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Cher, Educator-40+ yrs
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My son is in 9th grade is average in English

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My son is in 9th grade is average in English reading/writing. How can I improve his skills besides hiring a private tutor? Is there online activities that he can participate in? is there self study guides that we should consider? Money is not a major object. Please answer only if you have valuable info to share.

khadijahtriggs :

I will answer your question with some online tutoring information and other tutors that I know of.

Hello. I could help but i would first need info on the kind problem he have.

His reading is slow? He make error? Invert word? Hesitate on part of word? Does he need to read with a finger?

What about is writing? Is it also slow? What kind of errors does he make (one can't really good at writing before being good at reading as a learning feedback loop is missing).

Does he want to get better by himself or you have to fight with him over this all the time?

Answer mean EACH points i mentioned and i will give you the best advice i can.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He is not slow. He is just average in reading and writing subjects. He scores about 80% in that subject. He scores 100% in math and science.


He reads very well. However his test scores donot reflect that. He does not enjoy reading books. When he was little I used to buy workbooks from the bookstore where he reads a page and then he has a list of questions that he has to answer. I used to rip the answers that used to be in the back of the work book and see if he got them right. They donot have these books for higher levels.


He likes to get better and willing to do what it takes.

80% is very good. I think his problem is to not enjoying reading book. This may come with an attention problem (the best is to start by not reading more than 10 pages). Reading need to be fun and interesting. He need to find an interesting subject and go deep in it. The good part about reading is that you pick up many rules and vocabulary unconsciously. If he have favorite sci-fi movies that come from books they are usually a good bet as many elements not in the movie usually spur lot of interest.

Also note that test are not absolute. There is good tests and bad tests. Perhaps he also just fail them because of nervousness, try to not put too much pressure on him on that subject.

You can mount vocabulary list for him. Ask him to write a journal of some sort (not something too personal so you can read it and monitor his progress). Let some time pass and get him to correct his oldest entry. Practice make perfect.

You can get him to play typing video games (those increase reading and typing rapidity). Another important skill is the ability to formulate a complex idea ahead, or else all the text composition will look simple. Playing game that promote that skill (like chess) is a good training. Writing poetry or changing song lyrics is good training as both have fixed rules that make you choose words wisely.

If you can get him to study with a classmate that is just a notch better than him it can help a lot (not someone too much above him). That is particularly good for grammar study.
Martin, Engineer
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I was hoping to be refered to some worbook materials, internet site, not grandpa's type of advice

Hello, and welcome back to Just Answer.

I understand your concern, both as a teacher and as a parent. While being an 'average' student in English, reading, and writing is considered good, because your son is doing more than just 'passing', you are so right that he needs to improve these basic skills in order to do better on standardized tests and school exams, in the future.

From your description of his earlier work in the workbooks you used to get at the bookstore when he was younger, it sounds like his reading comprehension is not up to par and this is one of the things he will need to practice--reading for comprehension. I believe they do sell workbooks for upper grades like 9th, in parent-teacher stores and other educational stores like "ACE Educational" (if you have one in your area), which will help him practice this skill, and in major book store chains like Barnes & Noble. There are workbooks for practicing writing, as well.

These are some good online sources for practice: (also access the menu on the left-hand side)
(this is exclusive to the 'FCAT'--Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, but the skills can be used for any similar test or as a learning tool)

These are some books from Barnes & Noble that may help: (if you don't have one near you, go to and you can order online)


I would also recommend that you download or purchase some of the same worksheets or books on a 7th and/or 8th grade level, so he can practice on those first, build up his confidence, and then move on to the practice for his present 9th grade level.


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Cher, Educator-40+ yrs
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 21382
Experience: M.A., B.A., Author, Information & Research Specialist
Cher and 11 other General Specialists are ready to help you