What is a reading coach?

Traditionally, a reading coach is a position found in schools that helps to support teachers with reading instruction by giving valuable information on the process of learning to read and providing tips and lesson ideas that work. Reading Coach Online acts as your own version of that, but customized to meet the needs of parents and kids that are learning at home.

At what age should I begin teaching my child to read?

This is a common question that parents have. Schools decide this based on a child’s age and grade level for the sake of following the average developmental readiness for literacy. Yet we all know that each child is unique and therefore learns in different ways and at their own pace. Having said that, parents have more freedom at home to decide when to start teaching their children to read. Some begin as early as when their child is two or three while others may wait until they’re seven or older. Although I can not recommend an exact age, I would encourage you to look for signs that your child is ready to begin instruction (shows interest in books and tracking words when you read to them, pretends to read when looking at words, asks what things around them say or mean). There are also many things you can do at home to teach your kids to learn reading basics without actually beginning formal instruction…sort of like laying the groundwork. Our Lesson Ideas page is set up by grade level in an attempt to make it easy to find age appropriate activities, yet it’s meant to be more of a guide than an exact plan. Many of the activities we offer can be done before or after the stated grade/age level depending on your child’s level of ability and interest.

My child has learned to read, but she’s having trouble comprehending (understanding), can you help?

This is a pretty common concern of parents and educators. I have found that this can happen for a couple of reasons. One possible reason is that the child has been taught using Whole Language methods only, where the emphasis was on reading text without being taught specifics of phonics. While some kids can learn to read just fine using this method alone, many others suffer from a lack of phonics instruction because they don’t possess the skills to decode words properly. This basically means that they spend too much time trying to figure out what words say and can’t pay attention to what they mean…resulting in poor comprehension. The other reason I’ve encountered is the flip side of that. Children who have been given mostly phonics instruction without the support of comprehension skills and strategies. Children also need to have an opportunity to practice reading literature and have meaningful experiences with text.

So to answer your question, I can help you to teach her these important comprehension skills and strategies. You can learn more about them by reading our articles and using our Lesson Ideas to provide activities for instruction and practice. Here’s a good place to start…Reading Fundamentals.

How do I know if you can help with the curriculum we’re using?

Reading Coach Online is curriculum independent. We aren’t associated with, nor do we officially endorse any one curriculum. Our goal is to enhance your child’s reading instruction no matter what curriculum is being used. Parents with children in public or private school may not know what curriculum is being taught. Unschoolers may not be using any curriculum. We concentrate on concepts and strategies that are universal to reading instead of terminology and organization that are curricula specific.

Can you help us choose a curriculum?

Although we don’t endorse or recommend one curriculum over others, the articles and content at Reading Coach Online can provide you with valuable information when deciding on a curriculum. Children naturally have many different learning styles, and parents have different teaching preferences. We can provide you with information that helps you determine what curriculum fits best with your situation.