Each child differs from the next in how they learn, what their strengths are, and what they prefer as they learn. When a child is struggling, we believe in looking at the child first and uncovering the beauty of their design. Next, we believe in tailoring instruction to them.
If a person reads and does not remember what they read or doesn’t understand what they read, then they have not comprehended. They might come to believe that “reading” means correctly calling out words or correctly sounding out words. They might need to be told that words carry meaning and tell us lots of things.
The minute you discover that your child is struggling with reading, ACT. Please don’t assume it will just get better the older she gets. Don’t assume that her teacher will know what to do to help. Don’t even assume that the special needs team will know what to do. You know your child better than anyone does.
It helps to understand ahead of time what will be hard for struggling readers. After working with struggling readers for several years and taking the time to consider what they have in common, I have come up with a list of skills that are hard for them.
If you only have time to teach it once, how do you teach so that a variety of learners can learn? In a previous blog, we discussed the various gaps in understanding children experience when they are taught to read in the traditional way. Can we teach one time but include various strategies that will reach all children?