Should a 6 year old - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-28-2009, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Know how to read? I am so frustrated with my 6 year old.

We went over letter sounds over and over and over and over. It was Hooked on phonics learn to read.Kindergarden reading.My ds thinks its all a joke a big joke. He wont sit.He laughs at me and says off the wall stuff. It was reading a simple book about a cat and a rat.It was putting together like C-AT.He was ok when she read it out loud.When she the cd had him do it himself it was so hard.

Also math is another thing that gets me a simple 1+2 is really hard for him.

I think I just need to put him in school.What was I thinking?I really thought my child would sit and want to learn

We have even went over the alphabet a good 100 times and 1-20 a good 100 times.Ds Still has a hard time with that.My 3 year old can do both with ease.

I cry everyday over this.I lock myself in the bathroom and just let it out.

I am worried that he will not be able to read one day.I would be the one to blame.I just wanted to home teach for k & 1 grade.I am so worried that when he goes to 2 grade he will be so far behind.

Anyone have any tips or ideas to help me?

Do you think I am just overreacting?Should I slow down?

TIA
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:15 PM
 
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I have just a minute to post but hugs to you.... kids learn in all different ways... and maybe sitting down to learn isnt how your 6 yr old learns?? and NO not all 6 yr olds know how to read.
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:27 PM
 
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in waldorf schools letters are not taught until 1st grade and six would be K which is about learning through play. lots of household play, blocks, songs, and stories read to him.

it sounds like 1. he may not be ready and 2 that may not be the best way for him to learn. not everyone responds well to phonics( i didn't) and many people esp. kindergartens don't respond well to sit down type work.

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Old 09-28-2009, 04:38 PM
 
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Sounds like you are putting too much pressure on your ds and yourself.

Sounds like he is NOT ready to sit down and go over the alphabet a billion times...he wouldn't even have to do that much sit-down-and-listen type stuff in a public Kindergarten...why are you pushing it so much???

Also, he is a boy...they tend to have a lot more energy and are less mature than girls the same age. I think maybe you are putting too much pressure on both of you and you need to relax a little (just my two cents)!

If you want to increase his literacy awareness do things that are FUN
Make up silly songs with repeating sounds
Tell silly stories/tongue twisters
Clap our the rhythm of the words to listen to the smaller chunks
Play games where you look for letters in the world or things that start/end with a certain sound etc.

me, dh and 2 boys = our family (oh and a cat...who is also a male...lol)
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Old 09-28-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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O.K I think we are having the same day. lols The only difference is my son is #4 and I have been here before. I have to say though, I am not any more patient. I wish I were, but today I am not a nice mommy Today my son will not even attempt to read Little Bear. He can read it, but he just refuses to see that he can. It is so frustrating! I finally had to walk away. I was thinking the same thing about putting him in school. My 3 older kids are in school. #4 has never been to any school and so I was trying to see if it was easer to hs with a child that had never been to school.

I want to tell you. At the beginning of September my son did not remember all his letter sounds, even though he learned them all last year. He also did not know ANY letter names. Last year i did Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Lessons. My ds is an older 6, so he is a 1st grader. We did not quite finish the lessons in the book last year. My ds got tired of it and I got tired of pushing. Well he lost much of what he learned over the summer. So this year i wrote all letter on index cards like this : Bb says "Bb" as in bat, Cc says "Cc as in car. Every day we went over these cards and every day he got to illustrate a couple of the cards. He drew a bat on Bb card, a car on Cc card. At first it took a long time to go through each card, now it only takes a couple minutes and he knows them all!!! I have now added blends to the cards: Ch, Sh, Wh. It is working.

I also need for you to know that my other 2 older boys did not read well till they were 9 or 10. Some kids are reading when they are 4 y/o. IGNORE those children! You need to lower your expectations. It is o.k.
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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Are you doing K or 1st with him? If K, then you have the whole year to get the letter sounds down. If 1st, then yeah, I can see why you'd be worried, but consider the above comment about Waldorf have 6yo in K and not starting letters til 7yo.

Like PPs said, maybe sitting down for learning time just is not his style right now.

