involved with their reading.
Read What They Enjoy:
Get stories about characters and topics your child enjoys to read together. My youngest son enjoys Legos and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Guess what? We read tons of books about Legos and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Stay In Touch With Their Teachers:
It is important to stay in contact with your child’s teachers to check on their progress and any areas of concern they may have. They can, also, give great insight on the areas your child is doing great in and help you to reinforce that at home. Let them know how you’re working with your child at home so they can provide reinforcement and give updates. Also, inquire if additional assistance can be given at school, one-on-one time or smaller dedicated reading groups are often an option for children that struggle with reading on their grade level.
Read Stories That Engage and Stimulate Conversation:
Reading should not be focused on just calling words off the page. You want to have conversations around the stories you read. Ask questions, draw inferences, and even contemplate what happens after “the end”. We, also, like to introduce simple stories that teach and provide history lessons to our children.
I was recently sent a copy of Black Cowboys by Andrea Robbins and Max Becher to share with my children. It is a simple board book, so it is an easy read, but the vibrant photos quickly drew my son in. We had an almost hour-long conversation about the cowboys that looked like him.
It even brought back memories of the rodeos and parades I attended as a child with my father and the revelation that his uncle was a real live black cowboy years ago before health issues caused him to stop riding and raising horses.
There you have it. These 5 strategies have made a huge difference in our household and working with my son. I would love to know if there are specific ways you work with your child that struggles with reading.
Black Cowboys is a children’s board book that explores the culture of African American cowboys in the US, a culture that is often written out of history but still thriving. The books are targeted to 0-6 year olds, but the striking images can be appreciated by everyone.