Advice when kids hit a plateau in learning to read

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Advice when kids hit a plateau in learning to read

Unread post by david »

Well, Ladies, David here answering from Turkey as I am at a ministry conference on Central Asia with one of our new employees. His response to this conference (which I have now attended for the 4th time) -- My head spins, I can't keep it all straight, there is no more room in my mind for new information, too many needs etc etc etc.

Does that sound like your First Grader? As much thought as goes into a mission conference, goes into our First Grade choices. There are many factors that go into the decision to keep the pace up in First Grade.

First and Foremost, First Grade assumes that a child has been sounding our short vowel words for nearly 9 months -- That is what MFW Kindergarten teaches. By Thanksgiving nearly a year earlier, a child begins sounding out their first words. Many people, some of you possibly included, think the MFW K moves TOO SLOW. We get calls nearly daily of zealous moms who want to find shortcuts to teaching short vowels so their child can start First Grade. Our answer -- "What's the hurry? Let you child relax. Better to error on the side of too easy than too hard." You see, too easy means daily kudos and encouragement. But too hard means tears and frustration from both mom and child.

Now there are other reasons for a more rapid pace --

Children like new information and can grasp more than you think if they have had the K foundation. We do not believe in mastery before moving on. That discourages a child and holds them back unnecessarily. Should good learners be taught slowly (that is what would happen if we slowed the pace in First Grade) so that our slower students can keep up? That sounds like public school.

So what do I do if your child struggles?

Repeat the phonic portion of a lesson 2-4 times daily

Consider returning to the K curriculum for a better foundation.

Teach 3 times a week with a review day in between.

Have Dad entertain all the kids when he gets home so you can isolate the slow learner with a one-on-one uninterrupted time in the evening for a final review or possibly teaching phonics entirely at that time. (That is what we had to do with our 3rd child who seemed like he would never learn to read at age 7. He not only learned to read but is among our best with academic scholarships to a major university. He also doubled his curriculum in High School and had enough credits to graduate by age 16. He is dually enrolled in College and will enter next year with 28 or more college credits toward his major.)

You see sometimes it is patience not frustration that wins the battle.

Please exercise caution from easily being discouraged when a child is not succeeding. Don't give up but press on in a gentle way.

All of a sudden one day out of the blue children finally get it. We were probably most of the way through First Grade when our 3rd finally understood blending and all these sounds. Then next day he seemed to remember everything he earlier struggled with and became a fluent reader in a matter of weeks.

I hope this helps -- it's time for bed at 2:30 am in my part of the world

Blessings David
Last edited by david on Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Have a Great Day in OUR Father's World,

David Hazell
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Unread post by TammyB »

Mr. Hazell,

Both talking with Lucy on the phone today and reading your post have helped me tremendously in understanding the reading process as taught by MFW.

Unfortunately, I did not use your K curriculum with my son (I did not discover MFW until the end of his K year). The problem is not that he is a slow learner. The problem is that he has had an ineffective teacher who has been ignorant of the learning to read process.

Once again, I appreciate your response! Blessings to you during your conference and on your journey home,
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Unread post by kfrench »

My girls were slow to get reading. What I did was review the lessons on the second day with the games listed in the back of the book. My girls' all time favorite game STILL is when I hide the cards with words on them and they have to search and find them. "Treasure Hunt." They will search for words all day with this game. I also will take old words too and have a review day every Friday or whenever my kids start to hit a rut or get frustrated and that seems to help.

Unread post by cbollin »

TammyB wrote: The problem is that he has had an ineffective teacher

I hope that you do not really think that about yourself. You may just be frustrated that this didn't happen as easily as you had hoped. There’s no need for playing the blame game here with yourself or with anyone.

Remember when you were expecting that first child? No matter how much you study about it, watch others, listen to everyone --- you still made mistakes on diapering, feeding, getting in and out of the car seat, etc. It doesn't mean you are an ineffective parent. It doesn’t even mean that you are unprepared. You could have studied all of those things, watched a whole bunch of other moms succeed at it. But, until you are the one doing it, you don't have the practice. The same applies with teaching. You may be an inexperienced teacher, but I do not believe you are ineffective. You have taught your son many things and done so effectively.

