Reading - Ideas for resistant children

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Julie in MN
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
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Reading - Ideas for resistant children

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:37 pm

He strongly dislikes reading. Advice and questions
Mom2theteam wrote:My son is just over 7 and in MFW 1st. We are on day 65ish. He does okay reading. I wouldn't say he is doing well, but he can read the stories in the Bible reader. He does need a good bit of help, but I don't tell him the words, just give him pointers on how to sound it out or remind him of the sound letters make together. He is slow, but he does it.

When he is having a good attitude about it, he needs a lot less help. The problem is he rarely has a good attitude about it. Reading is a lot of work for him and therefore "hard." He really dislikes it. It is a struggle everyday to get it done because of his attitude. He doesn't like anything that involves reading, game or not, reading a story or one word, easy or difficult. Usually when I send him to his room, he will eventually change his attitude at least a little and we can do it.

He also has focus issues, but I think it's a discipline issue. Sometimes he focuses great and we finish everything in a very timely manner. Most times, he doesn't focus at all and something that should take 10 minutes takes 30 or more because of him drawing pictures on his page (almost always what distracts him). I've started giving him a very generous time limit and then grounding him from the TV for the rest of the day if he doesn't get it done. As long as he is actually working, if he takes longer, I won't punish him. He does care, so this is helping a little.

I'm concerned about how much he dislikes reading. He doesn't mind math. He takes plenty of breaks. It isn't the same every day. I have 6 little kids including a 6wk old. But, things are broken up.

He rarely even tries to read something that isn't school related and huffs when he asks me what something says and I tell him to read it. I feel like he should be reading better than he is, though I do see progress. If he would practice more than what is included, I know he would be better at it. But, I don't want to make him resent reading anymore than he already does. How much should I push to get him really reading at age 7? Is it normal at this stage of 1st to still need a lot of help with the words? Anyone make flash cards with the sounds. He is getting some of them better and better, but he doesn't know them all which makes him need a lot of help reading. I keep the chart next to us while he reads and show him each time hoping the visual will help it solidify in his mind.

Any advice for how to get him over this? I am hoping once he gets fluent with his reading it will be much better because he doesn't have any issues with any other part of school, just learning to read. Help. I don't want him to dislike school or reading. :~ Thanks for reading this. Sorry it's long.
Hi Heather,
My heart goes out to little boys who don't want to do school - I have one of those here, and he turned 17 today :)

My first thought is whether your ds was ready for 1st grade. I know he's 7, but was he confidently reading short vowel words for quite a few months before starting 1st? Is he only running into trouble with the more complex reading in 1st, or does it go back to the basics of sounds and blends? I guess to me, a great benefit of homeschool is teaching the child where they are at. I remember my youngest son's 2nd grade ps teacher spending many after-school hours trying to bring up all her students to 2nd grade level; during the school day, she had to teach her 2nd grade materials, even to the kids who weren't ready for them. I can say for sure that not every kid reads by 2nd grade. How much better to teach just where the student is!

But if it's just the 1st grade reading chart sounds that he's struggling with, then I think your idea for a game is perfect for little boys. Maybe there are some games in 1st grade already -- I haven't used it. But if not, I have made index cards for my son or grandson to jump to, to race to, to match, to cover on a homemade bingo page, to accumulate pennies or M&Ms, or anything else I can think of to make things fun while we are reinforcing.

As for a child who doesn't care if he's grounded, I might turn it around a different way. Not sure how this would work with a houseful of littles underfoot, but my method during K-8 was to have school hours so that both I and my child know when even our most exhausting day would end. After those hours are done, I might remind my son that he has work to finish before he plays. I'm no longer right beside him, as I have moved on in my day, but I am available to help with questions. Just like public schooled kids who get to go home at a certain point, and may or may not have homework and may or may not need parent help. Or, it's always nice if dad can supervise homework, as a change-of-pace, just like parents supervise homework for public school teachers.

I don't know if this is making sense in print, but it takes the pressure off of both of us if there is no "punishment" but instead just "need to finish that before you play (watch TV or whatever)." Of course, it sometimes takes some finagling, because you can't leave him to do lessons on his own if they require teaching, so you have to try to work it so the "left overs" are things like tracing or copying or gluing or other things he can do without (much) instruction.

And I would really try not to look at this as being doomed (which probably you are able to do most of the time) because yes, there will be things kids dislike, or take a very long time to sink in, or need to be repeated, all the way to adulthood. My son is really not liking Chemistry this year. It's a ton of math, but it's not mathy math to my mathy kid, if that makes sense. Anyways, I allow him not to like Chemistry, but I remind him that it doesn't mean that Chemistry isn't important in his life, and in all the things he enjoys in our modern world, and as simply a requirement in our homeschool. I try to look at it as part of training to do things we are asked to do. And secretly I know that once some of the hard parts sink in, he may or may not change his mind about liking it :)

And in fact, I'll just say that I'm proud of your son for pushing through with sounding out words as long as he needs. My youngest son just decided to memorize all the words (even before he started K), and that habit did not help him in the long run. I also applaud you for not just telling him what everything says (which is probably what I did when my youngest was memorizing). However, I might help him along with the first sound and add a sound until he gets at least the last part? I did that with kids I tutored, maybe hamming it up a bit, and somehow it often ended up with more smiles than just telling them to sound it out themselves.

Here are some past threads that might encourage you or give you little ideas to try:
Liking school http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3909
Grumbling http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3967
Wiggly http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1196

Best wishes as you make it through the hard days with your newborn in your lap,
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

samandsawyersmom
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Re: He stronly dislikes reading. Advice and questions

Unread post by samandsawyersmom » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:07 pm

Hello!! I totally know what you are going thru!!! My ds is now done with 1st but I decided to take this semester off to review phonics. He is just 7 at end of September so he is young for 2nd anyway. He "hated" reading but I figured out that I was also telling everyone how he hated reading. . . hum. . . I needed to stop telling my child what he was and just encourage him even tho we struggled thru the reading parts. And you know what. . . his attitude started to change when I started saying to people how much better he was getting at reading!! ;) Now this was just our journey and may not do anything for your situation but just wrote all this to say I understand!!