I would suggest Peggy Kaye's book "Games for Reading". It is awesome! My DD 6yo is not the sitting-est for learning time and especially is not into pre-made "schooly" type reading lessons. We make comic strips!

We have also done a lot of sidewalk chalk reading (check out Peggy Kaye's book!)---draw a triangle made of four smaller triangles--start at the point, put a "C" there. Then fill in the other three triangles with "AT, AN, AP" etc. We start standing on C and then jump to the other sounds---sounding out the words as/after we jump.

I would try doing more game type activities, ie--make a C box and put in objects/pictures of objects that start with C. Or spend time in the car rhyming simple words---this is pre-reading so once they learn "at" they know how to spell sat, cat, bat, etc. because they've already rhymed all those words. Again, you've got to check out the book! You will not regret it.

Also, maybe try Starfall or other computer games that help with reading? I pretty much let DD play all the online reading games she wants to; I figure that any non-threatening reading practice is beneficial enough to outweigh my dislike of the screen time.

For my DD, I've had to become very indirect in our reading practice---I actually haven't asked her to do any reading from children's books or "early readers". I got her some beginner books and she just wasn't interested---thought they were to babyish. But reading games are aces here! We alternate home-made comics with reading games, and she's really coming around.

Good luck! Don't give up or be so hard on yourself---give it some time. Maybe focus on other "reading" stuff like pattern recognition, paying attention to detail (mazes, sewing and such), rhyming, and just enjoying being read to (Dr Seuss is a good one that you can read them over and over, and they will eventually start recognizing the words).

Happy and in love with my family!
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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Did he make the cut off to be 1st age or is he kindy age?
He's old enough to be learning to read, but he doesn't seem to want to. Have you tried talking with him and setting goals together?
If he doesn't know the alphabet really well, I'd stay there instead of trying to sound to sound out words. Has he watched starfall.com at all? Leapfrog's letter factory?
Kids all learn in different ways- I hope that the two of you can figure out how he needs to learn this!
I do think that it's good to focus on this if he'll be starting 2nd grade at a public school next year- did I read that right?

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Old 09-28-2009, 05:11 PM
 
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Is he newly 6 as in K or almost 7. There is a huge difference in that with my ds. He will be 7 in just over a week. Last year when we started he was not ready at all. I had had him in K4 half day and he had learned the letter sounds and started on consanant/vowel blends, but it was such a struggle to get him to put a three letter word together. I was worried but told myself to be patient as I had read a lot online about different children learning to read on their on time. Sorry, no links. Basically, learning to read is easier when a child can go back and forth easily between using the left and right brain. This is noticed by the ability to skip. Last year he could not, now he can! His reading has come so far in the last year. We started HOP K in Jan, we skipped the letter sound part, because he did already have that. Then we went right into 1st grade HOP and started the 2nd grade one in Aug and are finishing it this week. He now LOVES reading were as a year ago he hated it.

As for the math, play with blocks. We use singapore math and are constantly using legos for it. The written problems might be too abstract for him.

Oh, I have disipline problems with mine about not wanting to do school. I just remind him of how long ago in the morning the bus went by and how long before it comes back by and ask if he wants to start going to the local school!!!

good luck
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:24 PM
 
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Especially with a son, I wouldn't sweat it over not being into bookwork until he's 8 or so. PErsue his interests--go to the library and get books (and movies) on topics that appeal to him--my DS wanted to learn about spiders and submarines at that age.
Read to him, on topics of his choosing, fiction that you both like, imaginative stories (like 'my father's dragon') etc etc. But don't push him to read until he is interested. If he's anything like I was, the pushing will make him push back and be counterproductive...I was ready to read at 5 but got pushed so I fought it until I was 7 and they finally stopped pushing and *POW!* I was grade levels ahead within a couple of months (know many 8yos who have tackled the Hobbit?!)
Count things with him, make observational comments "oh, we put in two eggs and now we just put in one more, how many eggs is that altogether?" and encourage him to use his fingers or count the shells or whatever works for him to have a concrete sense of what the concepts mean. My DS happens to like math, and was doing multiplication by counting egg cartons when he was about 5, but not every kid is in that headspace at that age and that is totally ok. My DS is 9 now, in 4th grade, and still likes to check his math with finger-counting. That's fine with me--it shows that he understands what it all actually means.