Give yourself some grace through all of this. When I taught my oldest to read, I went out and tried to read about how to teach reading. Then, I went to my friends. Like any new teacher, I made plenty of mistakes and through trial and error --- my student and I did fine. We ran into problems. I prayed for guidance and each morning found new mercies for teaching.

I think you have the game plan that you need. Let’s review it out loud.

*You now realize you are teaching more in a “spiral” approach over a mastery approach. This will mean you can relax a bit knowing that it’s ok if your son doesn’t get it the first day. Add in some drills in the form of games.

*Remember --- your son may be more ready and motivated now than he was in the fall.

*Each morning you are going to pray for your school day with your child before you start.

*You’ll do your phonics and rest of the lessons.

*You take a break

*You’ll re-do the phonics by using games and other ideas that we’ve already shared.

*Try to implement David’s suggestion of 3 days teaching with 2 days in between for review.

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Unread post by Julie - Staff »


bdking wrote:In the curriculum on Day 12 or so there is a little tip that says that if the kids are not reading the short vowel words easily at this stage then slow down.

My dd is reading the words, but she still sounds them out. What does reading words easily mean? Thank you.
Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:59 am
Author: nehschooler2three

What we've been doing is using the games they suggest around day 17 or so that are in the appendix. Her favorite so far is I take the words from the workbook sheet for the day and write each one on a 3 x 5 card that i've cut into fourths. So I get four words on one card and then cut up, does that make sense? then we go to the living room and put one cup on one side of the room and I have the other in my lap on the other side. We use my stop watch and when I say go, she picks a word out of my cup and reads it. Then if it's right, she get to run to the other side of the room and drop it in the other cup and run back (kind of relay type race, only by herself). she does this with every word and then we stop the stopwatch. Then she does it again and tries to beat her time. In the evening she does it with daddy and tries to beat her "school" time. That has seemed to help.

I'll look forward to hearing other responses.

Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 7:56 am
Author: cbollin

General ideas: if they are still struggling to figure out each sound of each letter, they are not ready to proceed. In other words, if they have to stop and think for a long time what does that S letter say and what does that A letter say and what does that T letter say --- then they probably aren't ready to go on too quickly in 1st grade phonics.

If they are saying the individual sounds and just a little slow in blending it, then once they figure out the word have them say it again now that they now it. They will probably be ok to continue. You'll want to find more ways to continue to practice short vowel sounds. Grab some extra phonics reader from the library, or play on starfall dot com, or get some children's books that are accompanied on audio (CD or cassette) from your library --- let your child listen and "read" along to hear that fluency in out loud reading.

Don't let the fear of What IF keep you from going on in the MFW 1st grade. Your child may just surprise you. Use the games that are listed in the 1st grade manual. Play around with fun things like or get out your LeapPad and LeapFrog games. And yes, agreeing with the others, if you aren't sure how to proceed once you are there in days 18 and beyond, you can post over here and/or call the MFW office for help in all of that.

Here's an archived thread of David Hazell's in which David talks about What to do when our children hit a plateau in the 1st grade phonics

Hoping that many things in his post will help you out.
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Unread post by RachelT »

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:42 pm

We are doing 1st grade and yes, the material has picked up the pace (we did Day 36 today). I am sure that sometimes it helps to take a break from the curriculum and review, but since we can't do that all the time, sometimes we break up the workbook page. Like today, ds was getting "bouncy", moving around and I could tell I was just losing him and then I started getting frustrated, so we took a break, did some other school work and then came back to it later. It took longer than I wanted it to today, but I feel that as we do our work faithfully, it's starting to sink in.

In other words, I don't believe that our children have to master each phonics lesson to move onto the next one because there is so much to learn. But I think as we keep going over things they are making connections that are improving and over time we will be creating fluent readers - they are just not there, yet. David's comments are helpful, as well as some of the other ideas about creating more opportunities for review throughout the day.

Keep on keepin' on!

