Reading - Should I go back, repeat, review?

Learning God's Story
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Reading - Should I go back, repeat, review?

Unread post by Fly2Peace »

Laura M wrote:My second son who is 6 doesn't seem to be getting the phonics down. When l review with him, the basic short and long vowels, and he only remembers half of them.

Should I stop progressing in that area and go back and review with him??? Are most kids suppose to be reading all the words on the workbook sheets without much help by now?

I was thinking about just supplementing. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!!!
At some point you will probably see the light bulb come on when he gets the "system". It will be exciting for both of you. Just remember, it is not unusual for a six year old, and especially a boy, to struggle with phonics (and handwriting, and some other "school type" things).

You might try different activities, and see what seems to work best. What does he enjoy? Throw letters out on the floor, and have him find the matching sound that you give. Use tactile things to let him "feel" the letter as you make the sounds. Stick with one word examples for each sound (apple, apron, etc) and use those consistently to show the sound. Sing songs, and act silly... sing the alphabet phonetically, instead of by letter name. It takes some practice, but is fun.

It is kind of like making the abstract concept of numbers more concrete. By using things, you are trying to make letters more concrete by linking the letter to its sound(s).

Well, this is a lot of rambling, but maybe there is something of use in there somewhere. :)
Fly2Peace (versus flying to pieces)
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Unread post by Lucy »

I agree with Fly2Peace. My daugher took a while before the light came on for her but it did. For specifics on using the MFW1 program, I would give the office a call on how to adapt or change the program until he is ready. I would hate for you to miss the great bible stories reader and notebook.

Reading is like riding a bicycle some learn early and with ease and some take a little longer to make the connections. He will get it. Maybe taking a break for a while would help too.

As far as the number of words on the page you may need to do it in 2 days instead of one or cover up the words and just show one line at a time. This will be less overwhelming to him.


wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
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Unread post by MJP »

Around lesson 40 or so I just put MFW up for a little while. I miss the content of MFW, but we will get back to it with much more success when he gains a little more fluency. Right now, this was just what we needed to be successful. Sometimes I think a little change now and then gets everyone excited about school again anyway.
Wife of 1 for 18 yrs. Mom of 7--ages 1-15--1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th and 9th grades & (one on the way)
Psalm 16:8
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Unread post by Tina »

I have used MFW 1st twice. My dd did not need any other review or supplement for phonics. My second child, ds, did need extra supplementing. We played every game listed in the back of the book for reviewing words. We also used some other flashcards/game type things to help him along the way. Sometimes I would spend up to a week on just two days' work, becuase he just needed the phonics foundation. Make it work for you and him. You can do it without missing out on the bible application part. It just might take a little longer.

Also, when he completed 1st grade and we started 2nd, he still did not read the bible reader with total ease (we kept it on hand to review and keep practicing and reading--along with all those little books you put together in 1st). 2nd grade is when I saw that huge growth in reading ability take place. Now, he's just where he should be (with reading) in the 3rd grade.
Tina, homeschooling mother of Laura (1996), Jacob (1998) and Tucker (2003) In MO
"One of the greatest blessings of heaven is the appreciation of heaven on earth. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."--JIM ELLIOT
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Unread post by kfrench »

I would go back and make sure he know's all his sounds. The Leap Frog Videos are great for learning all the sounds and they also have one that explains about the long vowel sounds. If two vowels go walking the first one does the talking. I have had to go back with my daughter because she wasn't getting the different sounds.

I ended up doing MFW1 with my second grader (we used something else before and just discovered MFW last year). She still achieved a third grade level in third grade this year so it worked out fine. I used to want my kids to always be as smart or smarter than other kids but I have finally realized this has nothing to do with how early they start reading. And I've also learned that real wisdom comes from God and not academics. Each kid learns at their own speed. My dd probably would have done better if I had drilled the different sounds instead of just assuming she remembered them. I ended up doing it at the end of the year because there were sounds she would forget. I still do it. Some kids learn the sounds quickly and some just don't. We used all the games in the back of the book and learned that kids will sound out many more words in a game than they will from a page.

