Many children struggle with learning to read, so much so that some are considered reluctant readers. This can often be due to various reasons like low confidence, lack of interest in certain topics, or a condition such as dyslexia. Whatever the reason is, finding ways to improve their reading skills can make a world of difference.
Whether you’re looking for solutions to help your own child's literacy struggles or seeking out tips for helping your student become a better reader, this blog post has five amazing ways to improve reading skills for those who are reluctant readers. Keep reading to learn more!
Start your new readers off right with Dash Into Learning
What Makes a Reader Reluctant?
There are many factors that can contribute to a child being a reluctant reader. Sometimes it is simply a matter of not enjoying reading material that is too difficult or not of interest.
I remember when I was teaching my oldest to read, and it was horrible. Tears! We were both so unhappy! The early reading programs and books recommended to me were either incredibly boring lesson manuals or very ugly, poorly written readers.
Another common factor in having a reluctant reader is age inappropriate reading. We can want to find fun books to read, but if they aren't on the same level as our young readers, then the challenge can be too daunting, causing rebellion in the learning environment.
Dyslexia or visual processing disorders can also be a reason. Get checked out if you think this could be the case.
Whatever the reason you feel like things aren't working you can learn some great ways to help them overcome this period in their early learning.
4 Signs You May Have a Reluctant Reader
There are many signs that you may have a reluctant reader on your hands. Things can be beyond frustrating when you are faced with a reluctant reader.
Here are some of the most common signs you have one on your hands:
1. They avoid reading at all costs.
If your child is avoiding reading at all costs, it's likely that they're reluctant. They may make excuses not to read, such as "I don't have time" or "It's too hard." Or they may just start being silly for no reason.
2. They are having trouble decoding words while reading.
If it seems like your child takes forever to finish a book, it may be because they're struggling with decoding the words. If they've been taught using whole language, where memorization of words is emphasized rather than learning the sound blends that make up the words, they may be struggling. "Most scientific research now seems to rest on the phonics side" of the reading wars.
3. They are easily frustrated when reading.
Many reluctant readers show signs of frustration, from anger to tearful sobbing. This is a big red flag that you need to take a break and reevaluate your methods.
4. They don't talk about what they're reading.
If your child doesn't talk about the books they're reading (or pretends to have read a book when they haven't), it's another sign that they may be reluctant. Often, reluctant readers are embarrassed about their struggles and don't want to let anyone know that they're having difficulty.
5 Ways to Help Your Reluctant Reader Improve Their Reading Skills
Reluctant readers often have difficulty mastering early reading skills. However, there are ways to help your reluctant reader improve their reading skills. By using some of the strategies below, you can help your reluctant reader become a more confident and competent reader.
One way to help your reluctant reader improve their reading skills is to provide them with books that interest them. If your child is interested in horses, then find books about horses. If your child loves cars, then find books about cars. By finding age appropriate books that interest your child, you will be more likely to keep their attention and help them improve their reading skills.
Another way to help your reluctant reader improve their reading skills is to let them read aloud to you. This will allow them to practise their reading skills while also getting used to hearing their own voice. Additionally, this will give you a chance to offer feedback and help them correct any errors they may make.
Reluctant readers can also be helped by creating a reading routine. Start by letting them choose a book from a selection of age appropriate books. Sit with them and read it over first. Allow them to read as thoroughly as they want, or ask them to read every other word. Making reading fun and interesting for them will aid them in feeling more at ease with books.
Choose books with excellent illustrations that catch your child's interest. If the illustrations don't engage your young reader, they will likely be less interested in the book overall. But fun, cute, and bright illustrations can engage even the most active of children.
Finally, encourage your reluctant reader by praising their efforts. Be sure to point out when they are making progress with their reading skills. This will help motivate them to keep trying and eventually master the skill of reading.
Find here more ways to motivate your young readers.
Why is Dash Into Learning ideal for reluctant readers?
One of the best ways to improve reading skills for reluctant readers is to use a reading program like Dash Into Learning. Our easy, open-and-go curriculum teaches students how to decode words.
Each of the beautifully illustrated books has full-color, wholesome, and classic illustrations that resonate with both parent and child. The books are truly decodable with the sounds the child knows. The illustrations promote the good habit of decoding words and reading rather than "looking and guessing."
The carefully crafted stories are full of conflict, resolution, and fun surprises! Dash the pony is hidden in each book and the child loves to keep reading and turn the page to find him. So motivating!
"Follow your finger" exercises with Dash the Pony finger puppets to improve focus and retain information.
The phonics progression is logical and easy to follow. We build phonics incrementally upon what was taught in the previous book, while also reviewing what they have already learned.
The innovative "Blending Path" will teach children to blend sounds—an important part of reading that's missed in most programs. And each book set comes with a parent guide with easy step-by-step instructions on how to teach your child.
Being proactive and teaching your children how to read correctly will give them the best foundation for their entire education.
Have you used Dash Into Learning with your child? I would love to hear from you!