Reading - Older child who still needs work on reading

My Father's World uses a Book Basket method to develop a love of learning and enrich all subjects; Independent Reading Time has different goals and methods but there is overlap in book lists and helpful hints
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Reading - Older child who still needs work on reading

Unread post by kellybell »

GoodCat wrote:I have a 11dd who is struggling with reading. I just tested her (for the state), and although she is in the 50% in reading, she actually got a little worse than when I tested her in 3rd grade.

I've never had her tested for ADD or learning disabilities, but she does struggle so. It upsets her that she tries so hard and still has so much trouble. She just can't read smoothly so she doesn't comprehend what she is reading. This affects her language and writing also.

So I guess my question is, "What can I do to help her?" Should I go back to square one with phonics, etc.? Or is there a certain work book or something? Maybe flashcards? Or just reading with her more? It just makes me sooooo very sad to see her soooo sad. Any input would been very welcome.
Oh Cathy, I wish I had an answer but I don't. She sounds a lot like me as a girl that age. I remember reading things and just "not getting it." Especially when it came to boring things (at least boring-to-me things). Still today, sometimes I'll read something and "not get it" like I should and have to re-read it before the light comes on for me. For me it is an attention thing. I am a little ADHD just like two of my dc.

Here are some ideas (in no certain order as I am brainstorming here), but keep in mind that it's the blind leading the blind!

1. Have her read things using books on tape. The library has quite a few. My girls love the new Playaways that the library has now. Have her pick a fun book and get the audio version of the same book and she can read it as she listens to it. Maybe this would help with the comprehension. If nothing else, you could see if this makes things easier or not, giving you some more clues to what does and doesn't help. If you find it helps, then try to budget some money for purchasing CD's of text books. Soon, she'll be doing Apologia General Science with all of its reading! That's available on CD (the text being read aloud) and to ease her reading burden would be a blessing.

2. If you think it's an attention thing, see if there are certain situations where reading is easier. When she is rested? Well fed? After running around the backyard? Sitting alone in a boring room? Background music (sometimes a little noise helps "organize" me).

3. Have her SING a paragraph or sentence. Does this make it easier or harder? How about reading a paragraph slowly to a metronome (a music beat "ticker"). Would that make it easier to get fluency? Does she read and comprehend better when things are heard or silent? Some kids read better outloud and others read better silently.

3. If you are comfortable with the school district (I don't know if I am) turn to them and see if they can help. Don't like the district? How about Sylvan or LearningRx. Pricey but perhaps just a few visits would point you toward the issue (and its solution). Similarly the HOME group here locally has ladies that have been through this sort of thing ... I think.

4. I remember seeing ages ago (before kids) a story where some struggling readers did much better when covering their black and white pages with colored but clear acetate sheets. Some kids did great with yellow, others with green, etc. Maybe a web search would help. These kids just had some issues and did much better when they had a different color (than white) background. Interesting. The reason I thought of this is that you mentioned that she read better in third grade than now. What is one big difference between then and now? Font size. The pages in third grade typically have lots of white space and big fonts. The older you get, the more ink on the page and the smaller the font. Also, some kids do better with a reading window which is a piece of paper with a slot cut out of it. The reader positions the slot over the line being read, blocking out the lines below and above. This helps visual focus. You could make one yourself and see if it helps. You know, has she had her eyes checked lately? We go to Dr. Guhl but there's a doctor that a friend of mine goes to that does vision therapy (and diagnosis). You might want to rule out vision issues. I believe but am not sure that he is on VanTeylingen Drive. I don't know his name... He's done wonders for my friend's son. I can link you up with my friend Sue if that helps.

5. Are you going to CHEC in a few weeks? We like Dianne Craft who speaks there every year and has a booth. She works with kids (a lot of them homeschoolers) that have learning problems. Often she describes them as very bright but with a difficulty holding them back. She deals with problems like this. You could check her website (I believe it's and you could try to get an appointment with her. I think she is in Littleton, but she's somewhere near Denver. The waiting list is long because she works with folks all across the nation, but she also does phone consultations with a shorter waiting list. If you go to CHEC, visit her at her booth. If she's not got a lot of people there waiting to talk to her, she will spend a few minutes with you. She's a delightful lady. And, I think there are some other similar people at CHEC willing to help out.

