Julie McKinney, MS
September 23, 2021

Is your child struggling with reading? Here are 5 ways you can help at home.

Many children have trouble with reading and literacy. But there are ways you can help at home! See these 5 tips on how to help if your child struggles with reading.

Does your child have reading problems?

Many children have reading difficulties and need some focused support to learn and practice the skills they need. The school should have structures in place to help, but  there are also things you can do at home.

Here are 5 ways you can help your child at home:

1. Encourage reading at home – make it fun, not stressful

  • Help your child to associate reading with happy, relaxed family time, not just stressful moments in school.

  • Have frequent casual reading times where you help or share in the reading as much as they need.

  • Follow your child’s interests and abilities: include things like recipes, street signs, toy instructions, or comics.

2. Work with the teacher to identify the challenging areas

3. Practice the skills with focused strategies and games

  • Find resources with games and strategies to practice the specific skills with your child. Have an older sibling help if that makes it more fun!

  • Build the practice into your routine so you do just a little each day. Make it short and focused.

  • This may be mentally tiring for your child. Let them fidget if they need to and follow it up with a reward or a fun or relaxing activity of their choice.

4. Check for learning disabilities if they don’t start to catch up

5. Be positive and give praise!

  • Children with reading difficulty often develop low self-esteem. Be patient and stay positive. Give lots of praise, and don’t criticize.

  • Keep reading times short and give your child lots of opportunities to build their self-esteem with activities that they like and can do well.

  • Be open to talking about how they feel. If you notice a lot of anxiety, talk to the school counselor and get some advice.

Try these 5 tips at home to help get your child off to a good start with reading!

Check out our Literacy Support Resources to learn more!

  • Julie McKinney, MS

    Director of Training / Health Literacy Specialist

    Julie McKinney has over 25 years of experience in health literacy, plain language, and adult education. She has deep expertise in writing information so it’s easy to understand, and has developed trainings for educators in clear communication.

    At Exceptional Lives, she ensures that our content is clear and friendly. She also works to strengthen relationships with community partners, and designs trainings that help them connect with families.
    Julie also has experience parenting kids with ADHD, learning disabilities and significant intellectual disability. She has ushered her own children through schooling and transition to adulthood, and is committed to helping make this process easier for others.

    Her core view is that good relationships are the key to just about anything we hope for.

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