Can I get advice on helping my 7-year-old read?

Need some advice on helping my 7 yr old with reading. When he comes home from school I’ll sit down with him so he can read to me but it doesn’t seem to be helping him like we’d hoped. They also do it at his dads house when they get him. He has a hard time with simple words & he’ll literally just guess & make something up. Idk if it’s just because he doesn’t want to do it or what. His teacher just says to keep doing what we’re doing but he needs more help. Unfortunately we don’t have the $ for a tutor or anything like that. I appreciate any helpful advice &/or resources !


Make reading FUN…I’m sure there’s old cartoon boxes you can use to make cards with letters,. Do puzzles, pick pairs, you can start with simple sight words., If he has a favorite song, Write down a few verses, and point out the words, he will learn to pronounce and identify the words through his favorite song, that way he can learn to identify words anywhere he sees them. Whatever you do, make it fun with little pressure, if you pressure him, he will see it as a challenge and might develop a fear for words and reading. Good luck


Former ESL teacher here: the first thing I would do is take him to the library and pick out books on a subject he is passionate about. Also, if you have a dog or a cat have him read to them as sometimes kids like that more than reading to adults. I hated reading growing up, so my parents would set goals: 1 candy bar for every chapter book you read, 1 sonic blast when you finish a series, etc. Found out when I went to college I hated reading because I am dyslexic! But, if his spelling and handwriting are okay, he most likely is just not interested in reading, so try having him pick out books to read and see if that helps

Go to epic books . com and sign him up trust me it will catch his eye and the audio books have sounds behind the story and they can read along or just listen do that 25 minutes a day . You will see results


Has his vision been tested?


Vision test and see if there are any processing disorders. Dyslexia or other eye sight issues. Hopefully it’s not but it’s better to error on the side of caution.


Has he been tested for dyslexia? Some things you can do: get a list from school of words he should know. Make a duplicate set and start with three or four words and play concentration. Again, with a duplicate set, label everything in the house with one set. Have him draw one card from your hand and then he runs around the house 'till he finds the matching word and comes back and tells you. Several children can play these games. Make it happy and fun.

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We used flash cards a lot with my son, we used the ones with words and pictures on them and sounded out every word. I pulled those flash cards out everywhere…Waiting at the doctor’s office or waiting in line at a grocery store etc. Make it fun! Like it’s a game! I hope this helps.

We played a board game with our kiddo. It had all of the alphabet. You rolled a dice and moved the # of steps depicted on the dice. Whatever letter they land on they tell you the letter, sound it makes, and a word that starts with that letter. If they get it right they get a small reward.

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Check out READING EGGS. Our school uses it and the young kids love it as it’s interactive and they don’t realised they are learning. My 6 year old can sit on it for hours.
From memory you get a free trial.
Good luck!!

Partially it’s because phonics isn’t really being taught. And guessing is encouraged.
Here’s my advice to you. Get simple chapter books on subjects he loves. It could be super heroes or animals or adventures… anything. You have him read just the first page of the chapter. Then you read the rest. Also reading to him at night and letting him follow along on the page. Don’t make it a punishment. It kind of sounds like it’s a punishment. Just read everything and anything you can to him.

Also he’s 7. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to come around to reading. I think we expect so much when it comes to reading and our kids. Just read to him. Make it fun.


I used to do the find the words crossword puzzles with my dad. I would say the word and try to find it before him! I won a lot :sweat_smile: and I wanted to do more.

He’s young…give him time. If he enjoys it he’ll get it. We used to do I’d read a paragraph (or page) then they would read one. My oldest still hates reading because it’s hard for her. My youngest just discovered she loves reading a few months. She just turned 9 so give it time

Ive found that kids who struggle with reading sometimes struggle with letter recognition especially that young. I would definitely suggest going over letters and sounds to reinforce that. Does he have any high frequency flash cards from school? Those help alot as well. Also… reading to him is a GREAT way to build a healthy habit of reading. My son for example didn’t really start reading until about 8ish… he is behind a year and a half academically due to a learning disability but we kept being persistent and reading with him everyday… and that daily routine and repetition really helped solidify his love for reading. Now he reads independently every night before bed.
Its fantastic when parents spot an area of weakness and really try to work alongside teachera to figure out a solution! Youre doing great!!

