Reading Together with Your Dyslexic Child

Apr 30, 2024
Reading Together with Your Dyslexic Child

 

There is no doubt that reading with your child is one of the most important ways you can help develop their reading skills, whether your child has dyslexia or not. 

Many times, when a child is struggling to learn to read, suggesting that it's time to read leads to  conflict resulting in refusal to read, temper tantrums, or crying (parents and kids alike).  Most children in elementary school come home with the homework to read 10-20 minutes per night, depending on their grade level. If they have a reading log, this increases the pressure felt by both the parent and the child.  While a reading log might be a helpful tool for a child who enjoys reading, this seemingly small task can be monumental for the struggling reader. 

Here are 5 steps to guide you in establishing your own reading practice with your child to try to make the sessions more pleasant and productive. 

 

 

1. CHOOSING YOUR FORMAT

Here are some of the ways you can read with your child:

📕 Child reads text to you
📕 You read text to child
🎧 Listen to an audiobook (Libby app, Audible, etc)
📕 🎧 Listen to an audiobook with the text in front of you and following along
📕 🎧 Use Kindle + Audible (kindle highlights the text while audible reads it)
📕 🎧 Other text-to-speech software

ALL of these ways count as reading. You may find that younger kids have trouble sitting still to follow text for a long time - it’s ok to read to them while they wiggle.  Or you can build in wiggle breaks.

 

2. COLLECT YOUR TOOLS

If you are using an audiobook or reading aloud, then find a quiet space so it’s easy to listen. You may also decide you want to share ear buds for listening.

If you are using print books then having some of tool to track text can be helpful.  I like the overlay strips like these I found on Amazon - Overlay StripsUsing a bookmark to underline the line or your finger to point to the words are also fine options. 

If you are using a device like a tablet, make sure it's charged. It would be awful if you finally got your child to buy into reading time only to have the tablet die.

 

3. SET A REASONABLE GOAL FOR THE SESSION

WIll it be one chapter? Two chapters? 10 minutes? 20 minutes?  It’s ok to disregard the teacher’s goal for the class.  If the goal for the class is to read for 15 minutes every night, but you know it will be a win if you can engage your child for 5 minutes, then make the goal 5 minutes. 

 

4. THINK OF 1-2 QUESTIONS TO ASK TO CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING

Checking for understanding (otherwise known as comprehension) is important for two reasons.  The first is that improving reading and/or listening comprehension will enhance their learning overall. The second is that it will help them enjoy reading. Generations of kids have loved the Harry Potter series, but if you’re not really understanding the words as you go you will lose interest really quickly. 

My favorite things to ask are predictions.  What do you think is going to happen next? This can serve to get them pumped up to come back to the book again to see if they’re right.

 

5. TRY TO MAKE IT A HABIT

Talk with your child about how, when, and where they prefer to read.  Do they want to snuggle in bed at night to read? Do they want to listen in the car on the way to soccer practice? Do they want to do it as part of their homework after school?

What ever they choose, try to do it that way over and over.

They say it takes two weeks to establish a new habit.  So set a goal to read in their preferred way every day for two weeks.  Let me know if it sticks. 

Subscribe

Be the first to find out when a new blog is up!

No spam. I promise.