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Tips for Parents: When the Teacher Recommends Reading Help

Jun 21, 2019
 
 

Research shows that students who read over the summer break gain reading skills, while those who do not often slide backward, losing up to two months of what they learned during the school year.  This is why teachers always encourage students to read as much as possible over summer break. But if your last parent-teacher conference came with a specific suggestion—to get reading support during the summer months—you are likely considering one of the following:

 

1. Reading more with your child, taking on the role of “teacher” yourself

2. Hiring a “reading specialist” to tutor your child 1 or 2 times per week

3. Joining a library reading challenge for extra practice

4. Enrolling your child in a reading camp

5. Doing nothing—because perhaps reading has not yet “clicked” for your child

 

Any of these options can seem like a good idea, so it can be hard to determine the right solution for improving your child’s reading. Rest assured that many parents of primary grade students share this dilemma. With the precious summer months and hopes for a better school year at stake, it’s important to make the right plan for summer learning.

 

What your child needs for success

Reading is an integration of processing skills: word attack, sight word recognition, contextual fluency, oral vocabulary, and comprehension. For many students, a cause of reading difficulties is weak symbol imagery—the ability to visualize letters in the mind’s eye. The connection of imagery and language is necessary for sounding out new words, as well as for recognizing letters and common words. This difficulty can prevent students from accessing school curriculum as quickly and accurately as their peers do. Students who read fluently, and are able to self-correct their errors, are exhibiting strong symbol imagery. Learn more about symbol imagery and solutions for reading difficulties here.

 

Traditional reading camps and tutoring programs focus on content-area instruction, spelling, and reading rules. They may also touch on a variety of reading strategies. While these activities have value, they will not address and improve the underlying cause of a reading difficulty—thereby stretching the issue into the next school year.

 

And, unfortunately, practice does not “make perfect” for students who struggle with reading. While reading with your child and frequenting the library are excellent activities for all families, neither activity will improve reading if there is an unaddressed weakness.

 

Enough help to make a difference

Even great learning programs can be ineffective if they are not conducted with enough intensity to actually change learning. If a child falls behind peers in reading skills, intervention has to decrease the learning gap by increasing the rate of learning. To increase the rate of learning, students need the right diagnosis and the right instruction, in the right environment. At Lindamood-Bell’s learning centers, our daily, intensive intervention commonly results in years of gain in just a few weeks of instruction.

 

Learn more about intensive instruction, including a video featuring a parent’s perspective, here.

 

Beware of the “summer slide”

Questioning the teacher’s advice about summer help altogether? You’re not alone. Parents may wonder if a child’s reading is truly unsatisfactory as compared to his or her classroom peers. Or, they may wonder if it would be better to take a total break from schoolwork.  

 

When a teacher has indicated that a child could benefit from reading help, she has likely considered these factors, and more. For many students, three months away from academics can lead to measurable learning losses in skills—which, of course, is not what any family wants to be faced with at the start of the upcoming school year. The summer slide effect hits struggling readers harder than their peers; so, if your teacher has identified an issue, your child may be at risk of starting school even further behind.

 

The first step of a great plan

If you or your child’s teacher are seeing signs of a possible reading difficulty, or you are concerned that reading hasn’t yet “kicked in,” you need to find out why and discover that there is help. A learning ability evaluation uncovers the strengths and weaknesses that impact  learning. At our learning centers, we can identify the strengths and weaknesses that may be affecting school, and we can make recommendations for an individualized instruction plan.

 

Ask us how you can receive $50 off our Learning Ability Evaluation by completing a Complimentary Diagnostic Screening for Learning.

 

A few weeks at one of our learning centers can make reading a strength before the next academic year. Your child can become a better reader in time for school and have plenty of time for a great summer break.

 

In this video, a father shares his daughter’s struggle with learning to read and the success she found when they came to Lindamood-Bell:

 

 

Go here for a list of our locations, including our seasonal, summer-time learning camps. We look forward to helping you plan for summer learning that will make a difference for your child. Contact us at 800-300-1818.

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Learn about Women in History with a free lesson packet from 
Gander Publishing! Enjoy Visualizing and Verbalizing(V/V) stories and activities designed to develop imagery as a basis for comprehension and critical thinking. 
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Does your child struggle with reading? We can help.
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At Lindamood-Bell Academy, we develop the sensory-cognitive foundation for language & literacy skills, critical thinking, and math.
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"This school has changed my whole life." 🌟
This family's entire testimonial is at the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial
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At Lindamood-Bell Academy, we develop the imagery-language foundation to help students succeed in academics. The learning needs of each student are addressed so they are ready to tackle curriculum. And start LOVING school! Live, online with our engaged instructors, or safely in-person where available.
As schools wrap up an unprecedented academic year, planning is underway for learning loss recovery. 
A panel of teachers from around the US will join us to discuss how their schools are preparing to get students caught up—using Summer School sessions that feature intensive literacy intervention. 
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A mom of two bright children with dyslexia describes their experience at Lindamood-Bell. Her son, now in fourth grade, tells us what reading was like for him before and after instruction, and all the ways he is using his new skills. Watch the entire testimonial at the link in our bio, @lindamoodbellofficial
There's more to this family's story. For the entire testimonial, follow the link in our bio, @lindamoodbellofficial 
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Imagine your student thriving at Lindamood-Bell Academy! Our private K-12 school combines evidence-based instruction with a personalized curriculum to help close the gap between potential and performance. Live, online or safe in-person, by location. Options for all students including ADHD, and dyslexia. Get info!
This family’s experience sheds light on common myths about learning to read. 
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Our innovative approach is engaging and effective at home or at our learning center. Get info for your child!
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Get info about learning center instruction.
Live, online (since 2015!) or safe, in-center by location.
This seventh grader was over two years behind in reading skills when we met him. It's no wonder he was struggling to keep up. At Lindamood-Bell Academy, the learning needs of each student are addressed so they are ready to tackle curriculum. And start LOVING school!
The family's entire testimonial is at the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial
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Start off Black History Month with this collection of movies, TV shows, and books that includes something for kids of all ages. Watch our story ⬆️⬆️ for our picks.
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