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#31 of 43 Old 10-06-2013, 09:23 PM
 
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Actually that's a popular misconception.

Most Finnish children already have some literacy skills before attending school and the Finnish language is a relatively straightforward language and not as complicated like English.

 

I'm finnish, and just wanted to correct. It's not a misconception at all. While I had learned to read on my own before school started at 7, and first grade. I was the only one in my class. To my understanding Finnish kindergarten is still non academic, and focuses on understanding shapes and knowing your plants for example. My finnish friends kids went orienteering in kindergarten while my kid sat memorizing sight words and coloring the pictures that start with K... I was jealous.

While finnish language is very straightforward, I don't understand why american kids, then, should read earlier... English being so darn complicated, american kids should really be given time to master it. 

What I think about your son... If he is so fast in math, and does read three letter words, then, this is not a developmental issue. And if professionals have told you he cannot be tested for dyslexia yet, then test him later. Propably by then your worries are gone anyways.

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#32 of 43 Old 10-06-2013, 10:03 PM
 
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English being so darn complicated, american kids should really be given time to master it. 

 

I agree with you completely. However, many American pedagogues take this same conclusion and go the other direction with it. They say, if kids need time to master reading English, we'd better start as soon as possible in the hope that we can get that long process over with by the time they're seven. Crazy. It requires developmental maturity more than years of instruction. 

 

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#33 of 43 Old 10-06-2013, 11:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tittipeitto View Post
 

 

I'm finnish, and just wanted to correct. It's not a misconception at all. While I had learned to read on my own before school started at 7, and first grade. I was the only one in my class. To my understanding Finnish kindergarten is still non academic, and focuses on understanding shapes and knowing your plants for example. My finnish friends kids went orienteering in kindergarten while my kid sat memorizing sight words and coloring the pictures that start with K... I was jealous.

While finnish language is very straightforward, I don't understand why american kids, then, should read earlier... English being so darn complicated, american kids should really be given time to master it. 

What I think about your son... If he is so fast in math, and does read three letter words, then, this is not a developmental issue. And if professionals have told you he cannot be tested for dyslexia yet, then test him later. Propably by then your worries are gone anyways.

 

BUT there is a lot of literacy learning that goes on in daycare -in Swedish models I've seen, anyways.  There is exposure and building of information, but not expectation of skills.  I'd bet you that there is a lot of use of language in the orienteering - and learning about directionality, for example.  Learning to read itself may not happen with many kids before it is taught in school, but there is a foundation laid beforehand that makes the building easier.  From what I have seen of the Swedish system, anyways, it is not that the children are coming from a pure state of illiteracy to beginning reading at 7.  

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#34 of 43 Old 10-06-2013, 11:20 PM
 
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Just seeing this thread now. As a non-native English speaker (I am Flemish, born and raised in Northern Belgium), I can say that children then, and now, don't start learning to read until 1st grade. They do generally start going to "school" (kindergarten, which is 3 years) around age 2.5 or 3 though, but there are no academics until 1st grade. My best friend there has kids, one in 5th grade and one in 2nd grade, and things are quite different there still, for the most part very similar to when I was a kid in Belgium.

As far as the difficulty of English versus other languages goes, I think that, while English is very easy in certain ways (English grammar for instance is a joke in my opinion, because it's so easy compared to Dutch/Flemish, or French, or German, both of which I also learned in highschool), it is very unpredictable as far as pronunciation and spelling goes. Yes, there are rules that explain the phonics, and I don't think there's anything wrong about teaching them when you teach reading, but there are so many words that you just have to have heard and seen to know how to pronounce/spell them. One example of a word that always gets me, even though I obviously know how to spell it right, for example is the word "buses", that just really should have to be "busses" if you follow the rule of doubling the consonant. I honestly thought people misspelled that word all the time when I first came to the US! LOL

Anyway, I digress. Hopefully the child of the original poster is doing ok and progressing in his reading endeavors. I was lucky to have kids that learned how to read early and easily. Our daughter insisted on learning how to read before she turned 3, and read at a 1st grade level by 4! Which then made us almost think that our son (who's less than a year younger) was a bit "delayed" because he only recognized letters and somewhat knew the sound most letters made by age 4. But then at 4.5 he demanded to learn how to read and read at a 1st grade level within about 6 months!

 

FWIW, here are some things that I used, mostly with my son (since my daughter somehow just got it, without very much teaching, she was tested as gifted in reading actually a year ago, at age 8), and that were very helpful. He watched the Leapfrog DVD's a lot, starting around age 3.5 or so, Letter Factory and Word Factory, and loved it. He watched those so much, that he still remembers one of the songs now; he's 8.5 now! When he asked to learn how to read, at 4.5 I bought the K level set of Hooked on Phonics. I thought that was very good, and he loved doing it. I let him set the pace, but he went through the K level quite fast. Each grade has 2 sets of a DVD, a practice book, and several short story books for them to read after each section. Hooked on Phonics goes through 2nd grade, and he did all of them, finished that somewhere in the middle of 1st grade or so. Both kids also did some practicing on starfall.com, which is pretty good I think too.

