Helping struggling readers: 7 tips to encourage reading at home

Helping Struggling Readers Tips

Suzy is like all young children. She’s interested in everything from dinosaurs to paper dolls to building blocks. But when it comes to reading, she struggles to sound out the basic vowels or letters. Her parents were so concerned, that they seek ways to encourage her to read more.

In fact, they enrolled her in different community literacy programs and local story times. To their surprise, the more Suzy was around with other children that love to read, the more enthusiastic she was about grabbing a book.

“We want to encourage students to read but not to read just anything. We want students to read books that are on their literacy level – not so difficult that they can’t process the text and not so easy that they’re not challenging themselves.” (Barringer 2006).

Struggling readers like Suzy are common when they don’t like to read. How to help them to master the essential skills necessary to begin to build a vocabulary and achieve comprehension is not easy.

Here are some ways in helping struggling readers tips to support parents:

Find out the reading level of your child

Many picture books have either designated levels or color level. Have your child read the different books until you find the right level. Or, it may be that the child is an emergent reader and needs more challenging books.

Present different types of literature

Children poetry, lyric stories, and audiobooks are few of the options kids can select from. And many stories are now available electronically.

Reward for each book the child reads

Whether it is stickers or other incentives, rewards can encourage struggling readers to pick a book or two.

Build vocabulary with theme stories

It no surprise that children love to watch movies and then read the story. Educators can encourage reading more when they show specific words or phrases about the movie and relate it to the book.

helping struggling readers tips

Construct a wordbook

In relation to the theme book and movie, children can build wordbooks with synonyms and antonyms for a comparison to contrast list. Another great way in helping struggling readers is to use adjectives and adverbs to distinguish between actions and subject descriptions.

Use sequence stories or cooking books

To follow instructions or simple steps, it requires specific stories. Recipes or building manuals can help. Baking cookies can be an excellent way to promote step-by-step directions. Building blocks, construction kits, and science experiments are great ways to enhance sequence.

Inquiry about the curious young mind

Children are curious by nature. Encourage that learning by asking questions. When reading or building, ask about the next sequence of events or instructions. This can encourage prediction about the story or next steps.

Reading is an invaluable life lesson. It is so important that many communities implement programs like the ‘All Aboard The Reading Railroad’, to encourage parents to bring literacy home. And many local communities have seen an improvement in crime rates and school dropouts.

Many of these tips can be implemented easily at home or at school. And it should be in conjunction with other literacy tools. But most importantly, children should approach it with enthusiasm and eagerness to learn.


Spanish children books to learn new vocabulary

Reference books are wonderful learning tools for any learner in Spanish. Not only are picture dictionaries educational, but also they are great books to incorporate reading. Beginning readers in Spanish can find picture wordbooks an excellent source of vocabulary. Building a vocabulary is essential in learning a new language.

What are some picture books adequate for preschoolers or beginners in Spanish?

Picture dictionaries or wordbooks need to be colorfully illustrated. For preschoolers, pictures can be worth a thousand words. And picture wordbooks are a great resource for early readers for their simplicity to read and to assimilate common words.

Here are five Spanish picture books that children can learn new vocabulary.

“Mi letras favoritas” by Margarita Robleda

Learning the Spanish alphabet is more fun when in poetic form. And this storybook presents new words with pictures and rich vocabulary. From A to Z, this word dictionary is an entertaining way to learn Spanish. This book is recommended for children ages 4 and up.

ISBN: 9706908080

“Diccionario ilustrado” by Felicia Law and Paula Knight

Theme learning is a wonderful way to introduce new vocabulary to children. This picture dictionary presents common Spanish words in a thematic format. From animals to colors to toys, this book illustrates very simple concepts. It is a great learning tool for preschoolers learning Spanish. This book is adequate for children ages 4 and up.

ISBN: 842411647X

“Los Deportes y Los Juegos” by Mary Berendes

Children adore playing games and sports. So in this picture book, common sports like basketball, soccer, or tennis are introduced. In learning Spanish words, this book associates items and words. More importantly, these words are shown in Spanish and English. It also includes additional resources. This workbook is appropriate for children ages 4 and up.

ISBN: 9781592968022

“La Escuela” by Mary Berendes

What’s a typical day in school? This picture book shows, with its illustrations and simple vocabulary, a common school day. From riding the bus to playing on the playground to art class, this book depicts how busy school can be. It also includes additional resources. This workbook is adequate for children ages 4 and up.

ISBN: 9781592969944

“Las Acciones” by Mary Berendes

How to explain verbs to children can be a challenge. But they are merely actions. In this picture book, several scenes are presented. In each, 6 to 9 actions are depicted along with words in Spanish and English. This is a great way to associate the subject with a verb. This workbook is appropriate for children ages 4 and up.

ISBN: 9781592969876

Find these great books at your local library, bookstore or Amazon: Children Books. And read them with your kids. Add them to your home library today.

Reading strategies for parents of struggling readers

reading strategies

Early learners seek their surroundings to learn and explore. They even look for ways to explore with various educational tools.

Educators captivate their curiosity in many ways: reading, music, and dramatic play. But reading can sometimes be a difficult task to meet.

Some early readers tend to have short attention span or show lack of interest in reading.

Yet, early literacy, in reading strategies, promotes the necessary learning skills for them to be successful in school. Literature enhances early language skills in phonics, vocabulary, social manners, and cultural awareness.

Many picture storybooks and reference materials are adequate tools to boost the reading skills in preschoolers.

Early literacy reading strategies

Educational experts believe bilingual books are great choices of literature for early readers. Bilingual stories not only introduce new cultures but also promote innovate ways of language skills.

To learn about a Latin American culture or a Spanish tradition, it can help to support awareness of other cultures.

reading strategiesBut the literacy learning doesn’t stop there. Educators further reinforce the learned language skills with more activities.

Learning activities, organized in theme-type stations, encourages preschoolers to explore other areas of literacy.

Whether it is puzzles, word games, art collages, music singing, or imaginative play, such learning activities helps develop skills in vocalization, pronunciation, and phoneme awareness.

Reading out loud supports the struggling reader to better vocalize and sound out particular syllables. Furthermore, it also helps with sentence construction and grammar. When parents dedicate 20 to 30 minutes of reading out loud with early readers, they show a foundation of learning.

The earlier the exposures to reading, preschoolers are more able to recognize and find key language skills later in life. Educators can foster this adoration for reading with more than books.

Music, art, and dramatic play can also reinforce early literacy.

Reading is the fundamental basis for any early reader.

How are you implementing reading in your home? 

Recommended reading:

Fowler, Susan A., Tweety Yates, and Beverly Lewman. (2007) “Using a Weekly Story to Plan Creative Activities and Promore Early Literacy in Preschool” Gifted Child Today (30): 3 Pgs. 26-33.

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