For Parents of Struggling Readers Only

BY ARI FERTEL

This article is for parents of struggling readers only. If your child is a grade-level reader, you may not find this article relevant.

It’s important to start with this: If your child has problems reading, it’s serious!

That doesn’t mean that your child has a serious reading problem. Maybe they do, or maybe it’s a mild problem. But either way, no matter how severe the reading problem, it’s a very serious parenting matter.

Let me explain.

As a parent, we deal with all sorts of problems; everything from a scraped knee to a broken heart. But it’s important to be able to distinguish between the ones that are serious and the ones that are inconsequential.

If your child had a problem and the consequences could be significant (failing health, for example), you would find a solution, and fast.

If, on the other hand, your child had a problem, but the consequences were trivial, you might not invest the same energy into problem solving.

Let me point out that your child’s reaction to the problem might not be a good indication of the seriousness of the problem. For example, if someone broke your child’s favorite toy, you might have a temper tantrum on your hands. But they’ll get over it. If, on the other hand, your child is being excluded by their peers, they might not say a word to you. But it could be devastating to their emotional development.

From a parenting perspective, the definition of a serious problem is one in which the consequences to your child of not resolving the problem are significant. And that is certainly the case when it comes to a reading problem.

It is well documented that if a child’s reading problem goes unresolved, that child will have a lower quality of life.

Let me be specific.

Children with ongoing reading problems lack self-esteem. As you probably know, a low self-image is devastating for a child. It ruins them psychologically and results in them choosing the wrong friends. This is exactly the combination that puts children at high risk for every parent’s nightmare: drugs, crime, eating disorders, self-destructive behaviors, depression…you name it.

Even if a child with low self-esteem escapes the worst case scenarios, there is the inescapable for low self-esteem children…they’re unhappy. I think it’s probably obvious too, that ongoing reading problems result in a child having a very hard time in school. It’s not just that they get bad grades; they also suffer embarrassment and end up feeling stupid half the time. All this leads to a kid who is not motivated to learn. And as reported by Dr. Angela Duckworth, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania who made a name for herself studying the factors that influence academic success in children, motivation (or “grit,” as she calls it) is the key to academic success.

Poor readers usually don’t have grit. No grit, no academic success. Of course, without academic success, a child is less likely to go to college, and I’m sure you know what that means in terms of their earning potential, social influences, and overall quality of life.

Being a weak reader is not like being a weak singer. If your child can’t sing, it’s no big deal; they’ll avoid the choir and find something else to do.

How do you avoid reading?

You can’t.

Poor reading is an unavoidable problem that affects everything else. Reading is not just one part of your child’s life; it’s like their blood—it runs to all the parts.

I don’t mean to scare you. The fact that you visited this web site and are reading this article means that you’re a concerned parent who’s on top of the problem. And if you stay on top of it, the chances are very good that you’ll help your child resolve this. But you have to stay on top of it. This is not going to just go away. Children don’t outgrow reading problems.

Reading problems get resolved because a child follows a certain protocol. The protocol is this…

  1. Read
  2. Read
  3. Read

Simple, but not easy.

Why not?

Because, although your child has to read to fix the problem, it has to be the right kind of reading and for the right amount of time.

Let me share with you the details you need here. Not all reading is productive. For example, a common mistake made by parents (and tutors) is assigning silent reading to the child. Silent reading will probably not help a struggling reader (see National Reading Panel 2000).

One reason silent reading doesn’t help (and may hurt) struggling readers is because there’s no accountability. By definition a struggling reader is struggling. But in silent reading, there’s no one to help, no one to teach, no one to correct.

Let me put it this way: practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

If your child is practicing the wrong thing, they’ll just get better at doing it wrong, in other words, they’ll become more set in their erred ways.

This is the problem with the electronic kid readers and all the online and software reading programs; there’s no real-time feedback mechanism.

If your child has reading problems, don’t just give them a book or parts from a reading program and tell them to go practice. Don’t put them in a situation where they’ll be practicing the problem.

It’s not just that your child needs to read; the reading has to be supervised AND it needs to include real-time corrective feedback. Your child needs to be reading aloud and someone has to intervene when necessary.

I hope you don’t mind if I repeat that for emphasis: It’s not just that your child needs to read; the reading has to be supervised AND it needs to include real-time corrective feedback. Your child needs to be  reading aloud and someone has to intervene when necessary.

But even that’s not enough. In addition to supervised reading every day, it’s crucial for your child to hear fluent reading every day.

Think about it: did you teach your child how to talk? You may have explained some vocabulary here and there, corrected an occasional grammar mistake, but essentially your child learned to talk by listening to other people talk.

It works similarly with reading. In order for a struggling reader to become a fluent reader, they have to listen to fluent reading.

How much? How much supervised reading and listening to fluent reading does a child need to resolve a reading deficiency?

The answer is: about 30 minutes/day 5 times/week.

Now I know what you’re asking…

“Who is going to read with my child for 30 minutes/day 5 times a week? I don’t have the time. I don’t have the patience. I guess I could hire a tutor. But 5 times a week? I can’t afford that.”

Now you know why I invented Reading Buddy Software.

Reading Buddy Software is voice-recognition software that has “ears” and a “brain.”

Reading Buddy Software’s patented Fluency Scoring Radar™ listens to your child read, detects errors, and gives you child on-the-spot help. It’s like having a tutor in your computer :).

Want to learn more about Reading Buddy Software? Go here.

Ready to buy? Go here.

Want to read customer reviews? Go here.

 

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Ari Fertel

President & Founder

Reading Buddy Software

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Reading Buddy Software™ is advanced
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When I got Reading Buddy Software for my son, it was like I got a 24/7 reading tutor. Better though, because I didn’t have to pay by the hour.

Jenny Ander
San Diego, CA

The Precision Memory Tracking Technology (PMTT) records your child’s weaknesses, creates personalized practice readings, and drills your child until mastery is achieved.

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What’s Included?

Reading Buddy Software for 1 Computer

Unlimited Usage. Your child can access any of the 400 readings as many times as they want.

Unlimited Users. If you have multiple children, you can create separate accounts for each child.

Unlimited Technical Support. Phone and email.

Reading Buddy Software Costs 98% Less than Tutoring

Lessons/month needed to improve reading level: 20

Average Cost for Tutor: $60/lesson

Cost Per Month
1 Child 2 Children 3 Children 4 Children
Tutor  $1,200  $2,400  $3,600  $4,800
Reading Buddy Software  $79  $79  $79  $79
 You Save  $1,121  $2,321  $3,521  $4,721
   93%  96%  97%  98%

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