Struggling to read is not as uncommon as you would think. When we think of a child that is struggling to read, we often think of kids that cannot articulate words they read on paper through their mouths as sounds. However, it is key to understand that there are kids that may read beautifully but have trouble making sense of what is it that they’re reading.
No matter what the cause, reading is an essential part of every education system and your child will need to accomplish it if they are to succeed in their lives. Good text-to-speech software and some other techniques can help you as a parent or a teacher to make this reading journey easy for these kids.
Let’s explore your options in detail:
Text to speech software:
Reading can be very intimidating for a child who doesn’t know how to read. This can be a cause of anxiety for the kids as well. A good text to speech software can actually ease that anxiety. They can use it when they get stuck on a word or sentence and listen to how it is read and then repeat. It can serve as their personal instructor as they learn to read at their own pace.
There have been studies that actually show that students with reading issues as serious as dyslexia have benefited from text to speech software.
Support your Child Emotionally:
Learning is hard work with such rigorous education systems. Kids that already are struggling due to reading issues must feel very overwhelmed by all the work. You can start by emotionally coaching and being there for the kid. Letting them know that it’s okay to have a slow pace and that you’re on board will give them more confidence than you think.
You can also invest in special kinds of reading materials like graded rating materials that have limited vocabulary and easy to comprehend content that children will pick up easily as opposed to their regular reading material.
You can hire a home tutor for your child as well. This extra time spent will help them pick up speed and individualized attention will improve their chances. This paired with the above-mentioned option of a text to speech software will do wonders.
Phonic exercises & Prep activities:
Phonic exercises are a great way to teach children the sounds and syllables. This will strengthen their listening ability and ability to pronounce the words based on the sounds they already know.
You can indulge children in prep activities. That means introducing them to a topic even before you have them read about it. For example, take them to the zoo before you teach them about animal names out of a book. This primes their brain and makes them excited about the topic. Naturally, this will make them more receptive of the learning and help them relate their reading to real-life experiences.
Another great way of priming children before they start reading is to regularly indulge them in vocabulary learning. Teach them the most commonly used nouns and words that they will fill in for themselves when they are reading. For them, this will be like re-reading something they already are very familiar with.
The key here is to familiarize children with concepts and words before they dive into reading so they are comfortable with it. Text to speech software can aid this entire process with all the other activities mentioned.