Learning to read is complex. For teachers faced with children chewing their pencils in frustration, a variety of skill levels and backgrounds packed into one classroom, and pressure from administrators, teaching kids to read is even more complex.
But imagine trying to learn to read — piecing a sentence together, word by word — and just as you think you’ve cracked it, the picture book you were reading turns into a textbook.
This is often what it’s like when students don’t master the basic reading skills they need early. There’s a shift that occurs between learning to read and reading to learn. By the time they get to junior high and high school, many kids have fallen far behind, and teachers face an even harder task trying to bring them up to grade level.
Learning to read should be a fun process of discovery for kids, but structural barriers in schools can turn elementary reading into a tale of confusion and pressure.
However, there are ways you can lend your support as a parent to break through these barriers.