How to Help a Child Struggling with Reading

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There is no doubt that literacy is an extremely important aspect in life. You need to be able to read to follow instructions on the products you buy, to read menus in cookbooks, to study something in school, to get a job, and for everything in between.

Literacy is perhaps one of the most important skills that any human being can have, a skill that everybody needs.

Of course, this all starts out at a young age, and it has been shown that the earlier kids start reading and becoming literate, the better off they will be further on in life.

That said, not all kids are the same; not all learn at the same rate, and not all have the same mental capacity.

This could mean that your child may struggle with reading. In this article, we will discuss how to help a child struggling with reading.

First, we want to talk about how to identify if your child is struggling, and then we will go over some tips on how to make it easier, both for you and your struggling child.

Signs That Your Child is Struggling with Reading

There are quite a few signs that your child is struggling with reading and may even have some sort of reading disability.

Now, keep in mind that if your child displays one of these signs, it could just be something that takes time to work itself out, but if your child displays a combination of these signs, then your child is struggling to read.

Here are the red flags that indicate that your child is having trouble.

  • If your child has trouble sounding out and pronouncing words that they should already know
  • If your child has difficulty recognizing words that they should already know
  • If your child often confuses similar sounding or looking words, ones they should already know
  • If your child is having trouble reading texts which are assigned to their specific age or grade level
  • If your child has trouble reading fluently, often has to pause in between letters or words, and if your child lacks any emotion or vocal inflection when reading
  • If your child has trouble connecting what they have just read to knowledge, ideas, or simple concepts that they should have learned previously. In other words, a lack of basic comprehension of what is being read
  • If your child is showing anxiety or fear of reading, chances are that they are having trouble. People often don’t want to do things that they are not good at
  • If your child has trouble spelling words, particularly simple words that they should already know
  • If your child is easily distracted while reading, as this indicates a lack of comprehension
children learning reading

How to Help a Child Struggling with Reading

Now that you are aware of the signs that your child is having trouble reading, let’s go over some tips on how to remedy the situation.

Keep Your Child Interested

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of helping a child who is struggling with reading is to make sure that they are interested in the specific topic being read about.

It’s no secret that children have short attentions spans, very much so. If they are not interested in something, it will take mere minutes or even seconds for them to drop it.

Put it this way – if you wanted to learn the guitar so you could play killer Metallica riffs, but your teacher just wanted to teach you how to play German folk songs, how long would you stay interested?

It’s the same with kids. If your child is into dinosaurs, firetrucks, and dinosaur-firetruck hybrids, and they are already struggling with reading, how likely is it that they will enjoy a book about frogs turning into princes to marry the beautiful princess? Not likely.

If you have a struggling child and are trying to get through books with them, you need to make sure that the books are about topics that your child is enthusiastic about.

Programs like Children Learning Reading know all too well how important it is for a child to remain interested.

Don’t Wait to Get Help

If you notice that your child is having difficulties learning how to read, don’t wait to get help. If you are unable to manage on your own, there are plenty of educational resources out there, ones that effective and affordable.

One of the options you could consider is the Children Learning Reading educational program, an affordable and proven reading course that helps teach children how to read.

Simply put, if your child is having trouble, and you don’t find help, you are just prolonging the agony.

Children want to learn to read and children want to please their parents. If they just keep experiencing the same struggle, they will get frustrated and lose motivation.

Therefore, using proven educational resources may very well assist your child. There are many options out there that will cater to your child’s needs and skills and move at a pace that works best for them.

Inform Their Teachers – Get Them in the Right Classes

Moreover, if your child is having trouble reading, if their teachers have not already noticed, it’s something to be discussed with them.

Parents are busy, so the teachers in school may very well be the ones instructing your kids the most. That, and the fact that teachers are trained to, well, teach, makes them perfect assistants for kids having trouble with reading.

Talk to the teachers, ask if they can spend some extra time with your child, and ask if they have any advice. Remember, teachers will know what your children are having trouble with, and therefore be able to offer the best assistance.

On a related note, if your child is having too much trouble keeping up in the classes they are in, it may be beneficial to move them to easier classes or to hold them back a grade.

Kids don’t want to be held back or moved to remedial classes, but then again, there is no point in moving your children to more advanced classes just because the world says it is time to do so. Your children need to learn at the pace and level at which they are comfortable.

How to Help a Child Struggling with Reading

Read, Read, and Read Some More

Easily, one of the best ways to teach kids how to read, particularly for struggling kids, is through simple repetition. This is why children’s songs and nursery rhymes are so repetitive; more often than not, the best way to hammer home a point is through repetition.

Therefore, spend as much time as you can reading with your child on a daily basis, but of course, don’t overdo it to the point where your child gets frustrated and loses motivation.

Keep it light and fun. You can read stories to your child, and you can also attempt to have your children read along with you, to read aloud, or even to read specific parts on their own. Practice makes perfect.

Stick to Their Reading Level

What’s also important is that you stick to your child’s reading level. If your child is in grade 4, but only has a grade 2 reading level, although you may be tempted to stick to the grade 4 material, there is really no point in doing so.

If your child is having trouble with second grade material, then fourth grade stuff will do nothing more than present a demoralizing challenge to them.

Reading moves in steps, and if your kids don’t have step 1 down, they cannot move onto step 2. It’s best to stick to their reading level until it improves to the point where you can step up the difficulty level.

Try a Combination of Print and Audiobooks

Another tip to follow is to try using a combination of books and audiobooks, the same ones. So, if you have a story your child is having trouble getting through, try to find the audiobook version of that same story.

Then, your child can listen to the audiobook while attempting to read the text. It always helps when a child has something or someone leading by example and listening to an audiobook will help their ability to sound out and pronounce words.


Referring back to our opening section, you first need to be able to recognize whether or not your child is having trouble reading.

If they are displaying the signs of struggle, follow the tips and steps we have outlined, and things should start to improve. Just don’t expect any lightning-fast improvements. These things take time.

children learning reading

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