Why Is My 3rd Grader Failing Reading at School?

a child clings to the wall of a cliff

Does This Sound Like You?

Oh, your child may be in a different grade, but the same fact is true. Your child has some big reading problems.

You’re not alone. There are estimates that anywhere from 20-40% of children are reading below grade level and often failing in the United States.

Learning to Read with the Usual School Methods

child who can't read is frustratedBy this time, let’s assume that your son or daughter has been exposed to lots and lots of the “normal” ways of teaching reading in the United States:

  • Phonics
  • Worksheets
  • Stories that he couldn’t read
  • Questions about the stories
  • More phonics and worksheets on the words in the stories

Of course there are other methods, but still, your child did not learn in the ways that were used at school.

Perhaps he or she was even pulled out of class to work with a special teacher.

For some kids, this is enough. They may improve from there and be just fine. But it also does not succeed for many children.

For your child, it hasn’t helped. Nothing has helped. If things stay the same, he will fail in school, and that is terrifying for a parent, and it is devastating for the child.

When the Usual Teaching Styles Have Failed

sad little boy who doesn't undertandThis is the time when it is so very important to find an alternative solution. So don’t give up yet! There are ways to solve this problem.

Yes, valuable time has been lost and things could had been done differently. But let’s forget about that. All that matters is that he begins to learn now. It is not too late!

What Can a Parent Do Now to Help a Child Learn to Read?

Now must be the time to ensure that he is taught to read using a different style and a different way. And there are huge amounts of things to try. Sometimes a child even has several learning styles. These can be used very successfully to teach him or her to read well, and hopefully to catch up quickly too.

All we need to do is discover his styles, and then supply him with

  • materials
  • activities
  • teaching and guidance
  • practice time every day

child's hand holding a sign saying helpThen we teach him to use those abilities to learn to read. I can help you with the first three. It’s possible you may want to provide the guidance yourself. I’ll teach you how. Or I can provide tutoring. That is up to you. But something must be done, and quickly!

There is every reason to hope that you can get this taken care of and solve your child’s problem. I can help you.

To save time, the easiest way to figure out what is best for your son or daughter is for us to discuss their situation and what they can and can’t do. I don’t need records and charts. Just your thoughts on where you child “is” in reading.

You as a parent know that every child is very different. That’s why I can’t just say, “Oh, send him to _________ for their program,” or “She needs certain software,”  or “________ activity will work.”

And I know that sometimes money is a big factor. Sometimes it just isn’t there in amounts large enough to buy all that is needed. We can possibly even work around that.

successful reader smiles in sunshineI need to talk with you and learn more about your particular child’s issues. This consultation is free , and there is no obligation whatsoever. The main goal is to find solutions for you, not for me to gain students.

I don’t discuss your child with anyone but you, ever.

This does not mean that you are signing up for any program, course, tutoring, or anything else. We’re just exploring what will help.

If you’d like to talk, contact me here, leave a comment below, or post on my wall on Facebook, if you’re more comfortable there.

There are so many different ways to help your child, and I’d like to make them available to you. I also offer webinars showing parents how to help their children themselves, at home. When I know what your child needs, it’s very possible that I’ll also make a video just for him or her, to get them started, or even have a chat or lesson.

Tell me about your child. It can’t hurt, and could change everything for his or her future.

It’s your turn, Mom or Dad. 🙂






15 Responses to “Why Is My 3rd Grader Failing Reading at School?”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Teri says:

    My son loves to read. But with AR bookit and individual school programs designed to reward..he is always writing and testing. This has has taken all the joy out of reading. I sign 4 pages a night on the SAME BOOK. And then he has to write about the book on 4 pages. The same repetitive thing over and over. I want him to love reading again..not see it as a chore.

  2. Tanya says:

    Hi, my son is in grade 4 and cannot read. Is there any help out there? he is currently busy with the 4th term and will be writing his finals in a week from now. I feel so helpless, please help!

  3. Dave Helgert says:

    My daughter Alexis can read quit well but there is very little comprehension of what she has read. She seems to forget character names even when I tell them to her one sentence before. I need help. She is failing third grade.

  4. Diana says:

    Hi am very concerned about my 8 yrs old son he is really struggling in reading and comprehension. He is seeing a special teacher at school once a week at school.last year I hired a tutor at home but still he needs a lot of help of decoding new words.His vocabulary is very low compare to his classmates. He is really trying hard to retell a story . I don’t know what to do now.

  5. Melanie says:

    I have a 9 year old grandson with Austim and Dyslexia and still does not read in the 4th grade..How can I help him?