We just spent our weekends reading, and he eventually developed a love for it. Now at 25 an Avid reader since about 10

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Get him reading anything at all to start with. Signs on the street. Cereal boxes. Comics. Magazines. Newspapers.


You don’t need a tutor at this stage hun…most kids learn to read in THEIR own time…just get him to read words …and make it fun…:slightly_smiling_face::slightly_smiling_face:


Please go to they are a lovely site with loads of free downloadable readers for various levels. You can also request personalised books from their range. I saw dyslexia mentioned in some comments. Some of the books also have a ‘dyslexia font’. Above all else, breathe. Take it slow. Your child will read. Try not to compare to other kids. Praise for every work. Consider rewards. All the best

Really sounds like dyslexia…can you have him tested?I live in Scotland and my daughter struggled right up till she got tested in P7…look out for him stressing out at the thought of reading/avoidance tactics ect…Please try not to get frustrated with him,in all likelihood he’s already frustrated with himself and it’ll be knocking his confidence a lot xx

Check with local colleges for free resources. Contact the school board for free resources. Insist on the school evaluating your child.

Car trips: read the signs, cooking: read recipes to you, newspaper: read comics to you, buy comic books, shopping: read labels, there are things to read everywhere you go! Read, read, read.


And you can read together. You can read the stories, following the words with your finger. Next time he can read the last word or the repetition part of the story. It’s much easier to read a story that you have heard before.

I would get him an eye exam and take him to an out side specialist to have him evaluated or any learning disabilities. Don’t let the school district do it. It will take too long and the out side provider will be more detailed. Advice from a mom who knows.

Eye exam first if nothing comes up start reading everything aloud. Find short stories from the dollar store and read to him. Eventually he’ll get interested in reading. The reading time must be one without electronics. My son, didn’t like to read and those steps helped me a lot.

At the age 7 reading is memorizing more then "reading’
Look up sight words and make flash cards of those, then make sure the books you are reading are simple, interesting to him. If there no objection from teachers, read the same book until he has mastered it.


My son was never taught phonics. I was fortunate as my parents helped with a tutor who figured this out. Also is there an older sibling, cousin, kid in the neighborhood who might want to play teacher? Sometimes kids learn easier from older kids they look up to

Get him chk he may have dislexsia.

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I had this problem as a child. I was diagnosed after many years with borderline ADD. My brain would just get tired of trying to concentrate. It was always elsewhere and to have to set and read drove me nuts so I would make up what I wanted just to get through it. Eventually I learned to slow my brain down and get it to do what it was suppose to. I also battled and still do with dislexia. Just a thought and some ideas on where to look. Hope he gets the hang of it soon.

Dyslexia is something you can’t wait to find out if he has it. The sooner it is detected the better the outcome for his future. Get him in and get him help.

Have you had his eyes checked?Or maybe Dyslexia.

Learning disability. Have him tested at school

Try words with flash cards, so he’s not overwhelmed

Are there reading clubs at his school? Tutoring offered there?
Have you tried ABCya or educational games,

Theres alot of good apps that helped my daughter. She struggled in the beginning. Shes 8 and at grade level for reading now.

Have him spell the words out to you that he’s having trouble with, then help him sound them out slowly

I had the same problem with my daughter, after speaking with the teacher and seeing no results i then spoke to the year coordinator and she got onto it straight away and within a year and getting her glasses she in now reading chapter books :grin::grin: be persistant and if u havent done so already get their eyes tested :heart::heart:

Read to him …maybe some books with pic instead of the same word in the sentences so he has to identify the word according to pic.he has therefore to folliw the story and is fun to say only the word keping his attention and have fun together

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Have you had his eyes tested? Maybe he needs glasses? Or dyslexic? I would look into making sure it’s not something like that first and then go from there :slight_smile:

They have so many free apps.

