How To Help Your Middle School And High School Struggling Readers/Learners

Struggling Learners - A Pandemic

If there's a pandemic that's faced by most educational institutions today, it is that we have a vast majority of our students in elementary, middle, and high school who are struggling with reading and other curriculum.

It used to be that this problems lies solely within the demographic of students who are learning to read in a second language, and those who have been diagnosed with some sort of reading or language-based disorder. But today, this problem is now faced by a larger percentage of the students population in most schools.

Students are becoming more and more disconnected with the old-fashion way of reading, a system that's being perceived more as a boring activity. From my experience, female students are more likely to pick up a book or ebooks and read through than their male counterparts.

Does the problem of struggling readers or learners lie solely among the male students? It does seems so, but this is a problem that cuts across the board, and it needs to be address. With parents of students working with (not against) the teachers, this problem can be prevented.

How To Identify Your Struggling Reader/Learner

The key here is early intervention. Parents and educators working together toward a common goal. Parents need to keep a watchful eye on their kids right from elementary level. Parents should

  • Observe their child's interest in reading and readiness to do homework and other assignments. This will help determine whether a child will be apt to read and able and interested in learning new things.
  • Observe their child's pronunciation and reading fluency - When your child does read, how is he/she reading. Is there hesitation in words pronunciation, or is there fluency.
  • Check their child's homework regularly and be actively engage in helping by following up with their child's educators. A child who keeps bringing home teacher's not for not doing classwork or homework, is an indication that that child may be a struggling learner.
  • Pay attention to their child's complain about a particular subject or teacher's teaching style. This is not a ground for parents to haul at the teacher with insult, but it does give the parent the opportunity to find out why the child feels the way he/she feels and then take the steps to work with the educators on the problem. It could just be that all that the child need is another approach to learning, such as, extra tutoring, a one-on-one, or group approach.

Cues To Help You Determining Your Child's Struggling Areas

Your Child Is A Struggling Reader If he/She...
How To Help Get Your Struggling Reading On The Right Track
Have difficulty making the connections between letters and their sounds, and how to use that in forming words.
Help your child to recognize the connection between the letters, sounds and word formation.
Have difficulty with multi-syllable words like, Watermelon, Fingerpaint, and Grasshopper.
Remind them to break words up into the different syllables, and then sound it out, first individually, and then, together.
Have difficulty in understanding or comprehending read texts. Often time your struggling reader may actually try to rush throught the texts being read to cover up their reading deficiency.
Have them read slowly, using the context to try and figure out meaning of words, and the overall subject of the texts.

Parents/Teachers Working To Help The Struggling Reader/Learner

Once a struggling learner/reader has been identified, parents and teachers need to work together by engaging the child in activities that will help foster learning and enforces what's already been taught. Also, parents should daily encouraging their child as this can positively go a long way in help them learn.

Teachers already do a lot. Remember, there are other students that needs their help as much as your child does. So parents, the bulk of the help your child needs lies mostly on you. Fostering a home environment that makes for easy learning is key to your child's ability to learn and succeed.

There are also tools that's developed to help a child struggling with reading and learning. Investing in these will go a long way in helping to build your child's reading and learning ability.

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Tools To Help Your Struggling Reader/Learner

The followings are a few of the tools out there for struggling learners that parents can explore to help their child get past the learning blocks that are preventing him/her from succeeding.

Audio Books - Learning Tools for Struggling Readers and Learners

A common problem with struggling readers and learners is their ability to understand and comprehend what is being taught them. And since most also face the problem of not being able to read, a great way to help your struggling reader and/or learner is to provide them with tools that eliminates such obstacles.

One of such tools that could help your struggling reader are Audio Books. These are great reading aides that reinforces reading and comprehension skills. Audio books can be in the form of:

  • Read-Alongs - Read-Along are audio book and CD set. They are usually paced for students to follow the text word-for-word. So if your child struggles with word identification and pronunciation, these will help them to be able to pick up on those words. Recommended for Grades K through 12.
  • Play-Away® - This is not a CD, or Cassette, and it is not a download. These type of audio books come with a story already written on it. It comes complete with its own ear buds and battery. Just play and listen. This audio books are small enough to fit in the palm of your hands. Recommended for youths to adult.

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A Must Watch - Ways To Help Your Struggling Readers

Graphic Literatures for Struggling Readers

Graphic Stories - Literatures for Struggling Readers

Most literature books comes in graphic stories that are retold in color illustrations. These are especially great for struggling readers, and for students who find it difficult to understand the old English style of literature. These books (stories) have key phrases and quotations that are taken from the original classics, and the graphics are well illustrated to grab your kids attention from beginning till the end. Recommended for youths to adult.

See-N-Read® - Help for Your Distracted Reader

Another great tool used as a reading guide to help readers see, focus, and remember what they read. The See-N-Read® reading guide has a clear reading window that's surrounded by a non-glare, tinted transparent finish that allows readers to see text in bits instead of individual words.

With See-N-Read®, your child will be focused and not lose his place on the reading page.

  • See-N-Read® reduces word and line skipping which is a problem for struggling readers. And because visibility is being controlled, readers only focus on what's being read.
  • See-N-Read® helps to improve reading speed, fluency, and comprehension. It also helps to prevent eye strain and fatigue, a common complaint of struggling readers. See-N-Read® is recommended for Grades K through 12.

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A Note To The Parent

Parents, you are your child's best educational advocate. So, if you suspect that your child is struggling with reading or with learning other curriculum, speak out. Don't ignore the facts and hope it will go with time. There are resources in place to help you as a parent. Remember, early intervention is key to your child's success!

Teachers and other educators are also there to help your struggling reader. Collaborate with them for the sake of your child, so that your child can get all the help he/she needs to be a successful student.

I do hope this hub has helped too. I also have a struggling reader, and I know it can be frustrating at times, but hang in there. Your time investments and encouragement may just be what your child need.

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©Comfort Babatola - Updated February 2013

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Comments 4 comments

jacqui2011 profile image

jacqui2011 4 years ago from Leicester, United Kingdom

What a great hub with some interesting information here. I think as you said, once you realize your child is struggling, speak out. A lot of parents dismiss it and think that their child will catch up, but many don't. Great advice here. Voted up - useful/interesting.


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@jacqui2011 - Yes, parents need to speak out for their kids and do all in their power to get the help needed for their kids to be successful and productive in school.

Thanks for the vote and comment.


Nan Mynatt profile image

Nan Mynatt 4 years ago from Illinois

Great hub and useful for parents to review and use for their children. I marked you up on this one.


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@Nan Mynatt - Thanks so much for the comments and votes.

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