6 answers

First Grader Having Trouble Reading

I have a first grader who is having a really hard time reading, I spoke with her teacher several months ago and we came up with a plan of reading every night for 20 minutes before bed but she still has not started reading well yet, she sounds things out and recognized some words but cannot read. Her teacher told me it was nothing too bad, however I am worried. The other day we had a playdate with a classmate and she reads very very well, I was actually surprized. I am trying everything I can to help her. The thing is if I make her read longer than say 20-30 minutes she gets really frustrated and her teacher and I agreed that it was not good for her to feel so stressed about reading or it would just make it harder. Any advice? I wish I could afford a good tutor but now its not an option. I guess I am trying to figure out how backed up she is. When did your kiddos start reading well? thanks moms!
P.S. I didnt compare her to anyone, I just saw her classmate reading the street signs and took note :)

What can I do next?

More Answers

As a former first grade teacher I can tell you not to worry too much yet. If she can sound the words out, that's great; she's on her way. Try to work on her sight words. Maybe do a game with flashcards and a sticker chart. Every time she gets new words she can fill it up for a prize at the end. This will help her to read faster.

Try to find the lyrics to her favorite songs and print them out. See if she can guess the song by reading the first few words. She might get excited once she realizes that it's something familiar that she already likes. Does she pick out her own books at the library to read at night? Librarians are terrific resources for new and exciting kids' books. If you can keep it fun, she won't get so frustrated.

It's tempting to compare your daughter to her classmates, but try not to. Everyone learns at their own speed and excels in their own area.

Best of luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't worry about it at this age. Having her practice in a fun way is the best thing for her right now. A while back I read an article about reading and children. It said that MOST children's brains are not ready for them to read until around 6, but there is some flex time in that. It's like anything else, once that "switch" goes on she will probably take off, but there is nothing you can do to force the issue.

Every kid is different. My 6 year old was reading sight words at 3 and reading rather well at 4, at 6 he is reading well above his level. Believe me, it's nothing we did or didn't do, it was all him. My now 4 year old has NO interest in reading and is even struggling with letters, but has really caught on to math. He loves us to read to him, so I'm content with that, the rest will come later.

Honestly, if her teacher isn't worried, then don't worry. Just try to keep reading fun and enjoyable for her (not a chore) and she will catch on in no time!!

1 mom found this helpful

I have a first grader also. She has struggled with reading. We have tried lots of things, but two have really helped her. In November, I bought her the Tag reader by leapster. She loves it. It really engages the kids in the book. She will play with it for hours. We have four books that go with it and she loves to take them everywhere with her. The games in the book really make them try to read. Also if you haven't been to www.starfall.com it is a wonderful resource and website. My daughter loves the computer, so this has been a great help to her. It also is good for me to have help on how to assist her. Starfall is free and they have lots of practice papers and printable books in their download center. Also our school has a reading specialist who gave us lots of games and tricks to use with our slower readers at home. You might want to see if there is a specialist at her school and ask if she has any additional resources that might help her at home. Our teacher also has told us not to worry. She will catch on one day and be a great reader, but I worry about whether she is getting behind because others are really reading and we are still sounding out cat and dog. I hope this information helps, but know that I know how you feel and it is very frustrating. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Former elementary teacher and mom to a four and one year old. Here are some things I do to help my 4 year old learn to read and recognize words. I labeled some objects in my son's room like the lamp, bed, wall, window, desk, closet. I put these up and would have him read the words a few times until he knew them. I have left them in place and added more over the last few months. He sees these words everyday and can recognize all of them. Don't read for longer than your child enjoys it-no more than 15-20 minutes for a little one. A great show on PBS is called Word World. It is great at helping children to learn about letters and words. Leap Frog has some wonderful 25-30 minute videos that are terrific-Word Factory is one. These videos, also, have a game at the end that promotes reading and spelling. Just give her time. As long as you care and are working with her, you don't need a tutor. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Have you tried Hooked On Phonics? It's so simple and fun that even my 3 year old enjoys it. You can get whichever level you feel you need. Check out amazon.com for some good deals and to see the selection.

Sometimes things just take a little longer to click for some kids. It doesn't mean anything is wrong. Just be encouraging and don't add any pressure. And try not to compare her to her friends. We ALL fall into that trap from time to time, but I promise, fro everything that classmate excels at there is something your daughter is better at too. You just may not have come across it yet.

1 mom found this helpful

I love teaching kids to read(taught a class for children who had reading &other struggles for several years) so if you want to have an ongoing conversation with more details about your situation feel free to email me.

I suggest you keep it casual, your child can be "reading" without knowing that is what she is doing- for example at the grocery store have her read your list or check for missing items, have her help you cook by reading simpler recipes, ask her to watch for certain signs on your usual route, have her point to the name of a particular character when credits are scrolling after a movie... there are millions of games that can be played all the time. Pay attention each day and I am sure you'll find chances to teach that you never thought of before.

I also encourage reading TO her and let her learn to love reading instead develop a fear of it. She can be responsible for reading only 5 certain words on a list you make, or just her spelling words...Have her follow along with books on tape. Video games can be great (that's how I taught myself to read)but parent time is always the best if you have the time!

Programs like hooked on phonics can be terrific, but can be pricey. Post on Craigslist ,or ask you local library or school if they have any you can borrow.

Right now it is incredibly important to focus on encouraging reading and not the difficulty of reading. She is at a great age where she will learn to enthusiastically tackle a challenge or to be very frustrated and hate challenge.Certainly do have her reading too, and don't quit in the summer time or on vacation! Make it a nice relaxing time that she looks forward to (add a snack or do it outside on nice days). Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful

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