Learning to read - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-15-2009, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a nearly 6 year old. He was homeschooled for kindergarten this past year.

He's gotten to the point where he's pretty good at sounding out simple words. However, he has few or no sight words, and he seems to have no recognition that the same combination of letters says the same thing every time (eg. if he sounds out the word "dog" in one sentence, he sounds it out again when it appears in the next sentence, rather than just recognizing that it's the same word). This makes for a very laborious process, and he tends to lose steam within a few sentences

Part of me feels that he's just not quite ready developmentally, and that, if I let things be for a while, something will eventually click and he'll have an easier time of it. The other part of me feels we need to do the opposite, and be diligent about working on it every day (or nearly so) so he gets adequate practice.

He's most responsive to reading small, simple books like the BOB books or the HOP books included in Hooked On Phonics. He dislikes Starfall, Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons, the main lesson books for Hooked on Phonics, Tanglewood's Really Reading, and anything else that isn't an actual standalone book.

I've read plenty of stories of homeschooled children who aren't taught to read who just suddenly pick it up on their own, and do quite well, when they are ready, but it's a difficult process to trust, especially since reading is something that brings me so much joy and (from a purely selfish perspective) it would make my life so much easier if I didn't have to read every little thing to him.

So basically, I'd really like him to be progressing with reading, but feel that, if I try to force the process, he's just going to develop an aversion to it.

Any suggestions or reassurances from those more experienced with this process than I am?

DS born 6/03, DD1 born 9/06, DD2 born 10/10, DD3 born 4/14.
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#2 of 4 Old 06-15-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ocelotmom View Post
Part of me feels that he's just not quite ready developmentally, and that, if I let things be for a while, something will eventually click and he'll have an easier time of it. The other part of me feels we need to do the opposite, and be diligent about working on it every day (or nearly so) so he gets adequate practice.



So basically, I'd really like him to be progressing with reading, but feel that, if I try to force the process, he's just going to develop an aversion to it.

Any suggestions or reassurances from those more experienced with this process than I am?
I took these two paragraphs out of your post to say to trust your intuition on this one. I think you are correct. Sometimes kids at age 6 just aren't developmentally ready and no manner of 'forcing' (not saying you're doing that) will help them progress.

Can you back off on the reading (except you reading aloud) and instead play some phonics or sight word games?
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#3 of 4 Old 06-15-2009, 11:35 PM
 
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I would either take a break for a little while or do some phonics practice daily for a VERY short period- like 5 minutes.

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#4 of 4 Old 06-16-2009, 08:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocelotmom View Post
I've read plenty of stories of homeschooled children who aren't taught to read who just suddenly pick it up on their own, and do quite well, when they are ready, but it's a difficult process to trust, especially since reading is something that brings me so much joy and (from a purely selfish perspective) it would make my life so much easier if I didn't have to read every little thing to him.

So basically, I'd really like him to be progressing with reading, but feel that, if I try to force the process, he's just going to develop an aversion to it.

Any suggestions or reassurances from those more experienced with this process than I am?
I read all these stories as well, and I think they can be misleading. Many children will seem to learn to read with no effort. Many will not. I kept waiting and waiting for this to happen with my dd, and by 8yo she was still barely reading. In fact, she was doing what your ds is doing (sounding out the same simple words over and again) at age 6 and at age 8. She was just not progressing past that initial stage. I did tons of research on reading at that point. Turns out, many children do actually need good reading instruction in order to put it all together. We do not all learn to read the same way, and she needed a comprehensive phonics and spelling and writing program. Now, by 8 1/2 yo, she has made huge progress and is reading chapter books. But, this did not happen overnight or magically, but as the result of good instruction.

Your ds is still young, not yet six. I think age six is a perfectly appropriate time to introduce reading instruction. I would watch for a few months and see if you see progress. Your ds may be a child who picks up reading with no problem, but good phonics instruction will help with more advanced reading and with spelling. I agree you should take a break until he is at least 6, then keep the lessons short. If he likes the HOP books, then use the HOP program. The books are the built in incentive. The fact that he has not yet been eager to do other programs may just be a maturity thing, and he will be ready at age 6 or 6 1/2.
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