How to Help a Struggling Reader plus #free #printable

This is a sponsored campaign in partnership with Walmart and Acorn Influence.  Opinions are my own.

I mentioned recently, in my How to Improve Your Child’s Interest in Reading post, that teaching my daughter to read has been vastly different than teaching my son to read was.  She has resisted reading with the same steadfast determination that many adults avoid regular dental check ups.  She would do absolutely anything to get out of reading time, including cry or misbehave.  It made me want to pull my hair out… We finally hit a tipping point and I realized that she wasn’t just a reluctant reader and there was something more going on.


Long story short, testing revealed that while her vision is 20/20, she is having a much harder time learning to read due to dyslexia and a visual tracking impairment.  So, we are doing everything in our power to make the laborious task of reading fun.

I picked up a Teacher Rewards Kit from Walmart, for just $10, while I was school supply shopping. It has comes with over 1500 pieces, including stickers (yay!), bookmarks, certificates, and note pads.

The #TeacherRewardsKit is available @Walmart #ad

I created a simple Monthly Reading Tracker, which I showed off on Instagram, to compliment the superpower theme of the Teacher Reward Kit. She loves stickers, so the simple act of getting a sticker for doing her best each day is enough to elicit a smile.

Monthly Reading TrackerI thought I’d share with you what I’ve learned on how to help a struggling reader.

How To Help a Struggling Reader

  1. Celebrate successes. Every single word read correctly matters.  Every. Single. One.  When a child with dyslexia memorizes a sight word, decodes a simple word, uses a picture to solve an unknown word, or self-corrects an error it should be lauded!
  2. Set realistic goals.  A child that is struggling with dyslexia will not rocket to reading at grade level over night.  A more reasonable expectation is that the child will practice reading every day!
  3. Read aloud!! The best primer for reading is being read to.  Read whatever interests them as long as it is age appropriate.  My daughter will sit still for anything having to do with horses. I’ve even read a “how to care for hooves” article to her, because it held her interest.
  4. Focus on accuracy, rather than speed.  Don’t pressure a child to read more quickly.  Encourage them to take their time. Let them sound things out as needed.  Teach them ways to remember what they have read, like drawing a picture or making up a silly tune.
  5. Make reading multi-sensory. Deliberately use sight, sound, movement and touch to help connect language to written words..  There are many ways to make reading multi-sensory, including air writing words, tapping letters out while spelling, and using manipulatives like play dough, flash cards, letter tiles or sight word dominoes.  While all children may benefit from multi-sensory learning, this approach can be particularly helpful for those with learning and attention issues.  Did you know that dyslexia and attention issues often walk hand in hand?
  6. Seek help if needed.  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times.  There is no shame in asking for help.  Various programs have been developed that help students with learning disabilities succeed in reading.  My daughter has vision therapy weekly for the visual tracking impairment and is being tutored twice a week by someone who specializes in dyslexia.
  7. Teach them to help themselves. Help them learn strategies for coping.  Help them learn how to be their own advocate and ask for help or extra time when they need it.

By no means am I an expert.  We’ve come a long way in the last few months. It’s been an emotional roller coaster, and we’ve a long way yet to go, but I’m confident that we are doing everything in our power to help our struggling reader.

Print a copy of the Monthly Reading Tracker and check out my first Flipagram.






Is your child uninterested in learning to read? Check out these times on how to improve your child's interest in reading! @thatbaldchick

How To Improve Your Child’s Interest in Reading

Have your attempts to help your child learn to read been met with this face?  Are your child's reading skills lacking because he or she is not that interested in actually learning how to read?  Well, there may be no need to worry. Believe it or not, many young children go through a phase when they have little to no interest in reading. If you're like me, you want to help your child develop a love of reading!  Check out these tips on how to … Keep Reading →

5 free homeschool reading resources via @thatbaldchick

5 Free Homeschool Reading Resources

As you know, reading is the foundation of all learning and it’s a necessary part of life.  As I am discovering, learning how to read does not look the same for every person out there.  Teaching my daughter to read is VASTLY different than what teaching my son to read was.   If you’re choosing to homeschool your children, as we are, you might be in need of free homeschooling reading resources. Check out this list of 5 Homeschool Reading Resources … Keep Reading →

that's not a sunburn - that's what happens when a child that can't sweat gets overheated

