The journey of learning to read is a significant milestone in a child’s life, one that opens the door to a world of knowledge and imagination.
However, not every child embarks on this journey with ease.
In this article, we delve into the experiences of seven-year-olds who are struggling with reading and explore the various factors that can contribute to this challenge.
We’ll also discuss strategies and resources that can provide valuable support to both these young readers and their concerned parents or caregivers.
How to Fix your 7, 8 or 9 Year Old who is Struggling with Reading
Identify the root cause
The first step in helping your child improve their reading skills is to identify the root cause of the problem.
There are many reasons why a child may struggle with reading, including dyslexia, vision problems, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or a lack of exposure to language and literacy.
Consult with your child’s teacher and a healthcare professional to determine if there are any underlying issues that need to be addressed.
Read aloud together
Reading aloud to your child is one of the best ways to improve their reading skills.
Choose books that are appropriate for their reading level and interests, and take turns reading aloud.
Encourage your child to ask questions about the story and make predictions about what will happen next.
This not only improves their comprehension but also helps them develop a love of reading.
The earlier you address reading difficulties, the better. Consider seeking help from a reading specialist or educational therapist who can assess your child’s needs and provide targeted interventions.
Some children benefit from multisensory techniques, where they engage with materials that involve touch, sight, and sound to reinforce reading skills.
Celebrate your child’s reading successes, no matter how small. Encourage a growth mindset by emphasizing that effort and practice lead to improvement.
Seek Professional Guidance:
Consult with your child’s teacher and school to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 Plan if needed. These plans can provide additional support and accommodations.
Phonics is the relationship between sounds and the letters that represent them.
It’s an essential skill for reading, and children who struggle with phonics often struggle with reading as a whole.
Practice phonics with your child by playing games that focus on sounds and letters, such as “I Spy” or “Rhyme Time.”
You can also use flashcards or worksheets to help them recognize and sound out letters and words.
Offer a variety of reading materials to your child, including books, magazines, and newspapers.
Encourage them to read everything from road signs to cereal boxes.
This not only exposes them to different types of texts but also helps them develop a broader vocabulary.
Make reading fun Reading should be a fun and enjoyable experience, not a chore.
Encourage your child to read books that interest them, and don’t be afraid to let them choose their own reading materials.
Make reading a part of your daily routine, and reward them for their efforts with praise, stickers, or a special activity.
Get support from a tutor or reading specialist If your child continues to struggle with reading despite your efforts, consider getting support from a tutor or reading specialist.
These professionals can provide one-on-one instruction that is tailored to your child’s needs.
They can also help identify any underlying issues that may be contributing to the problem.
Finally, it’s important to monitor your child’s progress and celebrate their successes.
Keep track of their reading level and comprehension, and celebrate when they reach milestones.
This not only encourages them to continue to work hard but also helps you identify when additional support is needed.
If your 7-year-old is struggling with reading, there are several steps you can take to help them improve.
Identify the root cause of the problem, read aloud together, practice phonics, provide a variety of reading materials, make reading fun, get support from a tutor or reading specialist, and monitor progress.
With patience, persistence, and support, your child can become a confident and skilled reader.
- Shaywitz, S. E. (2003). Overcoming dyslexia: A new and complete science-based program for reading problems at any level. Vintage.
- Fletcher, J. M., & Lyon, G. R. (1998). Reading: A research-based approach. In E. C. Wylie (Ed.), The development of reading (pp. 81-110). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.