How Can Parents Help their Struggling Reader at Home?


There is nothing harder than knowing your child is struggling. Maybe they are not struggling and you just want to provide extra support at home.  
We all know, reading is the foundation to a child's learning development.  How can I help my child who may be struggling with reading?
Well, as a former Curriculum Specialist in Early Childhood Education and mother of 2 boys, I have some thoughts I can offer...

It is more simple than you think once you know a few of the tricks!

Use a Story Box as a model during your story telling time. Children rarely tell you what is in the box but will rather use them as inspiration for their own story. 


#1 - Talk to your children!  ALL THE TIME! About everything.  They are learning what you say, how you say it, context, sentence structure, social skills, behavior, diversity, culture...and so much more. Evidence has shown a child's vocabulary will grow the more they are spoken to.

  • share your personal and family stories
  • relatable stories
  • sing songs
  • talk about childhood stories of the season, holidays, or culture
  • create some imaginary stories

#2 - Read to your children.  When your child is at the level of reading, it is proven that those children who read  have a significantly higher reading vocabulary than those that read minimally or not at all.

  • read a recipe out loud
  • read a section of your magazine to your child while they are playing
  • read signs along the roadside as you drive
  • read the cereal or other food boxes
  • Read stories, tell familiar tales
  • read your shopping list, what you need, and why

#3 - Listen and Tell Stories together. - it is the bridge between oral language and a more mature language of reading and writing. Storytelling promotes a child's cognitive and literacy development.  It is a super way to build a positive interaction between the story teller and the listener.

  • Tell a simple story and have them listen
  • Have them tell you a story while driving in the car or cooking dinner
  • Create a Ritual to begin your story telling time
  • Provide a model for a story telling time.  Children rarely copy these models directly but will use them for inspiration in telling their story.
  • Scaffold (build upon) and Support your child during storytelling time 
  • Model Listening skills
  • Ask simple questions to prompt your child to take their story deeper and stretch their creativity...who? What? Where? and Why? questions are always good beginners. 
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