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Almost 8 year old not reading - Page 2

post #21 of 49

I'd not worry :)   He'll get it. My almost 11 yo isn't reading very much yet, but his brother was the same way. We tried lots of things with his older brother, but nothing seemed to click. We listened to tons of audio books--think 6-10 or more young adult/adult books a week!, read to him, he saw us reading, etc. 


My parents were hysterical that he was 9 and couldn't read so they offered to pay for 6 mos at Sylvan (at nearly $400/mo GASP) because they were sure it was 'my' teaching methods. We had him tested to begin and he was at a K6mos level if I remember correctly, but his vocabulary and comprehension were that of a freshman in college (hello audio books!). They said he OBVIOUSLY had some undiagnosed learning disability and they'd get him 2 grades at least in those 6 mos. So, we took him.....for 4 mos as he lost interest but we stuck with it. They gave tickets or something where you could earn a treat/toy and that kept him intersted for a while.  So, they did an exit test and he hadn't advanced even 1 month in those SIX months....so much for 2 grades. They of course said it wasn't THEIR methods...he needed officially tested by a professional for a learning disability! 


So, we kept up with what we were doing. My parents were less fussy as obviously it wasn't just me who couldn't 'teach' him, and at close to 11, he decided he really, really wanted to read Harry Potter. He sat down with Hooked on Phonics Master Reader on the computer and finished grades 2 to 6th in about 3 weeks. And then picked up books and began to read. Hasn't stopped since. He's a voracious reader and has a book with him at all times.


All through the times he couldn't read well....he still always felt he was a great reader...because no one told him differently. Now, at almost 15, he's a better and much more prolific reader than anyone his age we know. And has an amazing vocabulary and sarcastic wit!


So, I expect here shortly, his brother is going to spring through the same steps he did as I can see the sparks there with him as well. He's a much more physical child and always moving, running, playing, digging in the dirt, building with his hands, and the thought of stopping and spending hours to learn something just hasn't occured to him yet. He knows sight words for things he uses on a regular basis and we read for him if he asks us to. He'll get it eventually!

post #22 of 49

Get some eye tests done by an osteopath who understands cranial anatomy, structure & function related to vision. Structural issues are actually quite common to kids who don't read normally.  The exact corrective glasses prescription, not contacts, made a huge difference for my daughter.  Before that, no matter what we did her reading suffered. 

post #23 of 49

This older thread has almost 80 posts and quite a bit of helpful input: "I have a 7 yr. old non-reader" support group.  I hope someone has already mentioned the possibility of vision skill problems, but I'll get back tomorrow and check. Still recovering from a few days of fever.   ;)   Lillian

post #24 of 49

 I wanted to pop in and say that my son was the same way.  He is almost 10 and just in the last year really started taking off w/reading.  And it was simply because he wasn't interested yet/didn't find a good reason to spend the time practicing.  I've had people think that we just don't teach him.  I just let that stuff roll right off because I knew he'd get it when he was ready, and he did.  We recently started using Time4learning again, and in the past, he wasn't interested in the language arts at all.  Now he will sit for so long doing it (so that he can "catch up") that I have to make him take a break!  He did 3 hrs of language arts yesterday and when I let him choose which subject to do this morning he went straight to LA.  He blew through 2 levels in just a month. (that's 2 whole grade levels).


BTW, the thing that finally sparked his interest was Captain Underpants books, and then he really, really wanted the Criss Angel Mindfreak Platinum magic kit, and I told him he'd have to better his reading skills.  So he did.


Good luck, Mama, and ignore others who poo-poo your methods.  Do what you feel is best for your son.

post #25 of 49


Originally Posted by Kreeblim View Post

Originally Posted by SpiderMum View Post

Comics or manga are a good way to get kids reading and I second the video game recommendation.  Anything that's an RPG would probably do the trick.  Pokemon, Paper Mario, etc. are all very fun and require reading.  I think the desire to be able to play games without needing me to read it to her is what made my niece improve with reading.

To add to this, I forgot that part of my kids eagerness to practice reading now comes from they watching DH play Magic the Gathering with his friends, and then being told "sorry guys, this game takes a lot of reading."  


Not that card games are for everyone, but sometimes DS1 will actually ask us to do flashcards and worksheets with him because he REALLY wants to play that stupid game sometime soon.

