Your Child is Struggling with Reading, What Now?

Is your child struggling, or behind in their reading.  Are you unsure of what you can do to support them?  The best thing you can do is inform yourself as a parent.  What do you need to know about reading to ensure your child succeeds in school?  I often hear parents say they are told to read more with their child and that this is all they can do to help them.  While exposure to print and continued reading is important, teaching reading is a complex matter and just more reading alone often won’t fix things when a child is having difficulty.  Louisa Moats often says teaching reading IS rocket science.

Perhaps the easiest way to describe reading is by looking at the simple view of reading:

So, in simple terms, to be able to understand what you read you have to be able to decode (break apart words) efficiently and have good oral language use and understanding.  It’s a combination of these 2 skills that leads to reading comprehension.

In order to decode words, you need to know:

  • How to break apart and manipulate the sounds in words — this is phonemic awareness.
  • Certain letters are used to represent certain sounds — this is the alphabetic principle and phonics.
  • How to apply the knowledge of letter-sound relationships to sound out words that are new – this is decoding.
  • How to analyze words and spelling patterns in order to become more efficient at reading words — this is word study.
  • To expand the number of words they can identify automatically, and quickly.  This is achieved through decoding NOT memorizing how they look.

In order to have oral language ability you need to:

  • Have a good understanding and use of vocabulary words
  • Have a good understanding and use of sentence structures
  • Have a good understanding and use of word structures

This sounds simplistic but there are so many skills to be taught here.  It’s important to know that children who are struggling can receive the right interventions to make decoding, or oral language stronger so that they can develop reading comprehension.  As a parent, it’s important to ask if your child has had an appropriate assessment to determine which of these skills they are struggling with.  Just a “reading level” alone is not helpful, a thorough assessment will look at all of these underlying skills and identify which areas need support.  Assessments that provide information directly linked to intervention design should be used with children who have been referred for having reading difficulties.

Once areas of need have been identified, how do we help?  Research supports: direct instruction, small group interventions that are intensive and explicit, addressing all of the underlying skills that support reading.  We are so proud to announce Regina Reading Academy, our new small group intervention.

Early elementary students that are struggling to master early reading skills or literacy fundamentals will benefit from this intensive one-of-a-kind program. The program will start with a comprehensive evaluation to gain information on the child’s reading abilities and underlying language skills. An individualized treatment plan will be developed to target specific literacy goals. This program could target skills such as letter recognition, letter naming, letter- sound correspondence, blending phonemes, phonological awareness, phonics rules and decoding, reading fluency and reading comprehension.

Regina Reading Academy employs instruction based on structured literacy which is supported in the Science of Reading.  It focuses on the 5 main language components that support reading success.  Research has proven that focusing on these areas provides the strongest instruction to students of all abilities.  Your student will receive support for:

  • phonemic awareness
  • phonics
  • semantics (vocabulary)
  • morphology (word parts)
  • syntax (sentence structures)

​Contact us to reserve a spot today as spaces are limited.  We will be hosting an open house April 7, 2022 from 6-8pm.  Join us that evening if you have more questions or would like to tour our centre.  We look forward to supporting readers in our community.