We also started to play the games that are in the 1st manuel and h would read at night for his dad who was a fresh face to read to and we got him a light to go on his headboard of his bed so he could stay up just a little bit later to read!! Yep, that worked and he loves it!!! He is still not happy about reading but can read for 20 or minutes on easy readers (pretty much any level 1 or easy level 2) with out fussing.

Not sure any of this helps but just all this to say. . . been there, are still there! Just keep on keeping on and he will get it! If you have major concerns call th office. . . They are great!!! They really put my mind at ease with all my questions about my reluctant reader! ;)
Wife to my wonderful husband 8yrs
Mom to 2 wonderful sons 6yrs and 4yrs
2012 pre-school and MFW 1st
2011 K

gratitude
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Re: He stronly dislikes reading. Advice and questions

Unread post by gratitude » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:03 am

I think a love for reading comes from two different places:
1. Enjoying being read to as young children and enjoying looking at picture books on their own.
2. The moment when reading really clicks and they can read without it being a struggle (this happens at a wide variety of ages for children).

So the first question that comes to mind is are you reading to him 15 minutes a day as MFW1 suggests, or even longer. Does he enjoy looking at books over your shoulder while being read to. Does he enjoy ever sitting down and looking at books, even though he can not read them yet. My oldest's love for reading I think was developed long long before he was actually able to read easily.

Age 7 year old boys:
My second is age 7 1/2 (his Birthday is late April). Due to a move I didn't get his MFW1 going until last January (1/2 way into first grade), and we took a break for summer, so he is on day 124. Around day 65 he did struggle with the MFW1 reader and needed a lot of help. He would have been just turning 7 at that point in the program. I did add in another Bible reader that was easier to get us through that period. As others have mentioned though you could add all of the games in the back of MFW1. My 7 1/2 year old boy much rather be playing. As reading is getting easier for him he is enjoying it more. He used to say he didn't like it too. He loves books though and being read to so once it launches I do think he will enjoy reading. I have doubted that at moments through this process when he was disliking it so much; but I do think he will. He still loves to sit down and look at books on his own even if he doesn't enjoy reading them yet. The enjoyment that is starting to come from actually reading them himself comes from success and the confidence that is built in that success. I did add in a slightly easier reader to help with that process, but I think this too will be different for different children. The main thing is to have your child enjoy the process. Have you tried reviewing the reader yet? It can do wonders for confidence building to go back to page 1 and read for fun. I think that would actually be my first suggestion for you. Take a few weeks and re-read the reader to the point where you are. Enjoy seeing his face light up as he can do it. If that too is a struggle find something he can read that is successful. Maybe review the stories in MFWK to see his face light up with enjoyment and that high feeling of success. Success builds the desire and confidence to do more. I am finding that the easier reading is becoming for my 7 1/2 year old the more he is enjoying it and he no longer talks about disliking it. If it helps any my oldest started to read some at age 3 on his own and his reading didn't fully come together until age 7 1/2; it is a strange process ~ learning to read. Now my oldest often has a book in his hand. It will come...

Remember too: Our state still has the old law of school begins at age 8, so we don't have to declare home schooling until age 8 even though every child in our state starts public school at age 5. Your son is still very very young and 100 years ago he wouldn't have been handed his first reader yet.

God Bless,
Carin

4monkeyz
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Re: He stronly dislikes reading. Advice and questions

Unread post by 4monkeyz » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:12 pm

I had a boy who didn't like reading! Hang in there...The advice I got at the time from my mom was to take a break or slow it down, play more games and read, read, read aloud to him. I don't know if any of that is feasible or not? My dd is using MFW 1st grade too and at one point I could tell she was getting overwhelmed so we took a week break...I kept up the other things, we did do her workbook, but I didn't push having her read on her own. Sometimes it takes a little marinating process. :)

Also, what do you have in the way of readers?? I found with my son that it greatly depended on the book - He found Dick & Jane rather girly, but enjoyed nonfiction easy readers and Cowboy Sam. Try Rookie Readers either the biographies or science. Plants that Eat was a favorite. ;) When I found out a new interest for that month or week, we flooded him with books to look at and that would peak his curiosity enough to read just a bit. We checked out from the library among many things survival guide books, how to fix tractor manuals and even car engines, he was fascinated with (still is) electricity and robots, I got Answers in Genesis Dino books through ILL that he poured over. I also kept lots of paper and pencils around, he would draw a "book" or make "sketches" for us of something cool he had seen in a book. I have boxes of his creations. :) When he found the Magic Tree house series he forced himself to really pick up the pace so he could figure them out! And now he is reading Hank the Cowdog for hours!!! I almost cried the first time he read two hours straight!! It will come!! I was right there with you a year ago - so worried that he was never going to read. Which for an English Major mama would be a huge crisis. :-) Hang in there!!

(I hope this helps it got a little long - lol)
Andrea ~ Christ-Follower, Blessed Wife, Mama of 4
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Mom2theteam
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Re: He stronly dislikes reading. Advice and questions

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:25 pm

Thanks everyone! I think I just needed some encouragement that he will get it and to keep working at it.

As for the games, he actually doesn't like the games because he has to read to play them. :~ Going back and rereading the same story only sort of works. He is able to memorize what it says very easily. He gets his ability to deduce what it is from me. :-) LOL!

The other problem we have is it takes him SO long to read. I love all my young kids, but it's a different life with 6 little kids running around. I really struggle to find the time to have him read any extra and since he doesn't want to do it, I don't push it. It's not a 10 minute thing. It's like a hour. Too long to extend his bed time. Maybe I'll start saying he can read for 10 minutes.

