Why do some children find reading difficult?
Posted by Strategic Communications, JGI Group on 6 December 2017

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Reading is one of the most important sources in developing our knowledge. In the current scenario as the books and newspapers have taken a back seat, people are now more interested in reading digitally. People like to read on Kindle, iPad and Mobile Phone these days.

In this Digital World, children are introduced to books and phonic songs at a very early age. We at Jain Heritage School, encourage our students to read books which are available in our library.

At JHS, the library maintains a supportive and nurturing environment in building the knowledge of students. The school library contains CD-ROMs and DVDs that cover a panoramic spectrum of subjects to satisfy the urge to learn and to develop the curiosity in young minds. Developing strong reading skills in students is one of the key goals of every early education program. It is through reading that students expand their vocabulary and grasp knowledge about various worldly concepts. Reading is also the key to success in spelling and writing. If a student is having s a problem with literacy skills, it can affect their academics and also have a negative impact on their learning skills and self-esteem.

The typical reading age for a child falls between the ages of four to seven years old. We know that the learning pace may vary from child to child. At times, it is also crucial to understand that a child might experience difficulties in mastering the art of reading. In order to determine the underlying cause of these, we have listed seven reasons that may cause reading difficulties in children along with various approaches to address them at home.

#1: Using the whole word approach: People often learn to read using the whole word approach. This means that they rely on what words look like when reading them instead of sounding each letter out to effectively convert print into sound. This leads to memorizing and guessing instead of actually reading and can result in errors in reading, writing and spelling. The solution for the mentioned is Phonics. Phonics is a method for teaching, reading and writing of the English language by developing learners’ phonemic awareness. This help children to read, learn and spell words.

#2: Having a limited vocabulary: It can be frustrating for a child when he is unable to understand words that he or she is reading. This can lead him to become discouraged and even dislike reading. The solution for having a limited vocabulary is by making an effort to teach new words to the child. The vocabulary can be taught to the child by reading aloud with him or her, identifying words that are difficult to understand and looking up for their meaning.

#3: Dyslexia: Reading difficulties in children could be caused by dyslexia as well. Dyslexia may be difficult to spot before the child starts going to school. Some of its early signs include late talking, difficulty in learning new words, and difficulty in learning nursery rhymes. Dyslexia can be cured by therapy sessions and at-home learning. One can also supplement learning at home by assisting your child with his homework and doing additional reading exercises together.

#4: Lack of interest in reading: A child’s reading ability is influenced by his interest in picking books. When a child is uninterested, he may put less of an effort into learning and practicing reading. The solution for lack of reading interest is making it fun. Reading can be fun-filled by using different materials that are focused on their interest such as cars, animals, birds, etc. This will help parents to understand where the child’s interest lies to turn reading into a more appealing activity.

#5: Absence of early childhood education: The absence of early childhood education can contribute reading difficulties in children. The early childhood learning can take place at home as well. Parent does not have to wait till formal schooling. The learning begins at home with parents as their first teacher. The solution for the absence of early childhood education is by teaching reading fundamentals at home. The basic letter and sounds can be taught in home.

#6: Overexposure to gadgets: The child has reading difficulty when he or she if over exposed to gadgets. The attention spans also becomes limited because of this. The child prefers playing in the gadgets instead of reading. Although gadgets can be used as an advantage. Parents can regulate the gadget time. The gadget can also be used for reading by installing e-book reader or apps and games that require reading.

#7: Delayed intervention: In an article on the website, “Get Ready to Read,” Dr. Joseph Torgesen, Professor of Psychology and Education at Florida State University, says that it is important to identify if a child has reading difficulties as soon as possible. Mr. Torgesen has said that if delayed intervention are spotted early then it can be addressed at a very young age (as early as kindergarten). The solution: The earlier parents come to know about it, the earlier it can be treated.

In the article, He also suggests that parents should observe late talkers, children who have a hard time expressing themselves using words, and those who have a family history of reading difficulties. If you find anything worrisome, you should seek advice from professionals as soon as possible.

He recommends that teachers use systematic and explicit teaching methods while monitoring their student's progress. He also suggests creating a literary rich environment where many books are available, a lot of reading is done and animated discussions about stories take place.


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