By the way, my brother (now a prolific reader, and someone who just graduated with a college psych degree) didn't bother to really learn to read until he was about 10. Mom said she stressed a lot about him...but when it came down to it the truth was that reading required him to sit still, and he was an energetic person who needed to move. He learned math facts while bouncing on a pogo stick or hanging upside down from a tree branch...and you know what finally got him to read? I (his 3yrs older sister) started reading a fiction series to him that really got his attention. I was in jr high by then, and busy, and was only able to read to him a couple of nights a week. He got wrapped up in the story, then got impatient with waiting around for me to read to him, so he sat down and learned to read so that he could finish the series on his own.

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Old 09-28-2009, 07:55 PM
 
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My 6 year old ds is very obsessed with books. He spends hours pouring over them, "reading" them to his brother (and getting mad that he doesn't pay attention). He loves spelling and wants to know all the time how various things are spelled. But he hates doing phonics and getting him to read even the simplest books aloud is pure torture. So I totally feel your frustration.

My ds is more interested in looking at the pictures and pondering what they mean than reading the simple text at the bottom of the page. Or he'll just stare off into space like he's thinking. He totally drives me crazy. I'm continuing to plod along because I think at some point it will click and he'll take off, but in the mean time, I'm shaking my head and thinking if he was in school they would have put him in remedial reading by now (which makes me glad we're hs'ing). I keep pressing on because I think the exposure to all this is giving him tools he will use later on once he decides he wants to read. He is very known for being stubborn and appearing to not understand a concept at all and then a couple days later explaining it to his little brother, so I am pretty sure the information is getting in. It's just frustrating when the response is so awful.

Hugs!

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Old 09-28-2009, 08:02 PM
 
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Sounds like it might be time to back off. I say this as someone going through the same thing; my 5-year-old who knows all letters/sounds just. won't. read.

I'm not pushing it...and the few times I sat down with her to fight our way through reading, it reminded me that it wasn't worth it yet.

Have you ever asked him what he wants to do in homeschool? What sort of things interest him...perhaps that can help you bring some of his interests in to make things more fun...even if that means doing the Star Wars alphabet

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:51 PM
 
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Relax and be gentle with yourself (and him Some kids just aren't READY at 6, some are. Just like some can't tie their shoes for beans (my 7yo :P) I've said it before, and it is worth repeating ... There is nothing incredibly urgent that your 6yo NEEDS to read yet Try just reading TO him for a while, ease up the pressure on both of you and when he is ready to put it together, he will think of reading as something enjoyable, not something slow & torturous. He WILL get it eventually!

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Old 09-28-2009, 11:42 PM
 
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Did he make the cut off to be 1st age or is he kindy age?
He's old enough to be learning to read, but he doesn't seem to want to. Have you tried talking with him and setting goals together?
If he doesn't know the alphabet really well, I'd stay there instead of trying to sound to sound out words. Has he watched starfall.com at all? Leapfrog's letter factory?
Kids all learn in different ways- I hope that the two of you can figure out how he needs to learn this!
I do think that it's good to focus on this if he'll be starting 2nd grade at a public school next year- did I read that right?
I second the leapfrog letter factory. My kids were only comfortable with a few letter sounds but after a few weeks of every other day viewing of that dvd they know them all. They're always walking around seeing thing and saying b-b-banana or d-d-dog.
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:50 PM
 
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My boy is a visual spatial learner. He learned to read at an older age through remembering more and more sight words, NOT through sounding it out. It's fine, just different than the more common auditory sequential learners. Some people are kinesthetic learners and learn best while moving. You might want to explore the different types of learners and figure out what kind your ds is before you continue.

My ds started getting interested in reading at 7, not 6. It picked up a little at 7 1/2 and turned into actual reading (sentences, not books) at 8. Part of the problem is he is interested in reading complicated, difficult things, not "baby" books. So I read to him before bed. I think he gets a lot out of following along with his eyes and having my reading confirm what he thinks the words say. It's a nice way for him to learn without pressure or that perfectionist tendency getting in the way.

