How to Help Your Struggling Reader at Home

Easy Ways to Help Your Struggling Reader at Home

There are tons of ways to help your struggling reader at home. A struggling reader is a type of reluctant reader that is reluctant to read because they don’t read well. Many struggling readers avoid reading as they are frustrated by it and they are embarrassed to admit that they are failing to read like their classmates.






















A struggling reader is a child that fell behind and never caught up with the rest of their classmates. The child usually tries to hide the fact that they can’t read well. The child will take out books that they can barely read because they don’t want their classmates to know that they can’t read the same books as them. I child can be more than two or three grade levels behind so it’s important that at least some of their books at their actual reading level.

Your child’s teacher is your first resource for finding out how to help your child. Their teacher may suggest testing, extra services at school, getting a tutor, or ways to help your child at home, etc.  There are many other online resources also available.

To start, these are the areas of reading instruction your child’s teacher follows to ensure your child’s success in reading.

Oral Language – a child’s understanding of the structure of language.
Phonemic Awareness – a child being able to hear the sounds in words.
Letter recognition/Identification – when a child sees a letter, he/she should be able to recognize the letter and be able to identify it.
Letter/Sound Correspondence- a child needs to know each letter and the sound that goes with that letter.
Sight Words – these are words that each child should practice so that they will know them immediately when they see them in their reading assignments.
Vocabulary – a child should know the meaning of multiple words.
Comprehension – a child will also need to put the words and meanings together to be able to understand what he/she is reading.

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I have tons of suggestions on how to help your child with the above reading skills. Of course, the first thing to remember is that you should read to and with your child. You can find out some of the ways you can help your child by analyzing their reading ability by asking yourself some of these questions:

-Do they know the letter sounds?
-Can they break words into chunks so they can read the words they don’t know?
-Can they say short and long vowel sounds? (ex. a/apple, e/elephant) or long vowel sounds (ex. a/play, e/she)?
-Do they know sight words? Words that they should know by just looking at them such as the, an, he, she, etc.?
-Do they understand what they are reading?

This is a Youtube video on short vowels, there are tons of resources on Youtube and my other suggestions below:

Below are my other website/blog pages with ideas, resources, etc.

For some more suggestions on how to help your struggling reader at home, check out my other posts on 25 Ideas for Reading Skills Practice at Home!, and 10 Quick Reading Skills Practice Ideas! And you can also check out this post on Memory Techniques to Help Your Child Remember Information.

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If a child is interested in a book, they’ll be more motivated to be able to read it. Keep trying different books. Fiction or nonfiction – let them pick the book that they want to read. For more books suggestions and a reading, challenge go to Motivate your Child to Read More – a Reading Challenge! 

Make an easy ebook – if it’s your child’s creation, they might be excited about creating it. As they create it they are saying and writing and typing words! And sentences, etc.

Some strategies for reluctant readers who just don’t like to read may help, I have three additional posts, Books for Boys Who Hate to Read and TIps to Get Them Reading Today,  Is Your Child A Reluctant Reader and How to Get a Reluctant Reader to Read! Also, check out this post on 10 tips to improve your child’s reading comprehension.

 Favorite Books for Struggling Readers

If you click on these book links and click the picture of the book once you are on Amazon, you can usually preview a page or two. You will see that there is just a little bit of text. I give these type of books to the children who want to look like they’re reading a grade level books, when in fact it’s a first-grade reading level.

My Favorite Book that is Kindergarten level, but looks like an Older Child’s Book

The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow: 10 Easy-to-Read Stories by Andy Griffiths. If you click on this book you’ll see that it’s a very easy book with 1 or 2 lines on a page. My kids at school who are struggling readers, love this book because it’s funny and because it appears to be a book that is a grade-level book even though it’s for about a first-grade level.


These are my 3 favorite book/series for beginning readers/struggling readers:

 We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems. Mo Willems has wonderful books for teaching reading and the kids love them! In this book, Piggie realizes that she and Gerald the elephant are in a book and that she can make the reader say words, but when Gerald comes to understand the danger of the bookending, Piggie comes up with a solution to get the reader to keep reading.


Bob Books by Bobby Lynn Maslen. These books teach a child letter sounds in Bob Books Set 1! With four letters in the first story, children can read a whole book. Consistent new sounds are added gradually until young readers have read books with all letters of the alphabet (except Q). Short vowels and three-letter words in simple sentences make Bob Books Set 1 a fun confidence builder. With little books, come big success.


Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman. Reading goes to the dogs in this timeless Beginner Book edited by Dr. Seuss. From big dogs and little dogs to red, green, and blue dogs, dogs going up and dogs going fast . . . who knew dogs were so busy? And laughter will ensue at the repeated question “Do you like my hat?” Like P. D. Eastman’s classic Are You My Mother? Go, Dog. Go! has been a go-to favorite for over fifty years, leaving audiences of all breeds wagging their tails with delight.


This is a Helpful Book on How to Help Your Struggling Reader at Home

The Reading Lesson by Michael Levin MD and Charan Langton MS. This book is a program that teaches young children to read in 20 easy lessons. It is designed as a step-by-step course for parents who want to teach their young children to read at home. The teaching method is based on phonics and key-word recognition, and with its innovative and guided approach, the 20 step-by-step lessons provide an easy-to-follow recipe for teaching children to read.

 Here are some miscellaneous excellent reading books/tools

More Resources to Help Your Struggling Reader at Home


Pop for Sight Words is an easy game and helps build early literacy, increase vocabulary, and improve fluency. Ages 5 and older.




Snap it Up! is an exciting, fast-paced card game and provides kids with hard-hitting practice in reading skills. For ages 6 and older.



Reading Guide Strips highlight words + help your child to read from left to right.

Just a few reasons to use Reading Guide Strips are they help a child to keep their place,  it helps with concentration, and is easy on the eyes. It also helps a variety of other reading issues.
There are many ways to help your struggling reader at home. You can try introducing some of these ideas a little at a time or try one idea right after the other. You know your child. They’ll let you know if they want you to give it a rest!!

These are some of my popular posts for you to check out:

As always, please leave a comment or question below or email me at or I’d love to hear from you!

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