Watching your child struggle to read (or worse, hearing them say they don’t like to read) can be heartbreaking. To help, the first step is to determine the reason for the reluctance and/or struggling. Is it because the child can’t read, can read but chooses not to, or can read but can’t find anything interesting to read? Even determining this first answer can be difficult. Here are some tips to help you get started.

10 ideas to help your reluctant or struggling reader

  1. First, keep it positive. Remember to offer your child encouragement and positive praise — especially for trying.
  2. Talk with your child about why he or she is no longer reading. The discussion may be revealing.
  3. Remember the importance of reading aloud. Your child may miss the reading time together. Returning to the habit of reading aloud together may help your child reconnect to reading. Plus, research shows that reading aloud to your child — even long past when your child can read independently — helps your child build vocabulary, knowledge, and comprehension.
  4. Consider starting at the beginning of the reading process to see where your child’s skills need work. Start with letter recognition and letter sounds, then move onto initial sounds, blending sounds to form words, sounding out words, rhyming words, and reading aloud.
  5. Try to determine where the reading problems are. Is your child having trouble with vocabulary, comprehension, or fluency? Work on those areas.
  6. Does your child need to have an eye exam?
  7. Help your child find books that are interesting to them. Whether your child loves dinosaurs, pranks, or mysteries, there are age- and stage-appropriate books out there to help motivate your child to read.
  8. Play some reading-related board games like Scrabble, Scrabble Jr., and Upwords; and simple games like Memory, Go Fish, and Tic-Tac-Toe with letters instead of pictures. These are fun and can help kids work on skills while you play.
  9. Ask your child to do some reading around the home. This includes reading recipes, writing the shopping list, and looking up a telephone number.
  10. Once you find a story your child really likes, take the next step. This can be any of the following: reading aloud and giving characters funny voices; drawing pictures of the characters and explaining what they’re doing; talking about the characters in daily life and asking your child questions, such as, “What do you think Mr. Wolf would do right now?”

Excerpted from < href="">Involving Parents in Their Children’s Reading Development: A Guide for Teachers