Not Up to Grade Level

4th Grader Hates to Read. Or Does He?

Sometimes it looks like a child doesn’t like to read, but as Dr. Linda Silbert tells two worried parents, sometimes it’s something different. Read on to learn what things may masquerade as hating to read.

4th grader hates to readDear Dr. Linda,

I read your column about the boy who loved books but didn’t read very well. Your comments about dyslexia and phonics explained a lot for me. But we have a different kind of reading problem with our 4th grader. He is certainly not up to grade level. Aiden’s been tested, and he isn’t dyslexic. His reading isn’t great but he can read. However he’s not up to grade level.

The problem is he just hates to read. I know you’ve written about this before but now that school is starting can you please give us some suggestions for motivating him. We’re not asking him to like reading or even to read more than his teachers require, but we do want him to do well in school.

We’ve been told there’s more reading in 4th grade. We’re afraid his poor reading will hurt his grades. We appreciate your good advice.  

Signed,
Worried Parents

Dear Worried Parents,

I understand your concern. We all want our children to do well in school. And you are correct. As I mentioned last week, kids are required to read more in 4th grade and to read in subjects like social studies and science, not just reading circle. So yes, poor reading skills can affect grades.

However, with help children who don’t read or don’t read up to grade level can improve a lot. Several factors contribute to children disliking reading. For many of these children, it’s not that they dislike reading, they dislike that reading is hard for them, and that they aren’t very good at it. [Read more…]


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