Q:

Is there any way I can figure out what reading problems my child may have? She was reading slightly below grade level in second grade at the end of the school year. How can I help her improve? -- Seeking Help

A:

You never want a child to be reading below grade level. Children who are likely to be good readers will be reading on grade level by third grade. Now is certainly the right time to work on improving your child's reading level. You should ask her new third grade teacher for help. This may not be helpful if all your child's education is online.You can also do some research on readingrockets.org by searching for "Target the Problem." The site describes five of the most common reading problems, which are: --Phonological and phonemic awareness (ability to focus on and manipulate individual sounds in individual words).

  • -Word decoding and phonics (ability to recognize unfamiliar words quickly).
  • -Vocabulary (words children need to understand when reading).
  • -Fluency (reading with speed, accuracy and expression).
  • -Comprehension (understanding what is read). What is great about "Target the Problem" is that it clearly describes a problem and then tells what children, parents and teachers can do to resolve each problem. There are also several techniques on this website under "Skill Builders: Reading" that are easy for parents to do and also effective. NIM has parents and children reading aloud together. Repeated Reading has children reading the same passage several times. Recorded Reading has children listening to recorded stories and passages.