Posts filed under Tips

Press: Charlotte Smarty Pants Blog

I was pleased to contribute to the fabulous Charlotte Smarty Pants blog last month as a Guest Blogger.   In my June 7, 2013 post, I shared summer reading strategies for children with reading disorders.  Thanks, Charlotte Smarty Pants, for inviting me to participate!

June 7, 2013   CharlotteSmartyPants.com

From the Smarty Education Corner: Strategies for Summer Reading for Children with Reading Disorders

By Pam Tan, M.Ed. of Tan Educational Consulting

Most children with reading disorders are reluctant to pick up a book and read. The goal for the summer months is to find your child looking at a book or reading/listening to a book when he/she hasn’t been told to go read.

Summer should be a relaxed time for children when they can read for pleasure without the pressure they experience in the classroom. It is a time to build their confidence, improve reading fluency and comprehension, and develop a love for reading.

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Posted on July 14, 2013 and filed under Press, Tips.

Strategies for Summer Reading for Children with Reading Disorders

Most children with reading disorders are reluctant to pick up a book and read.  The goal for the summer months is to find your child looking at a book or reading/listening to a book when he/she hasn’t been told to go read.  

Summer should be a relaxed time for children when they can read for pleasure without the pressure they experience in the classroom.   It is a time to build their confidence, improve reading fluency and comprehension, and develop a love for reading.

Here are some summer strategies to help your child enjoy reading:

  • Give them easy reading.  Most of their reading material in the summer should be on or slightly below their grade level.
  • Let them decide what they want to read (besides the required reading given to them by their school).  Try different types of reading material such as comic books, magazines, joke and riddle books,  recipes (and then make the recipe of their choice), newspapers, etc.  Build on their interests (sports, dancing, animals, science).
  • Use technology:  Find software that reads books aloud, use audio books and eBooks.  Please see our recent Technology Resources post for lots of great website suggestions for technology for children.
  • Be a role model.  You should read your book or magazine in front of them or even while they are doing their reading.
  • Read with your children.  Take turns reading the pages. Make sure you enjoy the book together and avoid correcting them too much.  Talk about the book together and ask them open-ended questions like “What do you think is going to happen next?”
  • Read to your children.  Have your child pick a book that is interesting and might be too difficult for him/her.  After they finish their own reading, spend 10 minutes just reading to them.
  • Have older children read to their younger siblings and the younger ones read to the older children (give yourself a break from the reading time!).
  • Have younger children read to their favorite stuffed animal or doll.
  • Make a chart of reading time or books read and give your child weekly or biweekly rewards for reading time in the summer. The reward could be as simple as playing a game with mom or dad.  Thirty extra minutes of “screen time” would probably be a big hit.  My children always love a trip to Starbucks!
  • Plan at least one trip to the library and have your child check out a book of their choice. 
  • Visit a book store and just hang out and look at different kinds of books.  Let them choose one to buy.  Get a special drink or treat (always a hit with my kids).  You will be surprised how long you will end up staying there.  You can also go to a comic book store and buy some comic books.
  • If you are going on a family vacation, check out or purchase a book about your destination and read it together.

Remember reading is a challenge for them.Show empathy, but let them know reading time is not a choice.If your child refuses to read, then require 10-30 minutes (depending upon their age) of reading BEFORE any technology or other activity takes place.

More info: Technology Resources for Reading

Happy Summer!

Pam Tan

Posted on May 15, 2013 and filed under Tips, Resources.

Technology Resources

Check out these helpful websites and organizations for some valuable technology resources for your children with reading disorders.

  • LD Online, Reading Software:  Finding the Right Program - Start with this article to help you find applicable software that reads books aloud.  LD Online also lists many helpful sites, some are included below.
  • Curriculum Software SearchAppropriate and useful software programs.
  • National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM): Focuses on the technological aspects of e-books and digital talking books (DTB) software and hardware.
  • Tech Matrix:  Gives many assistive and educational technology tools and resources to support learning for students with disabilities.  I really like this website! 
  • Visit Learning Ally for audio books and recorded text books (this is formerly Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic) for students with learning disabilities and visual impairments.   Another great site!    
  • Texas Assistive Technology Network: Go under useful links for several good digital and e-text resources  
  • PicPocket Books: This iphone/ipad app was developed by a mom who had a reluctant reader.
  • Guys Read:  This is a web-based literacy program for boys.  This is not specific to children with learning disabilities, but it is a great site to visit with your son.

Build your digital library together.  Involve your child when you select which book apps to load on their digital device.  An article by Carisa Kluver recommends the following resources; Digital Storytime, KinderTown, Moms with Apps, Common Sense Media, Children’s Technology Review, Parent’s Choice and Kirkus Reviews for their recommendations.

For more summer reading tips, see this recent post.

Pam Tan

Posted on May 12, 2013 and filed under Resources, Tips.