Exceptional Lives Community Member
September 30, 2021

One Quick Question: How do I help my struggling reader?

Watch this 2-minute video from a literacy expert on how to help your child struggling with reading skills such as identifying the areas of challenge.


Click to Read Transcript

Hello, my name is Victoria Ikeda. I have a Master’s degree in Elementary Education, [and] a reading specialist degree. I taught first grade, kindergarten, and I also worked with students who are struggling readers. So the question I’m gonna answer today is “where do I start to help my child catch up with reading skills?” Great question, again.

First way is to talk to the teacher. So the best way to talk to the teacher is, ask the teacher “where is my child struggling?” The teacher might try to tell you some big words that you don’t understand. Say, “I don’t understand what you mean. Can you please show me or explain it to me so I can better help work with my child at home?”

You can also use the word partner. Say, “I would like to partner with you to help my child succeed.” For some reason, that’s a huge buzzword with teachers and they want to obviously help your child succeed, too. So if you are partnering together, you guys can help your child succeed with reading.

Ask [for] help with interpreting scores. So your child is probably getting assessments and they might be coming home, the results might be coming home, and you don’t understand what they mean. Call, email, or go see the teacher if you’re allowed to. And ask, “I don’t understand what this means. Can you please explain it to me further? Where can I help my child?” Again, go back to that original question and go through everything. Again, if the teacher tries to tell you words that you don’t understand, say, “I don’t really understand what that means. Can you please explain it to me?” Like I said, they want to be helpful and they want your child to succeed, and so do you.

Another way that you can help your child is to work on things at home.

So for instance, well, the biggest thing is, read. Read, read, read with your kids. You can have them read to you. You can read to them. But reading everyday, at least for five to 10 minutes, the studies show that that is a huge way to improve students’ reading abilities.

You can also work on rhyming games. If your child is having problems with phonics, phonemic awareness, work on words, rhyming games. You can do flashcards for high frequency words. That’s ways that you can help work on things at home.

With flashcards, try to make it fun. Don’t just sit there and flash through the cards. Maybe make a game or something. So all of this is ways that you can help your child catch up with reading skills.

Thank you.

Thanks for watching


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