Improving Reading For Children and Teens

The page explains why children and teens may have difficulty learning to read and provide information about basics of reading instruction.This page provides information for parents about the basics of reading instruction. The page explains why children and teens may have difficulty learning to read. The page also offers positive solutions for helping children and teens become good readers or even how to get a child started learning to read.

Another way to help your child is by subscribing to magazines of interest to children or teens.

Poor Reading Affects Many Children

A recent survey showed that 44% of the 4th Grade children nation wide are not able to read at or above the basic, or partial mastery, level on the 1994 National Assessment of Education Progress test. The extent of the problem ranged from 27% in Maine to 62% in Louisiana. In California 59% of the students are reading BELOW the minimum established proficiency level for reading.

Children with poor reading skills often:

  • Receive poor grades
  • Are easily frustrated
  • Have difficulty completing assignments
  • Have low self-esteem
  • Have behavior problems
  • Have more physical illnesses due to stress
  • Don't like school
  • Grow up to be shy in front of groups
  • Fail to develop to their full potential

Reading Is The Key To Learning

The ability to read is essential to being able to learn any subject taught in school. In our high tech society, proficiency in reading is a must to compete favorably in today's job market. The information age is upon us. You can expect greater demands to be made upon reading ability.

As parents, it's up to us to make sure that our children can read, write, spell and pronounce words correctly.

Learning to read should be as easy as learning to talk

Just watch how a preschooler will pretend to read a story you have just read for them. They are learning by imitation. Actually that is how children learn many things. Take speech for an example. Young children learn to talk by imitating the sounds made by their parents. They then learn how the sounds go together to make words.

When you helped your child learn to talk you both had fun. You probably made up games to stimulate them to talk. They interacted with you and that made the learning process enjoyable. You both smiled and laughed when they learned to say new words or phrases.

Reading and writing are simply talking on paper. Why shouldn't learning to read be just as much fun as learning to talk? Here are some tips for encouraging your child to enjoy reading:

  • Read to your child. No matter what age your child happens to be, he will benefit from listening to you read aloud.
  • Discuss the books you read to your child.
  • Be a good reading "model" by letting your child see you read.
  • Introduce your child to books that discuss his hobby, interests, or new experiences.
  • Buy books as presents for your child and he'll learn to value books.
  • Make sure your child has a library card.
  • Use the Reading Check Up Guide to evaluate your child's reading development.
  • Encourage Your Child To Read - Subscribe to Magazines of Interest To Children/Teens

Why Johnny Can't Read

The main reasons for reading problems are:

  • Ineffective reading instruction
  • Auditory perception difficulties
  • Visual perception difficulties
  • Language processing difficulties

Over 180 research studies to date have proven that phonics is the BEST WAY to teach reading to all students. They also have shown that phonics is the ONLY WAY to teach reading to students with learning disabilities.

Unfortunately, 80% of our nations schools do not use an intensified phonics approach for reading instruction. They either use the whole word (see & say) approach or a cursory use of phonics along with the whole word method.

While most people can learn to read using the whole word approach, it is not the best way to learn. It teaches through memorization of word pictures and guessing. Unlike Chinese or Japanese which are picture languages, the English language is a phonetic language. With the exception of the United States which dropped phonics in the 1930's, all other countries that have a phonetic language, teach reading through phonics.

There are only 44 sounds while there are about 1 million words in English. These facts readily explain why having to memorize 44 sounds as opposed to memorizing hundreds of thousands of words is the most efficient way to learn to read.

A few children have auditory discrimination problems. This may have been the result of having chronic ear infections when they were young. Others may be born with this learning disability. Correction involves educational exercises to train the brain in discrimination and to over teach the formation of the sounds used in speaking and reading. The pregame phase of the Phonics Game is a very effective tool for improving sound discrimination abilities needed for reading.

Another small group of children have visual perception problems. They may actually reverse letters or words. They have difficulty matching the word image on the page with a previously stored image in their brain. Exercises that train the brain to "see" more accurately may help but instruction with phonics is the best approach to overcome this problem.

Language development problems can contribute to poor reading and listening comprehension along with difficulty in verbal and written expression. Learning appropriate word attack skills through phonics along with special help in receptive and/or expressive language skills improves this type of learning disability.

The Phonics Game Is The Best Solution For All Four Problem Areas

The Phonics Game provides the intensified phonics approach to reading that is best for all children and adults. The game format makes learning fun while stimulating full brain activation during the learning activities. The logical sequence of neurolinguistic instructional components leads to rapid learning. Most children are reading confidently after only 18 hours of instruction.

The pre-game phase of the program uses the same procedures used by speech therapists to teach the formation and discrimination of the 44 phonics sounds. Once the sounds are mastered, the card games teach all one needs to be able to be reading easily, efficiently and with enjoyment.

The visual matching process used in playing the card games, trains the brain to "see" the individual sounds correctly. This provides an excellent technique for compensating for visual reversals.

An additional tape for teaching spelling skills along with the additional Comprehension Game benefit all children but are especially helpful for children with language problems.

The Phonics Game is an incredible learning tool. In a matter of hours, your children will be reading and spelling better than you ever imagined. Fun, yes! But The Phonics Game is also a complete, systematic, and explicit phonics teaching program for people of all ages! The package Includes: 3 Video Tapes, Play Book, 7 Audio Tapes, 6 Double Deck Card Games, Sound Code Chart, Mirror, Reading Selections, Stickers, Pad & Pen, Game Plan Calendar.

The card games cover all the rules of phonics and when to use them. In no time, your children will be sounding out words easily and fluently. In as little as 18 hours your child can be reading at or above grade level. Young children like it because it's a fun game. Older children and teenagers like it because it makes school easier! Excellent for children and teens with ADD or Learning Disabilities including Dyslexia.

Parents call it a MIRACLE!


"The Phonics Game is fantastic! The same girl who struggled to read, or should I say memorize, now reads at her grade level. My daughter feels so much better about herself. This game really works!" - Alice Thompson

"What an unbelievable great idea. An educational product cleverly disguised as fun. My child never gets tired of playing The Phonics Game, and the learning will last a lifetime!" - Nancy Kashergen

"Our son, Oliver, will need outstanding skills in life. the Phonics Game helps us encourage and motivate him to learn right at home...and he loves it." - Ivan Chung.


Junior Phonics has children reading as early as three years old.

Prepare your child to enter preschool, kindergarten, or first grade ahead of the rest of the class! Give your children a head start in school with Junior Phonics. Studies and common sense show that children who develop early reading skills are often more successful in school and beyond! Plus they feel great about themselves! A delightful puppet character named "Ed" leads your child on a lively learning excursion through three entertaining videos that teach everything needed to be a superior reader. A colorful board game, cards, charts, reward stickers and more motivate your children to learn as they play.

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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2009, January 5). Improving Reading For Children and Teens, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 14 from

Last Updated: February 13, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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