Learning to read can be quite the challenge for many children but the great news is that if caught early and with the help of the right reading programs, most reading problems can be overcome. However, the key is to identify the problems early on and address it with research-based reading intervention programs.
Before you start discussing ways to help a slow learner with reading, let’s look at some of the most common reasons why kids might struggle with reading:
- Trouble recognizing the individual sounds in spoken words, also known as phonemes, and the ability to recognize and play around with the sounds to say other words (known and phonemic awareness).
- Trouble or difficulty sounding out written words and recognize those sounds as part of other words.
- Sounding words is one aspect of reading but understanding what you read is a key contributor to becoming a great reader. Not understanding what is being read is a sign of limited vocabulary and therefore cause a difficulty in reading.
- Limited skills in the English language might be due to limited experience with books and printed text.
- Instruction that is over and above the child’s current needs or providing instruction without a proper evaluation.
Getting your child evaluated
Not every child can learn to read and write at the same level but with the help of an early assessment and setting milestones along the way, you will get an idea of how well your child is performing compared to others at his or her own age. This is where Response to Intervention or RtI comes into play. RtI is a multi-tiered reading intervention system designed to provide academic support to struggling learners across grade levels starting from kindergarten.
The RtI instruction is divided into three tiers. At Tier 1, all children are given universal assessments to help identify students who need additional instruction. Students that don’t perform as per standard or score inadequately are moved to Tier 2 and grouped with others at the same level. These students receive further focused research-based instruction that includes intensive reading which helps develop their skills to reach the desired milestone. At this stage, the children’s progress is closely monitored and if students do not show sufficient amount of success, they are then moved to Tier 3. Children at this level are classified as ‘high risk’ and it can be overwhelming for many parents but it doesn’t have to be. This tier usually includes one-on-one instruction, intensive reading intervention programs, and regular performance analysis. If students at this stage still show signs of struggling, they are then directed towards special education services.
Finding the right help
All children with reading difficulties can benefit from one thing, i.e., reading instructions tailored to their specific needs but there are some children that struggle more than others and that’s why they need a little bit more help. Here are some things that can be done:
- Multi-sensory Activities
One way to make learning not only impactful but also fun is by taking a multi-sensory approach to teaching activities and programs. By including visual, kinesthetic, and/ or auditory activities, children will be able to make connections between several parts of the brain at once. The most effective way of teaching is to integrate all three at once when possible.
- School Specialists
Most public and private schools have in-house specialists that are trained to provide reading assistance, speech assistance, and/or a special education teacher that can provide the ‘at risk’ children the assistance they need.
- Private Tutoring
While a great option to give children the one-on-one attention they need this route can get very expensive very quickly. You can also consider sending your children to Educational Psychologists and/or other professionals doing private practice and are equipped to provide an assessment, diagnosis, and/or a plan for helping your child.
- Reading Clinics
Similar to private tutoring but without the one-on-one attention, reading clinics are designed specifically to tutor small groups of students with similar learning disabilities.
- Online Intervention Programs
With the help of improved education technology, online intervention programs have grown in popularity over the years. Teachers using online reading intervention systems have the ability to have a more hands on approach for each student. Focused programs can be used to supplement curriculum instruction by allowing students to work and learn independently at their own level and pace within a class or group setting. The programs can also be used with interactive classroom tools such as whiteboards to allow for teacher-led lessons.
- Provide Motivation
While all the teaching activities can help a ton, children also need to be constantly motivated to want to do more on their own. So, let’s remember to always provide positive reinforcement at every step of the way.
Benefits of using education software
The advancements of online educational software in the last few years have transformed the educational sector and people have realized how beneficial it can be to the learning process. Integration of technology with classroom learning is becoming one of the effective ways to promote student learning. Let’s look at some of the benefits of educational software to help slow learners with reading and the teachers to improve the learning experience:
- Provides better control of the experience for both the students and teachers
- Reduces workload for teachers
- Helps track student progress
- Provides a personalized learning experience
- Provides immediate feedback and enables better communication between peers and with teachers
Want to learn more about how you could help students improve their reading skills? Contact us today to get the information you need.
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