By Marlee Ginter

ELK GROVE (CBS13) — Some parents are scared their kids are falling behind while distance learning, especially when it comes to reading.

Face-to-face interaction can be critical when kids are learning how to read, but that went out the window with distance learning.

“He was falling behind a bit in his reading. As a parent, you kind of know when they’re struggling a little bit,” said Tracie Garcia.

Garcia enrolled her son at Huntington Learning Center. She’s one of many parents worried about their children learning to read in a virtual classroom. Jennifer Choo enrolled her daughter at another tutoring center, GradePower Learning.

“They’re all talking at the same time, no one can hear anything, so they have their mics off a lot during the day which they wouldn’t have that in class. They’d all be able to talk,” said Choo.

Choo says student interaction helps her daughter learn better. Learning how to sound out letters through a grainy picture on a computer with sound glitches doesn’t make it any easier.

“It’s really hard because, over Zoom, we really only have one way. They’re really only using their ears and their eyes and at this grade level you need different ways to teach them,” said Lindsey Paralta, owner of GradePower Learning.

Most schools set standards including requiring children to know 100 sight words by first grade. Paralta says these are red flags you can look for to gauge if your child is falling behind in reading:

  1. Avoiding reading, crying when it is time to read
  2. Always asking older siblings to tell them how or what to do
  3. Leaving out letters or guessing what a word is when reading out loud
  4. Visibly straining their eyes while reading
  5. Always looking up for confirmation instead of displaying confidence
  6. Difficulties distinguishing letters such as “m” and “n” or “b” and “d” or “p” and “q”
  7. Skipping past instructions on video games

These are important things to look for as distance learning throws a wrench in reading.

“You have to get creative,” said Paralta.

Reading tutors say parents should not get caught up in their child not being at the same level as other students. Every student learns to read at a different pace.


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