  6. Mesha says:

    I am very concerned about my daughter whom is 8 years old and going to the third grade in 2 weeks. She has been struggling with reading for a long time now and everything that we’ve tried so far has not worked. She gets really frustrated when we have to sit down and read, and that automatically makes me frustrated as well. She wants to read, I know this because she starts to cry sometimes because she cant say or sound out a word. It breaks my heart to see her that way. And i don’t know what else to do. She even had to attend summer school this year because of her low grades in reading/language arts. And after testing her they said that she reads on a first grade level, and that she needs help with decoding. I have gotten her lots of decoding books and we work on them everyday, but she doesn’t seem to be improving much. Please help, I am at my wits end. THANKS!!!!

  7. TIFFANY says:

    I have a 8yo who seems not to like reading!!! When she comes home with homework(reading passages) she always get 2 or more wrong its only four questions. I don’t know if she is not comprehended what she is reading or its just her not being interested. I ask her does she understand what she reads she tells me yes, its just that she made a mistake!! I don’t know what to do I think this could be a phase or does she have reading comprehension problem??? FCAT will be in the fall I want her to be READY!!! HELP!!!

  8. Kamt says:

    My son is in third grade and is still reading on a first grade level, what do I do??
    I requested to have him held back when he was in first grade when i saw him struggling but his teacher said his test scores were average so they were unable to hold him back. (FCAT) is coming up in march,2012 and if he does not pass he will not move on to 4th grade. we read together at least 3 nights out of the week but he is just unable to comprehend what he reads..If i read the story to him he is able to tell me bits and pieces of the story but if he reads it on his own he has no idea on what he has read.

    • Paula says:

      I’m so glad you wrote. It sounds like you are really facing a problem here, and it must be very difficult for you both.

      His situation is not uncommon. Quite a few kids don’t catch on to what they’re reading, and don’t comprehend well, but luckily it is something that can be taught.

      I’d like to help you with some ideas to use with him that will help. I’ve sent you an email and really do hope to hear back from you. There’s lots of hope! Truly. 🙂

  9. Stefani says:

    My third grader is currentl reading the second part of the schools first grade book and is listening to and following along the third grade heritage studies and science. His midterm just came in and he is failing heritage studies and science and is sporting a strong D in spelling. His handwriting is not so good either. He is a kenestetic child. When asked what he learned he goes into great detail the actions of the people but never remembers the purpose of any event or reading assignment.
    Please help

    • Paula says:

      I hear you that it’s a really scary time for you both. I have several ideas I’d like to try with him, and have emailed you with some suggestions, and hope to hear back from you. I definitely need to meet with him on Skype, and then I can give you more definite ideas about how to approach these problems.

      I do hope you write back, and look forward to hearing from you. 🙂

      Thanks for coming by.

  10. Paula says:

    Leslie, I’ve emailed a special offer to you. I hope you accept and that I have a chance to work with your step-daughter.

  11. Leslie says:

    I have a step daughter that refuses to read. She fights and makes all kinds of excuses. She said she wanted farm books so, we went and got her some. She still fought and said she wanted science books. I have tried flash cards and work books. She will do the work books fine but, refuses to pick up a book and read. I’m home schooling her cause, most schools won’t take her because, she gets in trouble a lot. We just recently got custody of her and she is a product of mental and physical abuse which, I know some of her problems stem from her past. I was told she is dyslexic from the people we got her from, as well as ADHD. I don’t believe she is ADHD because, they said she was on 13 different kinds of ADHD medicines. She is off them now and is some what better. I am not sure about her being dyslexic because, she does flash cards and simple books just fine. I have set her up with a doctor this month.
    I love to read and want to share things with her. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I know she tries to rush through her work, she makes a lot of mistakes, and she constantly has to talk.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated. We are just lost on what to do.

  12. Deloris says:

    I am beginning to get really concerned about my child. He doesn’t seem like he is interested in reading at all. We can sit down to read a book and he just doesn’t seem interested at all. He can read as long as I am telling him most of the words. I can read the book page by page and then let him follow me with the page that I just read and he still has lots of trouble. Is there anything that I can do to help. I have looked online to help find programs as well. Thanks for any help that you can give!

    • Paula says:

      Deloris, I have many suggestions for you for programs to consider. I also have an offer right now for 2 free lessons and 20% off any further lessons if you want to continue. There is absolutely no obligation to do so at all, so no strings. That way I could work with him a bit on Skype, and see what is up with him. At least I could then recommend some software and programs that I believe in 100% and that get kids motivated.

      Thanks for coming by and speaking up. So many parents don’t!

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