Oh yes!  I forgot about TCGs (Trading Card Games)!  Magic is somewhat complex (for the younger child, though each child is different), but there are others like the Pokemon TCG or Yugioh! TCG that are a more simplified version of a similar type of game.  All require reading though.  Of course there are others besides those too, Wizard of the Coast makes a LOT of different card games based on all sorts of different stuff.

post #26 of 49

At some point, if he continues for some time to lack confidence in his abilities, you might want to make sure his vision skills are okay - those problems quite often go undiagnosed. He can have 20/20 vision and still have problems that can cause unease with reading. My son's eyes weren't tracking across the text smoothly; someone else might be seeing letters falling off the page; someone else might see blank spots on the page; someone else might be seeing everything fine but without being able to recall it in the brain - but all those things are correctable. 

My son knew how to read when he was 8, but avoided it other than for getting information out of a book until he was 12, when we eventually discovered he had problems with vision skills. Once he got into therapy for that, he  became a voracious reader. I had read to him a lot before that, and he loved it, so it was merely a continuation of the reading we'd experienced together.

Here's a thread where it's discussed, and it leads to another one where it was also discussed quite a bit: 

? for anyone who did vision therapy

Something else we'd looked into was the possibility of dyslexia - it's another one that's often undiagnosed and not obvious. It was during work with a therapist that we discovered my son's vision skill problems, but I discovered that I had dyslexia tendencies of my own. This article about our experience tells more: 

Dylexia - A Gift?

I'd ordinarily have more to add, but still don't quite have my energy back from a virus, so will come back later.  ; )   - Lillian

post #27 of 49

Lots of boys, especially those who would be identified in the school system as ADD, LD, etc etc, learn to read and write later. For a lot of these kids, phonics just doesn't make sense. My ds learned his alphabet, knew what letter made what sound, but couldn't put those sounds together to form words. When he learned to read, it was whole words. Once he'd come across a word several times he'd absorb it into his memory bank. So for him, the word sent and the word dictionary are equally difficult to read. Once he's learned it, he knows it. A lot of these kids don't write until around 11. In my opinion, this doesn't make them 'delayed' - I observed that my son was building a lot of other skills duing the time that his peers were learning to read. He had a huge vocabulary, his verbal skills were above average, his memory for detail and his ability to plan and carry out projects were excellent.  We pulled ds out of school half way through grade 1 - he had a D in reading. We left him on his own for reading, didn't pressure him at all, and read to him a lot. He was surrounded by books, so there was a definite incentive to learn to read. One thing that really inspired him was Garfield. There is no better 'reader' in the world than Garfield. They're funny, age appropriate, simple language, one sentence per square, three squares per comic and the picture supports the text. My ds puzzled over those comics until he got them. Then he graduated to Calvin and Hobbes, then on to TinTin and Asterix, and now reads anything and everything. I'm not saying sit down with Garfield and do lessons. Just strew them around, see if interests him.


Here's an interesting site on right brain children and how they learn - it might ring some bells for you. http://applestars.homeschooljournal.net/an-introduction-to-the-creative-right-brained-learner/

post #28 of 49
Originally Posted by scoobymummy View Post

One thing that really inspired him was Garfield. There is no better 'reader' in the world than Garfield. They're funny, age appropriate, simple language, one sentence per square, three squares per comic and the picture supports the text. My ds puzzled over those comics until he got them. Then he graduated to Calvin and Hobbes, then on to TinTin and Asterix, and now reads anything and everything. I'm not saying sit down with Garfield and do lessons. Just strew them around, see if interests him.


Ah! Calvin & Hobbes! I can't tell you how many times I've heard that was what got different older children reading. And another one used to be Nintendo Power, but games have changed a whole lot since then, so I have no idea whether that one is still a resource boys are pouring over. - Lillian

post #29 of 49
Thread Starter 

You all are helping me so much. Thank you. I am calming down a bit. I went to order the explode the code book A and DS came in and saw me ordering it and said, "this is stupid, I'm not using it".  So I canceled the order. I was pretty frustrated, but now I see how I have to stop pushing. He is enjoying Captain Underpants, so I will have to get more. And I will find some other comics that he likes.


scoobymummy- that article was so interesting. It sums up my child. I bookmarked the page so I can read more of the articles later.

post #30 of 49

There is also a forum for homeschoolers of right brained children - they all have great ideas and are very supportive. Here's the link:



post #31 of 49

My ds did not read until he was 8. We had dabbled in Hooked on Phonics and the Bob Books and he seemed to make some progress but then would lose interest. One thing I did when he was this age that was such a huge help long term was that I'd do a chant/song in the car that had kind of a rhythmic beat that went "A says Ahh, B says Buh, C says Kuh, D says Duh" etc. and this seemed to stick in his head. Later when he was ready to read that little chant helped.


