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