Julie - Thank you for your words of wisdom. He was reading the short vowel words well at the end of K. He was still sounding them out as he read them, but had no trouble sounding them out. I was encouraged that it's normal to still be sounding out the words. Plus, he is so ready in every other area. That's funny you said you when you help them you might ham it up a bit to have it end in smiles. The last couple of days, when he starts to get a bad attitude about it, I have him stop and I tell him a silly joke to get him smiling again. It's been helping. Also, I always appreciate your encouragement that they don't have to read by age 6 or 7 and that they will get it. I always need to hear the over and over. I struggle to not let the outside pressure and expectations get to me.

Carin - I really appreciate your reminder to be reading him to foster that love of reading. He does really enjoy being read to and looking at books. I openly admit it is an area that I struggle in. 1. I have a strong dislike for reading out loud, always have. It's a confidence issue. But, I'm working on it and I try to ignore it. (I do like to read, just not out loud) 2. Time and logistics. My kids are 7, 4, 4, 2.5, 2.5 and 7wks. We had been doing a much better job and I have let that slide again lately. I'm going to work on that again. I think I may also institute a silent reading time every evening. Thanks for reminding me how important this is.

Also, I called the office yesterday. I wanted to be able to describe to someone how he reads and see what they thought. She was very nice. She thought he sounded like he was making progress and doing well enough to keep going. He is making progress. She agree that I shouldn't force him to do extra if he doesn't want to because he will just resent it. So, she said to keep going since he is making progress and if he is still struggling a few months from now to call back. With a few changes (like reading to him more and more review), I'm going to do that. I'm thinking about stopping here till after Christmas and just reviewing and reading a ton. I need to pray about that and think on it over the weekend.

Thanks again everyone!!!

[Editor's Note: Read more of the story below, on 2-14-13:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 452#p93452 ]
Heather
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Ohmomjacquie
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Re: He stronly dislikes reading. Advice and questions

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:19 am

I could have written your pos 2 years ago when m dd was in first! Every day was a struggle. She literally sat at the table ALL morning one day completely refusing to read ( and we had done this every day so nothing new) It was terrible! I had so many days I was ready to throw in the towel!

We made it through and last year tried a DL program, well she didn't actually read the stuff very often that she was supposed to and now is behind. SO this year we just got books from the library. she chose what to read, we didn't use a "reader" It has completely changed her attitude! She wants to read the books for science or history etc.

She still struggles and we found hooked on phonics 2nd grade at the library. It is working wonders. She flew through the first book and has slowed considerably now bc it's more like work to her but she was SO eager at first. It has helped her sound words out. She's not aways reading like some kids but she is reading more.

Maybe see if your library has HOP? or just let him pick books to read that may spark his nterest? Hang in there are try some different things and you may find what works for him.I know how rough it is right now for you. Praying you find a solution for both your sake.
Jacquie
2012-13 Adventures
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Chelsea (9) Hunter (5) Natalie (4) & Alison July 2013
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CaseyVG
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Questions about 1st grader's reading

Unread post by CaseyVG » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:26 am

Yodergoat wrote:I'm doing First with a very bright and eager girl, she'll be 7 in March, an only (living) child and thus my first to teach to read. She has been progressing in reading but struggles with blending everything together and guessing. I've posted about her reading issues a few times in the past, and I've gone back and read those again and also looked again at all the excellent archived posts about plateaus and learning bumps and such... but I just need some fresh reassurance and some advice on a few specific issues.

She is a perfectionist, very much used to excelling in most things she tries (great at art, knows her animals well, is a whiz at science, really grasps Bible lessons, has an amazing vocabulary, etc). She is universally considered "very smart" by church workers and the teachers at our weekly co-op, and people often tell her this. Because she usually finds things easy, she gets flustered quickly if she doesn't know a word or a sound. She previously had a tendency to guess wildly, and I always encouraged her to sound everything out. (That is starting to backfire on me as now she still laboriously sounds out even the simplest CVC words.)

She remembers the phonics rules well and could easily tell you the sound each combination makes if shown on a flashcard, but when it comes to putting them together in actual words she struggles and lacks confidence. Her reading is incredibly choppy and stilted most days, and she tends to still laboriously sound out every single sound.... even for simple short vowel words. :~ Often if it is a longer word, she has forgotten the beginning sounds by the time she gets to the end. So "smile" becomes "mile" or even "aisle" and "supper" might become "purr," nevermind all those other letters she just sounded out. But other times she is fluid and easy. It seems to be either up or down, and you never know which. :~ Lately it has been more down.

I have to admit that it is hard for me to listen to her read sometimes, with her stumbling over CVC words that she once read well in K. And especially when she gets a word right, then the next sentence struggles through it again. Example from today: She was reading a reader we had about making muffins. The word "mix" had appeared four times already in the story, and she labored through it correctly the first two times, remembered it the third and fourth. Turn the page, there is the word "mix" again. She haltingly reads, "m....a.....z." I gently tell her that the word does not have an "a" or a "z" sound and to look more closely at the word and try again, she had read it already in the story. She gets flustered and guesses, "miz, mess, when (?), mast." I asked her to stop guessing and let's look at the word again. We turn back to a previous page where she read it easily. "Add six eggs and mix it up well." She reads the whole sentence, including the word "mix," again easily. We turn back to the new page with the word "mix," and she starts putting a /z/ sound in it again. I ask her to say the sound for each letter and she gets them right (as she almost always can), then says "maz." :~ I don't understand this and it is hard to stay patient. &) Then she finally gets it right and does great with the rest of the story. Some days she can just do it well, and she can even read her Bible reader with ease (slowly), while other days it is just a struggle like it was with "mix" and I have trouble not showing my aggravation and impatience. I've always been a very fast reader and listening to slow reading sets me on edge, like waiting for the proverbial "other shoe to drop." &) It's embarrassing to admit that, and I fear that it might show on my face and affect her.

So that's where she is... she finds it easy some days and it is great and we're both so happy, and other days I'm wondering if I made a mistake in thinking I could teach her to read. :( It is worsened in a weird way because she excels at her blue workbook pages and really does remember the phonics lessons. It is just putting it together that gets her. This was a girl who was totally ready for First... reading the CVC words in K with ease, although still sounding them out. And she quickly grasped the silent e rules and other new concepts introduced in First and she is absorbing them... she just has trouble getting it all out and together at times. She doesn't have a bad attitude about this, and isn't disobedient. But she does get tearful easily and leans toward the dramatic.

