Another way to boost your child’s reading while at home is to set small goals. Say, for instance, your child constantly skips over or changes small articles when reading, like the words “the”, “and”, & “an”. Have them select a page in a book and read it once as a cold read. Then he should go back through the passage and, using a light pencil, underline every article on the page to draw attention to them. Then he should read the passage once more, this time paying attention to the articles and making sure he doesn’t skip any of them. Other goals may include having your child stop and try to sound out words when reading rather than looking at the first letter and guessing at the word, or pausing when he sees a period.
Try making reading more fun with games. For younger children who are learning basic consonant-vowel-consonant words, like “cat,” “tug” and “pig”, create a game of Reading Tic Tac Toe. To do so, draw a typical Tic-Tac-Toe board and write a word that follows the reading pattern they are learning in each square. Have your child go first. Before they can write their X or O over the word, they must read the word correctly. Then you go, they go, and so on. Like a typical Tic Tac Tow game, the first one to get a straight line wins. You can create Tic-Tac-Toe boards with more complex words, or even sight words, as your child’s skills progress. Moose Materials, located at moosematerials.com, offers some fantastic Orton Gillingham reading games for decoding practice at various levels.
Try Orton Gillingham Tutoring
If your child continues to struggle despite trying these ideas, you may want to consider Orton Gillingham tutoring. This method is research-based, multi-sensory, and designed to help students with dyslexia improve their reading and spelling skills. While this instruction typically takes place in an in-person setting, many tutors are now able to provide Orton Gillingham tutoring very successfully using a virtual modality. It may be worth trying since a reading slide during the COVID period could set your child back tremendously.
COVID has created challenges for so many kids and adults. Yet students with dyslexia can’t afford to have their academic skills slide during this time period. Try these strategies at home and you can help your child with dyslexia avoid this slide and continue to progress academically.
Dr. Emily Levy is the founder of EBL Coaching, a tutoring program that specializes in one-on-one home and on-site instruction for students in grades preK-12 in NYC, NJ, and Westchester. She is also the author of Strategies for Study Success, a study skills workbooks series emphasizing test taking, note taking, reading comprehension, writing, and executive functioning strategies, and the Flags and Stars Orton Gillingham student workbook series. These books are currently used at schools nationwide.
Dr. Levy studied at Brown University and later received her Masters Degree in Special Education and her Doctorate Degree in Education. She has spoken nationwide on research-based methods for teaching students with and without learning disabilities. Dr. Levy is currently the Director of EBL Coaching’s learning centers.