BACK TO THE BASICS

Disruptions to school due to the pandemic have definitely hurt some students. However, signs of declining reading achievement were building before the pandemic. We are learning that the way many students have been taught to read over the past 20 years is proving to be unsuccessful. 

Many students have not had practice in decoding, fluency, and comprehension. Instead, many schools used curriculums that focused on “whole language” where students were taught to use clues to guess words and sentences. Some students were still able to learn well, but lots of students need to go back to the basics of decoding, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.

Your student may have missed critical reading instruction if they:

  • Are visibly frustrated by reading.
  • Avoid reading or say they hate reading.
  • Have difficulty decoding words or reading with fluency.
  • Experience difficulty in comprehending what they have read.

Maybe you love reading, and can’t believe your child doesn’t. Or maybe you didn’t receive strong reading instruction and are now watching your child struggle. Or maybe you worry you have failed or done something wrong.

The fact is, many children and families are in the same situation, and there are resources to help. Ask for help from your child’s teacher, a school reading specialist, or the Library. 

Call the Library’s Assistant Youth Services Coordinator at 419.259.5254 to discuss your child’s situation and get recommended resources and next steps.

Get the facts: Review the tips for helping younger children on our website. Your older reader will need to be taught these basics, but in a context geared toward their age, not younger readers.

Develop your plan: Your older student will need to be part of developing a plan for moving forward. If they are already frustrated by reading, you can’t make them a strong reader through the force of your will. You will have to agree on ways to build their decoding, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension skills.

Get help: Reach out to your child’s teacher, a school reading specialist, or the Library. Call the Library’s Assistant Youth Services Coordinator at 419.259.5254 to discuss your child’s situation and get recommended resources and next steps.

Individualized call: Call the Library’s Assistant Youth Services Coordinator at 419.259.5254 to discuss your child’s situation and get recommended resources and next steps.

Get a free Library card! If you can find a subject of interest for your child, make sure you have a Library card to check out unlimited books. We don’t charge fees if you return your books late. Get a card today.

Let us get a stack of books for you. Are you too busy or overwhelmed to come find books that interest your child? Tell us what topic they’d like and we’ll get a stack that you can pick up at your preferred location. Request books for your older reader. 

Try audiobooks. Download the Libby and hoopla apps to your smartphone or tablet. Your older reader will have instant access to thousands of free audiobooks, including popular titles that they might see on TikTok or at the movie theater.

Come learn at the Library. The Library has lots of fun and educational programs that can help make the connection to reading positive. Check our calendar weekly and sort by your child’s age group and/or your preferred location to find programs that will interest your older reader.