After our [Christmas] break I thought a fun way to get back into phonics work might be a game, so I made up some cards with a variety of words which only use phonics sounds she has learned. She "fished" with a magnetized pole for the cards which had words that were actions she would then do... stuff like "twirl" or "leap" or "shake." I was curious to see how much she had retained of the previous phonics lessons since the break, and for the most part I was pleased. So we're going along and the word on the next card is "chew." She studies the card intently for a moment. I see her lips sounding it out quietly... it seems like she is getting it. Then she says, "Tree!" She claims she knew the word and the wrong sounds just came out of her mouth, and then she adds with tear-filled eyes that reading is "... truly a struggle for me, my life's greatest difficulty and challenge." Did I mention that she is dramatic? ;)

This same child later read a word she had never seen in print before, "curtsy," on her first try with no help. And she has picked up some of what I guess you'd call sight words on her own.

I know we need to practice more and that practice will improve her speed and fluidity. I've got a nice little stack of readers here and she is actually eager and willing to do a couple each day despite that it often ends in tears and frustration for us both. So we will indeed practice. We have been playing reading games regularly, too.

And most importantly, I will work on my attitude and will be praying about that. Please pray for me that I can hear even the slowest and most stilted reading with a ready smile and compassionate heart.

But how do I address the strange guessing (tree!), the continuing laborious sounding out of CVC words and the inability to retain the first sounds in a longer word?

Please tell me that this will all just click one day. I keep thinking that it has, then the next day (or the next minute) we have a "mix" moment and I get concerned anew... or my husband hears her reading and he gives me a questioning look. I know she isn't going to be sounding out CVC words when she's twenty but I just didn't expect her to still be doing it just a few months from seven. :~ I suppose I've had high expectations of her just "getting" reading because that's what I did (at a young age four), and it is hard to watch a very bright girl who is usually "good at everything" struggle so much in this one area. I just feel like I'm failing her right now and need some advice. ;(
I don't have much advice, but I wanted to encourage you and at least let you know that you're not alone! My son is in first too, but he's younger, won't be 7 until Oct. But we frequently have "mix" moments too! I also get frustrated when he can read a word several times in a story and then suddenly not get it. He struggles with words that begin with o too. He always wants to say the w sound. And he adds letters to words, sometimes they get mixed up in his mind and the last letter comes out first. Like saying "alls" instead of "small". And he sometimes forgets the beginning of a long words too. So, you are not alone in your frustrations!!! I think that sometimes it is a matter of just not wanting to read, and sometimes he really does forget, and sometimes he will correct his mistake right away by himself. In general, I'm very proud of how good he's doing. I just try to remind him when he forgets, and I try to get in some reading games (although sometimes it's hard to get those in...) I think if they just keep plugging away at it and getting lots of practice, they'll get it!
Casey

Caleb: ECC (finished MFW Adventures, 1st & K)
Rebekah: 1st (finished K)
Joshua: 2 year old
Matthew: baby
I blogged MFW K, 1st & Adventures at http://www.simplejoycrafting.blogspot.com

Julie in MN
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Re: Questions about 1st grader's reading

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:56 am

Aw, Shawna, my heart goes out to you as you try so hard. We all should be trying that hard ;)

I was reading through and trying to think of different students I tutored, in case I came up with any similar experiences. The one thing that stands out is the chew-tree jump. I used to sit and watch the text as students read to me. Not long texts, but lots of students. It wasn't at all unusual for at least one word to be subbed along the way, or a tense to be read wrong and then the brain tried to fix the following tenses to match. But it always made us chuckle greatly when a student read a completely off-the-wall word instead of a fairly common word. My theory was that there was a brain connection between the two, a sort of "Y-intersection," and the brain took the wrong branch at the Y? Sometimes they were connected in some way other than phonics (John vs. Mark), and sometimes who knows what the connection was in their particular brain?! I remember one day when I read a sentence to my son, smoothly reading along, and then went back and corrected myself with a correct word, and my son just couldn't figure out how I could have gotten that word in there. I guess all that is to say that I wouldn't panic about the chew-tree thing :)

And I guess with the recent thread about a child possibly needing glasses makes me want to mention that there are possibilities that a child needs glasses, has dyslexia, and so on. I'm sure you're aware of her needs in those departments, though.

My last thought is just about the jump from sounding out to reading fluently. It's quite a mysterious jump, to me, even though I've watched quite a few kids in that process. I suppose it's similar to learning to drive. I was a terrible learner-to-drive. My dad this past summer laughed about how I leaned forward and watched the hood of the car instead of the road, and I said that yes! I remember deciding I needed to center the left half of the hood of the car between the lines on the road. Scared him to death LOL. I would say I was intellectually capable and personally committed to learning, but for whatever reason it took me forever to be a good driver. But in the end, I guess I did what "I" needed to do in order to create a good driver "within me" and I like to think I ended up a good driver that way? Maybe I could have done it differently, but it was the only way I knew, and the only way my dad knew to teach me, so it worked out in the end.

Casey's post really seems to confirm that kids are putting all these things in their brains, but they aren't smoothly organized yet and pop out randomly. I wonder if there's another stage of organizing all the bits that has to happen? My youngest son unfortunately learned to read by memorizing whole words, so I wanted to say that success in reading isn't all equal. His success looked great, before K had taught himself to read, could spell every word he had memorized. But we spent the rest of elementary school trying to teach the skills he had skipped over, because I felt they were important to his more long-term success in approaching new words with some background knowledge of phonics, using an alphabetical dictionary based on familiarity with the alphabet, etc.

I do think she's to be commended in that, even as a perfectionist, she's willing to do the work of sounding out and isn't jumping to memorization. Maybe memorization is inevitable in the end, I don't know - as I mentioned, the jump is mysterious to me. But she's making sure she is solid before she gives up the foundation of sounding out. Maybe that's a good sign? Maybe when she is ready to move on, she will know those sounds forever?

