A Simple Tip That Could Help With Reading Difficulties in Children

I have to admit it - I’ve heard of parents experiencing reading difficulties in their children but I hadn't had any, until my six year old met the word “hill”.

We had been struggling for a couple weeks with the pronunciation of the word, and I couldn’t understand why. I'm still not sure why it has been an issue, because she knows the short “i” sound, and says it flawlessly in every other word. Yet, when we got to “hill”, she would pronounce it as “heel”. After several days, I was really frustrated and ready to tear my hair out. It's a small thing, yes, but added to some other stuff we've got going on, it was just frustrating beyond belief.

Then last Thursday, on our way to dance class, she pointed to a friend’s driveway and said, “Look, Mummy, that’s where your friend lives…up on that hill.” My friend does live on a hill and her driveway is steep. I agreed – and then it hit me – she had pronounced “hill” correctly! Now it’s not that she usually mispronounces it; it's just when she has been reading the word that she had had trouble.

I excitedly asked her to repeat what she said. When she did, I asked her if she realized what she had said. Of course the poor child was puzzled, lol. I asked her to spell “hill” and sure enough, she spelled it perfectly. I praised her and if I hadn't been driving, I would have given her a high five. Then I told her that since she knows how to spell the word, and how to say it, whenever she sees the word again in her reading book, she should just picture the hill my friend lives on, and then say it just like that.

I'm THRILLED to say that this one little suggestion has helped her master reading the word. Now she says “hill” like a champ. She’s happy and proud of herself and I feel so good that she is over that hump.

I think at some point or the other, all of us homeschool moms wonder if we’re qualified to teach our kids, especially when we have hiccups or there are things that we don’t quite understand. If you’re wondering if you have it in you, I want to assure you that you do. And if you run into difficulties, there is so much support online or in local groups (if you have one in the area).

Your turn…do your children have any reading difficulties, or are there any things things you’ve been working on a while that you were able to turn into successes? I’d love to hear about it in the comments – tell me what you’ve been working on and how you fixed it! Or, if you are still struggling, comment and maybe I can help you.

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About the Author


Suzanne is a 14-year homeschooling veteran, whose older daughter was accepted into every university she applied to. She is passionate about supporting moms through every stage of homeschooling, and also works with them to find ways of generating an income while they homeschool.

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