MFW 1st day 36 and having problems

Unread post by cbollin »

NakiainNC wrote:WOW, the phonics moves very fast!! My 6 year old is having a hard time keeping up. I don't know what to do. I feel like it might be too much to introduce a new sound almost every day. Any suggestions? The obvious one is to slow down, I know, but what can I do to help her? Thanks in advance for any suggestions!!
One thing to remember..... use the games in the Reading Games section of the manual. It's mentioned earlier than day 36, but doesn't have a daily reminder in the manual to remember it. Repeat the phonics lessons a bit later in the day, or evening as a quick review. I like to suggest playing online games at those games/books go well with mfw reading.

and David Hazell has a classic post on the topic of what to do when the first grade program seems to zoom at the speed of light...

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Re: MFW 1st day 36 and having problems

Unread post by baileymom »

We did just the first 26 days of the Reading part of 1st and stopped about 2 weeks ago. We are now doing all the other, art, math, music and reviewing what we've already done in reading. We did this mostly out of family necessity, but I can tell it's helping Connor to have this review and let a few things soak in a little better. We also have a lot of Scholastic Readers and the 1st grade Pathway Readers that we do daily...maybe "reading" from a "real" book will make things click a little better ??? Sometimes Connor gets bored with the worksheets, but once he realizes it's helping him to read the real thing off the bookshelf, he gets re-motivated.

BTW Crystal, thank you for the link...what a great 1st grade/phonics post. Very helpful.
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Re: MFW 1st day 36 and having problems

Unread post by Ariasarias »

I'm wondering, do you feel it's going too fast or does your 6 year old say its going too fast?
I also have a 1st grader. This is my second time with 1st grade, and my 2nd dd that I am teaching now is not as good at reading as my first.
I have also had that feeling like the phonics is flying. I've also thought of stopping and taking a break from the phonics at times.

What I have been shocked at is that my dd is retaining more than I thought.
Now she still needs lots of help some days, but she is so much more willing to try and receive the help than I had expected.
Let me say again, I can't say she's a "great" reader. I can't say she has mastered everything that has come before.

As we work each day, I can see how review has also been woven in each lesson. When my dd struggles, I try to help her look at the vowel sounds. I may have to even tell her what sound it makes. This normally helps her be able to accomplish reading the word.
When we do the sentences, sometimes it takes some time. Then I have her read the sentences over, pointing at each word as she reads, until she is able to read the whole sentence without flaw. It may take many times, but I can see how it helps us review the problem words.

Honestly, I am amazed how much she is remembering and how she is gaining confidence.
What do you think?
Nicole :)
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Re: MFW 1st day 36 and having problems

Unread post by momto6 »

Hey there!

Just agreeing with Crystal on this one. The phonics games and starfall dot com helped my ds a ton! Plus, it made phonics a bit more fun!

Also... read, read, read together! Grab lots of books from the library or your bookshelf and read...the same books over and over and over. It was a bit boring for me, but my ds would ask for the same book time and time again. When I realized he was actually watching the words as I read, I didn't mind. I would move my finger along the words sometimes too, just to let him know where I was at. Then, I would "let" him have a turn, when he was comfortable with a book.

Relax, slow down if you need to. Trust me, all of a sudden it will click and she'll be reading signs, menus, and books before you know it.

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Re: MFW 1st day 36 and having problems

Unread post by cbollin »

tag teaming with Becky on reading out loud with a child....

children's books with companion audio CD were a help when I was unable to read the same thing over and over and over as many times as my special needs child would have liked. And grabbing Reading Rainbow DVD and turning on the subtitles were a hit for her too.

She feel in love with Is This a House for Hermit Crab? via that DVD.

I can read the same things over many times, but sometimes she gets all locked in a autism thing and audio CD's helped me with the balance. I don't know if it helps with learning to read, but it helps with fluency and hearing how to read out loud when a child hears out loud reading (via real live person or those other tools)

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Re: MFW 1st day 36 and having problems

Unread post by Wendy B. »

Couple of things we've been doing in addition to the other suggestions..

I read it to him, then we read it together at the same time, then he reads it on his own.

