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How can parents help struggling readers with reading comprehension?

Engaging children in reading can be one of the most fun ways to encourage learning to read. When children start to learn to read, they begin to understand the many wonderful aspects of the world around them.

But for struggling readers, that reality may seem a distant dream. Many students are left behind because parents don’t know where to begin to help their children. Or parents may lack the capacity or funds to help their children.

How can parents help their children to read better?

Although there are many methods to help struggling readers become better readers, parents are the best resources to their children. And it all starts at home.

parents help struggling readers

When children want to read the same book over and over again, that’s a great sign to encourage discussion and reading comprehension.

Sample question on how parents help struggling readers

Here are some great questions to ask children when reading that favorite book (in English and Spanish):

  • What did you like the best about the story?
  • (¿Qué es lo que más te gusto acerca del cuento?)
  • Why did you like the story?
  • (¿Por qué te gustó el cuento?)
  • How did that make you feel?
  • (¿Cómo te hizo sentir el cuento?)
  • Where would you like to read the next story?
  • (¿Dónde te gustaría leer el próximo cuento?)

By encouraging discussion from stories that parents and children read together, it opens their understanding about characters, plot, sequential order, and vocabulary. Here are some great tips for how parents help struggling readers develop reading comprehension. Bilingual struggling readers need help in this area the most.

  • Point to certain words during the story that leads to discussion.
  • Point to the reading order from left to right.
  • If the book is bilingual, encourage the words in Spanish and English.
  • Encourage definition and significance of the word in English and Spanish.
  • Encourage to look up the word in a children’s dictionary or a picture dictionary.

In fact, every day activities and tasks can lead to great discussions between parent and children. Field trips to museums, parks, libraries, and zoos are great ways to open up the discussion about books.

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

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