Help! I can't teach my child to read!

Discussion in 'Homeschooling' started by maria, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. maria

    maria Member

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    First, I want to warn anyone reading this that it is likely to be long. I haven't been here in a couple of years I think and I'm coming now desperate for some guidance. I would like to tell as much about my son as possible just in case anything might resonate with someone else. My middle ds is 7 and in first grade on paper. He has never been to public school. His birthday was in Sept. so he could actually be in second grade but was so not ready for K when he was 5. I taught my oldest to read at age 4 with no problem. The same approach (HOP) didn't work with my middle son. He was very delayed in being able to write. I was so worried because at almost 6 he could barely draw a straight line still. Now, however, he is very good at handwriting and loves to draw. In fact, he is very talented at it. I was hoping reading might be the same way but I have been through numerous programs and we have not gotten anywhere. He is VERY easily distracted. He has a very creative mind and is always obsessing about whatever is on his mind at the moment and can't think about anything else. For example, today he had clay animation stuff on his mind and could only think of looking up clay animation movies, books, drawing clay animation, etc. It's always something. He has no focus unless it's what he happens to already be obsessing about. When I say obsessing, I really mean it. He is easily frustrated and whiney too. He is a very imaginative and creative child and very intelligent but school stuff is just not easy for him. Math hasn't been easy either but I won't get into that. He gets letters b/d/p, n/h confused. He gets confused with the e/i sounds. He is still sounding out very easy CVC words and the first level of BOB books are still a struggle. We are now halfway through his first grade year and I feel like we are running in circles. At the moment, we are using ETC in combination with a Dianne Craft reading book, also trying sight words and have tried and have been trying phonograms. I'm at my wit's end and don't know what to do. I also have two other children I'm teaching at home and I am very overwhelmed. Any help or suggestions? Thank you.
     
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  3. soldiermom

    soldiermom New Member

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    Does he know his alphabet and all of the sounds and combinations like ch th sh etc?
     
  4. Shelley

    Shelley New Member

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    Have you had any evaluations done on him? His obsessive nature suggests there may be an underlying issue---- I stress the words 'may be.' He's also still quite young at age 7, so it tends to be tricky finding out what's going on when there are road bumps in early education.
     
  5. maria

    maria Member

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    Yes, he knows his alphabet and sounds. He knows all the different sounds they make as well. He can tell you what different phonograms say and beginning letter blends but pretty much just by themselves. If you try to put it all together with a word he forgets. I haven't had him tested for anything and really wouldn't know where to begin. I do have my suspicions about ADD and dyslexia as possibilities though. He has trouble with number sequencing too, like he can't tell me what number comes before 24 without counting all the way through. This is getting some better though. I think most trouble comes from him not being able to focus. I just don't know what to do.
     
  6. TeacherMom

    TeacherMom New Member

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    Is this a mater of not wanting to learn to read? I had a child who refused to learn to read. He came right out and told me that when he learned to read it meant he would have to do 'all that work' and he just wanted me to keep reading with him.
    Or is it really that He cannot?
    With dyslexia you can work with him just a bit slower and consistently, try using verbal and visual at the same time. Today I would have been diagnosed as Dyslexic, but my parents refused to let it stop me. ( it never did!) They worked with me, sounding out words and such. So when my son started to have trouble I freaked. I then read a lot of things about how to read with him and I would say the word he was struggling as if it were just natural for me to say it, and he would then have to repeat MY word in place of what he was struggling with. He advanced to graduate with High GPA and loves to read, that of course took me till he was around ten when he found Captain Underpants and the Taking Toilets but now that hes a young adult I am happy that I kept pushing.
     
  7. MinnieMouse

    MinnieMouse New Member

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    I have a daughter who is almost 7 and based on how different girls and boys are your son sounds normal. My daughter is still not fluent in reading but can now sound out most things given enough time. Also you mentioned number sequencing- my daughter only has mastered that in the last month.

    Also, I am a co-op teacher for a class of twenty-two 6 and 7 year olds. We have kids who are reading chapter books for fun, kids who haltingly sound out words, kids who can hardly write their name legibly. And I'm not worried about any of them. Each child moves at their own pace.

    My suggestion would be to relax a bit. Read work to your son. He'll get there. I will say though that the program that finally made it work for my daughter was Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Check it out- it's amazing!!
     
  8. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    There is a real "readiness" for reading. Some kids simply "aren't there" until they are older. BUT THAT DOESN"T MEAN THEY'RE NOT AS SMART as those that are ready earlier!!! Once those late readers start, they pick it up VERY quickly. My friend's daughter didn't start reading until she was nine, and then the next year read The Hobbit on her own!

    The best thing to do is to read, read, and read aloud to him. You need to develop a love for literature. Have him read functional stuff. For example, give him your grocery list when you go shopping and let him cross things off. Do Language Experience Stories, where he draws a picture and then dictates to you about it and you write it down. Then he can "read" it back to you. Pick out fun rhyming books to read that he can memorize and "read" back. But don't make a big deal out of it, or he will feel that he "can't" do it, and it becomes a chore rather than enjoyable.
     
  9. maria

    maria Member

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    First I will say that, yes, he does want to read. He wants to know about everything but gets frustrated because he can't read about those things himself.

    Second, thank you all for your replies. Minnie Mouse, your experience you shared helped me tremendously. Jackie, I am definitely going to use your suggestions! Thank you so much!
     
  10. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    Huh. He "wants to" and gets frustrated. He MIGHT have some problem, then, such as dyslexia. Not saying he does, but you might talk with his pediatrician the next time you take him in.
     
