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Supporting a reluctant reader


Editor's note: In her biweekly column, Jerdine Nolen today provides suggestions on how to support a reluctant reader or delayed communicator.

There is no such thing as normal reading development. But by certain ages, there are certain expectations. If these expectations are not met, parents should find out why. Get help and support so you know what to do to help your child. Though it can be frustrating for all guardians concerned (teachers, parents, etc.) if the child is not reading, it's even more frustrating for your child.

Find out why

* Talk to your child's teacher and pediatrician, and your child.

* Determine if your child does not know how to pronounce words. (Decode.)

* Find out if your child doesn't understand what he has read. (Comprehension.)

* Ask your child if the material he is reading is interesting.

* Find out if your child is not willing to read grade-level books.

What to do at home

* Work with the school.

* Continue to read aloud to your child.

* Try reading shorter books with reasonable-sized text.

* Read things of interest (choose books, articles, encyclopedias, dictionaries, Guinness Book of World Records).

* Provide stories for your child to listen to on cassette.

* Encourage your child to talk about what he is reading.

* Believe in your child and his abilities.

A resident of Ellicott City, Jerdine Nolen is the award-winning children's author of "Raising Dragons." She is a former teacher and administrator in elementary education, and has personally field-tested her suggestions on her son and daughter.

Pub Date: 02/22/99

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