6. As for school, read to her as much as you can and see if you can find what a comfortable reading level is for her. I am guessing that she does fine with basic early readers but struggles with things that are at "grade level." Look for that level beneath grade level that would give her confidence and see what that is. You need to keep her reading without frustrating her. It's fine if she reads a 3rd grade level book instead of a 6th grade level one!

Praying for you and this situation. Sorry for the long reply.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
six meadows
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Unread post by six meadows »


Oooh, I know about the reading struggles of a child. It does make me sad as well, especially when they want to read so badly. I have a 9 almost 10 year ds that is dyslexic. I tried about 5 or six different phonics programs before I started doing some other research.

For us we have used some programs that are not very expensive and we have our son read out loud every day. I started with the McGuffey readers and had him read the same story 3 days in a row until he was pretty comfortable with it. Since we have read out loud, I have seen some good improvements.

Reading Rewards is another good program we used that has helped breakdown more difficult words into manageable chunks. These things are not for just dyslexic kids.

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Unread post by GoodCat »

Thank you Kelly and Cheri,

Thanks for all the suggestions. I don't really think it an attention thing. She really tries to pay attention. When I talked to her, I told her its like she doesn't understand the "traffic signals of reading." She pauses when she shouldn't and doesn't really understand when to take a breath, etc. She said that when the sentences get really long, she gets nervous. It sounded to me like if you were driving down the street with your foot on the brake because you didn't know what was coming (like a stop sign or yield or light).

So that being said, I really liked the suggestion about books on tape. That way she can hear what it sounds like to read smoothly. I do read out loud to them, but only about 20min. a day.

I also thought about the McGuffey readers (I have the whole set). I thought I could start at the beginning and work through them until she felt comfortable. When it got too hard for her we could stop and work on that part.

I will also try some of the other ideas too. She likes to sing, so that might help. I also like the idea of the different color paper. I don't know why, it just sounds like something that might work for her. I did have her eyes checked, but her eyes were fine. I thought I could read a book with her. I'll read one paragraph and she can read one.

I guess I won't know what will work until I try different things and you've all given me lots to try :)
Wife to Sean, a wonderful man for 13 yrs., mother to 6 beautiful children- 12dd, 11ds, 9ds, 7dd, 5dd, 2dd.
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Unread post by kellybell »

Hi Cathy,

I'm posting here for the benefit of lurkers dealing with the same stuff.

If the "road signs" are difficult, could you have her read things with the "road signs" highlighted? Of course you couldn't do this easily with library books, but with books at home perhaps you can do this (or use a copier and highlight the copied pages). Perhaps give her a page and a set of highlighters and let her find the "stop signs" and such. Perhaps highlight end marks (. ! ?) with pink (like a red light), and slow down marks (, ; --) with a yellow marker. Sentence beginnings could be highlighted in green for go! You check her highlighting and if the highlighting is right, have her read it, perhaps exaggerating the pinks and yellows. Again, just an idea.

Anyway, I was thinking of the McGuffey Readers too. I'm glad you have the set. When we started homeschooling, we found the entire set on CD-ROM. So if someone else is reading this that is interested in it for extra reading, they could do a search. I don't remember what I paid for the CD-ROM set but it was much cheaper than buying books new. So, that's just a suggestion.

I'll keep her in my prayers. She's sweet and she's smart. I'm glad she's learning at home.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Unread post by Heidi »

My daughter was struggling with reading and language also, my son with writing and motor skills, and we had other issues too. I also found Diane Craft through HSLDA. There you can download an article called, "How to Tell Why Your Child is Struggling" that she has written. She gives layman's terms for many "labels" of learning difficulties and then suggestions on what to do for your child.

