6 tips for helping children aged 8 and above with their reading

Here we are with the 4th post in our series of 5 about helping children with their reading. I’ll hand you over to my friend and SLT colleague Phyllis Jordan who works specifically with children and young people who struggle to read.  If reading difficulties persist from age eight and older, she suggests trying the following 6 tips :

  1. Keep practicing at your child’s level of reading and let them choose the books for shared reading with you. Shared reading is where you model the skills of a proficient reader. That means you read to them fluently and with expression as if you were recording your own audio book. Sharing of books like this can help your child access books that they might struggle to read on their own. You can pause to have discussions about what you both think is going to happen next or about what has just happened. You can also discuss if anything similar happened to you or your child in real life.
  2. When you’re doing shared reading and they are reading to you, you can fill in the difficult words for them. This will help with reading rate and reading fluency. It’s not a test.
  3. Audio books can also be helpful. Just make sure that your child has the book in hard copy too so that they can read the text while listening.
  4. Use a Hi-Lo approach. This means books with a high level of interest to your child and age appropriateness and low in terms of the reading demands. The Barrington Stoke website is a good source for English reading. Their books are designed to be super-readable and encouraging for children who are reluctant to read or struggle to read.
  5. Coloured or cream background can make reading easier than black print on white paper.
  6. Encourage slow but accurate reading when they’re practicing phonics skills. This helps them understand better and can help increase their confidence as they experience success. They can increase their rate over time.

In the next and last post in the series, we’re going to share tips for situations where the challenges persist or where your child has dyslexia.

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Let’s get talking!

MP & Phyllis

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