Our Family

Our Family

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Finding A Good Balance With My Struggling Reader

Our house is full of people who LOVE to read!  Art and I both read all of the time and my oldest two children were reading very well by the age of 5.  We read aloud in our house....a lot!  We go to the library weekly.  Our house is full of picture books (both fiction and non fiction), chapter books, audio books, magazines, and e books.  

My Alex (8 1/2) is a struggling reader.  He has been making a ton of progress ever since we started using All About Spelling and All About Reading, a multi sensory approach to teaching reading and spelling.  The use of letter manipulatives and the process of building the words has really helped his brain be able to process the words and read them.  We made it all the way through Level One of All About Reading and Spelling last year and have started working on Level Two of All About Spelling this year and using the readers to go along with them.  But, although he is doing much better, reading just does not come easy to Alex.

One of the biggest things I struggle with for him is that I don't want to kill his love of reading because it is such a struggle. Too often I find myself wanting to read everything to him so he doesn't have to struggle.   I want it to be easy for him!  As parents we have to walk a fine line between letting them struggle and helping out and it can be difficult to find that balance.  

As I try to find our balance, this is what has been working for us.  Alex reads aloud with me everyday out of his All About Reading readers.  It usually takes about 15-20 minutes to do a lesson and 15-20 minutes to read a story.  If it is a day when there is no reading assignment, he chooses one of the older stories we have already done.  When it comes to his Math, I have been sitting with him and instead of reading all of the instructions to him, I have him read them out loud to me (same with word problems.)  If there are words that are more difficult, I encourage him to try and figure it out and then we sound it out together.  I encourage him to read things he sees on television or in the grocery store.  To help reinforce new words, I have been putting them in the Spelling City iPad app and he has been playing games to learn the words.  At the library (and at home) many times he will choose non fiction picture books to look over during reading time.  We fill his mp3 player with audio books so that he can listen to chapter books that are above his reading level (www.booksshouldbefree.com is a great resource for audio books.) 

I am hoping that as his confidence and vocabulary grows, I will be able to encourage him to try and read longer books on his own and focus on one word at a time instead of being overwhelmed by all of the words on the page.  I want him to be able to pick up a book and enjoy it.  I don't want reading to be a delight, not a chore.

So, moms of struggling readers.  Any tips or advice for making reading a delight to your children? 

*links to All About Spelling are my affiliate links and I make a commission for products purchased through those links.  I only form affiliate relationships with companies whose products I use and believe in!
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