One of the most common learning problems among children is difficulty reading and writing. In fact, it is estimated that around 10% of Spanish children of school age cannot read well. Difficulties in recognizing phonemes, the interchange of letters or tracing problems are some of the most common complications, although they are not the only ones. In this scenario, literacy re-education techniques are a useful tool to re-teach children what they did not learn well at first.

What is literacy re-education?

Literacy re-education is a relatively recent concept that focuses on children’s reading or writing difficulties. It is a psychoeducational intervention whose objective is to reeducate children’s literacy skills so that children overcome their difficulties and can write or read normally. In other words, it is about re-teaching children with literacy problems to read or write well, practically starting from scratch.

Unlike instructional reinforcement, literacy re-education does not focus exclusively on children’s performance in this area, but rather intervenes in the emotional and behavioral factors that affect their ability to learn. Likewise, it promotes autonomy and stimulates children’s self-esteem, while instilling adequate study habits to facilitate learning.

Its principles promote the use of standardized teaching strategies whose methodological effectiveness has been proven, but also encourage the development of the resources and potential of each child. From this approach, the re-education of reading and writing makes it possible to compensate and/or improve deficiencies by stimulating personal skills. This makes it an ideal resource to stimulate potentialities, improve learning capacity and facilitate the achievement of academic objectives.

It is worth noting that to achieve good results it is essential to identify the deficiencies and main strengths of children. For this reason, in most cases the implementation of this type of intervention is the responsibility of educational psychologists, psychologists or teachers who have training in this area. However, there are some very simple literacy re-education activities that work for most children with reading and writing problems that parents can implement at home.

5 activities to reeducate reading and writing in children

1. Oral reading

Basically, it is an exercise in which the children have to read aloud. Also known as expressive reading, it will not only improve phoneme pronunciation but also rhythm and intonation. Its continued use also enhances communication skills in children and will help them gain ease and naturalness. The ideal is to choose a text that the little ones find interesting to motivate them and get them to try their best to understand the words. At the beginning, it is advisable to choose simple texts, with short sentences and words that they understand relatively well to make their work easier, but as they gain skills, it is recommended to use more complex texts.

2. Write, read and act out sentences

Many children with literacy difficulties are easily overwhelmed when faced with a complex word. This exercise helps them lose that fear and relate to phonemes more consciously. The idea is to ask them to write a short sentence and then read it out loud. Then they will be asked to draw on another piece of paper each of the words of the sentence with the figure it represents or a related one. The goal is for children to become familiar with the words and relate them to positive stimuli, such as drawing. As children gain confidence, more complex terms can be introduced to stimulate their skills.

3. Copy of texts

Children who have difficulty recognizing written and spoken phonemes will learn to identify them easily thanks to this simple re-education activity. The exercise consists of proposing short texts for them to read aloud and then copy them onto a sheet of paper. Without a doubt, it is a very complete activity that not only develops attention and memory, but also stimulates reading skills and encourages writing skills.To arouse children’s curiosity and motivation, it is recommended to use texts that are interesting to them or that their content makes emotional resonance. At the beginning it is advisable to choose short texts with terms that are easy to pronounce and write, but as the children gain skills, the complexity can be gradually increased.

4. Write words

Although this exercise is especially recommended for children who make omissions or inversions during writing, it is also useful for training the pronunciation of phonemes. By working on words based on their phonemes, children learn to identify and pronounce them more easily,an advantage that they can use later to write or read more complex words or simple sentences. For the exercise, a list of words with different levels of difficulty should be drawn up and preferably with the syllabic structures in which the children have the most problems. You will first pronounce each word and ask them to listen carefully. Then, you will separate the word into syllables and ask the children to repeat them behind you. And finally, you will lengthen the syllables before repeating each complete word again. The children should also repeat it.

5. Elaboration of sentences

Another very useful exercise to apply literacy re-education is to ask children to repeat the phrases or sentences that you tell them. Then they should copy it on a piece of paper and read it aloud. At the beginning, it is recommended to bet on simple phrases with a high emotional component to arouse the interest of children that you can make on your own or take them from a book. However, as the little ones master the activity, more complex words and slightly longer phrases should be included. Words or phonemes that represent more difficulty for children can also be worked on, but including one at a time.