So I would make flash cards for the sounds and make up games. Bingo is a great one and we use to play go fish with the letter sounds. And we would do matching with saying the sound of the letter each time it was turned over. They just seem to get it faster if you make it a game. Good luck and GOd bless.
Michelle in WA
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Unread post by Michelle in WA »

I just want to add that is a great, free way to supplement phonics. We haven't done MFW's reading program. We are getting ready to do MFWK but dd is reading fluently and getting to do starfall is a big, fun deal for her. Starfall has fun little videos and books for the kids to watch and learn to read with. And if mom needs to help siblings, the kids can do it on their own. I hope this helps someone.

Michelle, mom to A (MFWK soon), TJ, & C
Julie in MN
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1st Phonics Questions

Unread post by Julie in MN »

jasntas wrote:My dd is currently loving math but suddenly the phonics not so much. We have been on day 21 for about a week now. She breezed through K and short vowels but is really struggling now with the added long vowel sounds. I have looked ahead and it seems that something new is introduced almost daily with a short review of the previous days. This is my first time teaching any 1st program so teaching my child the reading basics for the first time is all new to me. I don’t know if we should just keep moving forward even if she is struggling with it or back up and review for a while.

My dd is in tears almost every day because she feels like she should be able to understand and know it already. I've been very patient and reaffirming with her but she is still feeling as though it's too hard for her. In addition to using most of the suggested games in the TM, I've also been taking a break and using other sources with 1st grade long vowel activities. Should I continue to do this or just press on and review later (next year or the end of this year) if needed?

The first of the year was going pretty well for both my dc. But it seems ECC and 1st are taking more prep time from me than K and ADV seemed to. I keep expecting to get into the groove, and now I'm having to do even more prep trying to prepare review stuff for my dd. (For reference, we are currently in week 5 of ECC) Neither one of my dc can work independently almost at all. As some may know, we believe ds to be dyslexic so I already have to modify ALMOST ALL of HIS work. Not to mention we have a fuller after school schedule than we previously had. (Don't even ask what the house looks like right now. :~ )

I tell my dh almost every night that I am sooo tired. He usually just tells me I should be thankful because I'm doing exactly what I want to do. I am thankful but still so tired. Anyway, sorry about the vent and getting off topic.

Back to the main question. Should I just press forward with 1st or take breaks and review in between? What to do, what to do???
I'm pretty clueless about teaching 1st, so all I can offer is a link. This is one I like:

Advice when kids hit a plateau in learning to read (David Hazell)

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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Re: 1st Phonics Questions

Unread post by jasntas »

cbollin wrote:Julie beat me to the link..... 8[]
Thanks Julie and Crystal for the link. I'm going to print it out and read it tonight before bed.
cbollin wrote:ok. do you do TV shows like Between the Lions? or play
She plays Leap Frog Word Launch game and has started watching Leap Frog videos again (Talking Words Factory and Code Word Caper). She also watches lots of other educational shows. She actually was excited the first day she started silent e activities because there is a game called the 'Silent E Show' on the Word Launch game that she was familiar with. She's not currently playing any computer games partially due to an issue with our computer and because she doesn't like to be in the 'other room' away from the 'classroom' and us.
cbollin wrote:and are you "marking" the vowel team on words? is that helping at all?
Yes, she is marking the vowels but she will mark it, say it correctly, then sound it out incorrectly with the short vowel sound (consistently). Then gets upset at me when I gently correct her.
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

Re: 1st Phonics Questions

Unread post by cbollin »


One technique I use with my children when they are stumbling on words (like in reading passages in ILL or something), I will say, let's both practice. I let my child start. Then I read it with the book in front of her. Then she reads it again. I move my finger over the lines too, and slow down on "tough words" to subtly suggest to listen closer.

