Reading with an almost 6yr old...helllppppp - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 11-16-2007, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is our first year of homeschooling and I'm having a bit of a wobble.

OK I know it's early days, I know I shouldn't push anything, but every time we work on reading he goes floppy, is clearly bored silly and I just feel like I have NO idea how to even get him interested.


I bought hooked on phonics which isn't working for us at all..... I read to them all the time, we go to the library once a week. He can almost recognise the letters and has kind of grasped the idea of sounding out C..A...T but he just looks bored and goes all sulky...then I get annoyed and it all goes horribly wrong, so I back off and leave it for a few days and it happens again.

I just feel so clueless now. I can't control how he feels about reading I know, but it really makes me wonder if he will ever learn to read with me?

How do I make it interesting?

I'm not using a curriculum, I'm just gathering stuff as we go along....should I look at a curriculum? hooked on phonics was a waste of money for us, so I don't want to keep on buying things that we don't use.


Any advice will be greatly received I have NO idea what I'm doing.

tia.

Lisa: Homeschooling Mum of ds, 8 and dd, 6
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#2 of 15 Old 11-16-2007, 09:57 AM
 
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hi lisa, i'll give you my 2cents & recommend a few things, and you can take it for what it's worth. i think you should definitely switch gears in the sense that you should stop what is clearly not working right now. i'll tell you some low-key things that worked for us and it may or may not be helpful for you and ds. my children enjoys leapfrog dvd's "the letter factory" (teaches that every letter has a sound) and "the word factory" (how to blend those sounds to create words). my kids really like those videos and they don't think of it as anything but entertainment (i.e. it's not schooly). they are only about $10 each from target.

i also like the new leapfrog game "word launch". it's a video game that hooks up to the TV, so if you're comfortable with that approach - it's pretty good imo. i put a picture of it in my blog if you want to see it. i would not do any kind of seatwork with your son right now at all regarding reading, as it will probably make him more resistant (if he's like my kids anyway). i would read to him a lot, but i would not try to engage him in helping you find words or anything during story time. just allow him to enjoy his mommy reading to him. i also think doing puzzles & mazes together would be a good idea, as those are wonderful pre-reading exercises. also www.starfall.com is popular. my dd does not like it unfortunately, but it's a lot of fun for some kiddos. overall, don't feel stressed mama. when the time is right, he will read. hugs to you.

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#3 of 15 Old 11-16-2007, 11:43 AM
 
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My son was just like yours about 1 1/2 year ago. I felt like he should know how to read (he was 4 at the time!! what was I thinking??) He had no concept of the letters, really, and couldn't put words together, or even write all that well. I got so frustrated, that I just completely gave up and stopped doing everything. Well, I read to him everyday, and also spent copious amounts of time in the library and bookstore. Then, after awhile, I tried again. I don't even know how it happened, but he just GOT it. He knew letters, he could put letters together to form words, etc, etc. He can now read way above "grade level", very fluently and now wants to learn to read in other languages :.

My son loved starfall.com and also, we purchased the program on clicknkids.com. Both were winners in our house. I believe the website iknowthat.com has letter help, too. We also purchased books he liked, such as spiderman, batman, superman, captain underpants, and lots of others like them. I would just encourage you to follow your child's lead where this is concerned, because you want him to love reading and not have bad feeling associated with it.

It is hard, though, when society tells you he should be reading at this age. However, what does society know anyways?

I am no expert and am learning all the time, but that is just my experience and 2 cents worth.

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#4 of 15 Old 11-16-2007, 11:53 AM
 
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We have used Reading Reflex when my ds was about 6/7 yo http://www.amazon.com/Reading-Reflex...5224666&sr=8-1

It had a bit more of a game feel to it as we moved letter squares around and played bingo. If you do go that route, buy 2 books so that you can cut up the second into little letter squares.
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#5 of 15 Old 11-16-2007, 12:13 PM
 
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I've never met a kid who didn't like Starfall (although I am sure someone will come along now and confirm their kid hated it)

We've been using Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading, which I like. It's not obnoxious, the little stories are readable, and it has some fun stuff thrown in with the every day, but it's not one big huge "fun" time-sucking activity after another. It really keeps my daughter's interest and the lessons are in nice little bite-sized chunks.

A book I loved and used with my first was "Teach a Child to Read with Children's Books". It had a great balance of phonics and whole language and used picture books. My library has it, and yours might as well.

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#6 of 15 Old 11-16-2007, 12:40 PM
 
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Both of mine love starfall. It's been a fantastic fun way to get some learning in. Same with the leap frog DVD's. My son is just 6 and I was sort of in the same boat as you are. I found the more I pushed the harder he pulled away. I found the best thing I did was take a step back and just have fun with it. I purchased the BOB books which he loved so we stayed with that for awhile. He's started to move past the BOB books and when we read and he comes across a word he doesn't, I just read it for him and show him how the word "works" and we move on. I've also learned to watch for cues of when to just stop for the day.
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#7 of 15 Old 11-16-2007, 12:50 PM
 
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A lot of kids at that age balk at reading--I think that they really aren't quite ready to push beyond the sounding it out stage into "real" reading. I have a (now) 17 year old son who did that for a while. I managed to keep myself from going crazy, and within about 6 months or a kyear he was reading way above his grade level.

