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  • Writer's pictureAshley

Supporting Struggling Readers During Homework Time



In the world of private tutoring, there's nothing quite like the joy of watching struggling readers bloom into confident, capable learners. But let's face it, homework time can be a bit of a puzzle for these students. Fear not! With some savvy strategies and lots of support, we can turn homework into an opportunity for growth and success.


In this handy guide, I'll dish out a bunch of effective techniques that parents, guardians, and educators can use to help struggling readers during their homework. Together, we'll make homework time less of a struggle so your whole family can get back to enjoying time together!


1. Create a Comfortable Environment

First, let's get your child set up for a successful experience. Choose a space in your home that can consistently be used for homework. Ensure that this space is well-lit, quiet, and free from distractions. Consider adding some extras to make this space more comfortable: a comfy chair, a stool for their feet, a visual timer, and school supplies on hand.



2. Break Down Tasks

Help struggling readers by breaking down their homework into manageable tasks. This prevents them from feeling overwhelmed and provides a sense of accomplishment as they complete each step. At first, you'll need to offer more guidance as they learn how to break down tasks and work through them. The goal is to eventually allow them to do the breaking down and you'll just need to check in and support as needed. Don't forget to celebrate as they gain those wins over steps taken!



3. Preview and Predict

Are reading assignments an immediate no? Encourage your reader to take some time to engage with the text before diving into reading. Look at headings, subheadings, pictures, and captions to gather an idea of what the text is about. Ask them to predict what might happen in the story or what the main points of the article might be. This pre-reading strategy can enhance comprehension and engagement.



6. Encourage Annotation

Teach your struggling reader to annotate while reading. Check out this blog post from Ideas by Jivey about how to teach annotation. The blog itself is geared toward teachers but you can definitely use it to help you and your child. The practice of annotating promotes active engagement with the text, aids in memory retention, and makes it easier to review later.


7. Provide Clarification and Context

Be prepared to answer questions and provide explanations when your struggling reader encounters unfamiliar words or concepts. Offer simple definitions, synonyms, or real-life examples to help them grasp the meaning. Connecting new knowledge to their existing understanding is vital.


8. Foster Discussion

Engage in discussions about the reading material. Encourage your struggling reader to share their thoughts, opinions, and any confusion they might have. Discussing the text promotes critical thinking and allows you to gauge their comprehension level.



9. Play games

Look for ways to complete tasks with games. If your child has a worksheet, try putting the questions on a notecard and adding it to a game where you take turns. Before or after a turn, your child draws a notecard and answers the question. You could also set an obstacle course and some of the obstacles include homework parts. There are so many ways to have fun with homework tasks!




Supporting struggling readers during homework time requires patience, empathy, and a strategic approach. By creating a comfortable reading environment, breaking down tasks, and fostering active engagement, you can help these learners build their skills and confidence. Remember that progress takes time, and the journey to becoming a proficient reader is a rewarding one.


Looking for more support for your struggling reader? Download this Decision Tree to help you decide what kind of support is best.


Comment and let me know what other strategies have helped your struggling reader with homework.

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