Clinica Sierra Vista WIC

Reading Difficulties Take a Toll on Kids

by Tracie Grimes
Tracie is a monthly contributor to Kern County Family Magazine

Have you ever taken on a project or task and soon realized it’s way more difficult than you imagined?  How did that make you feel?  Demoralized?  Like a failure?  That’s pretty much how kids with reading difficulties feel every time they open a book.

Reading is such a big part of school these days that once a child has experienced difficulties, he tends to reject all reading materials placed in front of him.  He may act out at times when he feels forced to read and may even lose all desire to go to school.  But, adults can help children address and overcome reading difficulties and make reading a more pleasant part of the learning experience.

The first step is to recognize that your child is having a hard time with reading.  Tale-tell signs can include things like difficulty in making certain sounds; trouble recognizing words that start with the same sound; inability to learn letters and numbers; and not being able to come up with words that rhyme. Once you suspect your child has difficulty reading, it’s time to go to work.  Talk to your child’s teacher, have him tested for learning disabilities, and consider getting a tutor for your child.

Most importantly, read, read, read to your child!  Hearing you read words while he is looking at them reinforces your child’s reading skills, plus it gives you some all-important one-on-one time.

Looking for titles to read together in April?  Consider these:

AGES 2 - 5

Let’s Have a Tree Party! by David Martin (Candlewick Press, 2012), $15.99.  There’s a celebration in the forest and all the creatures are joining in!  The venue is a tree, where they have the best view of the land.  Your little ones will want to join in the fun as you read about the festivities enjoyed by the squirrel, raccoons, possums, and even the slimy slugs.

AGES 4 - 8

So You Want to Be A Rock Star by Audrey Vernick (Walker & Company, 2012), $16.99.  A cool dude’s guide to the ins and outs of becoming a rock legend, this how-to book covers everything from how to dress and put on your best “tough-guy sneer” to mastering the technique of acting like a rock star on stage.  Have Junior act out each page as you read it, and you’ll both get your daily dose of belly laughs.

Cookie Monster’s Busy Day by Sesame Workshop (Candlewick Press, 2012), $5.99.   Get to know more about everyone’s favorite Cookie Monster as you read this book with your child.  All the important bases are covered like what Cookie Monster’s favorite color to eat is and all the different ways Cookie, Elmo, Abby, Big Bird, and pals move along in a parade.  You may even be surprised to find out Cookie makes his bed every single day!


Go Out and Play!  Favorite Outdoor Games From KaBoom (Candlewick Press, 2012), $11.99.  Share your most beloved childhood outdoor games with your own children through this play book.  Remember four square or kick the can?  Don’t worry if you don’t, this how-to guide details over seventy best-loved outdoor games all set to spread the fun of active play to kids of all ages.  You’ll also find tips on how to get your kids off the couch and play it up in the sunshine.

AGES 10 - 14

What the Dog Said by Randi Reisfeld (Bloomsbury, 2012), $16.99.  A skillful blending of mystery and grief make this novel a unique read.  Thirteen-year-old Grace is trying to come to terms with her father’s death.  She feels an overwhelming sense of guilt since her father was caught in a crossfire of shots, as he was leaving work early to watch Grace try out for the softball team.  Rex, a hyper shelter dog, enters Grace’s life.  There was something different about this pound puppy though.  Rex could talk.  Even though Grace tells herself “Dogs don’t talk.  Only crazy people think they do,” she finds Rex’s words strangely comforting.


The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings (Random House, 2011), $15.00.  For those of you who love to read the book before or after you see the movie, this title is for you.  Nominated for this year’s Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor at the Academy Awards, The Descendants is a quirky and, at times, heart-wrenching story about a family facing tragedy.  Matt King has his plate full as a lawyer, father, husband, and Hawaiian descendent when his wife Joanie is left in an irreversible coma after a boating accident.  His way of coping with all the changes brought on as he faces parenting two out-of-control daughters resonates with readers in a very real way.


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Tags: Enrichment, Featured Story

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