Phonics - Ideas for kids not sounding out, sight-reading

Copywork, Cursive, Dictation, Grammar, Handwriting, Letter Writing, Memory Work, Narration, Read-Alouds, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Writing (many of these topics apply to other subjects such as Bible, History, and Science)
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Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Phonics - Ideas for kids not sounding out, sight-reading

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Jul 08, 2007 12:13 pm

Mommyto2 wrote:Hello, We are semi new to homeschool this year. I decided to do Adventures with ds as 3rd grade. My question is the language arts portion that I need to purchase.

LA is very difficult for ds. He pulled high A's in math, science, art in public school but struggled to get a C in LA. His reading level is on target but in public school it didn't progress at all. It was a good thing he was ahead when he started.

He sight reads almost everything and has a crying tantrum when there is a word he has to sound out and I won't say it for him. We have been working on his phonics back down from the kindergarten level just for mastery. He is currently working in the 1st grade level and getting all the answers right but not able to apply the phonics rules when he has to sound out a word.

I'm not sure of the best "program" to purchase for him? He really struggles with writing and coming up with a complete thought. His spelling is horrible even with little words he knows. He can get an A on a spelling test and the next week not even get close on spelling one of those words in a sentence. Any suggestions?

Brenda, married to Aaron 10 years, ds age 8, dd age 5
Brenda,
I brought my ds home to school (with MFW) in 3rd grade, and he was an early sight reader. Although, my son was memorizing so he was a good speller; your son must use context clues.

Anyways, although our sons' needs might not be identical, I will just say that for 3 years we kept the basics going and finally at the end of this year (5th grade) when we were playing an alphabet game, ds said, "Mom, I know that already, we don't need to play that any more!" And I realized he's right :o)

So I would just suggest that you identify things he needs to work on and keep working on them even tho they seem "too young." We played games so he could learn the alphabet in order -- such as put index cards in order as fast as you can, or jump to the letter I call out (so he learned whether a letter was at the beginning of the alphabet or the end). We also drilled the sounds each letter makes and created a notebook of rules we learned. I'm not sure if you could use MFW K/1 materials in parts; I didn't know about them so I have no experience with them, but I know MFW always produces great stuff.

As for the other language arts materials, don't overload him. You can drop things or do things orally. Your son's language arts agenda may not look like a typical 3rd grader's, but in the end he will have a strong foundation and be able to race ahead. Isn't homeschooling wonderful -- you can tailor-make your child's education!
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

MJP
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 9:25 pm

Unread post by MJP » Sun Jul 08, 2007 7:11 pm

I bought All About Spelling, and I would deem it a phonics program in disguise as a spelling program. It containes lessons and dictation. Would something like that be helpful? It could easily be done alongside Adventures for your language. I'm sure some of the other ladies will have some great suggestions for you.
Melissa
Wife of 1 for 18 yrs. Mom of 7--ages 1-15--1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th and 9th grades & (one on the way)
Psalm 16:8
Currently using--1850 to Modern Times
Previously--MFW K , 1st, CtoG, RTR, Exp. to 1850

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:41 pm

Brenda,
I wanted to mention also that you might want to call the MFW offices and maybe they would have some suggestions.

Given what you said about his composition skills and spelling, and reading --- it is possible to use MFW 1st to help with those things? He'd probably move faster in some parts of the program, but that's ok too.

just a thought

-crystal

LSH in MS
Posts: 208
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 9:26 am

Unread post by LSH in MS » Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:45 am

I think the phonics portion and Bible Notebook of 1st grade would help with phonics, spelling, and writing.
Lori

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
MFW user for 10 years

tiffany
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:56 am

Unread post by tiffany » Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:35 pm

How about Explode the Code books in addition to the MFW program? It's a pretty fun way to reinforce those phonics. Some websites list what is in each book so you would know where to start. At his age he would probably be able to do most of it independently. If you're not familiar with the books, you can see samples online. They are inexpensive and get great reviews.
Tiffany
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877

Heidi
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:23 pm

struggling in language arts

Unread post by Heidi » Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:56 pm

Brenda,

This is a little long.

I also have a daughter who struggles with language arts: sounding out words, narrating, expression, spelling, etc. This is a girl who has excellent motor skills and is bright. She is now 7 1/2. She has done MFW-K, MFW-1/and Adventures with her older brother, this year doing ECC with brother.

