Reading Comprehension Difficulties – The Reading Tutors

Reading comprehension can be a struggle for many children. What causes these struggles? Can reading tutoring help them improve?

One primary cause of poor reading comprehension is poor reading accuracy. Good reading tutors work on this a lot with their students, because good reading accuracy is so vital to success in school. If a child does not read with perfect accuracy, they may have trouble understanding a single sentence, let alone a paragraph, or pages of text filled with sentences. Consider a situation in which a child reads with 80% reading accuracy. A child with this level of reading accuracy will probably mix up a couple of words in every sentence, and beyond that, may also leave words out or add words that are not present. This may cause them difficulty in understanding the sentence, and when expanded over paragraphs and pages of text, the amount of their misunderstanding will simply multiply. By the end of the reading section, they will probably have a very difficult time answering questions about what they have just read.

Another cause of trouble with reading comprehension is a lack of vocabulary. Vocabulary is something that a good reading tutor incorporates in reading tutoring, because it is so important to reading comprehension. Some children simply do not have the core vocabulary that they need to be able to understand what they are reading. They may lack knowledge of higher level words, but beyond that, they may also have a poor understanding of very basic vocabulary. We often see this in children who first enter our online reading tutoring program. For many of them, their struggles with reading have prevented them from acquiring the vocabulary that they could have acquired if they were able to read well. Reading is one of the most effective ways to acquire new vocabulary and learn to understand its nuances. Without this, many students end up having trouble with reading comprehension, because they simply do not have a good understanding of what many words mean.

Another issue may be that the child does not read for content. There can be various reasons for this. If a student struggles with reading, they may get in the habit of focusing all their attention on decoding words, rather than paying attention to the content. Even good readers may not pay proper attention to content when they read. This is something that we work hard to correct in our reading tutoring program.

Additionally, a child may struggle with reading comprehension due to reading anxiety. If a child has struggled with reading, they often get very anxious when they are required to read something, especially if they know that they will have to answer questions about the content. This anxiety may cause them to have difficulty in absorbing the material that they are reading.

In the next post, I will give suggestions on how you can help a child overcome these difficulties and improve their reading comprehension.

Reading Trouble and Guessing at Words – The Reading Tutors

Is it a problem if a child guesses at words while reading? Is there a reason that reading tutors teach children to stop doing this? Guessing at words is a very common problem with students who have trouble reading and spelling well. These children do not have the phonics knowledge they need to properly approach a word, and as a result, they guess at any word that they do not recognize by sight. To give you an example of this, a student in our online reading tutoring program was recently reading a comprehension section about the Mississippi River. In the section, there was a sentence that said, “The Mississippi River flows north to south.” However, when the student read this sentence, he read “flows” as “follows”, changing the sentence completely and making it nonsensical.

Why do children with reading difficulties guess at words? They do this as a coping mechanism. Since these children have not had the proper phonics-based instruction that they need, they do not know how to correctly break a word into syllables or sound it out phonetically. So, they guess. In certain reading methods that are not based in phonics, guessing is even encouraged. As a result, the child begins to rely on guessing more and more, and their reading accuracy and comprehension suffers.

How do we correct this issue? The first step is to enroll a child with reading difficulties in a reading tutoring program that provides a phonics-based approach. In a tutoring program like this, the child is going to learn an alternative to guessing at words; a superior alternative! They will learn how to properly sound out words phonetically, even if they have never seen them before. Once your child is getting the phonics instruction that they need, you can have them read out loud to you at home. Anytime the mix up a word, have them return to that word and sound it out using the techniques they are learning in reading tutoring.

There is no quick fix to the problem of guessing at words, but with the right instruction and patience, it can be fixed!

You can learn more about our online reading tutoring program by clicking here.

Why Can’t My Child Read Well? – The Reading Tutors


Why does my child have trouble reading well? Do they need reading tutoring? Can a reading tutor help?  Seeing a child struggle with reading and spelling can be very stressful and difficult for parents. Reading and spelling difficulties can lead to frustration, trouble in school, and behavior problems caused by low self-esteem.

One of the primary causes of reading difficulties is poor phonemic-awareness. This term simply means a knowledge of phonics, or the sound that letters and letter combinations make. Phonemic awareness is extremely important in reading and spelling. Without this knowledge, children may be at a complete loss when asked to sound out and read a word. They aren’t able to read the word, because they simply do not know what sounds the letters say. Many children receive basic phonics instruction in kindergarten or 1st grade, but this instruction is often limited to what single letters say. After these levels, the child may not receive any more instruction in phonics, and success becomes a matter of sink or swim. If the child has learned the basic phonics sounds by that point, and if they are able to continue absorbing new sounds, they may be able to read decently.

However, many children are not able to do this. These children may have trouble learning their basic sounds, and much more trouble once they are expected to make reading progress on their own. As a result, they start to develop bad habits like guessing at words or skipping over words that they find to be difficult. These problems get more severe as they get older. The poor reading accuracy that comes from these bad habits causes major reading comprehension difficulties, and a child starts to struggle in many different subjects.

The solution to this problem is enrollment in a reading tutoring program that uses a phonics-based approach. Through one-on-one instruction in a phonics-based reading and spelling method, the child can make progress in their reading, spelling and comprehension.

Reading Tutoring in the New School Year

Signing your student up for reading tutoring is a great way to help them succeed in the new school year. Our online tutoring program can help them improve their reading, spelling and comprehension, which will increase their ability to succeed on their schoolwork and homework. Our students also benefit from a jump in confidence that has a positive effect in and out of the classroom.

If you are interested in trying out our online tutoring program, we offer a free trial with no obligation.

A Great Way to Start the New Year!

Online tutoring from The Reading Tutors is a great way to start the New Year! We have learning plans to fit every style and budget. We tutor children, teens and adults.

Contact us for a free, no-obligation trial. Make 2014 a great year for academics!

Welcome to The Reading Tutors

Welcome to The Reading Tutors Online Tutoring! We appreciate you stopping by our website. We provide online reading, spelling and comprehension tutoring for children, teens and adults. We are very passionate about teaching and love helping our students become great readers. We offer a free session to anyone who is interesting in checking out our online tutoring program. You can sign up on the “Online Tutoring” or “Contact” page. We can help!