I highly recommend it. It helped me to adjust our already healthy diet, helped me pick out the most important supplements to add as our budget allows, and to accurately "diagnose" all three of my learning needs children, talk intelligently to their doctors to have them get tested professionally (I needed confirmation of my "diagnosis") and turned out their state insurance pays for the therapy the results of these tests recommended. Even if your insurance does not pay for therapy - Diane goes into detail about resources and ideas for teaching each learning difficulty for homeschoolers - many of them are free or inexpensive - there are some that are expensive - you just have to wade through them.
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9 year old

Unread post by cbollin »

NHMom wrote:My 9 year old son has always had trouble reading and comprehending, despite the different programs I've tried. I've done everything with him, including giving him time off from reading, teaching phonics, doing sight words, choral reading, taking turns, and more. I'm a certified teacher, but I'm out of ideas.

He was diagnosed with some eye issues in Dec. (not acuity, but focusing, coordination, and tracking problems) and has gone through vision therapy, which helped so much. He came up about a grade level doing the vision therapy. His eyes are testing in the normal range now, so that's no longer a problem.

He reads like a bull in a china shop. He tries so hard to get through it that he doesn't know what he's reading. He's probably about a year behind where he should be. (He's technically in 3rd grade and he's going to be 10 in Oct.) Most of the time I "know" he'll get it, but sometimes I panic that he won't!

He loves books and loves book basket, although he focuses on the pictures more than the words. MFW is such a wonderful program that has helped him in many ways. I guess I'm just looking for a little guidance and reassurance. I know I need to rest in the Lord and trust His timing. Anyone else have a slower reader? Any suggestions?? I appreciate any encouragement very much! What a blessing this board is!
Posted: Fri May 25, 2007 5:58 am

Just rejoicing with you in his progress!!! It is a joy to watch our kids finally get something that is so hard to them and so easy to others. {hug}

Increasing comprehension... Here is some of what I did:

*we would read a paragraph and I would ask WH questions. Very basic
I kept a paper with those key words on them nearby so that my dd would know we were going to ask those questions while reading.

* my dd's speech language therapist had little booklets with built in questions to ask about very short readings. So we used those at home as well. uhm.... superduperinc dot com carries many resources for reading comprehension ideas. Don't overspend. just scroll down on their site in the Topical Index for Reading Comprehension. They have a lot of stuff from books, software, to workbooks. The book we used at clinic was called The Five W's.

maybe something like that can help a bit ?
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Unread post by tkbbrl6 »

Posted: Fri May 25, 2007 7:22 am

Some other idea to add to Crystal's -

tandem reading - where you both read the paragraph's at the same time and stop periodically to ask questions - the tandem reading helps dc to both hear and see the words and will also help with fluency as they learn to follow the reading of a better reader.

Books on Tape to go with printed books - this allows the dc to do it on their own and they again can increase fluency/comprehension by hearing/seeing all at the same time - just make sure you take periodic stops to ask them to narrate to you.

If part of the problem is that he's working so hard still at decoding the words to actually be able to comprehend then i'd work on decoding - there are multi-sensory Orton Gillingham approaches that work great with kids with reading difficulties. We use Wilson but there are many others.

I know that you said you did Vision Therapy - have you had a full eval psychoed eval completed? If he's almost 10 and still having difficulty there may be more going on the eval could pin-point it better for you and then you would have a better idea of how to precede. I know for us - even having one tested who was grade levels ahead - we gained great info that has helped us to better teach to our dc's strengths/weaknesses.
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Unread post by HSmommi2mine »

Posted: Fri May 25, 2007 9:07 am

Give him the comprehension questions before he reads. This way he knows what the main points and ideas are when he encounters them.

Since you have recently resolved his eye problems it is going to simply take time for him to get up to grade level.
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need encouragement with slow reader!

Unread post by Tina »

shannon wrote:Hi, I will begin adventures this fall with my 8 yr.old and 6 yr. old. My struggle is with my 8 yr. old son. He should be going into 3rd grade according to his age, but he is behind in reading. It is such a struggle for him, and he feels so bad about it. He is so worried someone may ask him to read in sunday school or something.

I partly blame myself for his struggle. We have moved 3 times since we started school, and it has not helped that I change curriculum every year. I keep hoping that will be the magic cure each year.

