Topic | Reading Advice

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  • I’m not sure if I’ve posted this in the right section – please move it if I haven’t 🙂

    Apologies, this is long too!

    I’m really struggling with my daughter’s reading. She is in grade 2 and is so behind. Our school system here (UK) starts at 4 yo. Children attend school full time from day one and are forced to read whether they are ready to or not. My daughter spent two years at public school until I began homeschooling her at the beginning of last year (equivalent to beginning of grade 1). My daughter is a summer baby so was barely 4 when she started full time school. She really struggled with the way she was taught to read. They used a system called jolly phonics and my daughter really couldn’t get the hang of it. For example for the letter “z” the teacher would hold up a picture of a bee and talk about a bee going from flower to flower making a “zzzzzzzz’ing” sound. This threw my daughter and whenever she saw a z she would say b because she had associated the letter with a bee. There were quite a few letters like this where the picture the teacher held up was not associated to the letter. I think Grace got SO confused!

    When I took her out of school her confidence with reading was at rock bottom, she would cry whenever I brought a book to read and scream that she was stupid and couldn’t do it. I spent most of grade 1 just building her confidence up. She is definitely more of a sight word person than a phonetic person! I’ve tried many things with her such as matching words together, putting words into a sentence, putting nursery rhyme words in order etc. At the time she seems to “click” but easily forgets again. What really got her off the ground with reading was the plain old fashioned Dick and Jane stories. It’s been wonderful watching her glow with pride as she’s read each story. She has now read all of these.

    I just feel like we’re stuck again though, now she knows simple words I’m finding it hard getting her to read slightly harder ones and she gets frustrated. I don’t think she has dyslexia as when she tries spelling words she does so in a logical way, even if it isn’t right. For example she wrote truck on Friday and spelled it truk. I’ve been using Explode the Code books with her and she has been sounding and spelling out words great with it.

    I’m concerned as we go into grade three as a lot of stuff I’m having to read out for her, especially in language arts, so that she can answer questions etc.

    Does any one have any advice as to how I can help push her along a bit further or am I just panicking and should leave her as all will click in the end?

    Thanks if you’ve made it this far!

    Lyn

    missceegee
    Participant

    Dear Lyn,

    I’m so sorry to hear of your daughter’s struggle. I know it can be disheartening to have something wonderful like reading become a dreaded activity for a child.

    I will admit up front to being a total phonics fan, but not the way that it is usually taught & certainly not the confusing way that your daughter was taught. English is phonetically correct over 90% of the time, but the problem is that most people do not know the spelling rules that can help with reading. I, too, did not know them until I began learning to teach my kids; I was a natural speller and reader.

    I have 3 suggestions. …

    First, don’t be afraid to give her the gift of time by repeating something that she doesn’t know. You can do this without making her feel like a failure. My 8 yo 2nd grader is repeating 1st grade math, because she simply wasn’t ready to move on.

    Second, I suggest you look at All About Spelling. It is by far the easiest way to implement a thorough (non-confusing) phonics program. It focuses on spelling, but there are readers designed to go with the program that are very sweet. This program is good on so many levels. I am about to begin in with my 5 yo. He’s learning the phonograms (a says a, as in cat; a as in mate, ah as in grandma). You learn all of the sounds of a phonogram w/o pictures. Next comes simple spelling which reinforces reading. I actually teach to spell and they learn reading from that. Find out more at http://www.all-about-spelling.com. I wouldn’t give up on phonics, totally. It’s such a useful tool when it’s properly taught. One lesson centers around when to use c or ck or k to spell the /k/ sound like in your example.

    Third, we love Pathway readers. They have sweet stories and build from short to long.

    I am sure you will get many other replies from the moms on this helpful board, too. May the Lord guide you in your decision making.

    Many blessings, Christie

    Christie, thank you so much for your advice.

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