Two things that got him reading were Nintendo DS and the game Paper Mario---oh the tears of frustration when he could not read the instructions on screen!


Ds also liked listening to books on tape. The first time he actually "read" on his own he had listened to Winnie The Pooh on tape 100 times, and one day listened while holding the book, and realized he could read the words from memory. He was shocked! This was the full version chapter book Winnie the Pooh, not a picture book version. 99% of fast reading is really memory, and that seemed to click on in his brain through books on tape.


Also dh took ds to the bookstore every day from the time he was born practically and around 8 he told him he'd buy him any book he could read. Ds loves a challenge, apparently.


He went from reading almost nothing to reading perfectly by 8 and a half (meaning total fluency, adult level reading). It did happen fast when it happened!

post #32 of 49

This thread is awesome.  Going through similar situation with DS and DD.  Unschooling makes me feel guilty because I don't feel like I'm doing anything towards thier education.  But on a deeper level, it makes sense.  Anyway, it's been very encouraging to read the posts and live vicariously through your success stories. Thanks.

post #33 of 49

Just wanted to chime in that it took my DD until this year (age 10) to enjoy reading and do it on her own for pleasure. She could sound out words and read when I forced her, but she finally "got it" this year. I think it just takes some kids longer. If you read aloud together, have lots of books in the house, do a lot of reading yourself and you've ruled out learning/physical disabilities then I wouldn't worry too much about it. (I know that's really hard to do!) I think forcing kids to read before they're ready only serves to make them resentful and resistive to learning. At least that has been my experience! Good luck!

post #34 of 49

My daughter is in 2nd grade at a Waldorf school. I am thinking about homeschooling / unschooling next year, which is how I found this post.


The majority of my daughter's classmates have summer or fall birthdays when they turned 8, so they are mostly well beyond 8 at this time. 75% of the class is JUST beginning to "get" reading. Only 25% are good readers.


My point is that unschooling may have nothing to do with your child not reading. Waldorf education does not expect children to read before 8. Other homeschooling books I have read support the idea that many children are just starting to be developmentally ready to read at age 8. Unfortunately, most schools do not recognize this fact.


Sometime during your daughter's eigth year is probably the best time for her to start reading. Good luck! 

post #35 of 49

Have you read Better Late Than Early? That book changed my perspective on the annual obligatory freakout that my son isn't yet reading. He's nine now, and can read more than he believes he can, but he doesn't read books yet. Lately he's been adding things to the shopping list (with very creative spelling!), so I think that may be a glimmer that a change in literacy status is just around the corner. 


Harvest Moon and games like that incorporate a lot of words that I think get absorbed whether the child is paying attention or not. :)

post #36 of 49

Just coming back to post that my younger ds, now 11, has really taken off in reading just the last few weeks. We checked out Magic Schoolhouse books at the library and he's going through at least one a day and he's also taken to 'copying' the pages out in his own handwriting too and changing some words. (Great for improving skills there too!) He has a big vocabulary and he thinks they should use more big words in the books! (Great for learning to spell bigger words too!)  I imagine in just a few more weeks, he'll be reading anything he can get his hands on.....similar to his brother who was also a 'late' reader.

post #37 of 49

My dd turned 8 in February and has only just started to really want to read for herself in the last couple of months.


She did Reading Eggs online more than a year ago and I thought that might lead to reading but it didn't at that time. She has been writing for years though as well as drawing, painting, photographing stuff, noticing signs and words out and about but being generally far more interested in socialising and creating than taking in other people's thoughts through the written word.


She has always liked me to read to her and this got more intense with longer books in the last six months or so with her choosing a chair for us to sit in and for me to read to her. As the weeks went on, she read bits here and there if she wanted to but mainly it was all me. She bought a book she liked the look of (Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles )even though she told me at the time that she couldn't read it and she picked it up every now and then and struggled through pages full of fantastical vocabulary that not even I had ever seen before. We carried on with me reading to her and then all of a sudden she realised that she could read a paragraph and another one and another one and then a whole page.


Then she announced that she could probably read any book she wanted to now and this has been a real revelation to her. I don't know what has been going on inside her head for the past few years but whatever it was has all come together and now it works.