<Hugs>
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

MuzzaBunny
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: Questions about 1st grader's reading

Unread post by MuzzaBunny » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:10 pm

Hi Shawna,
My dd is about the same age as yours and sounds very similar in her aptitudes. She recently made the jump from sounding out to smooth reading. It was just a quick pop from "st-ooo-re", to "the man went to the store..." all in one breath. I do understand the frustration of listening to slow and stunted reading. Sometimes I sort of "half occupy" myself, maybe loading the dishwasher or dusting the kitchen or even coloring or doodling. Anything that won't take my mind off of her completely but keeps me from over focussing (pretty easy to do with our onlies). Sometimes dd still throws in a wild word that makes me laugh too. :) I think it's really just time and patience and it'll come.
Teaching something we're already adept at can be a little challenging. I sew, and it can be hard for me to teach a newbie because I forget all the tiny little muscle memory things that a newbie needs to learn but that I do without a thought. You're both doing great and I think the fluidity is only a matter of practice and confidence. :)
Many, many blessings to you and prayers for peace and joy,
Bunny
Bunny

Yodergoat
Posts: 243
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Re: Questions about 1st grader's reading

Unread post by Yodergoat » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:52 pm

Wow, thank you for the replies and reassurances so far! :) Each of them had something that really applies to our situation that I think will be very helpful for us (me).

Casey, I'm glad to know she's not alone in adding letters, forgetting beginnings, having "mix" moments, etc. Phew. It is good to not feel like you're the only one! It good to know too that I'm not the ony one who gets frustrated... sometimes I imagine that all the other homeschoolers must be these inhumanly patient mothers who never think, "Argh!" Thanks!

Julie, the driving analogy really hit home for me. I was one of those hesitant "stop-and-start" drivers, gas then brakes, gas then brakes, herky-jerkying along in this stilted unnatural fashion. It drove my parents nuts and they would say, "Just go already!" Hmmm, that sounds awfully familiar! ;) My parents tried to tell me how to get over it and just go forward, I knew I needed to just go, but I remember being scared to just go... I needed that reassurance that I could brake whenever I needed to and was afraid to commit to speed because what if I messed up?!? Hmmm. After laboring along like that for a while, I gained confidence and within a few months I could drive in a smooth and fluid way. It may be a similar thing for Gail. Thanks for that, Julie... gives me something to relate to with her since I can't relate to the inability to read smoothly.

Bunny, I'm always glad to hear the unique perspective of another parent of an only... things are different for us and we can get totally absorbed in everything that child does! I like your advice of distracting myself a bit while she reads. It would also help with an issue I didn't mention. She constantly takes her eyes off the page (sometimes at every word or every other word) to make eye contact with me, as if to confirm that the word was really correct. This of course slows her down. I think listening from several feet away would correct this, and would also keep me from sitting there staring at the word she is struggling with and cringing as she gets it wrong. I guess I would need to pre-read the passage so I'd know if what she is saying is right. This is a good idea and could only help! Good to know also that a similar age girl was having issues like this and is now reading smoothly... and that it can happen suddenly!

Thanks again everyone! I feel much better, especially after hearing her read this afternoon. She read two easy readers with sentences like:

"This pig wants to play in the mud. This pig likes to take naps in the sun. Do you like what pigs do for fun?"

They were lengthy, and one thing I can say for Gail is that she doesn't complain about length even though she reads slowly. Now, she could have read something with harder words, but I didn't want to give her anything today that would hurt her confidence since we had a difficult day yesterday. She did well, only stumbled a few times... she had trouble reading the main character's name "Mutt" and kept calling him "Matt" over and over again. As another example, the word "kiss" threw her off, she kept wanting to add an extra consonant in there to say "kicks" or "kids." But, it shows she wasn't looking at the picture for clues to help her guess, and that is a good thing! When there were words that had some of the phonics sounds from First (like "shout" and "how") she got them no problem. It's almost like to make room for new sounds, her brain has forgotten some of the simpler stuff from K and earlier First!

Edited to add that after Daddy got home, she read a book to him, the same book about the pigs. This time she read it almost flawlessly... but she does have a great memory. I don't know how much was memory and how much was familiarity and how much was confidence... but it was nice to hear it. Daddy was proud and relieved, because he has been concerned about her choppy reading. (I did tell him that she read that story earlier, but he was still relieved.) Later he was on a computer Bible program and showed her some verses so she could "really read" real Bible verses all by herself... "Jesus wept" and also "And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength." He purposely chose ones that he knew she could handle, of course. And she did read them well and easily, and he was pleased. Of course with that last one, she has memorized it in a different translation and so was very familiar with it, but she didn't add in the extra words that are in the translation she learned it in, so she was actually looking at it instead of remembering and guessing. It gave her a huge boost of confidence and made him smile.

She recently had her eyes checked, seems good right now even though my husband and I both have severe myopia (we would not be able to drive or work or function without our glasses) and I also have astigmatism and other unrelated congenital vision problems in one eye (wet macular degeneration before birth has left me legally blind in one eye). I feel like it's only a matter of time until she will need glasses too.

I have some concerns about possible dyslexia, but she doesn't seem have enough of the "markers" (or whatever one would call them). Mayhap that is a different post, for when I have more time.

Thanks again!

Postby Yodergoat » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:59 pm
I want to thank those that were so helpful in answering my previous question about my daughter's choppy reading. It was very reassuring! And, she is doing better lately. Mayhap it is because I have relaxed about it.
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

kw4blessings
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:56 pm

Re: Questions about 1st grader's reading

Unread post by kw4blessings » Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:15 am

Just wanted to chime in that I can often relate with the frustration of listening to choppy reading, mistakes, etc. and no, you're not alone!! My biggest struggle in that area is watching dd with math, especially counting coins. I often feel like we've done something so many times already, she should just GET it. But no, she forgot. I'm right there with you in learning patience. ;)

My dd makes the same reading mistakes you mention sometimes, too. Be encouraged that your dd still wants to read easy readers, etc. It's a struggle to get my girl to read anything, other than her Bible reader, which she loves and flies through....?? I'm convinced they'll all get it one day and we'll look back and go, "Oh, ok, great! Why did we worry so much?" But we all do :)
Yodergoat wrote: and then she adds with tear-filled eyes that reading is "... truly a struggle for me, my life's greatest difficulty and challenge." Did I mention that she is dramatic? ;)

This sounds like I could have been listening to my own precious dd. Sounds like they got the same "drama gene". LOL! Blessings!
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!