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Old 09-29-2009, 12:02 AM
 
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My eldest child and I 'fought' with reading until we were both in tears. Finally, somewhere at 6yo she decided she wanted to do it and we used 100Easy Lessons and she was reading before we were halfway through the book. it hasn't slowed her down any!!! She's in 9th grade this year and read Homer, Virgil, and I can't remember what else last year! and is currently reading Dante!

My eldest son is fighting his way through 100EL now. He'll be EIGHT in November! He just doesn't want to SIT for lessons. But, being able to read is becoming more important to him and he has started asking for lessons even on a day they're not scheduled.

So... I'd not fret it until 9yo, for a boy esp!

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Old 09-29-2009, 12:17 AM
 
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OP- is your concern based on thinking he needs to be reading, him wanting to read, or needing him to read to be on track to start school? That might help us advise you.

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Old 09-29-2009, 12:29 AM
 
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That's still awfully young. I wouldn't put so much as one more minute worrying about it.

You thought he'd want to sit and learn, but maybe you're focusing in the wrong place right now - learning can and does come in a lot more forms than that, and there are a lot of other interesting, fun, and valuable things to learn about at his age. And learning how fun and satisfying learning can be is more important than mastering reading or arithmetic right now.

It may be that your two children just have very different ways of learning and that the methods you're using just happen to click with the younger one more readily. And HOP is certainly not for everyone - there are some fun things like Starfall that others mentioned that he may respond very well to. And here's a whole thread on Learning to Read. Here's another one on kinesthetic learners - that's one of a number of types of learners he might be.

You have a long time before he needs to go into 2nd grade - if you can slow down, relax, and just take things easily and slowly, he'll probably be more and more ready as some time goes by. My own child didn't start learning to read till he was almost 7 and about to go into a little private school where the children in the 1st grade he was going into would already know how to read 3 letter words. At that point, it took little time to get him going. But children - even children who go to school - are all different, and reading readiness is not an indicator of anything other than reading readiness. Here's a thread that might offer some encouragement: "I have a 7 yr. old non-reader" support.

This might be the last thing you want to hear right now, but from afar, it sounds as if he might have a good sense of humor about things that just don't make sense to him, and that's a gift . And you very well may be taking on a different sort of role when you sit down to "teach" - that's not at all uncommon, and some children really resist seeing their parents become different people than the parents they're used to. Maybe that's not the case - but the laughing is what made me wonder about that. He probably has some gifts and talents that are being overlooked right now because of the anxiety over this one thing - not necessarily big, important things, but things that might be important to him. He will be ready to read one day - and it's absolutely not necessary to put him in school over this.

This has been kind of rambling, but bottom line -> it isn't a problem at this point. If he has trouble with reading a year from now, you might look into getting his vision and vision skills tested, but he sounds like a pretty normal 6 yr. old to me. OH! And there have been a number of threads here and in other places online about 6 yr. olds being a challenge - there seems to be some developmental/growth thing going on at that time, maybe something that has to do with growth hormones or whatever. So I'd suggest you step back, relax, and concentrate on having fun with him and exploring the world together in ways that click with him. Lillian
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:41 AM
 
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I second the leapfrog letter factory. My kids were only comfortable with a few letter sounds but after a few weeks of every other day viewing of that dvd they know them all. They're always walking around seeing thing and saying b-b-banana or d-d-dog.
On the Amazon website, it has a 5 star rating from 700 customer reviews - that's PHENOMENAL! And it's CHEAP - they're selling it there for under $9! One nice thing about Leapfrog products - at least some I've seen - is that a child can approach them individually in playful ways that are reflective of the way they enjoy and learn.
Here's a link:
Leapfrog Letter Factory

- Lillian

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Old 09-29-2009, 01:12 AM
 
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My 6 yr old is similar, but is starting to make progress and is catching onto things now. However, if it makes you feel any better, my friend who's 6 yr old is in public 1st grade here told me that they did not expect at least half the 1st graders to be reading at the start of school this year. Likewise, another friend who subs for K told me that half the children were not reading at the end of the K school year. So, it seems, at least here in OK, that only about half of all 6 yr olds are reading. It made me feel better anyway, to know that my 6 yr old is not the only one. Sometimes it sure feels that way though.