It was when we had been reading in a more focused way in the chair for a few months that I read John Holt's How Children Learn and read his description of children in Norway (I think) taking approximately 20 hours to learn to read after only being read to by an adult in a cosy chair. No lessons, no phonics, no activities, no corrections or interruptions: just listening and then joining in but at times of their own choosing, starting and ending when they chose and in a safe and cosy environment. That gave me hope that what we were doing was 'normal' and I wasn't failing her by not being more structured or pushy.


Now she is reading Doctor Who novels. It really was that quick once it worked which reminded me a bit of when little people learn to walk then never stop!

post #38 of 49

My daughter is 8 and she can't really read yet. She always loved books though. When she wanted to be read to, we tried to do that whenever possible. We also got her audio books, often along with the actual book. She wants everything read to her. Book titles, stress sighs, food lables. It was really annoying at times. We tried phoenics. Being triligual, she asked if phoenics works differently in German and Hawaiian, which it does. She then promply proclaimed that she doesn't want to learn "that" three times.


And I can't even claim that she is doing advanced math, not that I compare my children's sucesses to "grade levels". Everyone, even homeschoolers are always aSSuming that she should read by now...because she is a girl. BOYS being late is often excused because they're boys. I am so sick and tired of realives comparing my kids. When she was four they pointed out that ds who went to Pre- k could spell his name at four and dd can't. Ds name is Jake and dd's in Michaela.


 Some days she doesn't ask to be read to, so I assume that she doesn't desire being read to that day, otherwise she would ask. If she doesn't want to watch TV, I wouldn't constantly ask if she wants to either. Sometimes we spend literally all day reading, then we don't read anything for a few days. There is no annoying 30 minutes a day requirement. I also don't randomly place books around the house just to show them off. My mom mostly read when I was in bed, and I still grew up to love reading just from being read to and getting to choose my own books. I do tell my kids about books I am reading or have read and since they do into out bedroom, they do see the books we are reading laying around there


She pretty much she recognized some sight words and her name. However she very recently snuck up behind me writing email and randomly read "Aloha ahiahi". She also reads some words from memory and recognizes them in a different contest. I'm really tempted to push her now since she is so very close to reading and I really don't want to read any more Junie B. Jones. But I am not confident that it won't take too long anymore.

post #39 of 49

The way it looks like you want to teach your child is more of a "whole language" approach. This is the idea that you teach the child how to read in real world contexts. So, you should read to your child a lot and let him follow along as you read. You want him to associate the word with the sound. There are great video games and computer games out there that act as flashcards and will keep your child engaged. Some kids hate the phonics approach and it does take a while to get going. Just expose him to words all the time!

post #40 of 49

I have heard some excellent suggestions from this thread and value them gratefully. My boyfriend's son is 8 years old and going into the 3rd grade, and although he is not mine I love and care for him deeply. His mother (whom he lives with on a regular basis and is a 2nd grade teacher) is very neglectful towards him and deals with some mental issues herself. He cannot read and is in one of the "lower-stars" as far as school districts go. He is on medications and whether on or off them he goes into these stages where you cannot control him. He is abnormally hyper and tends to stay in this state continuously and it progresses when you play with him. It is often hard to keep his attention on a communication level and trying to get him to sit still for longer than 5 minutes doing anything (reading, arts and crafts--he does play video games) is impossible. I'm not sure if he is right-brained because he doesn't do arts by himself but enjoys the interaction he has with me when I engage him in different crafts. He gets very frustrated in his inability to read and pitches fits (like screaming yelling crying) and goes crazy when you strongly encourage him to read to you. I have tried Dr. Suess and Leapfrog but he feels he is too old for them. I have tried to encourage him to read off the hints and words off of video games and give different examples of why reading is so important when he grows up and how it is involved in the world around him and am always positive, patient, and calm during his episodes. My boyfriend's family is strongly Christian and believe that 'God will solve this problem' while everyone surrounding him knows how to read and does not believe that God perhaps works through people and that family is a great influence on children. To a point it is not my business, but I grew up a neglected child and remember those who stood up to help me, many of them teachers and friends not from my family. I would love any suggestions or similar experiences to perhaps gain insight from. I am going to look into the "Hooked on Phonics Master Reader Edition" and would love more information on the "Time4Reading" program mentioned in the above post--or any programs related to them. Please share if you can <3


Please feel free to private message me, from reading through these threads it seems as though there are many respectable and experienced mothers out there who might offer valuable advice.

Edited by knotta - 8/17/12 at 8:37pm
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