MuzzaBunny
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: Questions about 1st grader's reading

Unread post by MuzzaBunny » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:52 am

Yay for a better day and some encouragement! I think, too, that when our dh's worry, we take a cue from them and worry too, as well as feel a little criticized somehow. I'm glad your dh felt encouraged and I'm sure his happy approval last night was a very big confidence boost to Gail. :) It *is* easy with onlies to be way too focused. We are their momma, teacher, classmate, playmate... and it lends us to be hyper vigilant. But, I have found so many blessings from having an only that I'm content that God knew what was best for me even when I didn't. ;)
I rarely preread dd's passages. Usually I just know by the flow if a word is wrong. She does unintentionally skip a little sometimes so I have to watch for that. Less pressure and I get a little wee bit done, win win. :)
I do wish we all lived near enough to know each other in real life. I think our little ladies could be great friends. :D
Bunny

♥nbamaboyz
Posts: 27
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Struggling reader in First; excited about readers

Unread post by ♥nbamaboyz » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:39 pm

Yodergoat wrote:My daughter continues to struggle with reading at times, but has been making some progress. Lately I have been asking her to look at each word and read it silently to herself before trying to say it aloud, and that has helped immensely! So she asked if she could read whole passages to herself before reading aloud, and I of course said yes (as she had never before asked or wanted to read anything silently). She recently read a lesson from her Bible reader with great fluency after doing this, and she was so proud.

But she says she can't read without making the sounds out loud, so she still makes the sounds very quietly... along with really exaggerated lip and mouth movements. It is like watching someone talk in a movie with no volume. ;) But it has helped, both with her confidence and with my patience since I find myself squirming and losing my cool if I listen to her read aloud in a stilted way, still sounding out every single letter sometimes, even in CVC words.

She knows the phonics rules and the sounds for combinations of letters, but she says them in a strung-out fashion and has trouble getting the word to come together. Many other words she can recognize on sight and just says them, but it still surprises me when she comes to something like "man" and has to struggle through it in the same way she did in K. But then in the next word she can sound out all the proper sounds for "because" or "tonight" or "Philip" but just has trouble getting them together.

I'm waiting for this all to click someday... but as she is nearing seven years old next month and still has to sometimes laboriously sound out "man," I am getting concerned. This is despite KNOWING that each child learns at his or her own pace, that children learn at different rates, that even bright kids can struggle, that it will all fall into place one day soon, etc. I know all that, I really do... but it's hard to see her struggle and lose confidence and be so embarrassed about her reading that she doesn't want to do it in church classes and such. And I have to admit that it is hard for me to see my husband looking concerned when she makes her way choppily and haltingly through a simple reader or stumble over a word on a sign... does he think I'm failing her? I know he doesn't, but I can't help but wonder....

I have been trying to find some things that she would enjoy reading, and remembered that I had a few of the Pathway Readers and McGuffey's Readers put away in the storage shed. I fetched out the appropriate ones for her level this morning and she was intrigued and excited. "Are those the readers like Laura Ingalls used in school?" she asked about the McGuffey's. I imagine that Laura could have used these or something very like them, and told her so. This piqued Gail's interest, although she said we'd have to replace a slate and slate pencil with a dry erase board and markers. ;) She also liked the looks of the Pathway Reader for First Grade, since it featured many animal stories.

But before we begin working with these, I wanted to ask others here... if you have a struggling, very slow reader... who knows the phonics rules and says the right sounds but just can't seem to put them together fluidly... would you go the route of letting the child read several few words or the whole passage silently and then read it aloud? Is there something I'm overlooking that would make this unwise? I don't want it to be a case of "short term gain, long term loss" due to my own ignorance!
Ds had better results when I would first read the entire story to him, then he would read it back to me. It really helped build his confidence & the flow of reading, better than even flashcards. Now in ADV if it's a harder book I may read the entire book then we start over & I may read a page then he reads a page & so on. I know you may have already tried this or feel another way is better for her, but I did want to toss this idea to you. HTH

On a nature walk the other day I asked ds to spell "COW", I can't remember what he said but it was wrong LOL yet he can spell "DISAGREED" go figure right?!?!? :-) So I understand how you feel with "man" vs "tonight" & so on.

Wendy B.
Posts: 127
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Re: Struggling reader in First; excited about readers

Unread post by Wendy B. » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:29 pm

Pathway readers helped improved fluency with my struggling reader. All three of my older children read through several levels of Pathway. They just really liked the storyline.

The stories build on each other, and the book as a list of new words for each story. I had my child first read the new words before reading the story. My struggling reader needed to take it a step further. I would rewrite the word and this child would then dissect the word using the MFW 1 Reading Chart.

The only problem I foresee with the reading it silently approach is dealing with the times that she sounds it out wrong.
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.

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

Re: Struggling reader in First; excited about readers

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:50 pm

Aw Shawna, {Hugs}...

Having used Abeka for my oldest (who turns out to be dyslexic), I remember sometime in 1st grade Abeka does start having the kids read the passages to themselves and then read them aloud. My dd did a little better with that.

If you ask "professional" readers, they will always read through something first (several times!) before reading it aloud. (And even I stumble occasionally when reading aloud to my kids. Reading aloud on the fly is a different skill than just reading to yourself. It really is, but it is one of the only ways to see how well your kiddo is reading, unless you read everything they read, too, and have them narrate. Which, with 3 kids, I can't read everything they read.)