do you think that might help to do that kind of listening activity and then read it again after the fact? It's almost like when we are teaching them to speak, we just say it back the right way with emphasis on it?
Or if library has audio books to hear favorite stories while you read along?

one of the between the lines thing is the Silent E.. you turned my cub into a cube song. not the Tom Lehrer version... bummer. they don't have it on the website. the lyrics are there

I would get out the lauri letters from K and try to get silly with the game.

spell out with the letters
cub and then add silent E and say "oh silent E, you turned my cub into a cube, oh silent e"
you turned my tub into a tube. (and lift the e up and down)
you turned my plan into a plane (zoooooooooooommmmmmmmm)

you turned my man into a mane (roar)....
my twin into some twine
my pin into a pine

oh silent.... E...
I almost got a rob, but now he wears a robe.......

and of course the real lyrics, I'll send in PM.

But that is one teaching technique I'd try in addition to audio and listening practice. Have fun with the lauri letters and turn that cub into a cube.

I know in my house, the kids would stare at me as if I'm as weird as a I am.

oh look at the time.. my dh is saying supper is ready. he's so sweet to cook.

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Re: 1st Phonics Questions

Unread post by gratitude »

Hi Tammie! We are currently using MFW Grade 1 too! We are on day 70, or so.
jasntas wrote:Yes, she is marking the vowels but she will mark it, say it correctly, then sound it out incorrectly with the short vowel sound (consistently). Then gets upset at me when I gently correct her.
The above quote gave me some thoughts as I was reading this thread.

It sounds like she is very used to reading words that have the short vowel sounds in the middle, such as many of the words in K. It also sounds like she is just struggling with getting out of the habit of always using short vowel sounds when reading a word. She just needs to develop a new habit of saying both short vowel sounds and long vowel sounds when reading a word.

One idea I had when I read the above is to hold your finger over all the letters except the first one. Have her sound out the first, then uncover the vowel & tell her to say the vowel letter like it sounds in the alphabet - or even say it for her - and then have her repeat it and then uncover the rest for sounding out, with your finger still over the e.

Or another idea was to practice saying all the alphabet flashcards with both the letter name says its name and with short vowel sounds and explain that vowels do both in words. For example, say, 'ah' then 'a' for the letter a flashcard.

Another idea is to sing the spelling rule, "silent e makes the vowel say its name."

I hope one of these ideas helps.

It is funny my ds7 had a fit over that lesson and tears too. Not for the same reason, but tears. Is it due to the increased work load at that point? His fit was over the fact I wanted him to cross out all the e's on the page and put straight faces over the vowels (He was 6 at the time). The first letter of his name starts with an e for Elliot, and he was in absolute tears for an hour over the idea of crossing out the first letter of his name. He honestly is very even emotionally normally, but not that day. Now at day 70 he is reading everything in sight. Hang in there. She will get it, and if she really needs a break from reading sometimes a week or two off from it can do wonders for the brain to process the information and the emotions to catch up and be ready to go again.

If it helps any, I am really tired in the evenings too this month after a restful summer.

Blessings. :)
Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: 1st Phonics Questions

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

jasntas wrote:Thanks for all the encouragement and advice. :) I like the idea of changing short vowel words to long vowel words with the Lauri Letters. I still need to finish reading the link.
There is no such thing as singing Leap Frog's "Silent E makes the first vowel say its name" song too many times. Or "When two vowels go walking" either, for that matter. Love those videos and songs - we sang bits of the lyrics frequently during vowel marking time in MFW1. If you use Crystal's idea with the Lauri letters and can physically "act out" those songs, too, I think school time could get a lot more enjoyable. Just a suggestion.

[editor's note: see the rest of the story on the next page of this thread]
2018/19: US1877
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Done MFW 1st and can't read

Unread post by gratitude »

RB wrote:My son is finishing the blue phonics book and the Old Testament portion of 1st this week. (He is 7 1/2 and started midyear last year). When my dd who used MFW 1st was at this point she could easily read short chapter books. This time, ds is still struggling to read the stories, and gets so overwhelmed by what's on each page that often I offer to split it with him. He can read them OK, but it's that choppy, stop and start kind of reading. He actually has even more difficulty reading the words from the stories in the blue book exercises, because they are out of context. He draws the picture in the yellow book and easily narrates out loud a good summary, which I write and he copies part of. He is not ready to just write a summary yet.