He has a 15 min reading time at bedtime and he re-reads stories that I know he has mastered.

We review 1 phonics page on days that we read the Bible story. I pick the phonics page based on the words he needed the most help with the day before.

Each day we do 3 separate reading times.

The first is the reading lesson in MFW 1. The second is re-reading a previous story ( or easy reader) that he still needs to work on -this is when we do the I read, we read, you read . The 3rd at bedtime where he reads something that I know he has mastered.
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Re: MFW 1st day 36 and having problems

Unread post by NakiainNC »

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Nicole, she hasn't complained or showed any signs of frustration. It is me who thinks it might be too fast. She still requires a lot of help sounding out the words, but that is ok and perfectly normal. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!
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Slowing down first

Unread post by robertb10502 »

Looking for ideas on how to slow down first grade a little. We are practicing but it is getting to be to much learning new sounds this fast. Just wondering what others did when it was too fast for there child. Thanks!
cbollin wrote:while waiting for some current chime in... I'd like to invite you to read some general advice MFW's David Hazell gave on this topic
Thank you! That was very helpful.
TriciaMR wrote:I didn't do this (because I had twins, and would have had major headaches trying to keep straight who was on which sound), but I thought about...

Day 1: introduce sound. Do the page in the blue book. Try to think of other words that have that sound.
Day 2: play some of the games in the back, trying to make the new sound "come up" more often.

Then repeat day 1 and day 2 for the next sound. If you think you need more than 2 days on a sound, I would make up another worksheet with other words for him to mark.

When we had days in the Bible reader, I would read through the Bible reader before hand and write up words on the whiteboard, and show my boys where the syllable breaks were and help them sound them out.
I really like the idea of having a day to play some of those games in between learning new sounds. I think that would be very helpful for him. I was wondering what to do when we get to the Bible reader. I will have to try the whiteboard idea. Thank you for sharing it.
Joyhomeschool wrote:I did what David Hazell said in the link. When Ben struggled with a sound we stopped, did a part of the lesson, reviewed the lesson (and read, did the science portion and our Math) and then went on to the next day. In a few weeks he was caught up. I also reviewed all the sounds daily (from the chart) and that helped too. OH! I added Explode the Code workbooks for review and because he's a workbooky type kid.
He is not a workbook kid. I think I am going to try to have a game day in between new sounds for a few weeks and see if it helps. Also start reviewing through out the day a little more.
-Samantha- wife to Robert - mom to Christian, Riley, Eli and Annie.

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1st just isn't working for us :( need advise

Unread post by robertb10502 »

robertb10502 wrote:I know I was on here a few weeks ago asking how to slow first down. I have been trying that and it's still not working. Maybe I should give it more time but I really think we need to try something else...He is so frustrated and we haven't even made it to the Bible reader yet. We are only a couple days away from the Bible reader though.

Now for my question.....If you needed more phonic what did you use?? I have thought about adding something and still doing MFW 1st a day or 2 a week. Really just don't know where to turn right now. Any ideas would be great?? Thank you!
few more questions to help you figure out a good path...

What is the struggle that you are working with him to overcome?
not able to blend?
not remembering the sounds?
robertb10502 wrote:he is blending together fine but not remebering the different sounds.
where is his reading in terms of fluency with short vowel readers? how fluent is that?
robertb10502 wrote: He can read them just has to sound out still. We did K at the normal speed. He still sounds alot of short vowel sounds out. I thought he would stop doing that with time and be able to read them better. I guess I should have taken some more time between K and 1st to let him get a little better with short vowel.
without knowing any of that.... my tendencies are to suggest things like
if you're already looking at all about reading/all about spelling - what if you just got the phonogram CD for now?
something like between the lions (pbs show)
robertb10502 wrote:I have the cd, never thought about just using it.
Ill have to look in to that show and see when it is on.
are you marking the vowels in the blue workbook as you go along and modeling how to blend? then have him repeat it after you say it several times out loud for him?
robertb10502 wrote:Yes
(and of course... in addition to anything we suggest... call mfw's office too)
-Samantha- wife to Robert - mom to Christian, Riley, Eli and Annie.