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Old 09-29-2009, 01:56 AM
 
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One of my kids did not start learning to read until he was 7, and even at age 10 now, it's still a long road. It's fine! He is so smart and awesome, words are just tough for him. His brother read very young, and reads out loud to him all of the time now.
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:11 AM
 
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I also need for you to know that my other 2 older boys did not read well till they were 9 or 10. Some kids are reading when they are 4 y/o. IGNORE those children! You need to lower your expectations. It is o.k.
Robin
My 4 kids have learned to read anywhere from age 4 (Angela) to age 10 (Dylan). Joy learned to read at age 6 and Erica at age 9. Erica hated phonics. I'm still not sure how she learned to read. Both her and Dylan didn't take off on reading until they found something that they loved to read. Angela taught herself to read just from listening to her sisters' phonics lessons. The girls were homeschooled when they learned to read and Dylan was in public school (until this year).

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:14 AM
 
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Some kids are just ready to read later, my dd didn't learn until she was 8 and now at 9 is on grade level for reading, it was really hard for me to understand her having so much trouble when I learned to read at 3-4 with ease. My 3 yr old is already happily learning letters and phonics but older dd just didn't get it until much older.

Seriously?
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:19 AM
 
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6 year olds don't have to read. He might not be ready. He might be picking up on your frustration. Try to relax and enjoy the process. Look up alternative reading activities, like writing in sand. Start small. Celebrate small steps in the right direction. I need to take my own advice.
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:40 AM
 
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Has he seen a developmental optometrist?
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:42 AM
 
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My dd is 6 years old and will be 7 in February.

She can read words but she doesn't read in a sustained way yet at all.

I am not concerned.

The more you push the more resistance you feel; that is just the way the natural world works. I would stop sitting down to work at letters or read and just encourage him to do things he enjoys. IF that doesn't include reading right now that doesn't matter.

Relax.
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank You for the advice.Today we cut out pictures that go with a letter.Then pasted it, and he really truly enjoyed it .

I think I was overreacting.I am just a little worried that 6 years from now he will be behind and I will be the one to blame.I know kinda a silly way to think . I myself have a hard time with spelling and all that fun stuff.I think its my own issues,I am worried about

I don't want to put pressure on him.I try not to let him see me get upset.I usually go sit in the bathroom for 10 minutes lol.

I want to put him in a Montessori next year.If money is tight it will be public school.I just want him to be prepared.

I think I got some really great advice here.I will use it and relax ,and keep ya all updated.

TY
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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Our DS was like this when he had just turned six. The two things that helped him the most were the Letter Factory DVD and Click'n Read Phonics. (get it for half price through the homeschool buyer's coop - don't pay full price). I think it worked for him because he already enjoyed animated things on the computer, and it was something he could do independently. He made a lot of progress with that. Now he is 6.5. He is much more cooperative about doing school now. He is also starting to appreciate that he does not have to do it all day long or be away from me and his brother every day. He still has to work pretty hard - reading does not come to him easily - but he is willing to work at it now and is making steady progress through the Bob Books. He was not ready to try the Bob Books until he was up to about lesson 75 in Click'n Read Phonics.

DS1 March 2003DS2 Sept 2005,
and 3 , in our happy secular
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:49 PM
 
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I agree w/ the pps. . . . and just want to add something. I have 6 year old twin girls. One of them can read at a 2nd grade level. The other is still emerging. It really is okay.
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquafina View Post


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Old 09-30-2009, 02:29 PM
 
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There are a million suggestions...and I listened to them all. I have a kinesthetic learner (very bright) who learned to read this year (8 years old), even though she'd tried and tried since 4.

My observation is that 2 things are essential to her learning:

1) A close and warm connection with the "teacher;"
2) Doing something even if it's just fidgeting;
3) A non-conflict environment

My recommendation:

Lay off reading instruction until he asks for it. If he asks what words are, tell him.

When he does ask, give "Progressive Phonics" books a look. (www.progressivephonics.org). (Free, but you have to register.)

These are books where you do "shared reading" with different colored ink for the words you read and the words he reads. Both my 5 year old (Alphabetti) and 8 year old (Advanced) love them. The stories are funny.

Use covered overlays when you start back up (available from Rainbow Resource). The contrast helps concentration.
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