Some things I've learned... My dyslexic kids have trouble with words in a list, but reading in context is much easier for them. My guess is that when she reads "tonight" or "because" correctly, part of that is the words make sense in context, but "man" may not. Our brains are really adept at figuring out what words should go in places. My dd was especially like this. She would read two and three syllable words fine, but have trouble with left/felt, saw/was, on/no, when/then. (To give you hope, when I tested my dd in 5th grade (two years ago), she tested reading comprehension at 11th grade level, and she is averaging a B in Apologia's General Science :) .) Her reading was choppy and slow through 3rd grade (which is when we started All About Spelling and I saw huge gains in her reading). I didn't understand how it could be so hard for her when I had been reading by 4. She loves reading and doesn't mind reading out loud now.

One thing that helped my dyslexic son (who is 8.5 now, and just moved out of our 2nd grade readers and into our 3rd grade readers this week - he's suppose to be a 3rd grader) when he was in 1st grade was I would read through the Bible reader ahead of time and write any words I thought he might have trouble with on the board, and then I would help break them down by syllable and have him sound them out. (He struggles more with compound words and multi-syllable words than smaller words.) He still skips a few words when he reads, but he is slowly starting to recognize when he does it and is going back and re-reading sentences. I also found for him, a clear-yellow strip to put over the words helps his reading a whole lot! (Our local teacher supply store had blue, green, pink and yellow. We tried the thin strips first, that only showed one line and figured out which helped the best, and then we got the larger one in the right color that show several lines at once.) Somehow the contrast of the yellow and black text helps him. (For my dd, it was the pink strip that helped her.)

If she is asking to read story first, and then read it to you, I would say let her. Say, "If you want to ask me about any words, I'm here to help. Let me know when you're ready."

As she develops a reading "voice" in her head (don't you hear a voice in your head while you read?), she will stop sounding stuff out quietly like she is. Really.

-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

Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Struggling reader in First; excited about readers

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:47 pm

My only suggestion is to have her read aloud to someone else. As in, the dog or cat. Or her stuffed animals. Someone that doesn't talk back. Getting those "old timey" readers where she can pretend to be the one-room schoolhouse teacher just might be the ticket.

Reading and reading aloud are two different skills. Working on them both at the same time is hard. It might help if you read a story to her and then left her alone to read it to the animals. That really helped my dd concentrate on reading and speaking clearly at that age.

Just a thought.
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

4monkeyz
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Re: Struggling reader in First; excited about readers

Unread post by 4monkeyz » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:00 am

Hi! I'm not sure if this will be helpful but I am using the Victory Drill with my first grader. She lacks confidence despite being able to read well! And it is the same thing, she could read a big word but struggle with something small and "simple." I am not timing her, but working more on fluency. Depending on the day, her mood, she might read one column or the entire page. They have it broken down by phonetic rules and then it builds. We are still working through MFW 1st grade and playing games. All of which she adores. I also have her read simple things like an early BOB reader, just so she knows that she can do it. She wants to read heavier books, but I remind her "Rome wasn't built in a day." heehee. My third grader was the same way, he could read a huge word but trip up over "the" or "man" - it would drive me nuts!!! :~ I had him work with the Victory Drill, but with an occasional timing, and I kept having him read out loud and privately. Give it time, my dh often reminds me how worried I was about our ds, the sleepless nights, the agonizing, and now he devours books! :) (((hugs)))
Andrea ~ Christ-Follower, Blessed Wife, Mama of 4
  • Adventures & First 2012
    ECC & K 2013
    CtG, First & K 2014
    RtR & First 2015
    American History detour
    Returning CtG 2019!

Mom2theteam
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Re: Struggling reader in First; excited about readers

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:13 pm

Shawna, I want to come back and encourage you, but I can't get to it right now. We are closing on a house tomorrow. I read this last night and have been thinking of you since.

Let me just say, that my struggling reader who sounds exactly like your daughter is finally having it click. He is 7 years 3 months. It is amazing to watch!
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

Yodergoat
Posts: 243
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Re: Struggling reader in First; excited about readers

Unread post by Yodergoat » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:35 am

Thanks, everyone, for the helpful replies and encouragement. I'm going to try some of these suggestions.

It seems like every month or so I sort of freak out about her reading! 8| I have a perfectionist only child, being taught by a nervous mom who didn't learn to read by phonics!

Yesterday she did splendidly with the lesson from her Bible Reader, after reading it silently to herself. She even read it with nice pauses and inflection. My husband was blown away when she read it to him that night, especially when I told him that she had read it just as fluidly to me.

I'm feeling better today. I have to really watch myself so that I don't let any tension I feel become a stumbling block for her.
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

asheslawson
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Contact:

Re: Struggling reader in First; excited about readers

Unread post by asheslawson » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:19 am

Just wanted to say - my dd struggled so much with reading. She was just so much slower than my boys and I struggled with frustration in two ways. One, trying not to be impatient...and two, trying not to let her sense my frustration. I used MFW k & MFW 1st and it really paid off. She's reading so much better now - she's in 2nd grade now & doing RTR with her brother & I am amazed at the difference in her reading now from a year ago. I like the idea of letting her work through it silently - that's what my dd does and it seems to help her - and sometimes I still see her 'mouth' the sounds silently too.

I didn't make her read longer than about 10 minutes at a time to keep her from getting frustrated and I did the same thing you did, I enlisted dad to listen in to her reading sometimes. I needed a break after a long day of schooling and I told him her homework was to read aloud to a parent for 10 min's & since I'd done the full day - I needed him to help at night. I also let her illustrate things she wrote and we glue them in her art journal. This gave her a sense of satisfaction in the written word as she liked knowing she could preserve her thoughts on what she'd drawn so she didn't forget. Don't know if any of that will help but those are some things I did.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD
http://texashomeschooler.blogspot.com/

Yodergoat
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:14 pm

So happy with reading improvement in First!

Unread post by Yodergoat » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:46 pm

I've posted many times on here about my hesitant, struggling reader in First. Ya'll have given great advice and encouragement.