Help!!! This is a bright boy with a curious mind and an excellent memory, doing well in math, and super excited to read. It just hasn't all clicked yet. I don't think he's ready to leave phonics behind. Has anyone else had a child finish MFW 1st grade phonics and still need more? Any ideas for where to go from here?
I read your post and some ideas come to mind from my teaching experience, rather than my home school experience teaching my ds7.

My first idea though would be to call the office. David Hazel may have some good suggestions for your situation. He had one son that didn't read until 7 or 8 and was reading in 2 different languages by 12. I am sure from his experience he would have some good input.

My second thought was boys typically do learn to read at a slower pace than girls. Just a thought to keep in mind. At eleven weeks of age the 2 hemispheres of the brain for boys becomes disconnected. This is why men can think with the left half and then the right half, and why women can think with both halves at once and multi-task. I don't know exactly how this plays into learning, but it does seem math comes more quickly for boys early on.

My last idea came from my teaching experience. I taught piano for 8 years. I learned many things from my teaching years, but one of the main ones was not to go onto the next level of a skill until the first is mastered. It's better to repeat a level with a different curriculum, or even the same one (although students can sometimes be bothered by this) then to try and push forward and watch them sink. It would be better to do another curriculum that starts at the beginning of MFW 1 for a good review and confidence builder than push into 2nd grade work. Or even do the student notebook and reader for MFW 1 over again. When I received piano students that had 5 years of pushing forward on the piano, but hadn't learned to read music, I had no choice but to back all the way to nearly the start. The review process though went very quickly, was a wonderful confidence builder, and then they could move forward with joy and for the first time 'want' to practice the piano since it wasn't such a struggle. It is one of the reasons I teach slightly below my ds level, rather push right at their maximum.

I don't know what I would do exactly in your shoes, since I haven't been there. I do think for me though I would probably re-do MFW Grade 1 student notebook & reader and let him sail through it this time. Hmm.. Or for variety sake I might add in a different curriculum for grade 1 reading. Although I can not think of one of the top of my head I would want to use. This is where I think David Hazel could be helpful.

Maybe someone else will chime in who has been exactly in the same place you are.
Blessings! :)
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Re: Done MFW 1st and can't read

Unread post by schelean »

After completing MFW1 my daughter was reading fine but I knew she needed more phonics instruction/continued review. I went ahead and used SbSS in Adventures because I understood it to be a good phonics review. However, I realized over the course of the year that her spelling and reading were just not improving. I heard about All About Spelling on this message board. After much prayer, research, and review of other materials I did purchase AAS. I immediately saw a dramatic improvement in her spelling and reading. I expected an improvement in her spelling but was surprised at how much her reading improved. I didn't realize how hand in hand the two were.

I believe AAS fits perfectly with MFW CM/classical approach. The lessons are meant to be about 20 minutes and uses a very hands on approach. There is also daily dictation. AAS also has a great money back guarantee for up to a year.
Schelean in Texas
MFW user since 2006
Exp-1850 w/dd 11& K w/ds 6
Wendy B.
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Re: Done MFW 1st and can't read

Unread post by Wendy B. »

We are in a similar situation. I blogged about my 8yo and reading and this is what we are doing...

I use the MFW Reading chart to approach new words in our pathway readers. We recently added the the pathway reader workbooks . We are spending 2 days with each story in Pathway so he gets the opportunity to read it twice with me before moving on to the next story.

During bookbasket time of ADV, he is re-reading the MFW bible reader, previous pathway books that we worked through. He has yet to actually read any of the other books although he has started to pick them up and think about reading them.

Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.
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Re: Done MFW 1st and can't read

Unread post by baileymom »

We also supplemented 1st with the Pathway Readers.

We are actually finding R&S Spelling 2 [Spelling By Sound & Structure] to be a wonderful 'phonics' continuation from 1st.

I think the biggest help for my DS was just to read aloud. A lot. His bible reader, his pathway book, literature ...I know it's kind of painful to listen to 'choppy' reading, but we've made a point to do it. The entire family listens and encourages new readers. He now even reads anywhere from 3-5 verses (NKJV) each night during Family Worship, flies through 1st/2nd grade 'reader' books, and has recently finished Stuart Little and is working on Charlotte's Web.

I feel the consistent reading aloud of all different kinds of materials, is what really got him over that 'choppy' hump.

Kathi - graduated 1, homeschooling 6, preschooling 2, growing 1
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Re: Done MFW 1st and can't read

Unread post by schelean »

AAS would probably not be necessary during 1st grade because MFW1 does a great job of teaching phonics and adding AAS would just add more to your day. However, looking back - I wish I had done a lot more daily phonics review with dd during MFW1. We should have played a lot more of the games suggested by MFW. I also should have had dd reading more than just the Bible Reader. She needed more practice and daily review.
Schelean in Texas
MFW user since 2006
Exp-1850 w/dd 11& K w/ds 6
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Re: Done MFW 1st and can't read

Unread post by my3boys »

RB wrote:ds is still struggling to read the stories, and gets so overwhelmed by what's on each page that often I offer to split it with him.
I have a 6yo and an 8yo that finished First in June. We did it exactly as you describe - we split readings until we finally just went with easy readers from the library; they also narrated the bible notebook and I wrote for them. We took the summer off and have been back at school for two weeks now. They are doing one sentence of copywork per week plus a page in Handwriting Without Tears 4 days per week; using beginning readers from the library (the Cat in the Hat kind); and using AAS. I've seen some good improvement over the past week.
Mom to 3 busy boys ages 11, 8, and 6
finished K, First, ECC, and CtG - currently using RtR
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Re: Done MFW 1st and can't read

Unread post by SandKsmama »

I did a combo of things with my son when he finished MFW 1st - he did AAS, and I had him read through a number of books, starting with like Level 2 easy readers, and gradually getting more difficult. Within a month or two of doing this, his confidence and fluency in reading took off! He had the phonics foundation, he just needed some shoring up and a little more every day practice.
Amanda, Wife to a great guy since '99, SAHM to 4 fabulous kids! DD(7/96), DS(1/01), DD(8/03), and baby DS (3/09)!
Used MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, Ex1850, and currently using 1850-Modern!

Re: Done MFW 1st and can't read

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

Dear RB,
You have had some great feedback from these moms here and I will reiterate some of what they have said in my post.

First let me encourage you by saying that as you stated about your son, reading has just not clicked for him yet and that is o.k. We get calls in our office with this same scenario and if he has been progressing from where he was last year then most likely what he needs is more practice. He is going to read in his time.

You may want to go back and revisit the author's instructions on page 125 in the Teacher's Manual. She mentions that some students may need to set the Bible Reader aside and focus on easy readers until next year. In your case, if you have just completed 1st grade you may consider taking a few months to do this before trying to move forward. Sometimes kids just need time for what they have learned to click and soak in and this can only happen with time and practice.

When students reach the end of first grade, we know that some students will need to keep practicing their reading skills each day by reading from easy readers and will not have completely mastered all of the phonics. We recommend using the games from the back of the First Grade Teacher's Manual as a way to systematically review the phonics that you note your son needs work on as he reads aloud. If need be, you can even go back to the page in the blue workbook to review.

Spelling By Sound and Structure will review some phonics, but it is not meant to be a reading program and will not review all of the phonics from First Grade. It is a very gentle introduction to spelling arranged by different phonic groups. MFW recommends waiting to begin more formal spelling in 3rd grade after children have had another year to practice reading and become more comfortable with the phonics that have been introduced during First Grade.

