Often, when parents hear that other children their child’s age are reading higher-level books, they have concerns about their own child’s progress.
There may be several reasons why your child isn’t reading as well as other children in their grade. Is he one of the youngest children in the class? Has she missed a lot of school due to illness? Does he need glasses? Could there be a learning disability?
Here are the first things you should do:
- Rule out the physical. Make sure your child’s vision and hearing screenings are up to date. Young children don’t have a basis of comparison…they think everyone sees and hears as they do!
- Check with his teacher to see if the teacher is concerned about his reading progress. Your son might not be the top reader in the class, but he may be just where he should be for his age and ability.
- If the teacher has concerns as well, ask what you can do at home to help and support the process. Does your daughter need help with phonics and letter sounds? Does she need help remembering sight words? These are skills that can be practiced at home using flash cards for sight words, and focusing on letter sounds when reading stories together.
- Ask if there is extra help available at school, such as someone who could work individually with your child. In my class we are fortunate to have a wonderful retired teacher who volunteers for an hour, each Tuesday and Thursday. She works one-on-on with my children needing extra help. Mrs. “C” has done a tremendous job tutoring my students who need a little boost in reading skills.
Your child may simply be a “late-bloomer” who just needs additional time to mature. However, if skills don’t improve with time or extra help, you may have to request further educational testing.
Reading well is essential to school and life success. Discovering a learning problem early is key to getting help right away. The sooner a problem is identified and addressed, the faster your child can get back on track!