helping my 10 year old with reading without it being a struggle.

Erin - posted on 08/31/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I have a ten year old son who has a learning disability and really struggles with reading. I am looking for any ideas that would make it more enjoyable for him to read. Hopefully if I can get him to enjoy reading his other grades would come up. Any ideas would be appreciated, if not the 4th grade is going to be hard on all of us.

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Dara - posted on 08/31/2010

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Hi Erin, I am an English teacher, and I'm always trying to come up with ways to make reading fun for kids. The best strategy I have found is to find things that kids are interested in, and then find books that match. For example, I had a grade 8 student who really hated reading. He loved skateboarding and hunting. So, I found him Tony Hawk's autobiography and a book about a boy who goes hunting all the time. He actually read them, and found them at least somewhat interesting. Does your son like comic books or graphic novels? There is a great variety of them, and because they are mostly illustration, kids love them. Also, you can try audio books, while he reads along in the book himself. This takes the pressure of failure away and helps him become familiar with the words too. So it's a sneaky way of reading. What is he interested in? Maybe I could recommend some books.

Angie - posted on 09/08/2010

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I have three children with learning disabilities (ages 9,10, & 11). Neither one are very good readers. What I have found for my son is computer reading games. He loves playing on the computer so I found reading games that grow with him. I can adjust the level he plays at to fit where he is reading at. A company called Davidson has some good ones. Also Jumpstart has a really good spelling disk, my son loves the characters (a lightning bug & a frog). He won't stop playing the game until he has won. What I love about the spelling game is after he has won, it will print me out a list of words he got correct and a list of words he had a hard time with.

Christie - posted on 08/31/2010

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Hi Erin, im not an expert on learning disabilities but i can kinda relate, my eldest daughter was a wiz at reading and i really didn't have to do too much, but my youngest wasn't so confident and struggled for a very long time partly due to she wasn't interested in books and because i didn't have the experience from my eldest (now 11) i struggled to help my youngest (now 9), the last year or so though she is reading more confidently and doesn't need me to help as much...here are a few tips i picked up along the way!

Choose books at your child's reading level. Have your child read aloud to you for the first few pages of a new book. If he makes more than five mistakes per page, it's too hard for him to read on his own. If you're unsure which books are appropriate, ask his teacher for suggestions.
another idea is Kids magazines, lots more pictures to help relate to the story as well as being a bit more interesting to them.
Read together. Make it a special mummy son time.Help your child stay focused by sharing the reading with him. Take turns reading pages, or paragraphs, depending on his skill level and ability to focus. A bookmark can also keep your child on track and prevent him from losing his place.
another idea is also to get books on tape to help him related the words spoken to the words on the page.most importantly be patient with him the calmer you are and being enthusiastic about the books he too will see that reading really can be fun....I really hope this helps...

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Idella - posted on 09/14/2010

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my son has a reading comprehension disorder. we found that books on tape and or him reading the words out loud has help him a great deal. he is finally on grade level for reading comprehension. before we started this he level was 5th grade and he was in 7th. his school also has given him a reading coach. he comes out of the classroom and sees her daily for 45 minutes. it has helped as great deal. the other trick i used was buying him books about things he loved. such as sports,animals and anything about science. it amazes me the things he tells me. i always act like it is the first time i heard it when he tells me. most times it is lol..he beams from ear tom ear.

Betty - posted on 09/14/2010

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First it is important to know what type of disabilty it is its.because someone with ADD would be taught differently than someone who has Dyslexia. Also, find out what interests she has and pursue things she likes or wants to know more about. If she has trouble remembering then try talking about what happening in the story and having her write it down or asking her what happened before you go on. Another idea is to have her draw what is happening. Can you relate to what is going on in the story to something she already knows about. I have been teaching struggling readers and I personalize the subject for them so they enjoy reading.

Jenn - posted on 09/14/2010

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My 11 year old daughter is learning disablied. She has retention issues. She can't remember more then 3 things at a time, can't remember beginning, middle or end of stories, can't put more then 3 things in a category etc. The school finally did testing on her last year to come to this conclusion. My daughter has to learn differently then other children. She needs things broken down into smaller parts & visual cues. The school has been a great help in giving me strategies to work with her to help her along the way. :)

Maria - posted on 09/11/2010

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You can read together- each of you could take a page (or paragraph if necessary). He could listen to books on tape in addition to reading w/you each night. You could take him to the library/bookstore and have him choose a book from a genre he likes- or a book that became a movie, so he could compare the book and movie. Have him read to a younger sibling/ cousin. Set aside time every night so it's routine/expected. Good luck!