That’s Not A Sunburn

That's not a sunburn. He wanted to play ball with the guys at the church picnic. Such a simple desire, really.  Except that it is July in St. Louis and he doesn't sweat.  He's affected by the AEC syndrome of the ectodermal dysplasias, and along with that comes hypohidrosis, or the inability to sweat normally. Sweating is your body's way of cooling itself off.  He actually failed his sweat test when he was younger. So, we take precautions.  … Keep Reading →

Summer Rules

Go Play Outside

That's it.  I had to put my foot down.  Now that Summer is here,and we've finished our curriculum for the year, my kids tried to develop a case of summer amnesia and forget the things that they are required to do every day.  They'd rather curl up on the couch and gorge themselves on videos and video games than to go play outside.  It's not happening on my watch! So I made a list of Summer Rules and posted in plain view.  Don't bother picking up … Keep Reading →

Samsung Mobile Gear VR

Samsung Gear VR @BestBuy @SamsungMobileUS #GearVR

Father's Day is right around the corner, and for once you can actually gift the man in your life with amazing technology that he doesn't own yet! Check out the Samsung Gear VR! Now through 6/18 you can get a Free Samsung Gear VR, plus $50 of Virtual Reality content with purchase, or lease, and activation of select Samsung Smartphones at or in Best Buy stores! Give him a new phone, and get the Samsung Gear VR … Keep Reading →

Urologist Office

Confidence. Reclaimed. #PoiseLinerLove @Walmart

This is a sponsored campaign in partnership with Poise and Acorn Influence.  Opinions (and #poiselinerlove) are my own. I have a confession... I dribble a little.  Like me, many women -- as many as 1 in 3 -- experience incontinence or light bladder leakage.  Light bladder leakage may be triggered by laughing, sneezing, coughing, exercising, or lifting heavy objects. I have a urethral stricture, which occasionally requires a trip to the urology … Keep Reading →

Patriotic Snack Mix

Patriotic Snack Mix

Seriously, how is it that Memorial Day is less than two weeks away?  As you're preparing for the festivities, why not make this patriotic snack mix for all the little munchers that will be celebrating with you! Patriotic Snack Mix INGREDIENTS 2 cups Post Honeycomb cereal 1 cup pretzel snaps (I used Snyders) 1/2 cup Chex Muddy Buddies 1/2 cup mini marshmallows 1/2 cup red and blue peanut M&M's 1/2 cup Brachs Red White and Blue … Keep Reading →

tips for healthy dental habits for kids @thatbaldchick

Tips for Healthy Dental Habits for Kids

Special thanks to Plackers for making this post possible.  All opinions are my own. Did you know that the health of your teeth and gums can have a direct impact on your overall health?  It's true!  If you have kids, you also know that it isn't always easy to help them develop good oral hygiene habits.  When they are younger, they'd rather be doing any one of eleventy-billion other things than spend two minutes brushing and flossing.  Yes, I … Keep Reading →

Make these fun Patriotic Cones with the kids! Details @thatbaldchick

Patriotic Cones

The season is fast approaching for barbecues, fireworks (sometimes between family members), and fun! Whether you're celebrating Memorial Day or getting an early jump on the 4th of July these simple, fun and easy to make, Patriotic Cones are sure to be a hit.  Make them ahead of time to serve cold treats in, or bring the fixins and let the kids have a great time decorating their own red, white, and blue cone! INGREDIENTS Ice cream sugar … Keep Reading →

A collection of books for children about adoption @thatbaldchick

A Collection of Books for Children about Adoption

As many of you may know, our daughters are adopted and we celebrate openness about adoption.  As such, it is important to us to incorporate stories for them that teach positively about adoption and open the door for conversation.  Following are books that are helpful with just that. A Collection of Books for Children about Adoption A Blessing from Above - Every night before she goes to sleep, a kangaroo prays under the stars for a baby … Keep Reading →