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Do they have LAP at his school (reading group) my son is 6 and is struggling, one day he came home saying he qualified for title II (I think that’s what it’s called) but it’s called LAP, he still doesn’t care for reading but he’s willing to trying with the extra help.

Dyslexic maybe there are a few web site that can help for free

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My husband struggled like this as a child and it was because he had dyslexia. I would suggest getting him tested for that first

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My daughter did this as well, I had to find something that made her interested in learning the actual story. We chose to read graphic novels (comic books) at home, and she took off with her reading and comprehension. Be persistent and take him to the library to pick age appropriate comics. Help him with words that are above his reading level but there should be some in the childrens section geared towards 1st and 2nd grade.

Read 10 mins at a time at different points during the evening. He is reading pictures and guessing because it’s easier. Instead, have him focus on the text and pick out words he doesn’t know and tell him. Practice sounding them out and linking vocab to picture clues. If there are more than 2 words in a sentence he doesn’t know each page, the text is too difficult but perfect for you to read aloud to him.

My sister was having trouble reading around that age in the 90s, she was eventually diagnosed with Dyslexia.
She worked with a aunt that specialized in Dyslexia therapy. Afterwards she could understand school stuff better and got in less trouble.
:slightly_smiling_face: This is just a Heads up.


Keep working with him. At age 7 his attention span is not very long so be patient and keep encouraging him to read. In no time he’ll be reading to you like a pro!

I love that I can read book collection at barnes noble I read with my kids at night. they have bat man ,super man and Pete the cat alot more to choose from … they have a little booklet sets, my kids love that it has tiny books and has pictures with the story ! Hope you find this helpful :blush:

Find a book on a subject he is super interested in. My son had the same trouble and he loved Bo Jackson (my son was 42 when he passed away in April). He would read those books, articles and Sports pages to get information about him. That might help.

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He’s 7, even if he’s making stuff up he’s putting in an effort sometimes when I’m reading with my kids I’ll read 1 page and switch with my 5 year old and he tells the story based on what I read and the pictures. Give it time and before you know it you’ll be spending a small but worth it fortune on book club orders :grinning:

I make flash cards with high frequency words (provided by his teacher) and we go over 10 cards a night until he’s got them down. Once he’s able to read them without help, we move onto the next 10. My son has speech problems and a learning disability, so it’s a struggle (and I know how you feel). Just don’t give up, even when you feel like you’re not doing much, you really are. :heart:

Insist on testing in school. Determine if he is dyslexic, he could be seeing letters all jumbled up. He could qualify for a tutor in school.


They begin teaching reading by memorizing the most commonly seen 100 “sight words”. Maybe try some flash cards or sight word books

My oldest daughter is dyslexic and couldn’t read pretty much at all even by 3rd grade. She gets help at school and we had her in tutoring and she’s come so far!!! It’s amazing how much she’s improved with the right help. Her little sister reads to her or they read together and her sister helps and it is also a good thing for whatever reason she responds better to her sister than me. If you can’t afford a tutor, try to see if you can find a friend or classmate to help. My daughter gets frustrated with me but likes when her sister or best friend helps her.

ABC MOUSE is a cool learning tool to use on the computer. Also find book series that he is interested in and have him read from those. I did this with both my boys. I also read to them every night for 15 to 20 minutes.

Get him interested in something like comic books. Make sure he’s interested in what you’re reading together.

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Read along books were used with my son, who still displays this from time to time (9). He really started enjoying reading when we got him Dogman books. They are more like comics and I think they make him feel less pressured.

Start with sight words. Read a book to him on his level, but let him read the sight words he has learned. This helped my kids a lot.

Learning Dynamics has great reviews starting my son soon

Read it to him first, and get him to read it after you.

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He may have a learning disability. It’s actually pretty common. I’d ask about special ed programs where he can either be in a special ed classroom or have a teacher aid in the regular class. Some kids just need extra time & different ways of learning!


