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.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.
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 http://www.diannecraft.org) 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.