By the way, my 6 yr. old daughter is catching up with him very quickly, and he hates that. I don't know what to do, because i don't want to hold her back. Can anyone give me any words of wisdom? shannon
Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:19 pm
I also have a son who was slow to read and slow to "like" using the pencil and any writing. First, hang in there! You can do this and don't blame anyone. Things happen, life happens, moves happen, change happens. Just be encouraged as you get into your year of adventures and keep things as on schedule this year as you can and you will probably see improvement. Do not be discouraged.

When teaching my ds to read (he's now going on 9 and is at grade level for reading) it was challenging. We used MFW K and 1st with him and there are games listed in the teacher's manual for practice with phonics. We did every game we could; we did flashcards; we did computer games; we played lots of reading readiness games and games with letter tiles and chips. Anytime you can make the phonics practice fun and games, do it.

I don't know where to tell you to start, except maybe making it a scheduled thing to "play" review with him. Use magna-doodles or white boards, or chalk boards; play hangman; play all kinds of reading games; make flashcards with word groupings (play, day, say; corn, horn, torn, etc). Play games that encourage reading.

Get readers that are easier for him and keep at it. I remember with my son, I would get the readers that were easy and have him read at least one everyday--read it to me. Then slowly progress as he progresses in his ability. I remember I finally saw him really get more comfortable and able to read without working so hard was somewhere late in 2nd grade, beginnng of 3rd.

I really just wanted to encourage you to keep up the good work and give you some support in knowing that you not alone in this pursuit to teach your son to read. Be encouraged--your both doing a good job!
Have a great year in Adventures.
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Unread post by LizCT »

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:24 pm

We used MFW 1st grade this past year with my older dd. She was not reading fluently, and only reluctantly when we started the program. She has vastly improved over this past year.

As for your son and his reading, did you ever complete a phonics program with him? Does he read aloud to you a bit each day? My dd is improving all the time, as long as I am having her read aloud to me for 10 to 15 minutes each day.

May I suggest that you try to find a time when you could call the MFW office and discuss this with them - I have been very encouraged by speaking with David Hazell about her progress, and whether it is age appropriate.

Looking forward to Adventures this year, along with MFWK!
Liz in Ct
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Unread post by Mom1669 »

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:32 am

I agree with the others, make sure his phonics are strong. My middle son struggled with reading from the first day. Then in 3rd grade he was diagnosed with Epilepsy (absence type) and it was interfering with his ability to process what he was learning. We went back and reinforced phonics over the past 2 years and his reading has just taken off.

I also agree with the idea of choosing books that are below his reading level. It's kind of natural as a mom to want to challenge your child, but if everything he reads is a struggle he will quickly lose the desire to try. The more he reads the better he will get, and he will likely read more if it's easier.

Also read aloud, lots! Help him to enjoy books. But most of all reassure him that he is normal! It's not unusual for boys to read later than girls. Many boys don't even begin to read until 8 or 9 years of age. When the pathways in his brain are ready, as long as he has still has the desire, he will read!
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Unread post by niki »

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:07 pm

I wanted to encourage you too. My dd, who's 8, can still be at times a reluctant reader. It can feel overwhelming as their teachers, especially when we start comparing them to other kids their ages... I added so much pressure because of that!

I wanted to second the idea to let him read below his reading level. I was pushing her to go forward and she was resenting reading. I was really irritated because she'd always pick the really early readers. I thought that was holding her back! Little did I know, that was what was giving her a love for reading. They were simple and she was getting confident - I stopped pushing and now she's choosing books that are more challenging and will still pull out that little pile and read - I am thankful that she's choosing to read, she was reading at breakfast yesterday and took the book with her in the van as we had some running around to do! Praise God. And she's now trying to teach her younger sister to read.

Don't be discouraged. The all don't follow the same paths to reading! Oh, one more thing... do your reading when he can see. Read a lot. Also, don't underestimate the power of "Book Basket" :)

Praying for you and your ds, Niki

Unread post by cbollin »

shannon wrote:He is so worried someone may ask him to read in sunday school or something.
Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:25 am
Ideas for practicing out loud reading...
*listen to a lot of books on audio (check your library for favorites). That way he can hear a lot of out loud reading
*then practice by reading it out loud to whatever his favorite toys are. Also, it can be fun to read to a pet that is willing to hang out with you. Our library has Reading with the Dogs program in the summer so that children can practice reading out loud to dogs from the humane society.

Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

michelle S. wrote:My rising 5th grader is struggling with reading. He is reading below grade level . He doesn't have very good fluency and he often skips letters in words or adds the sounds in.

Recently he was reading a childhood of famous american book about Jackie Robinson. He is reading it on his own for enjoyment. He came to me with tears in his eye's because Jackie's brother in the story died. But when I asked him how it happened he said "something about a motorcycle, Can you read that page again to me mom? I didn't understand it all." He likes to read and is reading the magic tree house books now. I want him to be able to read well and understand what he's reading. I'm not sure how to help him.

This yr we have read daily aloud together .he reads aloud for a couple paragraphs I help where needed then I read a page or so than we switch again. On very interesting books like the sign of the beaver I did about 80 percent of the reading so he could enjoy the story more.

I am thinking about using a reading program such as BJU reading .It is expensive and time consuming and I'm not sure if that is the answer. On the other hand Reading is the most important skill I think he should improve on this yr and it may be that we should go easy on some other subjects and concentrate on reading this yr. I would be interested in any of your opinions.
I agree with reading together with him, modeling good reading, even listening to audiobooks being read properly.

But I don't like the idea of an emerging reader struggling through a COFA book and cementing bad reading habits. Some of the "early reader" books now have more advanced topics such as biographies, so older kids don't have to feel babyish. And for that matter, some picture books are beloved even by adults.

I'm not sure what "reading instruction" really is, or what LLATL or BJU would do to help with reading skills. I'm thinking they are talking about literature analysis or comprehension skills, rather than reading skills?

Isn't your son just finishing up his "learning to read" phase? I'm thinking of MFW's stages of learning:
1. Pre-reading (birth to preschool level)
2. Learning to read (K/1 level)
3. Learning to love to read (2nd grade level through somewhere in the 6th-8th grades)
4. Learning by reading (high school to adult)

His "language arts" should be in the "learning to read" phase just as long as he needs to be there, IMHO. I like the idea of just working on his phonics (or syllables or whatever program you use) until he has that mastered. MFW K-1st has good "learning to read" materials, and I think I remember David Hazell saying that one of their sons did these levels many times before it clicked (and he then became a very advanced student). So that would be an option for his "language arts" part of his day. But if you don't want to use something officially called K or 1st, then there are other things out there I'm sure. I just wanted to emphasize this stage is not to be skipped through. My youngest actually taught himself to read but missed some skills because the schools (and I) skipped over the learning-to-read program for him. Just like math facts, I would concentrate on reading skills until they are mastered, and then he may well fly ahead.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
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michelle S.
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Re: reading

Unread post by michelle S. »

Julie, or anyone else, please tell me more about the "Learning to read phase" I think I missed some things. also what resources can you suggest or books or whatever. I think I really did a poor job teaching him to read. He was my 1st child. We used Abeka k and 1st but we didn't do everything and one big thing that we didn't do was get to the actual reading portion we spent so much time on learning phonics and planning the lessons ext. In 1st we did dvd's but not all the reading. IN K and 1st we did not finish the grades left about the last 40 lessons of ea. grade. WE then did LATTLE 2,3,4th.

We had him tested for dyslexia and other language based learning disabilities at the beginning of 3rd grade. They said that they believed he had a visual imaging process delay , which basically means he doesn't store whole words in his memory yet so he was just sounding everything out quickly. He knows all the abeka phonics sounds by themselves but has difficulty when he sees them in words or tries to use them in spelling. He's a very hard time with spelling. The university said if he 's still struggling in a couple of yrs to bring him back to test for dyslexia. He probably does have some language based learning problems , but I think my inconsistent teaching is his bigger problem.

Do you have any advise as to what to do from here?
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Re: reading

Unread post by mamaofredheads »

Michelle, I would encourage you to watch the 3 hour on-line seminar at www dys-add dot com. It has fantastic information on dyslexia. After watching it, you will probably know whether or not your son is dyslexic. You can also call or e-mail Susan Barton with your questions at no charge after watching the video. She's a wealth of information and could be of great help to you.