Another suggestion… make sure he has had a snack and recharge after school first. Might help. Does for my son. Just a thought. :slightly_smiling_face:

Sight words around your house! Work amazing! If you have an expo marker (or even washable markers) you can write on mirrors, frames, windows. That seemed to help my son a lot. As well as reading-alternate pages. You read one he read the next and so on and so forth. My son had a lot of anxiety when he started reading but once we started taking turns on the pages he would start trying to “argue”with me to read the last two pages instead of just the second to last!! Lol

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Could he be dyslexic? This would help you understand his hard time a little better. Also if he is, it is benefitical for him to have it in his file so he can have extra time on reading tests once he gets older. It isnt his fault that letters get jumbled up


Is he dyslexic? Knowing if any learning difficulties are in play will make a huge difference in how you approach his learning. Testing can be accessed through his school.

“I can read” books are a wonderful start!

  1. Have an eye check.
  2. Ask school for special testing.
  3. And this worked for my son, have older sibling or cousin talk about great series.
  4. This worked for me, sit down with One Book and have him sound out each letter. I asked my mom how she knew that I wasn’t memorizing the words? She said she knew. I went from sounding each letter or group of letters to reading a 300 page book. The Secret Garden was my first big book. David Eddings series was my son’s!
    First, have his eyes checked.

Maybe go back to real basics, like write the simple words down on a piece of paper and get him to sound then out to you, then maybe put them into a sentence and see how he goes. Once he has done that reintroduce the books. Maybe then if he is really struggling still ask the school if there is any testing they can do or ask your doctor to refer you to a specialist. Good luck it’s hard helping your kids learn, especially when the teaching styles have changed so much over the time.

My daughter is the same with reading and spelling and sounding out words. I think she may be dyslexic, but the school disagrees. She’s 10 and reads on like a 1st or 2nd grade level. She has no frustration tolerance and just guesses immediately. And gets mad when you stop her. They told me make her point to each word as she is reading. You point as well when you read. Slows everything down. Helped a bit actually. But if he doesn’t want to do it or there’s a disability involved, it won’t be any kind of miracle.

Have his eyes checked and tested for learning disabilities this helped tremendously with our daughter

Just read to him have him follow a long. Kids will get it, might be dyslexia? Backlighting see the words right. The teacher might have simple glad cards with sight words, have your schools reading coach observe him. Some kids it just takes longer. I’m a substitute teacher I’ve been in lots of class rooms, just make it fun and have him pick out the books. Go to the library have him pick the books he likes. Good luck been there now my kids are great at reading.

Alpha Phonics!!! The library should have the book. I homeschool and this is what I used to teach my youngest 3 to read. They never had a problem.

The Bob books at the library for him to read would be great, too!

Contact his school counselor and get an IEP set up… Individual Education Plan…

Learn those sight words in preschool

My daughter is in the same boat… she is also 7. her teacher also said progress and practice… she also got some one on one support at school. Can you ask for that. My husband recently started spending time recognizing letters and understanding the sounding of the letters more and adding M+E = Me… and hes going from there with 2 and 3 letter words… I see her finding it more fun to “learn” recognizes the words more

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My son went from barely reading to reading over a 3 grade level in one school year. He has Adhd. But I believe as soon as it clicked for him, he blossomed. He has a hard time focusing, so reading is very challenging for him. I think you’re doing everything right. Maybe flash cards could help. Or maybe he just needs some more time.

Get a high sch .tutor for a couple hours a week. It made all the differnce.

I used the old Dick and Jane books. Kids that though the could not read got the conference to try out other books

Has his eyes been checked … Does the school offer a phonics program? oes he know his letter sounds?

Check with the principal about a remedial reading program at the school … If your child doesn’t know letter sounds and blending they have difficulty recognizing words. Try to build a sight word vocabulary using home made flash cards with the words most used in reading. Look up the 100 most read words and practice them.

Have him tested by school u can u knw and by law they have 2do it!