Your child is growing up fast, and is expected to read and write a lot of detailed texts and assignments. Things are getting much more difficult for them as they prepare for middle school, and even if they had been doing well before, their reading and writing skills may be slipping. You may notice their grades are lower or that they have stopped doing their work altogether. They may also be getting feedback from their teacher saying that they are not doing well on their writing assignments.
Wherever their struggles lay, your child may need some extra help at this point. They have a lot of expectations to meet in class as well as starting with more serious standardized testing. Preparing for middle school can also be stressful for them.
How You Can Help
Depending on where your child is struggling in their language arts skills, there are several things you can do to help get them back on track.
- Talk to your child’s teacher. Their teacher will have the most direct line into your child’s academic performance and can be a key factor in helping your child succeed. They can tell you what kind of assignments, tests, or texts your child has trouble with and help you come up with a plan.
- Visit your doctor. If you suspect your child may have a learning difference, such as dyslexia or ADHD, taking them to a doctor for a professional look can be a great step. It is entirely possible that symptoms or signs of learning differences haven’t shown themselves until now, and the best way to address this is to talk to a doctor.
- Enroll in Reading Genie. No matter what area your child is struggling in, the program at Reading Genie can be a huge help for them. The teachers give you and your child kind, helpful feedback with every lesson, and your child will have plenty of opportunities to practice and learn what they need to. Reading Genie is fun, too, so your child won’t feel overburdened or stressed from getting help there, building their confidence with their skills.
- Talk to your child and engage with their interests. Although they may not be able to pin down what the problem is, your child can give you the most valuable information about what they’re having a hard time with. It’s important to remember that this shouldn’t be an interrogation or anything confrontational; asking them things like whether they like their teacher, classmates, or the books they’re reading should be safe and casual. There may be a simple solution here, such as your child just not being interested in the books they’ve been assigned or disliking a certain type of writing prompt. Giving them alternative things to read or write about can help engage them with reading and writing again, giving them the opportunity to succeed.
Whatever methods you use to help your child with their language arts skills, remember that all children learn and grow at their own pace. Your child has gone through a lot of changes and challenges to get to fifth grade, and they are still coming into themselves as people. It’s an exciting and challenging time, so there’s no need to worry if they need some extra help.1