Thursday, June 26, 2008

Reading problems: why children struggle

Many factors may make the task of learning to read difficult for children:
· Learning to read a language that’s not phonetic (e.g., English).
· Learning to read in a second language.
· Home culture not seeing books or stories as a priority.
· Child not interested in the books they have access to (most boys prefer non-fiction, while most girls prefer fiction - especially if it involves ponies and fairies).
· Parents unaware of the importance of playing word games with their children.
· Dyslexia.
· Dyspraxia.
· Your child’s learning style not being compatible with the teaching methods at their school.

(To analyse your child’s learning style, please have a look at

When you find out that your child’s reading progress is below expectation, the first step is to find out which area seems to be the challenge:
· Letter recognition.
· Word recognition.
· Reading out loud.
· Reading comprehension.
· Dictation (writing a word you hear).

If your child is highly visual, for example, chances are, their letter recognition may be good. But if they are tactile, they may need to learn the shape of letters by tracing them in the sand.

Children who are auditory may prefer to spell words out loud rather than write them down.

Children who have difficulty following a story line may be dyslexic, but they may also be highly holistic.

Do you know your child’s learning style? If not, here’s how to find out.

1 comment:

Aisha said...

I think if we make books fun and interesting, children will love books.

My youngest two children struggled with reading, and I stressed out about it.

There were always books around the house, and I read a lot as well.

But the problem I found was what my kids were reading.

It is important not only that children learn to read, but that they enjoy reading; and they can start by reading things they are interested in.

My daughter is 7, and a few years ago, she cried when she was reading. But she loves music.

So I printed all her favorite songs off the internet, and she can not stop asking for more.

This is also a great opportunity for older children. My 13 year old likes the beat of the music, but does not realize its content is inappropriate.

We go print the lyrics, and understand the content.

Yeah, the lyrics man, dont forget the lyrics.

There is excellent software that prepare kids for SAT's through music.

Check out my review at

Aisha is an Independent Education Adviser