Do you have an older elementary or early middle school student still struggling with reading comprehension, or maybe even with decoding skills? While many of us think of a child learning to read at about age five, the truth is that the reading readiness age varies widely, as children mature at different rates and focus on different skills at different seasons. It is not uncommon for a child to learn to read somewhere between ages four and seven–or even as “late” as the age of eight or nine.
Check out these resources for the slightly older student:
- When a Child Doesn’t Remember What He Reads
- Exploring Visual Processing Struggles: Checklist & Resources
- Reading for Middle School
- Smart Kids Who Don’t Want to Read
- Read Aloud to Build Skills & Relationships How to use read-alouds to build skills (Not just for little kiddos! Many families read aloud into high school.)
- Fun & Easy Activities for a Struggling Reader
One thing that can help with reading comprehension is to start with material that is relevant to the student, or of interest to him, even if it’s just a short booklet or magazine article — then talk about it together. And some kiddos are more likely to practice reading aloud to a non-judgmental third party, such as a very young sibling or even to a pet — some libraries even have “book buddy” programs!
For a diagnostic assessment of your child’s reading skills, check out the Diagnostic Online Reading Assessment at Let’s Go Learn. The web-based DORA measures eight essential subskills of reading and provides a comprehensive parent report (and you can download a sample report before purchasing so you can see if you find the diagnostic info useful). For a super quick assessment of a book “on the fly,” such as while you are in the library or book store, this “five finger rule” can help make the difference between challenging your reader and frustrating him.
Need to tweak your reading approach? A few reading programs that you may want to peek at for starters would include All About Reading, Logic of English, Alpha Phonics, Reading Horizons, and Explode the Code. Also, specifically for comprehension:
- Reading for Comprehension series (designed for up to 8th grade)
- Magic Stories set (about $15; not about magic spells — more about outlandish things)
- 6th grade reading comprehension material (free online) from Plain and Not So Plain
- PhonicBooks Catch-up Readers
Of course, you may also want to rule out any vision or visual processing issues (or other learning challenges). If you would like further guidance in determining at what point you might want to consider further assessment of your child’s reading skills, or would like more resource suggestions, you might consult a developmental optometrist, learning specialist, or reading specialist (such as the HSLDA Special Needs consultants, who help members with concerns such as these).
If you’ve found other materials to help at this stage of learning, please drop those in the comments below!
You may also like: Is My Child Ready to Read?
Games & activities to help your student, and fun books for you to learn more……
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