Page Three:  An Emotionally Supportive Teacher

The child at this point should be reading text 20-30 minutes a day.  If they cannot do this by themselves, someone should sit and listen and prompt them so they make the minimum 20 minutes. What I would like parents and others to understand is that struggling readers can become competent readers, but they need a lot of practice, and often, they don’t have the optimism or fortitude to travel the difficult journey of obtaining reading mastery alone.  You will have to go with them.

And if you spent one-on-one time with them helping them master the phonograms, you’re already halfway there.  Do not let the job be half done.  As Mark Twain said, ““The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”

For how long?  I don’t know.  At some point, in my experience, perhaps 60 hours of tutorial, perhaps 100 – I worked with my own son for over 200 hours in his fourth grade year – the student will become independent.  The first thing you will notice is that they begin to accept that reading time is something they can do. They begin to know the answers to your questions without needing clues or prompts.  Then they begin to read more methodically.  Finally, they begin to do it voluntarily.  Remember the poem about Habit:

Reading, studying, putting on your shoes and brushing your teeth, all of it is habit.  We do things in a certain order and with a certain precision because we know that when they are done that way it works.  That, again, is a classical approach, turning to tried and true forms, a repetition to what has worked before.
I commend you on your teaching journey!