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Re: 1st just isn't working for us :( need advise

Unread post by Miriam »

My daughter has also been struggling with readin this year. In October we took a break and used All About Spelling and 100 ez lessons. They really helped, we did that for a while and then started back with MFW grade 1. You might not need to do something different, but my daughter could not go on and we really needed to get back to the basics of sounding out words and build her confidence.

She is also very active, so we start the day out with an active game. I have 4 soft photo blocks, and put review words in there (24 in total). She runs to the top of the stairs, throws it down, runs down, reads the word then runs back up again, and throws it back down. She tells me this is her favorite part of the day, and she is reading 24 words.

Then we go to the table on do the phonics or bible reader. She also does not like the blue book. There are too many words on the page for her, so I write them on a white board one at the time. For dictation at the beginning we use the All About Spelling letter tiles to build the word. She is doing much better now, it did help us to have a break and then go back. She still does struggle and I have to realize that I can't expect her to master the sounds right away. She needs time to process it. Usually by the next day when we play the review game she can read the words that she was struggling with much better.
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Re: 1st just isn't working for us :( need advise

Unread post by erin.kate »

I would echo all that has been said ... the ladies have terrific suggestions. I really just wanted to encourage you more than give you advice. Last year we did MFW1, after MFWK, and my daughter really struggled with learning to read due to remembering all of the pesky sounds. We took breaks and reviewed in engaging ways, but late in the year it all just clicked for her. Just like that. I know all kids are different, but I've heard many times how kids sort of seemingly plateau and get stuck a bit and then poof, they're off and reading ... perhaps he's on the cusp. You're a really good mama to recognize his weakness and work so hard to remedy what you see as a struggle. Good luck!
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Re: 1st just isn't working for us :( need advise

Unread post by cbollin »

ditto to Miriam's post. love it!
love the idea with the color tiles and all of that. If you aren't ready to buy AAS pre made stuff.... you could use the "reading chart" in the 1st grade mfw student sheets and color those in some fashion to play similar stuff. You might still have to go get magnets, or sticky tape or something.

something interactive is great. Which of the games in the "games to practice reading words" are helpful for your child's fun style?

what about jump to the right sound game?

You write some of the words from the blue book on index cards or paper or something.
Place 5 of them on the floor in a line or circle.

Can he find the words you call out and jump on the card or pick it up and throw an arrow on it. something that he likes. Can he find the word with the sound if you say just the sound? I'd go with interactive games and not necessarily get another workbook or anything right away.

Find plenty of short vowel readers (library, starfall, something) and practice practice practice. Get some books with audio from library and let him follow along as the cd reads. or you read and move your finger along.

spend exploration day with games games games in phonics from the few days before that day.

I know the pace is fast in mfw. lots of programs have fast pace in phonograms. It's ok.

phonics lesson
read to them
let them read something to you

take a break and breathe. if you have something like Between the Lions (and it's within your family's tv ok stuff) or other similar phonics based show, it's ok to watch some of those too. It might present the information just enough in a different way that it clicks.

and of course, there's always the make sure there isn't anything physically going on - like illness, or needing glasses.

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Re: 1st just isn't working for us :( need advise

Unread post by robertb10502 »

Thank you for all the advise. We are going to take a break and read together a lot and play games. I will see how the break goes and go from there.

Postby robertb10502 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:22 pm
We have kept up with everything but phonic....I help him with the Bible reader so he can do that as well because he loved to draw and I knew the Bible note book would be fun for him.

I have not taught any new sounds. We just read together for phonics. I do plan to start it back up when he is ready but we are going to add another program that will let him work through as he is ready.... As much as I wanted this to work by its self I have to do what is better for my son.