Meanwhile, things in general that seem to help my daughter:

1. I use "right brain" strategies - hands on, color, music, pictures, funny stories especially for any drill work or memorization including phonics rules

2. I am training her "to see" or make "mental movies" of pretty much everything.

3. Are you a member of HSLDA? Diane Craft is consultant with them for special needs. She also has her own website. You can find her article, "How to Tell Why Your Child is Struggling". She goes through the many processing disorders and gives layperson's ways of testing your child informally. My daughter had alot of the ones under "auditory processing disorder". I did get her tested at All Children's by a speech-language specialist. She is now quarter way through her year of therapy.

4. I began the brain integration therapy program.

5. FYI - I learned about 1, 2 and 4 above from #3 above.

Other specific things that have helped:
1. We made color flashcards of all the phonics rules using the MFW-1 reading chart for review of phonics rules. (If your son has not done MFW-1 - then I would use this as his language arts. It is an excellent reading and phonics program and will include the Bible as his reader, and making a Bible notebook as his writing and composition introduction. Then do the Adventures science and history portions with the history notebook as copywork rather than more compostion work.)

2. Lots of extra readers that follow phonics rules in a sequential order (what I had on hand or were free from the library).

3. Lots of reading practice - my daughter's favorites are Dr. Seuss, and anything on horses.

4. I bought a fun phonics workbook at Wal-Mart for her to complete.

5. I read aloud a lot - myself and tapes as often as possible.

6. Her therapy helps a lot too - especially for her being able to express herself which is still difficult for her but she does not just sit there when she is stuck.


After nearly a year of the above, she is doing much better. She is no longer afraid to sound out difficult words, even if they do not come easy yet - she is doing it! When she gets stuck narrating or telling us something - I have her close her eyes and picture it - she then usually can tell us about it with much less prompting and cuing, though cues and prompts are still needed as are multiple choice suggested replies. I do not do any formal spelling with her yet - I simply have her correct her mistakes, which are numerous - so, this one is yet to be crossed. One thing at a time. I wished to work on her phonics and reading first. When she is confident and fluent with these, then we will deal with spelling.
Heidi
FL Mommy of 3 "sensational" kids
Homeschooling since Fall 2004
Child 1: Blue LLATL/MFW 1, Adventures, ECC
Chld 2: MFW-K, MFW-1+ joined Adv, ECC
Child 3: MFW-PK, MFW-K + joined ECC

TriciaMR
Posts: 1000
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Continued reading instruction?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:09 pm

carissa wrote:Hi, I was noticing today how much reading instruction I'm NOT doing with our ds, and I wondered if I'm really dropping the ball. He will be 7 in April, and reads well and quickly. He loves to read throughout the day.

I've noticed that he doesn't always take the time to thoroughly sound out long, unfamiliar, multisyllable words. Sometimes he just looks at them quickly and comes up with a slightly jumbled nonsense word--close, but wrong. For example, he read that Darth Vader's space ship was called the Executor, but he pronounced it Ex-cet-tor. Will this tendency dissipate naturally with regular reading? Or, is there some more advanced reading instruction that I should be giving him?

I vaguely remember having reading text books in upper elementary school when I was a kid. ;) If we should be continuing with some sort of formal instruction, is there a curriculum I should look into? I guess I could make him a practice list of long words to sound out each week. That said, I'm not a big fan of make-it-up-on-my-own because I'm pretty new at this. Are there curricula or workbooks for "word attack" skills? Thanks for any insights or suggestions!
Carissa,

I just get Abeka grade-level readers and Pathway readers and have my oldest read to me 15 minutes every day. During this time we work on breaking down multisyllabic words, vocabulary, etc. The Abeka readers (up through 3rd grade, I think) will list "words to watch for" at the beginning of each story. So, we write those down on a white board and make sure we can read them, how to break them down,e tc.

(BTW, nice to see another CO person on here. Are you going to the state conference in June?)

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

baileymom
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:33 pm
Location: South Carolina
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Re: Continued reading instruction?

