Do you have a feeling that your child is struggling with learning how to read? Do you experience resistance from your child when it comes to reading? This can be hard to handle as a parent especially when you feel like your child is behind in their reading development.
Let me assure you that you are not alone!
There are many reasons that could explain why your child hasn’t begun blossoming as a reader. In this post, I share with you some signs to look for as a parent.
I’ve had many students in kindergarten and first grade who come to me with little to no phonemic awareness skills or other fundamental skills that are necessary for decoding. I’ve also had older students come to me with strong wordlist reading capabilities yet struggle with reading comprehension and spelling.
Struggle shows in many different ways. Some children, especially girls, fight to hide their struggles during school. This means that it may be hard to identify your child’s struggle.
To be frank, I honestly believe the term ‘struggling’ is a misnomer. We can all say we struggling with skills we have yet to master. For instance, I ‘struggle’ with changing the oil in my car on my own because I have yet to acquire the skills to do so. Your child struggling with reading is so much more common than you think.
My point is that reading instruction varies across all classrooms, across all grades, across all schools. Reading instruction that works for one student may not work for the other. It is highly possible that your child has not received the specific instruction they need to fully unlock their literacy skills.
Signs to Look for If you Feel Your Child is Struggling with Reading
Here are some signs to look for that may indicate that your child is struggling with reading. These sub-categories are not meant to be used as a diagnostic tool. They are categorized to provide you with a little insight into the potential reason why the sign is present.
Phonemic or Phonological
- Doesn’t know the sounds of letters when asked to sound the word out
- Lacks the skill to sound out unfamiliar words
- Guesses at words instead of sounding them out
- Auto-completes /assumes words based on their first sounds or letters
- Does not blend sounds together resulting in choppy word reading
If any of these are present, check out ways you can build your child’s phonemic or phonological awareness. In the future, TBL will have activities designed for you. My apologies!
- Does not consider punctuation while reading aloud
- Loses their place or skips lines
- Skips small function words such as and, an, the, from, were, was, to, etc.
- Wildly guesses at words they are unsure of
- Words are interchanged with similar-looking words such as ‘for’ for ‘from’
Often times, visual learners opt to memorize words by sight rather than learning to decode. This is displayed by their capability to read larger, more unique words. This may come off as amazing, however, if they fail to successfully read smaller function words there is a possibility your child is struggling to read. Memorizing thousands of words simply won’t work overtime. It is important to ensure your child is receiving phonemic and phonological practice as well as sight word development. Your child will need to learn how to successfully. decode unfamiliar words
Other signs that indicate your child is potentially struggling to read
- Displays resistance to reading
- Poor reading comprehension skills
- Makes up the story based on the pictures
- Relies heavily on lookbacks to answer reading comprehension questions
- Can read a particular word on one page but not on the next
- Reads words out of order
- Inserts letter sounds into words i.e. much -> munch
- Letter sound reversals. Most common is b/d & p/g
Fortunately, a lot of these reading issues can be overcome with time, practice, and correct remedial reading approaches. It is important to seek out additional support and not to rely on time alone.
I would hesitate to conclude that your child has a reading disability such as dyslexia or an auditory or visual impairment without first consulting with a professional. However, it is advisable to seek out a professional consultation instead of thinking, “my child will catch-up.” Often times, the struggle to read and catch-up compounds on itself because the child isn’t able to progress forward in school.
I have an entire post on determining the type of reading instruction your child receives at school and ways you can ‘balance out’ their literacy skills at home.