  11. HMinshall

    HMinshall New Member

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    I'm sorry you are so frustrated. I agree that checking with his doctor might be a good idea (if, for nothing else, to rule out any underlying problems).

    Have you tried any computer-based reading programs, like Starfall or Reading eggs? (and I'm sure there are many others) Perhaps the novelty of them might help motivate your son. My struggling reader really blossomed when I took myself out of the equation of his learning to read.

    Good luck to you and your son.
     
  12. MagnoliaHoney

    MagnoliaHoney New Member

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    7 1/2 is average age for boys to begin to read. Have you read Ruth Beechick books?
     
  13. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    Take a look at www.dyslexiagames.com. I haven't used these myself (yet) but they're said to be good for all sorts of things, not just dyslexia.
     
  14. frogger

    frogger New Member

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    Nobody can tell you what exactly is going on of course but I can tell you some things I have learned over the years with teaching reading. Every child is so different. I have taught 5 children to read and they were all so very different but here are some things to think about.


    - 7 1/2 is young so I don't think you need to panic yet. If you look at a third grade reader and a first grade reader they aren't that different. Many times children who learn older progress through those first few years quicker once they get started.

    - It is normal to confuse b/d, p/q, was/saw, no/on if you have a visual child. You know those IQ tests that make you draw designs backwards and upside down, well, those are easy for some children but those same traits make the beginning of reading a little harder. I taught my late reader cursive for writing because you can only make cursive in one direction because it's a process more than just a shape. After he has seen them only one way for awhile we will move to print again. Even non-visual children will make those mistakes just not to such an extreme as some of those visual children.

    - Help them improve their vocabulary while learning to read. Progressing quickly through the intermediate reading stages relies a lot on vocabulary. This can be done by read alouds, audio books, conversation, and narrating your nature walk or science project or the construction site you just passed. It doesn't all have to be formal. You probably naturally do these things. When my 14 year old nephew learned to read there was no big jump like there was with my children because he had spent all his days in the classroom where the majority of work was done through reading as it usually is in later grades when kids are assumed to already be reading but he wasn't reading good enough to be building his vocabulary. Therefore he was often sounding out words that were strange to him. That is an entirely different ball game than sounding out familiar words.

    - Vision Therapy makes a huge difference if a child needs it. That can't be diagnosed on the computer and you can also check for other vision issues too.

    - It is sooooo hard to do the intensive reading with a child when you have others. This past year has been tough for us because I spent two to three hours with Brian on his reading despite having three other kids needing me also. I wouldn't do that long with a 7 1/2 year old. My son is almost 10 now. Every year makes a big difference to those little people. Also giving him or letting him have active things in between tasks helps. It may seem inefficient when you just want to get things done but think of it as running training for us older people. Interval training is a way to build up to long distance running. You can't just take off running for the same amount of time the first time you run. It's not just an enjoyable story to them. It's hard hard work.

    -Your son is still young in my opinion so I'm not sure you want to move to the teacher intensive route yet with three other children but if you are ready to do so I would greatly recommend Spell to Write and Read. The biggest drawback is that it will require you to learn the program and take a lot of your time.

    Here is why I recommend it though.

    1) It has various activities for short attention spans (Spell some words, do the flash cards, write a sentence, etc.) You can take breaks in between but even if you can do it all at once just switching the type of activity to something new helps keep their attention.

    2) If your child is a "doer" it works better to build the word rather than just read the word.

    3) It moves past the tedious CVC stage quickly. This is important for keeping a child's interest.

    4) Rather than mastering the short vowel sounds, ingraining them in their brains and making them habits and then later telling them the letters make a different sound, which is completely frustrating to some children, it introduces most of the sounds a letter makes within 6-8 weeks and they master all of them over time. This also allows for quicker progression for older children.

    This program worked great for my visual and activity oriented, attention lacking boy. I'm not using this program with my youngest even though I already know how to use it because spelling before writing is frustrating to him. He will do better in the reverse but it still made me a better teacher. I will never again make a child master short vowels before learning that they make other sounds.

    Hope at least one of these things help you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
  15. martablack

    martablack New Member

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    3 of my boys didn't read until after 7 years old. (One read a bit before and the other is only 6 and isn't reading well yet.)

    I do understand your frustration. I thought I was doing something wrong with the 4th. He knew all his letters and sounds. He wanted to read, yet couldn't. Then one day, BAMM!, he is reading everything.

    Great lesson for me.
     
  16. vantage

    vantage Active Member

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    I would get a copy of Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons.

    It uses a modified font at first that helps avoid letter reversals and other issues. about 60 percent of the way through the book the student is weaned off this specialized font and moved to normal lettering.

    I was against a brick wall with my first and wondered if we would ever get past blending an entire word. After a couple of weeks with 100 Easy lessons were moving along nicely and confidence was growing.

    It takes about 10-twenty minutes a day. We worked on it last thing at night before bed. I would do a lesson then play a board game or read a story for a while. My child was tired and was less wrestles and distracted at night and was very much wanting one on one time with me so this worked well for us.

    It taught me how to teach reading. I did not know how to teach my kid to blend sounds. The book is scripted and tells you what to say. After you know the pattern you can just be yourself. This took like 8-10 lessons .

    Also there were times when we would skip some repeated stuff she had mastered to keep it from being boring.

    I recommend covering the pictures with a postit until they have read the "story" this keeps them from guessing instead of reading.
     

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