Hugs to you! I do understand your concern and desire to help your ds!
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Re: reading

Unread post by Lainie »

Two cents coming...

I read through this thread and just wanted to pipe in with a suggestion to have his eyes checked by a really good optometrist. Hopefully one that is trained to identify ocular motor dysfunction.

I found out earlier this year that 2 of my 3 children have a problem with the way their eyes work (especially together). My daughter is already done with treatment but my son will be in for a long time. His eyes are pretty bad. His eyes skip around when he reads, he starts and re-starts sentences, reads the first few words and the last few words in a sentence but will omit the middle, and is easily fatigue by anything visually dense.

He is currently in eye therapy and it is helping but it is slow going. I adapt a lot of his work to oral since copy work brings him to tears. Apparently the signs and symptoms of OMD are almost identical to the signs and symptoms of ADHD.

Just our experience and another possible explanation. I'll be praying for you guys...
Lainie (Oregon)
"Sanctify them in truth; Thy word is truth" John 17:17

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Re: reading

Unread post by momtogc »


I can't say enough about reading out loud to your child. How wonderful that you are able to do that for your ds! Some days I just don't get this done in our home and I know it is so important. A friend of mine still reads aloud to her boys every night and they are 12 and 15 years old. Hearing a parent read a book helps with comprenhension and gives the child the opportunity to ask when they don't understand something.

If I understood your post correctly, you are also concerned about reading comprehension? If so, you might try having him narrate back to you what you have just read to him, ask him questions after a chapter to see if he is listening and understanding. Ask him who the main characters are/were, where they were, what did he like/dislike about the story, etc., not as a "test" but to really get him thinking about what he has read/heard.

Do you ever listen to audio books? We plug in books on cd in the van when we are running errands and it's really fun to listen to them together. The Secret Garden was a favorite. Again, this gives an opportunity for discussion which I think is valuable for helping the child comprehend.

I hope you find something that will work for your son.
Mom to Gabi, a fun-loving and happy girl!
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Re: reading

Unread post by RBS in OH »


Another thing that has been good for us is having a motivator such as the Book-It Reading Program, free through Pizza Hut. During our first year of schooling my husband and I would sit with the kids for 15-20 minutes 6 days/week. The kids chose library books to read to us during that time. My poor husband ended up listening to our son read the same book countless times one month, but I think it developed confidence and comprehension.

Reading the simpler books from Book Basket and including a story in family meal conversation can help the kids too. ..just our experience though...I hope some of these thoughts may be helpful.

ds(14) 8) and dd(14) ;)
We've enjoyed ADV, ECC (2 times), CTG, RTR, EX-1850, 1850-MOD--and now AHL this year!
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Re: reading

Unread post by microcarter »

mamaofredheads wrote:Michelle, I would encourage you to watch the 3 hour on-line seminar at www dys-add dot com.
I'm agreeing with Glenna. Check out the website and call Susan with questions. If your ds IS dyslexic and not simply a little behind in his reading then why waste time using programs that typically don't work for dyslexics. If after talking to Susan you think he might be dyslexic but still want a proper diagnosis, she can direct you to some certified dyslexia testing specialists in your area.

God bless you! I know it can be agonizing to watch your child struggle. I'm right there with you!

dh of 22 years Danny
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Re: reading

Unread post by dhudson »


I just wanted to agree with the other ladies, reading is one of those skills that needs to be firm before moving on. I think I would slow all other curriculum down until his reading is more firm. Perhaps spend a semester of concentrated work on his reading and just do math and push the other subjects to the back burner and then once he has "caught" on, then he can speed through his other work.
God Bless,
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Re: reading

Unread post by RachelT »

Hi! I agree fully with Glenna and Angie. After re-reading the beginning of your original post:
My rising 5th grader is struggling with reading. He is reading below grade level . He does'nt have very good fluency and he often skips letters in words or adds the sounds in.
I am not there listening to him read, but what you describe in the quote above is not a reading comprehension problem, but more of a phonological processing issue. My ds is younger, but was doing the same things before we got his official diagnosis of dyslexia. I am so blessed that I found the Susan Barton website and her reading/spelling system becuase it's helping my son so much!

