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Want to make sure this is normal...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My daughter is five, and we've been working recently on phonetics and she's starting to read, all at her insistence. The book that we're using recommends that we do no more than three pages a day, but she demands that we keep going... we've done up to twenty pages in one sitting out of that particular book and she'll read six or more new Bob Books a day. I think it's way too much, but I was following her lead at first.

My question: she's now wanting to replace her nightly stories (read by either me or her dad) with her reading to us from the Bob Books. But I notice that during these times her "brain gets tired", for lack of a better way of putting it, and that she has a harder time remembering the individual words (e.g., she'll sound out "bag" in one sentence and then have to sound it out again in the very next sentence). She also flips some letters, such as "b" and "d", and this is also worse right before bed. She gets frustrated, but refuses to put down the book.

Frankly, I think she's just burnt out. There's only so much you can learn in one day! I remember when I would study math for long periods of time, after a while the information would just be swirling in my mind. My husband is more concerned.

So, is this normal for her age? Also, how can I get her to back off a little on the reading, or should I let her go full steam ahead? I don't want her to hate reading later on because she overwhelmed herself with it at an early age.

Any advice would be deeply appreciated.
post #2 of 9
What wonderful persistence! I would try getting her to take turns reading with you. Perhaps she would buy that you miss it. You could each take a page maybe.
Does she like audio books? Try some evenings where you listen to stories as a family from an audio book.

I might schedule reading time before something else that is very fun for her. So that after a reasonable time you can say, that's great but we need to get ready to go to park or the library or start that art project, etc.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi mama, and thanks for the wonderful advice! I do think we'll start with a scheduled reading time, which should solve most of the problem. She responds well to schedules.

Re-reading it now, I don't think I made my original question very clear. What I meant to ask was, is it normal for her to start forgetting words and inverting letters at this age? Especially when tired? For the record, I do think it's pretty normal, but having only one child I'd like to keep my perception in check.
post #4 of 9
Absolutely normal, don't give it a second thought.

If you try the idea of taking turns reading check with your local library for book recommendation. If you have a decent children's section they probably have several books that are written for this purpose. The page the adult reads will have more text in smaller print containing a higher level of vocabulary. The page the child reads continues the plot but the text will be shorter and the words suited to a beginning reader.
post #5 of 9
Yes, sounds normal. I think up until 7-8 a bit of dyslexia is no biggie. After that point, you may need to pursue testing if it persists.

post #6 of 9
Yeah, forgetting words is not an issue at all. If you think they should recognize the word each time they see it after sounding it out once in the story, then you're expecting them to memorize it (and all other words in the story) instantly, or treat it (and all other words in the story) like a sight word.

Ideally, the word would be familiar, but if they're not yet used to looking at the whole word at once, then of course they'll sound it out again. Maybe that last one was "bag", but maybe this seemingly similar word later on is actually "big" or "bug" or "bad" or "hag".

My daughter is only 3, but she's starting to read and doing the opposite problem heh. She'll sound out "map", say, then see another word "man", and she'll say "map!!!" because she recognized the start of the word -- remembering that the last 'm' word she saw was 'map' -- but didn't actually think about the end of the word. (She's only 3, I'm not worried lol... it's just interesting to watch how it develops!) If she stops to sound it out, or if I point to the last letter to remind her to check it, then she'll figure it out.

As for the 'too much reading' thing... I'd be willing to bet that the recommendation of "no more than 3 pages" is there for the PARENT's sake, so that a parent does not FORCE a child to keep reading in the mistaken idea that it will accelerate their learning. I think that if it's the child that's pushing for it, then by all means follow their lead.

As for making more mistakes at bedtime -- I think that's pretty normal too. Her brain is starting to shut down for the night. I like the idea of alternating reading with her, to give her brain a break but still let her have her fun.

As long as she's still enjoying it (even with occasional frustration), I wouldn't worry about burnout. If the frustration is so great that she starts refusing to read, or something like that, THEN I'd say back off. But a little frustration is normal, with ANYTHING new.
post #7 of 9
I won't repeat what everyone else has said, but I agree with them. Also, perhaps if she's wanting to show off her reading skills to Daddy she could do it when he gets home from work, or right after dinner when she might not be quite so tired.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the advice!

I'll let her keep going at her own pace. It's just so hard to watch her struggle with it for hours when I know if she'd just take a break for a while to let her mind rest, it would be so much easier. I can't believe her tenacity, though! I didn't learn to read until I was six, and it just sort of "clicked" - I don't remember the process of learning to read at all. But she's determined to read, so she's plowing through it... I just teach her the sounds of new letters as they come up and she does the rest. It's an incredible process to watch.

Anyway, thanks again!
post #9 of 9
My 4yo learned to read easily and during the day can read 2nd-3rd grade level books. But at nighttime his brain is tired and he reads easier books in bed. Even during the day, I notice after 20 pages or so he starts to stumble over words he knows.
Both my sons (older is 7) still confuse b and d sometimes. It's totally normal.
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