Have you ever read Raymond and Dorothy Moore? They are old homeschool proponents who believe that there is no reason to force very young children to learn to read (especially when it makes them miserable). They have a book called "Better late than early" which discusses the whole subject. It's really interesting. In the old Colfax books--they were the family who homesteaded with their children and at least 2 out of their 3 boys got into Harvard (not genetics either, I think 2 were adopted)--their children learned to read because they realized that there were things out there to learn that their parents weren't interested enough to continue to read to them.

I guess what I'm saying it don't panic. It will come. Sometimes you just need to be a little more patient than nature intended parents to be.
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#8 of 15 Old 11-16-2007, 12:57 PM
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If he were in school in the US, he would be a kindergartener. Today kindergarteners are expected to read a small amount by May or so, although many don't, but when I was in school, kindergarteners learned the Letter of the Week and how to write their own names, and that was enough. Developmentally, I think that's where many kids this age need to be. Reading is so easy for most when their brains are ready - truly like magic. Until then, I think it's fine to just to things you both enjoy - read to him, look at books together, play on the computer, play silly rhyming games, and follow his lead.

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#9 of 15 Old 11-16-2007, 04:29 PM
 
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If you want an actual curriculum, we loved Sing, Spell, Read, and Write. The level one is a two year program (It's around $200, I think, but like I said, goes for 2 years) and teaches the letters, the phonics, and some grammar in there. They have neat little stories, some books the kids can color, they use songs, and there are games.

However, at 6, if he really is not interested, I think you could just leave it for now and come back to it later. There are a lot of kids that don't read until they are closer to 7-8 who do just fine. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with his mind or your teaching. He might just be a later reader.
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#10 of 15 Old 11-16-2007, 04:39 PM
 
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My ds found drawn out phonics programs to be boring also. He really liked Leapfrog videos so I gave hom access to those whenever he wanted, and just kept reading to him. He found the stories in BOB books funny, so he didn't mind practicing with those, and then he loved Seuss books so he slowly read through those. He also likes the comprehension questions in Explode the Code: "Can a cat make the bed?" and things like that; he thinks they're silly. Basically, I had to just step back and let him do what he thought was fun and wait, and it all clicked when he was ready. Just keep reading to him and provide some fun phonics games and/or videos and he'll put it all together when he's ready to.

I like Ruth Beechick's laid back approach in The Three Rs, she has some suggestions for phonics games. There was a game in there that involved physical activity that my ds really liked. There is Games for Reading by Peggy Kaye also.
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#11 of 15 Old 11-16-2007, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You are all angels! Thank you. All the advice has been so helpful.
He isn't really interested in Starfall, but I'll relax and back off a bit and research all the ideas on the responses.

Thank you

Lisa: Homeschooling Mum of ds, 8 and dd, 6
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#12 of 15 Old 11-16-2007, 05:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tallanvor View Post
However, at 6, if he really is not interested, I think you could just leave it for now and come back to it later. There are a lot of kids that don't read until they are closer to 7-8 who do just fine. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with his mind or your teaching. He might just be a later reader.
:

DS2 was definitely not ready to learn to read at 6. I know he would have if I had forced it, but it wouldn't have been worth it for either on of us. I taught him last year, when he was 7. We had our moments, but we both survived. Now, he's 8, reading fluently at about a 3rd grade level and he just spent the last two hours reading a book, BY CHOICE! I wasn't certain that he would ever enjoy reading as much as his older brother. He just pretty much wanted to be left alone in his room with his Legos. It was a little difficult at times for me to sit back and have him not learn to read, but I really did believe it was best for both of us to wait.

Do what you feel is right for you and your son.

~Staci
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#13 of 15 Old 11-16-2007, 06:14 PM
 
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I used Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Lessons - the lessons are short, only about 10 minutes long, but it's not overly exciting. It was about $20 at Barnes & Noble.

My DS was much more interested in doing them when I would announce at bedtime, "Opps! We forgot to do your lesson, I guess it's too late to do it today." "But Mom, I wannnnnttted to do my lesson."

Tanya
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#14 of 15 Old 11-16-2007, 07:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Teensy View Post
My DS was much more interested in doing them when I would announce at bedtime, "Opps! We forgot to do your lesson, I guess it's too late to do it today." "But Mom, I wannnnnttted to do my lesson."

Oooo, now that's good - how clever you are!

Add me to the list that says don't worry.
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#15 of 15 Old 11-17-2007, 12:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Teensy View Post
I used Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Lessons - the lessons are short, only about 10 minutes long, but it's not overly exciting. It was about $20 at Barnes & Noble.

My DS was much more interested in doing them when I would announce at bedtime, "Opps! We forgot to do your lesson, I guess it's too late to do it today." "But Mom, I wannnnnttted to do my lesson."

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