Our experience has been that once children have a year of phonics, they simply need, as I mentioned above, to practice what they have learned. All children do not mature at the same rate and reading will "click" for some when they are 5 and for others when they are older. For my daughter it really clicked for her around age 9. She was slowly progressing up to this point, but this is when I would mark that she really took off. I just kept reviewing as needed and having her read to me each day from appropriate readers. Someone mentioned Pathway Readers which we used too. Check your library for easy readers or ask your librarian for help. Some easy picture books are fine too, but some picture books will be too difficult.

You may want to systematically go back through the phonics this year or try using something else, but most important is to keep practicing with easy readers. This may mean also adding in some really easy ones to build his confidence so that every book is not on at his challenge level.

Please call our office for more specific questions you may have for help with your son. Speaking with David as Carin mentioned may be helpful as well.

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Re: Done MFW 1st and can't read

Unread post by LSH in MS »

Just this last week I found out that my nephew was diagnosed with dyslexia (he also was not reading well after MFW 1st). So i began to investigate. 2 of my boys were not reading well after MFW 1st. After 2 more years of painfully slow progress they were reading but still had trouble and not a lot of fluency.

I highly recommend that you watch Susan Barton's seminar called Dyslexia: Symptoms and Solutions. Just do a search for Barton Reading. In that lecture she gives warning signs that start at age 1 that you can watch for. If your child has 3 or more of these signs they may have dyslexia. The more they have the more certain you can be. One of my sons had 10 signs that had I known about them, would have known he had it by age 5 or 6. We would have saved 3 years of tears and struggle if I had started with the solutions that work for dyslexia.

All About Spelling is actually based on the Orton Gillingham method which works for dyslexia, so is very successful with them. My 11 year old is having great success with AAS. My 9 year old needs more thorough intervention so I am doing Barton Reading and Spelling with him.

i'm not saying that everyone who is a late reader has dyslexia, but 20% of people in the U.S. do. I didn't even know to check for this when my dc were struggling and wish someone would have mentioned it to me as a possibility to look into. Children with dyslexia can read but often are using context clues and the shapes of the words to figure it out. They will also be terrible spellers. I hope this helps someone.

I just wanted to add that the reading struggles of my dc in no way reflected upon MFW 1st as a program. It's a great program and I am so glad that it gave my sons such a solid Biblical foundation.

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
MFW user for 10 years

Re: Done MFW 1st and can't read

Unread post by cbollin »

Most cases will need more time. and that's ok.
There will be some cases, where something else is going on. Lori has a great point.

if for anyone wanted to check with dyslexia stuff.... RachelT has some good posts on this forum on her experiences with her son after the 1st grade program and needing more time and having dyslexia.

I know when one of my girls was delayed in speaking, it was autism, and the other delayed talker was not autism. So, I hear Lori's point and totally get it. :)


Re: Done MFW 1st and can't read

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

Dear Lori,

Thank you for sharing your story and this information. When someone calls our office with a struggling reader we generally have them speak with our reading specialist and this is one of the areas that will be mentioned.

We encourage those who call to visit for more support with any kind of special need that may arise in children. You may also call them at 540-338-5600 to speak with some one directly.

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Re: Done MFW 1st and can't read

Unread post by RachelT »

Hello RB! I have been checking on this thread and waiting to respond until I had time to sit down and write. I know you have received advice from several others and I appreciate Lucy's response. She was pointing out areas where phonics review and extra reading practice can be done in MFW the way it is written. I also appreciate Lori's point of view and have been there myself.

I could not exactly tell from your original post what is making your child's reading "choppy" or difficult. Does he read sight words? Does he sound words out? Is it just slow or is he guessing at lots of words? Is spelling difficult? If his reading is just slow, but accurate, then he might need to practice these skills for fluency and taking the time to work on them now will be worth the investment. However, if it's a situation where he has gaps that you don't know how to fill in, then you might need to look for something more than extra practice. He may need to be taught in a different way or a different sequence.