I'm happy to report that there has been great improvement! Even at this very moment my little girl is looking ahead in her Bible Reader with great excitement, exclaiming about the future accounts she will be reading. She never showed interest in that before... she liked her Bible Reader but was not excited about it, and she always seemed overwhelmed by it. Now she is actually looking forward to finishing it. :)

A few minutes ago she read two stories from her Bible Reader to her Daddy, relatively smoothly and with confidence. This is the same girl who just a month ago was tearful, choppy, stilted, hesitant and completely without confidence. The words just rolled out with clarity and expression and very few stumbles. Her Daddy was very pleased (and relieved). It was a total joy to see the transformation in this girl! She is so willing to do school, so uncomplaining, so eager, so bright and clever in everything else she does... but has struggled in this one area since the very beginning. It had been heart-rending to watch as she lost confidence day by day, especially as she noticed her church friends were reading at a higher level (although I have noticed that they seem to only be able to read familiar words and are totally stumped by anything unusual, such as when one girl who is universally acknowledged as a "strong" second grade reader came to the word "wept" in a Bible verse and couldn't even begin to sound it out).

But something seems to have clicked, and now she wants to read. She has been paying more attention to signs and such as well, something she has not done for many months because she would just say with a sigh, "I can't read it anyway... it doesn't matter." Now she's attempting to read them instead of just shrugging and dismissing them as "too hard." It's nice to see!

Another thing which brings me delight is how much she knows about the Bible. As she looked through her Bible Reader to future accounts she would make comments about each one that showed she was already familiar with them. I grew up in a moral, but unchurched home... born to parents who said they accepted Christ as adolescents but who did not have a desire at that point in their life to attend church or discuss the things of God. I knew only the most vague things about the Bible, about Jesus... I had no exposure to it. It was only in my teens that I learned anything about the Bible, and only in adulthood that I have grasped the whole scope of it. Because of this, I always get a sinking feeling when a preacher says, "You all know this story..." and I want to say, "No! There is probably someone here who doesn't know it and you've just made them feel about this big!" My husband grew up in a "churched" home but had very little discipling in his family's denomination, and aside from the influence of his mother had no real Bible training at home.

I'm so glad to see my daughter learning these things at an early age, so she can get the "why" of it. I'm so thankful to have a curriculum that reinforces the things she is learning at church and what we've taught through daily discussion. Everything in MFW hinges on the Bible, and I love it! That's really more important than the reading! ;)

Just wanted to express my joy and thanks.
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

GLPerky
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:56 am

Re: So happy with reading improvement in First!

Unread post by GLPerky » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:16 pm

This is so exciting. Thank you for sharing!

And I can so relate to what you wrote here, I could have written it word for word.
Yodergoat wrote:I grew up in a moral, but unchurched home... born to parents who said they accepted Christ as adolescents but who did not have a desire at that point in their life to attend church or discuss the things of God. I knew only the most vague things about the Bible, about Jesus... I had no exposure to it. It was only in my teens that I learned anything about the Bible, and only in adulthood that I have grasped the whole scope of it. Because of this, I always get a sinking feeling when a preacher says, "You all know this story..." and I want to say, "No! There is probably someone here who doesn't know it and you've just made them feel about this big!"
My DH is a pastor and I always want to tell him not to say, "You all know this story..."

I am thankful that your daughter is growing up in a Christian home and learning to read the Bible.

MelissaB
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: So happy with reading improvement in First!

Unread post by MelissaB » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:46 am

Congratulations! Yay for Gail! :) I'm smiling as I read about your "reading journey." With both of our girls, I worried until they were reading. I remember the huge celebrations when each of them read their first book, and the joy the first time they wanted to read.

And I can relate to what you said about church. I was 10 when I began going to church full-time. I remember the sweet teachers calling on me to answer the "easy" questions ... and there were so many times I didn't know the answer.&) What a blessing our children can grow up learning not only who built the ark, but memorizing scripture and loving God's Word. Thanks for that reminder. (!)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

First Grade Phonics

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:59 pm

bethinga wrote:Hi- We are in week 10 of Learning God's Story First Grade curriculum. Every single day, the phonics lesson is miserable. I don't know what to do. My son reads very well, and writes neatly. I tell him these are for spelling and for continued writing practice, so as not to insult him, since he can read these words very easily. But, everyday, he is grumpy during this short page, and it really puts a damper on our whole day, because of the effort it takes to get him through it. He enjoys everything else.

I wrote a lot here about it in the first few weeks, so I'll spare you the details of all I've tried. Nothing is making it better. When I ask why he doesn't like it, he says it's just boring. Any advice? I feel like a failure because I can't make my son enjoy this curriculum. In a nutshell, that is how I'm feeling.
Aw, <hugs> for feeling badly. I have my days like that, even with a 12th grader.

I know some people have suggested just skipping some sections that he already knows. That might not be the first choice, but it can still be an option.

Is it possible to separate out the language arts part of his day and deal with that apart from the rest of his day? Then during Language Arts, you can either admit that you're heading into his least favorite part of the day and you need to prep by prayer and maybe some warm-up exercises... or, you can discuss options for that part of the day (skip sections, do sections on marker board, he creates alternative activities for the same skills, do at night with dad, do first, do last, etc). But at least it wouldn't feel like the "whole day" to either of you?

I will say that my ds has been homeschooled 3rd to 12th grade and he usually had a part of the day he didn't like. When he was in public school, he had a lot of parts of the day he didn't like, so he just threw anything onto the page (sometimes really, really ridiculous stuff) and he got to goof off the rest of the class period. Just so you know you're not alone.

Glad you're reaching out,
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

MelissaB
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: First Grade Phonics

Unread post by MelissaB » Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:02 pm

When we have this issue, we go through 3 Questions:

1.) Is this a character issue? If so, that is top priority over the next few months. If it isn't character, we move to #2/3.

2.) Is this child bored b/c he/she isn't being challenged? If so, we come up with a more advanced version.

3.) Is the child struggling and feeling overwhelmed? If so, we break it down and simplify the lesson.

HTH! :)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

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