74 answers

My 1St Grader Is a Struggling Reader: Need Suggestions

I have a 1st grader who is struggling with reading. He is falling behind in this subject only. Every night he has assigned books to read to me. He hates it and its a struggle. I also read to him everynight and have done so since he was an infant. This is extra difficult for me because I am a teacher. Any ideas for reading programs I could do at home? His school does reading groups (teacher chooses a book on his level along with 3 or 4 other students on that same level, read it together, and then that's what he reads at home). I've bought the BOB books over the summer to have him read. Kind of at a loss......any suggestions????

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

have you tried starfall.com online? If he is in first grade it is time to have him tested for dyslexia.

Have you considered having him tested for dyslexia? My sister identified this with her 1 st grade son and treatment is available and he is at the optimal age for intervention. Maybe it is something simpler

Best money I have ever spent! My boys have dyslexia; they struggled reading for years until I found this. Now I have a Sr in Hs who can read at college level. All through school he was 2 grades behind. Now my 7th gr reads above his level. All thanks to doing the Hooked on Phonic sysem over and over! Practice does make perfect in this area.
Hope this helps!

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First and foremost, needing to find out WHY he is struggling would be my first question. Programs, websites, testing for disabilities wouldn't be where I'd go first with this. It's determining what it is that might be going on with him first!

So my questions would be...is it because he's truly having trouble decoding, retaining rules/site words, doesn't like the act of reading (the routine), doesn't like the subject matter of the books that he's reading, etc. Why does he hate reading THOSE books (or is it all books, does he like listening??)...is it too hard for him, ???Then take the approach based on what you find out.

I wouldn't jump into a reading program at home just yet. But there are things that could help him build his confidence if you think that that might be the problem. Ask the teacher what she thinks might be the problem as well.

As a reading specialist and teacher myself, with a background in learning disabilities and behavior disorders, I find that a lot of times students lose interest or motivation because the books are plainly too hard or even easy for them to read--so they start displaying other behaviors. So, if you think that this might be the case, consider finding a qualified tutor, or find out what resources might be available at his school (people or programs). It is my opinion that a program will not "fix" your child to become a better reader or to enjoy reading. Strategies to teach him to make reading easier and to build his confidence will.

Once you find what might be wrong, then try to figure out how to address it. Please let me know how I can help if you find what I've said helpful.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I teach middle school special ed, so I may not be much help. However, our school's speech pathologist is excellent at diagnosis of language processing delays. As you may know, your school district is required to provide your son with a Free and Appropriate Public Education. That means that they must do whatever testing is required to find out whether there is a learning disability. Were he my son, my first step would be to have him tested for Irlen Syndrome. www.irlensyndrome.com (or .org, or .net - I forget. ) The screening is only $100, takes a half hour and includes the corrective tools to help your little guy.

Make sure you are working with books with REALLY BIG PRINT. Some boys just develop later, but as a teacher you know that. I would love to know what you find that works for y'all. Good luck!

I am not an expert by any means, but my sister is a teacher as well. My son is 5 and is starting to read as we speak. He did better reading to her, than to me at first. Maybe you can look into him sitting with someone he is not so "used to". At this age they love to impress starangers. You could go to your local library and ask for assistence, or maybe through volunteers at his school. Sometimes they have the ability, but are too comfortable with "mom doing all". = )

I would suggest you go to the library and get the audio tapes with the books. This way he can follow along and here how the words are properly pronounced. He can stop the tape and rewind, if needed. I would definitely make this an evening event with mom or dad cause he will need your support and if he feels that this is important to you, then he will feel that it is important too. You may also allow him to read and then when you see that he is struggling or getting bored, you read a page to get his mind back on track. To this day, my kids will pull out some tapes, depending on the books. They really enjoy using the tapes to read the Harry Potter books because the words are quite difficult and many of the names I would not even be able to pronounce had I not been able to hear them myself.

Good Luck!!

Best money I have ever spent! My boys have dyslexia; they struggled reading for years until I found this. Now I have a Sr in Hs who can read at college level. All through school he was 2 grades behind. Now my 7th gr reads above his level. All thanks to doing the Hooked on Phonic sysem over and over! Practice does make perfect in this area.
Hope this helps!

I have a couple of suggestions.. first off does he know phonics? That is very helpful.. secondly you could look online or at Toys R Us they have some really great little computer book programs there that are amazing and fun.. Hooked on phonics has some stuff, and so does Leap Pad.. Here's the deal, they have these little carry with you computer bases that you place a special book on.. then the child can learn the words and the sentences by moving the stylus on the page and of course there are other interesting things going on, on that page that make it a lot of fun.. They have them for children as young as 2 I believe. I homeschooled my girls and they all learned phonics first and it was extremely helpful,and they became wonderful readers very young. You might want to start there with the Hooked on Phonics program(if he is not strong on phonics) and then move on to Leap Pad. The one I got for my grandaughter is so much fun and really smart.. (she's 2)it cost about 20 bucks.. the ones for your child's age might be a bit more, but soooo worth it if if helps him have fun with it and become interested in doing it on his own. There is also a little show on PBS I think called WordWorld, it is fun too. Hope these ideas help.

I like starfall.com!

Also, perhaps you can create a chart to track his books read at home. After so many "completed" he can choose a reward (even if it's a night off from reading!).

Remember to tell him what a great job he is doing, how hard he's working, and how proud of him you are! :)

lots of great advice but as a mother of a far sighted girl, I would first rule out anything physical. Have an eye exam by an optometrist, not the school nurse. We thought my daughter wasn't interested in books or coloring or reading until we had her eyes checked. She couldn't see the letters, even as big as they are in the books! All kids are far sighted when young and their eyes change as they grow older, hence the type in the younger kids books being bigger. After the eye exam, I would ck into possible dyslexia also. No biggie, just rule things out one by one and then start choosing reading programs to try. Some may fit right away but if one doesn't, just choose another with a different approach. Eventually you'll find the key to unlock this door!

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