My 6-year-old is struggling in school: Advice?

:warning:No bashing please

I have a 6 year old first grader that is still not reading and struggling tremendously in school.A little bit of background: she didnt attend pre-k or daycare. She does attend speech therapy and is doing a lot better in terms of speech. Before bashing, I really thought she would catch up since I was raised the same way, attending school until kindergarten. I learned to read in 1st grade and I am an avid reader. She has been tested for special education, but only qualifies for speech. I don’t believe retaining her will be beneficial. Conduct is not an issue. She is a very sweet, well-behaved girl. So, have any of you moms experienced something similar? Does it get better?


I struggled in reading a lot and was behind until 5th grade. I had after school tutoring at school 2 times a week, 1-2 private sessions a week, and was pulled out of class for a special reading class 30 minutes 1 time a week. See if the school has any programs like that to help. I also did the abc phonics.

Also question dyslexia as it is more common than first thought to be. When dyslexic kids brains look at letters it’s as if they are 3D.

My son was behind in reading. I took him to the eye Dr for a yearly visit. He had eye teaming where is brain didnt work with his eyes so it was hard for him to read and comprehend. He did vision therapy and is doing great.

Try flash cards or hooked on phonics( if that’s still a thing) my mom used those with me and brother when we were younger, didn’t go to daycare either.

My son was in speech therapy since 2 and he struggled with reading also but the more you read with them and have her read it will help them improve…

Get her eyes checked. My 5 year old couldn’t read. I got her eyes checked…her vision was awful. In less than a year she’s now reading at a 3rd grade level

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Be patient with her she will start reading. You need to get her books for 3-4 years old. She will suprise you believe it I

i also have a 6 yr old who has her moments who does also recieve help plus she did go to preschool but before that she didnt start talking till about 2 1/2 yrs old and more in preschool.she still dont talk to a point.just keep the speech up and work with her.

I have a similar situation. My 7 yo, well behaved, very social little girl, with speech issues hadn’t learned to read by half way through 2nd grade. We’ve had testing, including eye and hearing tests done, all which came out perfect.
We found out the hard way that no child left behind simply means that public school would keep passing her regardless of her capacity to keep up with her peers. We pulled her out of public school and have been independently home schooling for the past two months, and have brought her from barely reading at 1st grade level to almost caught up! So long as she keeps improving, we plan on sending her back to public school with her siblings in the fall (if she wants-she’s a social butterfly and seems to hate not being with her friends!)

I didn’t really read until 2nd grade. By 5th grade I had the highest reading level in my class. As long as you make sure she’s being checked out for stuff like dyslexia and bad eyesight I wouldn’t worry too much. We expect so much out of little kids today!

She will catch up. My son is in 5th grade and has struggled. He’s getting better but it will take a long time. I have another son who also struggled and then in 3rd grade we found out he was blind as a bat. Sooo with glasses he can magically read better. I never thought about it till the school nurse called and we talked about it. Made since.

I second getting her eyes tested, especially since she does not qualify for special education. Some kids just catch on quicker than others. Perhaps do some research and find a program or app that helps with reading (ABC mouse or a phonics app). This will allow her to learn through proven tactics and will allow her to learn at her own pace.

My oldest son was in speech until the first grade but struggled in reading and still doesn’t like it (4th grade). I compare my oldest to my 6 y/o son who was never in speech and loves to read everything. I think my oldest was delayed due to his speech difficulties and still has a hard time sounding out some words.

Have her eyes checked by an actual eye doctor, not her pediatrician. No offense to pediatrician, but that is definitely something you want someone that specializes in. No matter what the underlying issue is, patience is key!! Best of luck.

Try introducing some learning games? It really got my daughter interested in reading and she learned a lot without realizing it. She’s now in 3rd grade and reading 6th grade chapter books.

There is some great advice on here good luck in finding out which will work best for you but in the mean time REMEMBER THIS you are doing an AMAZING job!

I have went through this with all 3 of mine. My daughter got into a special program through school that helped her catch up. My middle (son) didnt and struggled until 4th grade in which they forced us to retain. Ended up his eye muscles were weak he could not track when reading. His eyes would not stay focused to see one page/one set of words. He got therapy and things got better. Can she cross her eyes and hold for a couple seconds. If not she may not be able to track single sentences either. Maybe seeing double when trying to read.
My youngest we chose to hold back last year in 1st grade and he even still is struggling to catch up. His steams from GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and adhd. His anxiety is so severe it makes him rather not even try than try and “fail”. She may have other issues that is causing her to struggle academically.
What I’ve found though is that although its hard emotionally to hold them back it is much better to do it in the lower grades to allow them the chance to catch up rather than the higher grades. Dont look at it as holding back or retaining which we’ve been trained to equal failure. Look at it as a retry to do your best to give her the best chance possible to succeeded at her best level.

Could be dyslexic. Mine is graphic, so i write letters backwards but i wasnt diagnosed until 3rd grade. Her’s could be visual

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If she is going to repeat, do it now. No shame in kinder twice if it’s your first school experience

If she is struggling that much is behind that much then her Kindergarten teacher should have held her back. My son who is now 11 started reading in Kindergarten. I now currently have a Kindergartener and nowadays the way the curriculum is they should at least be starting to read by the end of Kindergarten. Talk to the school and see if maybe she can get some extra tutoring.

Try ABC Mouse Fresno cute little inexpensive education approved site :slight_smile: my son used to love it! Heck my 2 year old does!

I was a slow reader, and now I’m an English teacher! I think what helped for me was that I was home schooled, so I was able to move at my own pace. My oldest daughter now is also a slow reader. She’s had to do pull outs in school, but she’s getting stronger. Not sure if she’ll ever love it though :frowning:

Give her time. It takes some for some kids to understand what’s going in and grasp and find a way they understand learning.

My oldest son was the same way until about 2nd grade and all of a sudden was 2 years ahead of his class and is now in advanced classes (8th grade) and going into AP classes next year. He was in speech therapy from pre-k to 5th grade altogether. I would definitely get a second opinion, and maybe see if she’s dyslexic as well.

Also, has she received an eye exam at all recently?! Maybe she can’t see.

Try doing some fun easy flash cards with a picture and the word I have 3 kids and they love them. Putting a pic with the word helps to my oldest struggled to read at first.

It does but YOU have to work with her also. Even though she did not attend Pre-K or Daycare, she should have entered 1st grade as prepared as the other children from learning at home.
I would suggest getting some leap pad books where she can read & write along with the stories & use the school geared ones every single night. Maybe even hire a tutor to work with her without any anxiety or high expectations.

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My 16 year old was the same way. She even had speech therapy. I held her back in 1st grade and she started doing amazing! She started reading above the other students. Good luck.

My husband and I both have dyslexia. Our son has been a bit slow with his speech. He is almost 3 now. It will be okay. Just read to her often and always try to get her to use her big girl words. You could even try ABC Mouse. I heard great things about it. She will catch on eventually. Every child is different and learns in various ways. :blush:

Take her for cranial sacral therapy it help my son to speak and read better and he has graduated magna cume Laudie with a double bachelor degree. That cranial work helped to the extreme

School is NOT the same as before. Its faster paced with more pressure to learn skills quickly and earlier on. As the mother of a SPED child i know what you’re going through. If she needs to be held back, do it now. My daughter is in 5th and i missed the opportunity to keep her back when she was little while the other kids wouldn’t have noticed.