 

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#35 of 43 Old 10-07-2013, 04:07 PM
 
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I just re-read this thread. My brother had trouble with reading and excelled at math. It was because of his vision. He could not read horizontally, but he could vertically (as in math columns.) Maybe the OP's son needs a good vision exam. My son is currently doing eye exercises to help his eyes work better together. There's only one eye doctor in our large metropolitan area that does that. Most just do quick and dirty exams and then give glasses. This is where I found our eye doctor. I don't know if all their doctors do vision therapy or not. http://www.optometrists.org/about_optometrists.html


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#36 of 43 Old 10-20-2013, 02:58 AM
 
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Phonics do work....but can take a while for kids to 'get it'....& to be honest it took me a while as well, we didn't do any phonics at school & we seemed to have done okay! (was it ITA we did?, I'm 40).

Most kids get there in the end...my son seemed a bit slower picking reading up & as a parent you just think there is something wrong....but it is the long game! He if fine now. We got him into the 'Hooked on Phonics' also & did really help....but it's just commitment of parents & teachers overall.

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#37 of 43 Old 10-20-2013, 07:31 PM
 
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I have had one of each-- a sight reader and another that was naturally drawn to sounding words out.  Both ways have their disadvantages and both are working on balancing their reading skills.  I am talking with them about the inconsistencies of English quite a lot, and I try to treat it lightly. .....

Yes - we have to remember that there are two aspects to reading for little kids to master - learning sight words and understanding phonics. As a teacher and a Mom I believe that it's really important for you to know that you are approaching the reading practice the best way. Many parents don't realize that the way they approach reading at home makes a huge difference to their kids' performance at school. I believe that the best way to learn to become a better "teacher" is through a program such as this one from My Kids Can Read which is extremely popular because it focuses on helping you get your child interested because it's interactive and lots of fun. 

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#38 of 43 Old 10-21-2013, 04:46 AM
 
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Has anyone had any experience with Vinci learning tablets? ( www.KidsEducationLab.com ).....this is a learning/reading aid that my nephew uses, my sister really rates it, they aren't cheap....I am tempted, but my nephew is super switched on & would be interested if anyone with 'Non Einstein' children had seen results? lol :wink 

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#39 of 43 Old 10-29-2013, 02:11 AM
 
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To enhance  your kids reading habit you should read with him at home. Choose a niche topic or a story and read with your kid. Ask him want to did today at school what he learned. Make it a routine. Tell him some interesting things about the world. Also lead the positive behavior in him by teaching some morals and ethics. I will do well . Read this to know more:

http://andrewkrugly.edublogs.org/2013/08/26/reading-at-home-with-your-child/

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#40 of 43 Old 11-10-2013, 12:23 AM
 
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BUT there is a lot of literacy learning that goes on in daycare -in Swedish models I've seen, anyways.  There is exposure and building of information, but not expectation of skills.  I'd bet you that there is a lot of use of language in the orienteering - and learning about directionality, for example.  Learning to read itself may not happen with many kids before it is taught in school, but there is a foundation laid beforehand that makes the building easier.  From what I have seen of the Swedish system, anyways, it is not that the children are coming from a pure state of illiteracy to beginning reading at 7.  

 

If you mean exposure and ue of language as in, listeing to stories, learning songs by heart, and yes learning early literacy skills through other activities like the orienteering. This still is a whole different approach than the early academics in united states. there's no way that a swedish/finnish child would be diagnosed with dyslexia, because he is just picking leaves when other kids are orienteering. And I think this thread was about being concerned with dyslexia in a kid, that in other cultures would only be expected to begin to learn read and write. 

 

I guess me being interested in this thread comes from my worry that, when academics in their most boring form are set way ahead of other forms of literacy learning, say free play (read: story telling). The kids are done a disservice. They may read early, but will they tell a great story, will they be critical thinkers and problem solvers?

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#41 of 43 Old 11-10-2013, 08:36 AM
 
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I guess me being interested in this thread comes from my worry that, when academics in their most boring form are set way ahead of other forms of literacy learning, say free play (read: story telling). The kids are done a disservice. They may read early, but will they tell a great story, will they be critical thinkers and problem solvers?

 

One advantage to reading early in school is that class size increases as they age, reliance on homework and tests as the main assessments of learning increase every year.  It's told that underprivileged kids benefit from the early learning and I imagine assessment of any learning disabilities as well.  That way, they don't fall through the cracks when class size increases and kids are increasingly in charge of their own output.  It might even flag them for one on one attention from aides who can work with them specifically on the needs that have been identified.

