Not on grade level

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  • Crystal

    My 13 year old 7th grader is reading at a 5th grade level, and is “at risk” for dyslexia based on a reliable online test. Her spelling is horrible.

    I have her in SCM Middle Ages, so thankfully, she can read her spine on her own. I am going to allow for more audio books while she follows along.

    What can I do to help her with her reading and spelling level?

    I would also love science recommendations, apologia is not an option for her




    At her age a couple ideas to help with reading, if she is willing:

    Choose a book for her to read aloud to you. Get two copies. She reads and you can notice issues and help correct them in the moment. Only do a couple paragraphs a day aloud. One book may last you months. The key is going to be finding a quality book at her reading level that is interesting and just enough of a challenge without being overwhelming. Honestly, I would pick a comfortable read for the first one and do that. Then nudge up the difficulty.

    Also, a spelling program like All About Spelling, could help reading and spelling. Start at level 1. Do every single thing it tells you to do, don’t skip things. She may fly through for a level or so, but hang in there and slow down.


    I’d second some spelling program designed for dyslexic students. I am using Apples and Pears from sound foundations with my son, who might be dyslexic. We tried All About Spelling and it didn’t seem to be helping, but it has helped many kids. I’d look at both, perhaps with her, and pick one.

    Also oral spelling, back and forth spelling with me, and some backwards spelling seem to help my son. We do this for a word or pattern he is struggling with.

    ETA When I was younger my mother had a friend with some dyslexic kids. If I remember correctly, she really liked friendly biology and friendly chemestry for them.


    For reading, I agree with the other poster.

    For spelling I like Sequential Spelling Adult version with older kids.

    Also, senior year I teach speed reading per a recommendation from a dyslexia book. I don’t remember the title. My son says that speed reading was extremely helpful. He has mild dyslexia.

    We also did some work with breaking down large words into syllables. We used, “Cooking your Way through the SATS” for that.  Before that we played “Rummy Roots”.


    Thanks y’all. We are back to buddy reading, and it is already helping.

    I am also going to “Dianne Craft” her words from spelling wisdom. (Write them on notecards in different colors, maybe with a picture) As well as looking at spelling rules as we go along.


    I have a 7th grader who is also dyslexic. Any Orton Gillingham based spelling program  works really well for dyslexics –  Either All About Spelling or Spell to Write and Read . We found a tutor that specializes just in dyslexia and has been very helpful.

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