5 Good Resources for Struggling Readers in High School

Here are 5 good resources for struggling readers in high school.

5 Good Resources for Struggling Readers in High School

5 Good Resources for Struggling Readers in High School

God did not make all high school students alike. Some like to read. Some hate it. Some struggle with it.

Of course, the kids who like to read can blast through a reading list with Pilgrim’s Progress and Tale of Two Cities. But some high schoolers would never survive…

How can a student who struggles get through classics and the large numbers of books that a valid high school English/Language Arts credit needs?

Here are some ideas:

Start your reader at remedial level. Here’s a post to explain recording levels on the transcript. You want to start at a level that is right for YOUR teen.

Before we even start the list, remember that 7Sisters Literature Study Guides are levelable. You can adapt them to any learning ability (discussing questions out loud to develop critical thinking, comprehension and inferential skills). You can skip parts that may be too difficult (if vocabulary is too difficult, you can skip it. Use the guides to accompany audio versions of the books for better learning experiences.

High School Book List - Include Great Christian Writers
Great Christian Writers has some great books for struggling readers. Take a look at all of our guides and pick some high interest guides for your teen. Click image for more information.

1) One of my favorite series is Edcon’s Back to the Basics.

This is a series of 6 levels of readers. Each level contains about 6 workbooks. Each workbook contains a classic such as The Time Machine or Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. The cool thing is that each chapter has been condensed to one page, with read-for-information-and-comprehension illustrations and questions. At the end of each chapter are questions (some of which target inferential skills).

Start at Level 1 if you have a severely struggling reader.

2) Another terrific resource is Great Illustrated Classics series by Baronet Books.

These are hard cover books with Reader’s Digest style condensations of great books like King Arthur and War of the Worlds.

3) AGS Classics Series- Short Stories and Plays, from Pearson Education.

These are really condensed, but contain some good classics.

4) A really good idea is to listen to some audio versions unabridged classics, non-fiction and other good books. It is good for a student to listen to books above his/her reading level. (Don’t do this for all the books, but works great for a few each year.)

5) Books of the Bible- find one of the contemporary versions you like, and encourage your student to have devotions daily.

What are some of your struggling or hate-to-read students’ favorite books?

BTW- This is a non-sponsored post. We just wanted to share resources with you.

BTW, again- if you have a struggling student and would like to have some help, check out our coaching page.

5 Good Resources for Struggling Readers in High School

Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

8 Replies to “5 Good Resources for Struggling Readers in High School”

  1. We really like Saddleback Classics. They have tons of classics written at a lower reading level. They are specifically made for high school kids who struggle with reading, so they have great, high interest covers and don’t look childish.

  2. A must listen whether you and your students are voracious readers or are very reluctant readers – The Old Man and the Sea. Donald Sutherland reads this book and it is a moving, manly, SHORT listen. I remember hating this book in high school even though I was a total geek nerd who loved books. ( I read lots of the classics because I found them at home on a shelf.) But I remember thinking this book was soooo boring and saaaaaad! I am so glad I gave this a chance in audio format because now I LOVE THIS BOOK! It is beautiful and poetic and man vs. nature and man vs. himself and the symbols and themes! Did I mention I LOVE THIS BOOK and I think it is less than three hours on tape. After your student listens and loves this, have him/her read The Pearl, another short novella, and compare/contrast the two.

  3. We have used most of these suggestions. Audio books were great for my son when he was a senior. He reads slowly and he had an hour round trip to work, so he listened to a lot of books. I also read aloud to my kids, which allowed us to read books above their reading level. One of my sons comprehends the story much better when he hears the book rather than trying to read it. We also ead the Bible out loud as part of our school day. My daughter (22) listens to classics on audio while working around the house.

  4. These are great resources, Vicki! My kids really enjoyed the Great Illustrated Classics series in a couple of different ways. I read them aloud to the kids when they were very young. They worked through them independently as young readers (especially my reluctant readers, who loved it that they already knew the story, and that there was a picture on each page to help keep them focused), and then later they sometimes used them as a quick reference for a paper they were writing in high school! Yup, even without ever reading “the real book” they would understand a theme or a character well enough to use that information as an example in an essay or something, and they’d include reference to it….and then feel really smug for “knowing” the book without yet having READ the unabridged version!

    My oldest is now going on to read some of the books he never got through in high school. He is in his twenties now, and is an encourager to his younger brothers who struggle with reading. They see that we did things “out of the box” with Sam, but he turned out just fine and is now encouraging them to read in the ways that will best help them become life-long learners.

  5. Two things:
    –the books of the Bible is such an excellent suggestion! This was such a boost of confidence for my non-reader; knowing she could include these in her yearly list of requirements eased her mind, but also gave her good “food” each year in an “easy-to-swallow” format. She has come to love certain books in the Word JUST from repeatedly reading them each year, and looks forward to knocking her list down by reading them.
    –the suggestion for coaching is another good one. If I hadn’t been told it was “okay” to try some books on tape, or try some condensed versions for my non-reader, I would have thought I was a slacker mom with my her. You made me realize that there’s no slacker here, now just someone wanting to get the best reading response possible from a person who’s not too keen on it and has difficulty in the first place –learned that thanks to coaching 🙂

  6. Excellent suggestions, all! My last one is a good reader, but reads a bit slowly. The l-o-n-g classics, especially, tend to drag on. We’ve found that listening to audio books really helps.

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