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Top 5 Reasons Struggling Readers Struggle with Homework

September 7, 2016

Have you tried helping your struggling reader with reading, but struggled with them cooperating with you.  Me too!  

 

In fact, I have always been curious as to why this happens.

 

Over the past few years I have come up with some conclusions as to why this happens and here are some of the reasons that have become clear to me.

 

1.  You may be doing everything right and child may still struggle with reading.  

 

I have been personally spending so much time over the past twenty years learning everything I can about teaching reading.  My first two kids had no problem with reading.

 

In fact, my oldest daughter was reading before she went to Kindergarten.  

 

In Kindergarten she was in an advanced class.  

 

She is now 13 and this summer she read 15 books and is still an avid reader.  

 

Even my second daughter learned to read fairly easily.  

 

Then came my third daughter.  She had absolutely no interest in reading from the get go.  She fought me on learning her letters and was only happy when I was reading to her.

 

This is when I realized that even when you know absolutely everything that you could know about teaching reading, you could still have a struggling reader.  

 

I tell parents this, because many think that it is their fault that their child is struggling.  It is definitely not your fault and there should be no blame.  All kids learn at a different pace and have different interests.

 

2.  Your child has not accepted you as their teacher.

 

Many kids just want their mom and dad to be their mom and dad.  They don't want to learn from you.  You may have heard your child say, "I know that already," even if they don't know it already.  

 

Sometimes I think to myself, "You know it all, don't you?"  I don't say it to them, but it sure feels that way at times.  

 

Have you ever noticed that your child does not say these kinds of things to their teacher or tutor?  This is because they have opened their mind to learning from them.  

 

I always admire homeschooling parents, because I think I would tear my hair out if I had to teach my own kids.  It can be so frustrating.  

 

One of my friends that does homeschooling mentioned that she never understood why people thought this way.  Then she started tutoring and realized how easy it is to teach other kids.  

 

So don't beat yourself up if your child is difficult to work with at home.

 

3.  Some kids enjoy arguing with their parents.

 

I know that some of you are connecting with this thought.  

 

Do you have a child that always has to be right?  

 

Or maybe, they have to have the last word?  

 

Family dynamics can be tricky.  

 

Some kids get along with one parent better than another.

 

 In some cases a child will get his or her sense of power and control from getting a rise out of a parent.

 

After a parent has had a long day at work the last thing that parent needs to deal with is a child arguing about how to do his or her homework or reading.

 

Parents may end up shouting, kids feelings may be hurt, and the tension in the house grows.  This is not a fun situation to be in for anyone.

 

4.  You are causing confusion because your child's teacher didn't teach it the same way.

 

Has your child ever said, "But that is not how my teacher taught it?"  

 

Kids are taught differently than they were when we were kids.

 

This is a good thing, but it can cause frustration between the child and the parent.  

 

The parent wants to help, but struggles with being able to do so because he or she doesn't know the new ways of teaching the concept.

 

This causes the child to be confused and sometimes begin the arguing cycle.

 

5.  Kids hate to do the things that they struggle with.

 

This makes sense.

 

I don't like to do things I struggle with either.

 

Why would it be different for kids.

 

Yet, kids are constantly asked to do things that they just learned for the first time at school all on their own at home.  

 

This is why new teaching strategies, like the flipped classroom, are being introduced.  

 

For a child that is a struggling reader, the very last thing he or she will want to do is read.  In fact, this same child may even struggle with reading directions on his or her homework and cause him or her to not want to do it.

 

Lastly, it is important to note that teachers don't always have the answers on how to help your struggling reader at home.

 

Have you ever had a teacher that assigned the same book to read 3 days in a row to build fluency, but all it did was cause boredom for both you and your child?

 

Once, when I told a teacher the struggles I was having with my child being motivated to read, I was told the following.  

 

"You need to set up consequences for her, if she doesn't do it, then you need to start taking things away."  

 

Can you imagine how that advice would decrease motivation even more?  

 

This teacher had no idea how to motivate a child to read at home.  She thought the same strategies that worked at school would have to work at home.

 

How can you help your child and keep the peace at home?

 

My suggestion is to get a reading tutor online.  

 

A reading tutor online will be able to help your child close the gaps so that your struggling reader can read on grade level.  

 

Your child will argue with you less and learn the skills he or she needs to be successful.

 

I did this as well when my daughter was struggling.  

 

This allowed me to be mom and her tutor to be her teacher.  

 

This doesn't mean that I don't try to sneak learning in.  

 

I try to give her experiences that I know will help her increase her overall knowledge.

 

As a parent we care about our child's self-confidence and self-worth.  

 

Getting a tutor can help increase this because when your struggling reader is tutoring at home, the other kids can't make fun of him or her for it.

 

Kris Hable, had an experience with Joanne Kaminski, that made all of the difference for his child.  

 

In fact, here is what he said.  

 

"My daughters standardized test scores for reading showed concern and she really did not like reading. My daughters teachers were indifferent. My wife and I asked Joanne for help. After several 60 minute sessions with Joanne, we saw dramatic improvement in reading skills and comprehension. Our last assessment showed a 20 point increase on standardized tests. This was noted as one of the largest individual improvements in the district. The tutoring was well worth the time, money and effort. I hold Joanne's work in high regard and I truly appreciate what she has done for my daughter."

 

Another parent, Amy Henderson said, 

 

"In 12 months Joanne has not only brought my son to grade-level in his reading and comprehension, but he is now above grade level! His writing and spelling has also improved tremendously since he began tutoring. Joanne connects, ignites passion, is a cheerleader to him, and she makes it fun."

 

When the child is having fun, he or she is more apt to enjoy the learning process.  One child said to me today,"I am starting to actually like reading because of you."  

 

I love when I can help make life easier on the parent and help motivate a child to read.  

 

 

 

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