Something I didn't put in the first post because I wanted advise without it added was my son has some delays. At his old office they were leaning toward Aspergers but we moved so had to find a new place and the are leaning to PDD. All along the same lines I know. I know that would have changed the way some of you answered but I try not to start with that. I really try to keep our lives as normal as I can. God has should me the last few weeks that I can no longer do that. I do need to slow things down for him. It has really bothered me knowing that as of right now if I start my 5 year old in K next month like I want to there is a very good possibility that he will pass his brother and I was trying to keep that from happening. I know my son is so smart he just isn't ready to read yet. I know that it will come when he is ready and not when I am ready....That doesn't make it any easier. Thank you all who tried to help me find away.
-Samantha- wife to Robert - mom to Christian, Riley, Eli and Annie.

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Julie in MN
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Re: 1st just isn't working for us :( need advise

Unread post by Julie in MN »

robertb10502 wrote:I know that would have changed the way some of you answered but I try not to start with that. I really try to keep our lives as normal as I can. God has should me the last few weeks that I can no longer do that.
((Hugs)) as you try to help your sweet young man. It does sound like he hasn't met the 1st grade readiness criteria about reading short vowel words? However, special needs situations are all so unique that I'd give a call to the office. I could link you to various discussions on the board, but I'm afraid too few of them would apply to your learner's situation. I think David Hazell is the go-to guy at the office for special needs questions. He should be a great resource as you try to work out how to teach your particular student, and think through whether MFW can be used successfully with students similar to yours, based on his experience with other families?

Prayers as you agonize over helping your ds,
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
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Re: 1st just isn't working for us :( need advise

Unread post by far above rubies »

My son has Asperger's and is dysgraphic, so reading/language is incredibly frustrating and difficult for him. He has a very willing heart, though, and really does his best. :)

As for being worried about anyone seeing your little one differently, remember that these folks DO learn differently. There's nothing wrong with that. :) Nothing at all. Even people who would be considered "typical" learn differently.

While there are days when the gears aren't turning and the wheels aren't spinning, my son's mind blows me away at times! He's so incredibly intelligent. I'm talking Einstein intelligent (isn't it thought that he also would be on the spectrum?) According to the typical "traditional" stuff, he's likely below level and my first born would be considered "advanced." But you line up my five children and measure the "smartness" of their brain, and I betcha my little guy on the spectrum would come up miles ahead regarding IQ.

But he *is* different. Once, I found him hiding under the kitchen table, crying, because he was scared of my coming to find him to read his Science page from The Complete Book of Animals. While he loves the book and the pages, he's just now starting to realize that he's different from other children and he doesn't know if it's gonna be a "good day" or a "tough day."

He's successfully completed a reading program, and is now in 2nd grade. He still struggles and I've been told that he will likely continue to do so, indefinitely. My first thought was to run through a 2nd reading program, start from scratch, but he knows it all. It's just when your brain starts flipping and reversing letters at random, it's hard.

And I throw in encouragement a LOT! He's exceptionally great in Math, and I'll often ask, "Oh my goodness! Do you realize how smart you are? I don't think I could've figured that out that quick!" And sometimes I know I couldn't! I've actually had to check the teacher's manual on some problems, just to double check because he's spouted off an answer faster than I could even figure it out.

Big hugs to you. I just wanted to throw some experience in here, just so you know you're not alone and not to fret. I understand the desire for my child not to have others "study" his behavior or look at him differently, so will not share his diagnoses. But there are times, especially in regards to language, with my little fella, when I had to learn to embrace it and realize that it is just fine to learn differently. And in some ways, having that "label," is good, because it can open up doors to other avenues.
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Re: 1st just isn't working for us :( need advise

Unread post by robertb10502 »

Julie in MN wrote:It does sound like he hasn't met the 1st grade readiness criteria about reading short vowel words?
I worried about him sounding out cvc words still but he had done K and we did not speed it I thought we would just start 1st and see what happened. I guess that wasn't the best idea on my part. I do need to call the office and see what they say. Thank you so much for that reminder.
far above rubies wrote:My son has Asperger's and is dysgraphic, so reading/language is incredibly frustrating and difficult for him. He has a very willing heart, though, and really does his best. :)

As for being worried about anyone seeing your little one differently, remember that these folks DO learn differently. There's nothing wrong with that. :) Nothing at all. Even people who would be considered "typical" learn differently.
THank you so much for sharing your experience!! It was very helpful!!
-Samantha- wife to Robert - mom to Christian, Riley, Eli and Annie.

