If you are the parent of a struggling reader, you are not alone. In my 20+ year career, I have learned that reading issues do not discriminate. The good news is that the issues are fixable! The saying goes that children learn to read through 3rd grade and read to learn from 4th grade on.
Starting a reading program early in your child’s academic career has multiple benefits. It should bring any learning issues to light which is good because the sooner those issues are overcome the sooner your child can move up the academic ladder. Getting ahead is another benefit. In today’s classrooms, the curriculum is substantial. Having the ability to read above grade level allows the child to spend time on other challenging topics and homework (even in 1st grade there can be a lot of homework). In general, the ability to read above grade level in early elementary school provides a child a rock solid foundation that future academic success will be built on.
For kids in late elementary or middle school who continue to struggle, please know it is not too late to fix the issues. Every child has unique learning traits and unfortunately for some, reading has never quite clicked or just doesn’t come as easy as it does for others. In my experience, kids who are struggling with reading tend to have lower self-esteem & confidence which is another reason it is crucial to get the issues fixed. Across the board, I see confidence and esteem soar when older kids improve their reading skills. This all holds true for high school
students as well. Again, getting these issues fixed in later years is extremely important because starting in 4th grade kids read to learn. Even math can be impacted if the child is reading below grade level; word problems are a huge part of most math classes. Again, the great news is that this is all fixable. Once your child starts to improve his/her reading skills, other classes should become much more manageable.
There is no silver bullet to becoming a great reader (early or late); time and hard work is what it takes. Anything the parents can do to supplement a reading program at home will help the process. If you feel your child might have an issue, get him or her assessed and always remember the issues are fixable!