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My firstborn son is 7. I’ve mostly done the CM style of reading instruction with him. He is currently reading through the Treadwell 2nd reader with me for our “reading lessons”. He likes the stories so this is not a chore. He still needs help, though, and I focus on one or two phonograms a week for review. Because he is my firstborn, I am feeling very insecure. He still does not pick up books very often to read for his own enjoyment. We have Frog and Toad, Billy and Blaze….all the recommended ones. He doesn’t seem to have the confidence yet and he wants to read stories that are above his level. What is normal at this stage? Should I be focusing more on phonics? I don’t want to rely on curriculum and I don’t think that’s the right approach for him (intensive phonics). Interesting stories are what motivate him. Please share your experiences as to what helped you at this stage. I just want to have realistic expectations. So many people talk about reading “clicking” for their child. What does that mean? Yes, he’s reading, but he certainly hasn’t taken off into chapter books. Just wondering how long each of these stages last (yes, I know every child is different….).sarah2106Participant
Every child is so different when it come to reading! Some are reading chapter books at 5 and others are 10 (or even older). It is also hard because that is the one area that there seems to be so much pressure to achieve early.
For my three children reading did not be come easier until 9. They could read, but it was still challenging and not fun until 9 or just after.
I often read their simple books to them, as well as longer chapter books. I think they saw me reading longer books so thought they had to too, which thry were not ready for and led to frustrations, but when they started seeing me read the simple books they wanted to pick those up to read.
Some kids love to read for pleasure, others not as much (same with adults). I would continue reading to him, encourage him to read, but don’t worry if he is not reaching for books yet. Until reading gets easier, it is hard work and not as much fun yet.Wings2flyParticipant
As long as he practices consistently and makes progress, he is doing fine. My son started reading nonfiction science and history books with lots of pictures at age 7 or 8. That is still his reading preference. He has never cared much for fiction.
You could add Explode the Code. We worked through two pages per day quickly and mostly independently. This was my children’s favorite “subject”. Not intensive at all. It works by word families and has simple black and white illustrations which can be colored.
You can reinforce reading lessons by pulling copywork from the reader that day.
Reading lessons should have 3-5 new words. Read alouds should be above his reading level. Choose free time and bedtime readers that are at or below his level to build fluency and confidence. However, at the time, my son did sneak in some reading ahead on our bedtime read aloud of Beatrix Potter stories and the older Raggedy Ann and Andy stories. If the interest is there, they are much more motivated to read it, no matter the reading level.
Some free time readers my children liked were Nate the Great, Cam Jansen, Step Into Reading or Ready to Read nonfiction history and science leveled readers, and later they liked reading the Happy Hollisters series and the Boxcar Children series (only the first 19 are by the original author).Wings2flyParticipant
Are your readers (Frog and Toad, etc.) new to him? If he has heard them before, they may not be interesting enough to read through now. You could try new titles by those authors (or similar) to see if that helps.CrystalNParticipant
My 10 year old LOVED the Little Bear series when he was learning to read. The library usually has them all. I have 3 children and they all were able to read by 6 or 7 but none of them really read for fun until 10ish. My 16 year old still doesnt…. I have read that some children need time for their vision to develop well enough to make reading comfortable. Especially when transitioning to the smaller print of chapter books. Apparently the typically age for full focus and tracking is about 10. Some earlier, some later of course. I would continue with phonics and reading for practice, but read aloud to him those books that are still a bit too hard. He may just need time for his eyes to catch up to his brain.maltajoyParticipant
I really appreciate these responses. He probably isn’t interested in the Frog and Toad readers because he’s heard them before, as mentioned. He does like Little Bear so maybe I’ll try harder in choosing some on his level to pique his interest. He LOVES read alouds so I do believe he’ll enjoy reading eventually, but for now it’s just hard work. It’s hard not to be insecure and patient when you’re homeschooling your first. I feel like everyone measures success by those obvious indicators like reading ability, but I can’t let that bother me. He really does enjoy school and that’s what’s important to me. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
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