Unread post by baileymom » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:13 pm

my beginning readers use Pathway Readers too...reading aloud 1 story a day (as I carefully look over their shoulder, making sure they are reading correctly). We have Grade 1 and Grade 2...after that, we just move to 'regular' books.
Kathi - graduated 1, homeschooling 6, preschooling 2, growing 1

mothergooseofthree
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:09 pm

Re: Continued reading instruction?

Unread post by mothergooseofthree » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:20 pm

That guessing at longer words issue will not get better with time. In my experience, it gets worse. I suggest making sure that he breaks down those words into syllables and sounds them out. A great place to find some rules for this is

www.thephonicspage.com

It is done by a hsing mom that also tutors reading challenged kids. She has lots of great info on there and would probably recommend working through Webster's Speller, which teaches how to break down words into syllables. Plus, Webster's Speller is free for downloading all over the internet.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Continued reading instruction?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:44 pm

Like MotherGoose, I am wondering if he has had strong phonics instruction... or not. My youngest was an early reader and so I (and his public school teachers) dropped the ball on teaching him phonics. Therefore, he learned by memorization, and new words were only added via more memorization (what does this say, how do you spell this...). If he hasn't had phonics, I think it's worth going back and adding phonics to his "English" instruction. I did that with my youngest when I brought him home in 3rd grade, even though he'd been reading since before kindergarten.

If he has had plenty of phonics, then he may just be doing what many good readers do -- skip through words, especially words that don't matter a whole lot, such as names. For those students, reading aloud is a very good exercise because it forces them to read differently -- the listener depends on them to read every word, and read it correctly. Often the good reader needs to slow way down when reading aloud, and that takes some effort at first.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

TriciaMR
Posts: 1000
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Continued reading instruction?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:50 am

Carissa,

Just to encourage you... I taught my dd to read with phonics (Abeka does a Noah Webster's style), and she didn't/wouldn't sound out bigger words. She would guess and guess and guess. (I would say she is mildly dyslexic.) I just kept working with her. Just *this* year (10 yo 5th grader) she came across a word while she was reading to me that was multisyllabic and she didn't know and she actually stopped and sounded it out.

It is hard to judge how much of what we read we "guess" at based on context vs. sounding out, which is why word lists are much better at diagnosing a dyslexic. (My dd could read beautifully, intonation, etc. But give her a list of words and she'd fumble through it. Or, give her "nonsense" words, like the phonics page recommended, and she couldn't do it.)

So, he might still "guess" for a long time. Just keep working with him. Keep showing him how to break it down by syllable. And eventually, they get it. Keep on keeping on...

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

carissa
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:33 pm

Re: Continued reading instruction?

Unread post by carissa » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:24 pm

Thank you ladies for your comments! Regarding phonics, we went all the way through a phonics program. There were, however, MANY lessons that we breezed through. I'd still read through the script, making sure to emphasize the phonics rule, but we didn't spend much time on the lessons he seemed to "have under his belt" already. It wasn't until around Lesson 187 (out of 231) that he started missing some words. Then when we got to words like habitually procrastinating and unacceptable cafeteria, it was like he'd finally found a frustration level. I tried to go back to those lessons and review them a few weeks later, but he'd memorized all the words. It's confusing to try and figure out just how much he's memorized and how much he's able to sound out! If he's going mostly on sight words, he sure has a lot of them. He didn't bat an eye at words like overdue, precaution, delicious, parachute, convenient, peculiar, superstitious, etc. He just read them like they were old hat.

I printed out a couple of the reading assessments from hephonicspage.ORG this morning. I casually asked him to sit down with me, and look at one list of words. I said, "Let's see how far we can get!" He happily ran through the words, then when they got more challenging, he slowed down and broke them down to sound them out. He did really well!! !? I think he must get so engrossed in his reading (when he's silently reading a book) that he doesn't want to stop long enough to put tons of effort into sounding out the unfamiliar words.

I also looked at the Rod and Staff Pathways Readers. They look really good. Some of the character lessons I noticed as I looked at their sample pages would be nice lessons to reinforce, too! :) I can't wait to browse through them more extensively at the curriculum fair in our area in March.

Great ideas!
Carissa in Michigan
Wife to Steve for 21 years.
Mom to ds Brendan (10), ds Caden (8) and dd Sydney (8).
We've done MFW-K, ADV, public school for 2 years, and now considering ECC :)

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