- Re-reading sentences over again – this can be a sign that a child is having trouble understanding the meaning of a sentence, whether it is certain words that they don’t recognise or understand, or the entire sentence. If your child is regularly re-reading sentences or sections of a book, a helpful tip is to remind them to slow down and to tell you which part of the sentence they don’t understand.
- Fluency but no comprehension – sometimes children can read passages of a book fluently, but they will not be able to tell you what they have read. This can often point to comprehension difficulties. If your child finishes a chapter or book, make sure you ask them questions about what happened to gauge if they understood what they read.
- Trouble with words – sometimes struggling readers will simply skip words in a sentence that they don’t know how to pronounce. Another problem may be that they have difficulty with a particular word, and when they encounter this word several times in one reading session, they may struggle with it each time, not remembering how it was pronounced the first time. This can be because they are concentrating so hard on sounding the word out, that they are unable to remember it. Other times some children may simply guess how to pronounce an unknown word without sounding it out.
- Reading too close or far away – sometimes children who are concentrating too hard to read, because they are finding it difficult, may hold the book too close or far away.
- Trouble identifying Sight Words – words like ‘it’, ‘is’, ‘the’, ‘on’ etc are known as sight words because they are often spelled irregularly and their meanings are difficult to ascertain, and therefore need to be learned ‘at sight’. If a child is struggling with sight words, pointing to them when reading can help them remember what they sound like.
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