Before his testing and diagnosis, my son was reading, it was just below grade level. What I have figured out is that he already had a large sight word vocabulary and can read those words and along with some pictures, he could guess at things really well. In the testing, it was sounding out unknown or "nonsense" words where he really struggled, which is all phonological - even after 2 years of solid phonics instruction. He is smart and just learns differently and needed something else. The Barton materials are working well for us. They have helped him to look at each sound, not guess, and not skip or add sounds. For my son, spelling was even harder, but it is really helping with this, too!

I hope that you can check out the video or the information on the website that Glenna wrote about or give Susan a call. I've talked to her on the phone and she knows her stuff. I think if you can help your son to feel more confident with his reading, it will only help him blossom in all other areas, too.

Hugs to you! Let us know what happens!
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19
michelle S.
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:02 am

Re: reading

Unread post by michelle S. »

Thank you all for your responses. You've given me a lot to think about.

I spoke with David Hazel on the phone to get his recommendations. He strongly suggested having Daniel evaluated for vision therapy, as well as hearing specialist and a few other things to rule out anything Physically wrong. He didn't think switching programs was going to help at all. We have an app. with a vision therapist on 7/6.

AS far as comprehension, I think his problem is he is trying to read books beyond his reading ability so he's only catching part of the story. I had him read part of the Jackie Robinson book aloud to me and he badly stumbled through the whole page guessing at and skipping many words.

Right now he's reading THe Magic Treehouse series. He does pretty well on those and has no trouble understanding. He can tell me all about what's going on in the story and answer detailed questions. He's reading about a whole book a day sometimes more just for pleasure.
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 2:33 am
Location: Tualatin, OR

Re: reading

Unread post by Lainie »

Just a thought while you are waiting for an evaluation... most libraries have or can get a nice variety of books in Large Print. It really helps with reducing eye strain. Once there isn't so much visual input, the child can concentrate on reading and understanding the actual words. It's amazing how instantly stressed out the brain/eyes get when the visual field is so dense. When you take away the density, the eyes instantly relax and it's easier to concentrate.

There is a directory of vision therapy providers, if you need help finding one in your area I would be happy to ask our Dr. for a recommendation of a Dr. in your area.
Lainie (Oregon)
"Sanctify them in truth; Thy word is truth" John 17:17

Have completed 1st, entire 5 year cycle, and all high school! Whoo hoo!
Have graduated one with MFW, 1 dd- junior, and 1ds- freshmen
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:07 pm

Re: reading

Unread post by meagabby »

I've been reading the posts and sort of storing all the info in my mind. ;)

I just had to comment now because I've spoken to David also regarding these type issues. Well, for me I was calling the office for spelling/reading help about a month ago and leaving a message for the 'specialist'. David was the one to return the call. his first questions to me were regarding having dd's eyes checked. With my answer to that and a few more questions he recommended several tests instead of suggesting any curriculum changes or altering the program. This caught me completely off guard last thurs. I checked out the HSLDA website and read over the struggling learner info. over the weekend and became overwhelmed because dd has some issues in 3 of the 4 areas I read about.

This week I was able to speak to David again and he confirmed that he feels the testing is important and explained to me, like you, that changing it would not change the way our kids are processing the info.. And since we value them and this curriculum so much, we will be doing just that and not changing anything. I was so wrong in thinking that dd would be better off doing another program for LA or math without first thinking of the way she is learning (or not learning).

It's not like when I was in public school and you either kept up or were labeled slow. Even dh and I were talking last night and he remembers having difficulty without help in ps.

So, I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. Our dd will be in 5th grade next year, too. At least you already have a vision appt. I haven't even been able to think straight enough to search for that. A hearing specialist is on our list to do as well. Our dd can verbally repeat words correctly, but when she spells, she adds extra letters or leaves them our and such. In reading she skips over small words like the, and, it or replaces them with other small words. I thought she wasn't paying attention. Not to mention we have had math retention issues and I never thought about all of these together.

I hope you quickly find answers/treatment that work for you and your son. I'm glad he still likes to read, too. :)
Praying for you,
Loving learning with MFW!
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