 

I know that's just the current model.  Homeschoolers can ignore all that.  There is no pressure to have a certain skill level by a certain age.  Assessments can be done in all kinds of formal and informal ways.  Homeschooling can be more hands on, and consequently not lean as much on literacy skills.  Mild forms of reading disabilities can be worked through.  

 

Since I last posted, my youngest, now 7yo, is reading a wide variety of books.  Usually non-fiction.  She reads to her animals, and she really loves it.  My oldest, now nearly 9yo, still doesn't read for fun.  She does read because she *wants to know something*, and that might be how it will be forever, or she might learn to love it more when it comes as natural as walking does.  Some kids will never love reading as a pastime.  Others will pick it up later.  My now 30-yo nephew "discovered" the book store when he was 26!

 

Well now I've been posting on this and have forgotten what the OP was all about.  Off to reread.

 

BTW: Follow up.  "Knee" was once pronounced "ca-NAY".  The printing press helped standardize spelling (well, sort of) and "freeze" words in their old forms while the pronunciation changed.  (Same for "knight", etc.)  Positive outcome: we are able to read centuries-old English writings with very little help.  Negative outcome: the need for memorizing sight words.  One book I read since I commented last called English the most "Chinese" of European languages, due to the sheer number of (now) non-phonetic spellings which need to be read more like pictographs than a series of sounds.  


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#42 of 43 Old 11-10-2013, 08:53 AM
 
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Take a deep breath! First, the CAT doesn't have to be done all in one day. Do only one section of reading each day, with a couple of days in between. And all of you should keep in mind that this is a baseline test. Also, until you get the results back, you don't know how he compares with his peers, which is what it's all about. Have you sent the test back to be scored? 
 

For a parent's own peace of mind, they need to know what their state (and/or school district, where applicable) are looking for in their assessment tests.  

 

I am in a state that requires a test or in-home interview every year.  The results are for the parents.  (BTW, in states that allow it, an in-home interview with a "learning professional" is often recommended for kids this age for this very reason--because they are too young to use the tests well enough to accurately assess skills.  Even my oldest needed coaching in the format and how to take the test.)  

 

In Oregon, results are shared with the state, but they are looking not for a specific test score, but like pek said, the first test is a baseline and they are looking at subsequent tests scores in comparison.  

 

Your state could be different still.  You need to do your research, get in touch with someone involved, and hear from HSing parents who have BTDT in your state.  I can't stress this enough.  

 

It is so important to understand what the procedures and expectations are where you live, because the stress rubs off on your kids, sometimes in a lasting way.  Don't stress visibly anyhow, but especially when you are not sure how the test scores will be handled.

 

DD1 aced her assessment test (which, BTW, was the CAT 5 *Survey*, not the larger test), except for spelling, which she tanked, even with a little assistance that I was giving her throughout the test process.  And, yes, we did break up the test over about one week.  Math and history, etc. was fun and we did 2 sections (40 questions) in a sitting.  The spelling took about 3 of those days.

 

I'd love to hear a follow-up on this one! @katy1844 


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#43 of 43 Old 11-10-2013, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the advice ladies!  Were still homeschooling, we started last year (his 1st grade year) with basically no reading level as I stated earlier, by the end of the year he was where my daughter was by the end of Kindergarden.  Reading is still a huge challenge for him.  I recently had him tested and depending on the test/subject he's anyway from 1.2 to 1.7 grade year, which is still below his grade, he's now 8 and in second grade, he should be around 2.2 this standard is based on New York's grade standard.  Here in New York almost all kindergartens are full-day so the expectations for each grade is different then they were in Oklahoma where he did attend half day kindergarden and his teacher didn't feel that all students should or could be reading by the end of the year-here reading is VERY heavily taught in kindergarden.  The testing specialist referred us to a eye doctor, she stated he appeared to have vision issues and she also referred him for speech therapy.  This was a private testing specialist, my son was in speech for three years and the school stopped it at the end of his kindergarden year.  My husband and I have decided to put him back in private speech therapy (truthfully I'm not 100% sure he really still needs it and if the therapy really helped or if it was just time) but regardless we don't think it will hurt.  We are also having him looked over by an eye doctor, he has yearly exams and nothing has shown as a problem yet.

 

Through this journey we have met so many different people who have different sometimes very strong feelings on reading development. One of the biggest factors is what country they are from-homeschoolers in general are more relaxed -while reading specialists are the other extreme.  The only thing we know for sure is the more pressure he feels the worst he does, when there is less pressure he's reading and speech are much better.  There's been approvement along the way which is very important to us, that he's not learning as "fast" as the norm might just be okay-somedays I'm totally stressed out about it and other days I think it will be okay :-)  One thing for sure he would be MISERABLE in public school, there is no way a teacher could give him the personal time and commitment he is getting at home, which is good but can be tiring!  He's still very sensitive to his reading level (thank you two weeks of 1st grade teacher) I feel she very strongly she SHOULD not be a 1st grade teacher, sigh :irked and I wonder at times where he would be if he had a different teacher. 

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