What to Do if Your Child Struggles with Reading

What to do when your child struggles with reading

If your child struggles with reading, you might be frustrated trying to figure out what to do. This post lists a few things you can do; I’ll be going into more detail about most of them in subsequent posts. Please note: This is not listed in order of when you should do each thing. You can be doing all of them.

First, don’t blame your child. You probably already know this. There are many reasons why children struggle with reading, and the next tip relates to that.

Find out whether your school is using an evidence-based curriculum. Or try. Surprisingly, many districts don’t. In 2022, the NAEP found that over 60% of fourth graders in the U.S. were reading below grade level. Using evidence-based curricula is essential to overcoming this.

Request a free evaluation for special education from your school district. In the U.S., the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that school districts offer such an evaluation to any child within their district who has or is suspected of having a disability that affects their ability to learn. This includes children who are homeschooled or who attend a private school.

Teach your child to read on your own if you’re comfortable with it, and if your child is open to it. Use a method that’s aligned with the Science of Reading (this simply means there’s evidence that the method or curriculum works.). I recommend Reading Simplified®, the method I use when I tutor.

Find a tutor if teaching your child isn’t feasible or doesn’t work out. See if your school offers tutoring, but be sure the tutor is using an evidence-based curriculum.


Additional Tips

While the above list will help your child learn to read, the next two tips will help them succeed in other areas before they’re able to read at grade level.

Read to your child and then discuss the story or book. Just have a pleasant, low-pressure discussion, similar to what you might talk about with a friend if you watched a movie together. This helps develop comprehension skills.

For older children, use technology to assist with reading and writing schoolwork. Free and paid options exist for those who have a computer or cell phone and an internet connection. One great tool that’s free is Microsoft Edge’s read-aloud option. Just go to a website, press F9, and choose “Read Aloud.”

Keep an eye out for more detailed posts on several of these options. And be sure to let me know which ones you’d like to know more about first!

Thanks for reading!

Miz Jan


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