2012 - 2013 ECC
2011 - 2012 1st and Adventures
2010 - 2011 K and 1st
2010 - 2009 K
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 10:07 pm
Location: Northern IN

MFW1 is getting harder!

Unread post by samandsawyersmom »

forHisglory wrote:As I have written before, I have previous experience with MFW1 back in 2009/10. My experience was a lot different because my oldest son, Ethan, was a "natural" learner and loved workbook stuff. Younger son Evan is not quite as quick to learn how to read and has a shorter attention span.

We've hit day 19 now. Lots of hard work!! ;) He is copying his Proverbs, but it's a tiny bit of a struggle. No worries, though. The challenge lies within the workbook and marking his long vowels. He can do the work. But it's a SLOW process. Not to be selfish, but I have a house to run too, and well, I would like the school day to go by just a tad quicker.

I have a couple of questions!! Here we go!!! Is it okay that Evan is still sounding out words at this point? For example, the word pan. He still says: p-an. Then he says the word altogether. No matter the word, he almost always sounds it out. Another question: take the word sneeze. Should I be teaching him blends like sn, sl, fl, fr, etc.? I forget if this is taught in MFW or if they are just to "naturally" learn this on their own. Last question: We are heading out on a long roadtrip in a few weeks. I figure by that time we will be somewhere around Day 40-ish. Is this a good stopping point? We will be taking at least a two week break from school. I would really dislike stopping and then he doesn't retain and of the phonics he has learned. What I am planning on doing is playing some of the suggested reading enrichment games Marie so kindly included in the MFW1 TM. Any other suggestions, commments, etc.?

Thanks so much!!!
I have a son that is 6 1/2 who is on day 106 of 1st and is still sounding out almost every word. I think it is ok cause he does know all the sounds he just likes to take his sweet time! :~ My problem is just getting him to read!!!! I have tried everything but I guess he will just get it when he gets it?!? ;) Anyway, I have had my son do the proverbs over 2 days so he doesn't get overwhelmed with the writting part. At this point he could probably do it in one day but he is used to doing it this way so. . . . Well, I am probably not much help but just thought I would chime in with my 2 cents! :-)

Looking forward to others answers!!!
Wife to my wonderful husband 8yrs
Mom to 2 wonderful sons 6yrs and 4yrs
2012 pre-school and MFW 1st
2011 K
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:31 pm

Re: MFW1 is getting harder!

Unread post by forHisglory »

This is helpful! It's good to know I am not the only one. :) That's a good idea to do the Proverbs over two days. I may give that a try if he struggles next week.

Thank you for your ideas and your experience!
Believing Christ's Love and Grace,
Shannon W.

Wife to Josh :)
Mommy to Ethan, safe with Jesus (November 29, 2002-June 5, 2010)
Mommy to Evan, 6--MFW 1st

Re: MFW1 is getting harder!

Unread post by cbollin »

have you ever read David's advice on some of this? It's one of my favorite archived threads. here...

oh, on the consonant blends (sn.. etc that you mentioned). Those are not taught as separate sounds, but as blends. different programs take different approaches on that. MFW does them as blended sounds. But stuff like, oh what are those things called... digraphs? ch/sh/th, and those thingies... those are taught as the individual sounds that they are.

play games

Yes, day 19 is a very normal "road bump" in 1st grade.

reading fluency... I'm big into audio books that accompany picture books. that way they hear it more and more. I like things like
reading eggs is new and costs some money.. It's slow in some places and costs money... I had a coupon for cheap version for the year, and am not ready to fully recommend it to others.

day 40 ish is a nice break time. I have this "theory" guess, I don't know what to call it.... but I think around 6 week mark in a program makes a natural break give or take a day...

games, and reading together... or even as old fashioned as it sounds.... sitting together with picture book or easy reader and you point to each word with your finger as you read out loud together. or shows like between the lions, or reading rainbow where they enjoy books....

it'll get there..


looking forward to hearing lots of other stuff...
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