As private tutors, we know how troubling it can be to hear from your child’s teacher that your little one is falling behind when it comes to reading. Lots of parents panic when they hear this news, and then immediately begin researching ways to help their student get caught up. If your child is struggling with reading there are many ways that you can help. Below we’ll break down five of the easiest and most helpful ways to improve your child’s reading skills.

Work With Your Child’s Teacher

An open line of communication between parents and educators is the first step in getting your student caught up. Whether it’s by phone call, email, or an in person visit, the teacher will appreciate your proactive approach and the two of you can work together to develop a plan to improve your child’s reading skills.

Find a Private Tutor

Let’s face it, we all wish we could be superheroes for our children, but sometimes it just isn’t possible no matter how hard we try. Hiring a private tutor for reading is arguably the quickest way to get your kid up to speed. Sometimes it’s difficult for a teacher to work one-on-one with a particular student who is struggling. Through no fault of their own, teachers have busy schedules and dozens of children to instruct, so time doesn’t always allow them to give each student the attention that they would like to under different circumstances.

A private reading tutor will be able to devote their full time and attention to your child, while customizing a learning program specifically to fit their needs.

Encourage Writing

Writing skills and reading skills go hand-in-hand, so the earlier you can start to teach your child how to write — the better. Writing can be a fun activity that children enjoy when they are given permission to be creative and let their imaginations run wild. Asking your child to write you a story and then read it to you can have great benefits. Your student will actively engage with language, expanding their understanding of letters, word use and grammar. If your child has trouble coming up with something to write about, give them a writing prompt.

When they are done writing, have them read their work to you. Tell them what you enjoyed about it, and then sit down together to correct any major errors in grammar or spelling.

Read to Your Child

Research has shown that reading to a child can have positive effects when the child is as young as nine months, and many parents begin reading to their children even younger than that.  As added benefits, reading to your child has been shown to help with speaking skills and overall intelligence. Children who are read to at a young age develop a positive association with reading. It becomes a run activity where you can use your imagination to have an adventure, rather than a daunting chore.

Make Reading a Regular Household Activity

Children learn by example, and if your child sees that everyone in your household enjoys reading and does so on a regular basis, then the child will want to be a part of that tradition. We know how enticing the television can be after a long day of a hectic schedule, but designating a family reading time instead of turning on the tube can have a significant impact on your child’s habits and development.

Patience should be at the forefront of every parent’s mind when teaching a child to read. By taking advantage of the aforementioned tips, however, you’ll be well on your way to being the proud parent of a highly-skilled reader.