As kids head back to school this fall, statistics show that roughly 40 percent of them will struggle with their reading.  And reading problems don't just affect one subject grade, they affect every avenue of a child's learning.  A child who was problems with reading will also struggle with science, history, social studies, and even math. So it's incredibly important to nip reading problems in the bud as early as possible.  Here's how you can make sure your child gets on a path to successful reading.

Look for signs.  The first step in helping kids with reading difficulties is actually noticing that there is a problem. That means paying attention to the homework and papers that come home from school, reading to your child at home, and most importantly, letting him read to you.  

Identify the problem.  There are several reasons why a child might struggle with reading.  Does she need help building her vocabulary?  Is she having a hard time sounding words out?  Can she actually see the words on the page correctly?  Identify the source of her struggles and you are well on the way to helping her overcome that obstacle.

Advocate. It's always a good idea to stay in close contact with your child's teacher.  But it's even more important when he is struggling in a subject - particularly reading.  According to the website Reading Rockets, 44 percent of parents wait a year or more before seeking help for a child who is struggling with reading.  But the sooner you can get your child access to reading help, the better.  Don't wait until next year or even until the next grading cycle.  If you see a problem, ask your child's teachers and school administrators for help.

Encourage. For kids who struggle with reading, the last thing they want to do when they get home from school is read a book.  But the best way to get better at anything is to practice, practice, practice.  Keep reading fun and engaging by selecting books and magazines with characters that she loves or those that focus on her favorite topics.  Keep the reading level light and easy to minimize the struggle.  The key here is to encourage a love of reading.  A child who is bitten by the book bug will be that much more likely to do whatever it takes to overcome her reading obstacles and become a better reader.

Want more info on reading and school?  Check out these posts:

How to help a struggling reader
Nip reading problems in the bud by identifying them early and getting the right help.