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Dear Dr. Cherrye,

My 8-year old son has trouble reading. During oral reading time at school he complains that the other kids laugh at him.

Dear Dr. Cherrye,

My 8-year old son has trouble reading. I know that he recognizes the words but his reading isn’t fluent, smooth or connected. My son is now complaining he hates for the teacher to ask him to read aloud because he knows the other kids will laugh. He told me his peers laugh at him when he stumbles. Dr. Cherrye, I hate asking the teacher to refrain from asking my son to read. I realize he needs this reading practice, but I don’t want my son to continue getting ridiculed and laughed at by his peers. My heart aches hearing this.

~ My Heart aches ~

Dear My Heart Aches,

Dr. Cherrye understands why your heart aches. Children can be cruel at times, and the teacher should find clever ways to teach difference using diversity strategies and techniques asking children to consider their own personal flaws and feelings. Teasing and laughing at someone having a hard time is a form of cruelty that can be categorized as bullying. Children can be taught care and compassion for others.

May I ask?  Have you made an appointment to visit with the teacher? Schedule a time to observe his/her teaching practices during reading time. Be careful the teacher doesn’t feel you are observing him/her per say. Assure the teacher you’re only concerned about your son’s reading difficulties. While there, notice the teacher’s mannerisms and affect during reading time. For examples: What is the teacher’s voice tone, inclinations, stance, interactions with the students, but your child in particular? Believe it or not, some teachers aren’t patient with stumbling readers, and this may create nervous readers as it did in my own daughter’s case. In addition, note the reading strategies being used. How does your son receive and/or react to all these?

One outstanding resource I utilized with my daughter when she was in second grade and experienced these concerns is titled: Treasures, A Language Arts Program, Fluency Assessment, Grade 1-6 (Treasures Reading Program)

This assessment tool is loaded with reading passages for grades 1-6. See directions on how to begin. It is very simple to use, and my daughter loved reading the passages and answering the two questions. Using this assessment also allowed us to spend quality time together. In a matter of weeks, I watched my daughter’s self-esteem blossom. I was amazed at the results, too! Be sure to also purchase one of two more items: a stop watch or sand timer. My daughter loved using our sand timer because it was fun flipping it over each time as she prepared herself to get going. You can purchase a set for 1-2-3 and 5 minutes.

Watch the Magic begins! Your son will be on his way to reading fluency.

And don’t forget, children love their own e-readers, and in ear headphones. There’re lots of age-appropriate books out there for 8-year old boys. You know his interests, so please sit down with your son and together the two of you can choose some really cool books for him to read. Boys are really into graphic texts and comics, too. Remember your goal is for your son to read. Make reading enjoyable!



I’ve made it my mission to assist parents in resolving the bullying issues their children are suffering. Offering your feedback and suggestions in the comment section could facilitate meaningful dialog on this critical issue among ourselves and I encourage this. I will respond to each comment in a timely way.  Should you wish to speak privately with me, please email me at CherryeVasquez@gmail.com, and I will reply promptly.

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One thought on “Reading Struggles! Not a laughing matter!

  1. Linda Hales says:

    Another critical question and your answer was great. I especially like that home coaching method with the sand timer. Achievable goals are excellent for kids to overcome difficulties and what a wonderful way to improve self esteem.
    I look forward to your next post(s) Cherrye because it is such a great learing experience.

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