Reading Programs

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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A lot of parents worry that their children will experience difficulty reading once they get to grade school and therefore opt for reading programs of their own. It's always a good sign when parents take a vested interest in their children's educations, but it's also important that parents know how best to proceed. The will for a child to succeed, by itself, is not enough to make it happen.

Reading programs come in every form imaginable, from literature-based systems that make books the centerpiece of reading to phonics approaches that stress letters and sounds. In order to decide which strategy works best for your child, it's helpful to know a thing or two about how your child learns. Some kids (and adults) are auditory learners, while others are primarily visual learners. A third group learns "kinestetically," or through movement, touch, and experience.

Choosing the Right Reading Programs

The average parent lacks the critical tools to assess his or her child's preferred learning strategies. For this reason, professional counselors can often lend a hand. After one or two sessions, a good teacher can often determine which style best characterizes your son or daughter, based solely on diagnostic exercises and drills. If you already know how your child learns best, great! That information is often useful to a coach. In other instances, you may be surprised by your child's results.

Learning style, however, is not the sole determinant of the best reading programs. One must always factor in the quality of the materials themselves, as well as their age-appropriateness. Exercises and drills should be challenging but not so complex as to frustrate or demoralize a child. By the same token, setting an advanced child up with basic reading programs is likely to give him or her a sense of overconfidence and may even breed resentment.

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