I don't believe that all children with reading issues are dyslexic, however, I do believe that many go undiagnosed because they are so smart at learning how to cope with it. I had two reading recovery teachers evaluate my son and tell me that he was just needing more reading practice at the end of 1st grade and about 9 months later, after much stress and struggle in 2nd grade, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and inattentive ADHD. It is a myth that dylexics can't read or that they see everything backwards. All children reverse letters or numbers at times, he just does this more often. He doesn't see everything backwards and it took awhile to diagnose him because he was so smart and used the many sight words that he had learned and the context or pictures to figure out what words might make sense. What I found through his testing was that he needed a specific type of teaching that worked with his gaps in reading and spelling. His reading had "holes", but his spelling was almost non-existent. We also found that his most significant "gap" was where he had to sound out words phonetically that were unknown or unfamiliar. He could read Bob Books and Dick and Jane and very simple easy readers, but reading a list of random words that were beyond CVC or CVCC patterns was almost impossible. We used several other phonics supplements and lots of easy readers, but we were both still frustrated.

My son needed work in both reading and spelling and so we went with Barton and have been making great progress!
ds is still struggling to read the stories, and gets so overwhelmed by what's on each page that often I offer to split it with him. He can read them OK, but it's that choppy, stop and start kind of reading. He actually has even more difficulty reading the words from the stories in the blue book exercises, because they are out of context. He draws the picture in the yellow book and easily narrates out loud a good summary, which I write and he copies part of. He is not ready to just write a summary yet.
This sounds familiar to me, especially because you mentioned his difficulty with reading words out of context.

I LOVE MFW! My daughter has done well going through K and 1st and now in 2nd grade she is working above her grade level in both reading and spelling with MFW recommendations. I know they are there to help you! There is such a wide range of readers at this age. They all develop differently. I just think that if any parent is feeling concern about their child's progress in reading or spelling that they should check out the Barton website for more information about dyslexia and see if it is something to look into further. If you want more information, send me a private message! :)
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
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 9:14 am

Re: Done MFW 1st and can't read

Unread post by RB »

Wow, thank you all SO much for your responses. So much to think about and consider!!!

I have thought that my son might be mildly dyslexic, so I guess it's time to educate myself.

I must confess that I forgot all about those reading games &) I kind of expected him to learn to read just as easily as his sisters. I think I may have shortchanged him, not spending enough time doing the parts of the program that weren't clearly spelled out daily. He did much better in the middle of the blue book, when sounds were being taught. He could handle a limited amount. He actually did very well with the dictation exercises. It seems as though once it was time to put it all together (with more words on a page) it really overwhelmed his brain.

Thanks again for the help figuring this out. I will call the office, too.
dd 15 dd 14 ds 12 ds 1
Adventures and 1st ('07/08), ECC and K ('08/09), CtG ('10-'11), RtR ('11-12), Expl-1850 ('12-'13)
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Re: Done MFW 1st and can't read

Unread post by 4Truth »

I've been following this thread, as I've had similar struggles with my dd who was diagnosed with Apraxia 5 years ago. She'll be 8 years old in a month and is *finally* just now having decent handwriting ... but the reading seems to go 3 steps forward and 2 steps back.

Anyway, I just wanted to commiserate with those of you who are struggling, and to say that I agree the problem is NOT the curriculum. (And I'd also forgotten about the extra activities in the back of 1st gr. &) ) It took her FOREVER just to get all her short vowel letter sounds down, despite having gone through MFW K twice, speech therapy, a phonemic awareness class, watching Leap Frog videos, using the ETC Primer books, lots and lots of reading, did the MFW flashcards *constantly*, listening in on her sisters' schoolwork and read-alouds, and I forget what else. Then finally, when we went through K a third time at the age of 6-1/2, she got it. But would you believe she still forgets a letter sound every now and then? I have to give her visual cues to remember them sometimes. :~
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
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