Holly - posted on 09/09/2010

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You don't mention what the learning disability is. Have you had a through eye exam checking for dyslexia? My daughter's problem with this was not diagnosed until 3 grade when it was no longer normal to make reversals-found the problem because I asked the teacher to watch. She found the problem through her math.
Post words around house for him to practice.
Build a word wall. Allows him to see progress and makes review a snap.
Practice sight words, add sight words to dulch list, let him choose his own words to add.
Read aloud to him at a higher level, this prepares him for advancing.
Check to see if it is a vocabulary problem. Sometimes kids can decode-read- the word but don't know the meaning. See, 'Revenge of the Dorkoids' at dorkoids.com which high lights a study on this done in AZ.
Get a vocab list from the teacher, start practicing. Ask the teacher to keep you aprised of what book he/she will have the class read next so you can get a head start on it
I used some of these techniques when I was teaching Kindergarten.
Good Luck

Elizabeth - posted on 09/07/2010

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My 10 year old daughter has been struggling with reading (and writing, spelling) for a long time. She has some traits of ADD, some of dyslexia. If he has a learning disability, he should have and IEP and should be getting reading help. If not, ask for a meeting to discuss it. I would also check vision. I am having my daughter go to a pediatric opthamologist that does regular vision checks and works on vision issues beyond "20/20" checks. As for how to get him to read, all of the suggestions are good. Find books he is interested in at a lower reading level and let him hafve som "easy" reading. Then challenge him with increasing levels. Hope it all works out.

Katrina - posted on 09/05/2010

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I know exactly how you feel. I have an 8 year old who struggles with reading. It has been a battle for a couple of years now. He is showing huge improvments, but it's been a long road. I am very fortunate that his teachers at school have worked very hard with him. That made a huge difference in my sons reading. At home we play word games and I found a magazine that my son likes (boys life is one) . It has a lot of fun games and pictures along with short articles. I also let him pick out his own books even though they are above his level and we read them together.

Angie - posted on 09/03/2010

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I have 2 children who hate to read. When they were young, we read more to them, than they read to themselves... Both are very successful students now - the oldest will be going to college in a year! Keep with it, he'll do better and better as time goes on.... I have always thought that if my children could read well, they could do anything. So far they have proved me right. Keep trying, he may never enjoy reading but he can become more skilled at it.

Shelley - posted on 09/03/2010

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You might want to check to make sure that his vision is OK at an eye Dr and not go by those simple eye charts. I was surprised to find out that me younger daughter was far-sighted this past year and so that was affecting her desk work!

Another thing to try is to see if he is not also ADHD. If so, and you are open to him taking meds, it often allows him to quiet his mind enough to concentrate. Alot of times learning disabilities go hand in hand with ADHD. My older daughter has that and she had a Math learning disability, but, was a whiz at reading. So, you never know.

I did work with kids as a reading mentor at my younger daughter's school. I was given the child's reading level, so, the first thing that I did was find out what the child's interests are. While the child is reading, be patient and wait for him to attempt the difficult words. Try not to jump the gun to correct in other words. If he says that he doesn't know, encourage him to sound it out or break up the long words. If he gets it wrong, say that was a good try and just simply state the word correctly. Kids get a lot of judgmental comments by other students in class while reading aloud, so, they are fearful of being laughed at (not that you would do that) or any sign of frustration in your voice. Also, some kids rush through and don't read exactly what is written because of that pressure that they feel while in class. So, if you notice that, remind your son to slow down and as he gets better at reading he can read faster.

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My 15 year old is a "troubled" reader and hates doing it, while my 12 year old is an extraordinary reader and LOVES doing it. This make's my oldest son's situation even more unpleasant for him and makes him resent reading even more.

It doesnt matter what he reads, he has trouble. As much as I want to encourage him to do so, I understand his frustration. When I was in 11th or 12th grade I started having trouble with reading myself. I dont know what changed it, all I know is that it became VERY tedious. I could read an entire chapter of a text book and not remember anything I read, it was just a matter of looking at words and nothing sinking in. I would have to read to myself outload - over and over just go comprehend the words I was seeing. It's like my mind would shut itself off at a certain point.

Now for my 15 year old, he enjoys short stories, comics, and newspaper articles.. anything more than that and he experiences the same thing I did. I have one child who's read the entire series of Harry Potter books and another who cant even finish a chapter.

I understand his situation, and I do my best to encourage him... unfortunately his teachers do not share the compassion that I do and this has been a huge problem for him in school.

He's not illiterate, he simply cannot enjoy reading or benefit from trying to. We have to read text books together, highlight important parts, and hope to God our efforts are enough... though it's usually not.

I dont know what advice I could offer, but I just wanted to share my situation and experience.

Zita - posted on 09/01/2010

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In our school here there is a reading specialist. Why not see if there is one in your sons school? They would be able to give you lots of help and resources to help you. I know my second son took a lot longer to read, the biggest struggle we had was finding something he enjoyed so he wanted to read the book. We ended up finding some comics he liked and he really wanted to read those so that really helped him. We bring them to the bookstore from time to time to let them browse the books also to see what catches their attention. Persevere is all I can say, I thought we would NEVER find something to get my son reading but we did. Now its hard to get him to take his nose out of a book and his younger brother is the same.

Mindy - posted on 08/31/2010

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if your son is anything like my kids he watches the same movies over and over again. i put on the closed captions on the movies and tv whenever i can. the kids not only hear the words but they see them and they dont know they r learning

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