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#1 of 16 Old 02-13-2011, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone ever hired a private tutor to help your child read? My son is almost 6 and in kindergarten and refuses to read.  I am at my wits end.  He is at the bottom of his class in reading, and is getting additional help from another teacher there.  But at home, he refuses.  I know his personality does not help: he gets scared if he doesn't know how to do something, and then won't try.  He will rattle of sight word flash cards, or the pages he has memorized, but if it is a new book, he says he has never done this before, and then won't even try to sound them out.

 

So I am thinking of taking him to a formal reading class 2X week after school, but I do not know if these exist. I was wondering if anyone has done outside tutoring, and what kind of instructor you had.  What was the structure and how often did you go. Thank You!


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#2 of 16 Old 02-13-2011, 08:17 AM
 
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We have used a summer reading tutor for the past 2 summers and it has been great.  However the key difference is that my son LOVES to read but it was hard for him. He really wanted to learn read.  He had eye issues and now wears bifocals. Getting glasses made a huge difference but before that he had difficulty tracking. The tutor was able to focus on that aspect and get his reading to where he is now.

 

We met once a week for an hour all summer in our home. She brought fun books with her that sparked his interest. He loves math and science so she brought books about those things and he could keep them until the next lesson. The hour was fairly unstructured but they spent at least 3/4 of time actually reading. She kept things light and fun and focused on enjoying a book, going slow and taking his time. 

 

If your son truly finds reading unbearable and is refusing to read I would most likely let it go.  I personally think kindergarten is to young to worry about bottom/top of the class. We started tutoring the summer after first grade. Let him focus on at school but take the pressure off at home.  Instead try to make it fun.  Does he like to be read to? Read to him every night before bed.  Are there books he has shown interest in? Get them on tape and listen to in the car or at home while doing puzzles, drawing etc.

 

Does he have typical 6 year old love of potty talk?  The Captain Underpants series was my son favorite at that age, I would read them over and over to him and at 9 he still loves to read them.

 

Have you had his eyes tested? Maybe he is refusing because it is too difficult for him.  See a pediatric ophthalmologist that specializes in eye/reading issues.

 

A little off topic but have you ever seen this poster?  I love it!

 

 

 

Quote:

Thirteen Ways to Raise a Nonreader

 

  1.  Never read where your children can see you. 
  2.  Put a TV or computer in every room. Don’t neglect the bedrooms and kitchen. 
  3.  Correct your child every time she mispronounces a word. 
  4.  Schedule activities every day after school so your child will never  be bored. 
  5.  Once your child can read independently, throw out the picture books. They’re for babies. 
  6.  Don’t play board games together. Too dull. 
  7.  Give little rewards for reading. Stickers and plastic toys are nice. Money is even better. 
  8.  Don’t expect your children to enjoy reading.  Kids’ books are for teaching  vocabulary, proper study habits, and  good morals. 
  9.  Buy only 40-watt bulbs for your lamps. 
  10. Under no circumstances read your child the same book over and over.  She heard it once, she should remember it. 
  11. Never allow your child to listen to  books on tape; that’s cheating. 
  12. Make sure your kids only read books that  are “challenging.” Easy books are a  complete waste of time. That  goes double for comic books and Mad  magazine. 

     

  13. Absolutely, positively no reading in bed.

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#3 of 16 Old 02-13-2011, 11:30 AM
 
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I'm surprised the school has identified it as a problem at this point?  DD is also almost six, and pretty much at the same level, and it's a non-issue here.  She has a ton of sight words, is working on sounding words out, has a lot memorized but she's by no means reading with ease.  She doesn't particularly like sounding words out, and will only do it under duress, but I just think as her skills and confidence grows it will become natural.  She goes to a very highly rated school--I'm not super crazy about it, but I'm not worried about the quality of her education.

 

One think I noticed with DD is that she didn't have a concept of being graded--I had to explain to her that if the teacher asks her to sound something out, she has to do her best--she can't just give up or say she doesn't know how--because the teacher needs to know if she can do something or not.  That actually made a HUGE difference in her attitude towards learning.  I was surprized at her evaluation the first marking period, and that was what I winnowed out--that she truly didn't realize that she was being graded or that there's an expectation that she "perform" all the time  She does what she feels like usually.  eyesroll.gif

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#4 of 16 Old 02-13-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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I wouldn't force the issue at home by getting tutors.  Right now he is getting lots of help at school.  As his confidence grows at school it will help him at home.  Most kids aren't reading much at age 6.

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#5 of 16 Old 02-13-2011, 04:25 PM
 
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Our son was a very reluctant reader in 1st grade. He came home the first week of school with instructions for a reading log. He was supposed to read out loud to us for 20 minutes a night. When we told him this,  he had a complete and total meltdown. Crying, tears, the whole works. Since he was normally a very compliant child, I knew this was going to be a problem. I talked to his teacher, and I suggested to her that we have him read out loud to us for a bit of the time, and then we'd read out loud to him for the rest of the time. She was fine with it.

 

We started very very simply with very easy  books that his teacher assured me he could read (Think: BOB books). If he read one of those for even a few minutes, then dh or I would read him longer books for the rest of the time. By the end of the year he was willing to read grade level books to us for 5-10 minutes.

 

Ds is a child who hates to make mistakes and is very reluctant to try things that he doesn't know he can do. (It does make learning new things a bit of a challenge.) So, we set him up with books we knew he could do. My SIL had given us a set of really really dull early readers (My little "a" book, my little "b" book, all the way down to My little "xyz" book). They're predictable, with text that follows the pictures and so relatively easy to decode (though they're NOT phonics based). We started by having ds do the predictable text on each page, then slowly built up to having him read more of the book. We read the same books over and over and over again. The moment he started to get frustrated, I'd step in and help. In addition to the alphabet books, we got some very very easy readers from the library. We'd read them first, then he'd read them after us.

 

I guess my point is: At this stage, it's FINE if he's reading something that he knows. It's FINE if he reads the same book every night for a week. Far better to do that than to do things that are too hard or are frustrating for him. Ds could do early chapter books (such as Frog and Toad, Henry and Mudge) long before he would. That's OK. He was being challenged at school. At home, I wanted him to practice. I wanted his reading time to be a time to snuggle with us and enjoy himself so he would develop positive associations for reading.

 

Finally, I would gently remind you that he's in KINDERGARTEN. He's barely 6. My son steadfastly to even try to read at home in kindergarten. So, in K we focused on reading aloud to him (just like we did in preschool). Find books your son likes to listen to and read aloud to him. That alone will really help his literacy development. He'll be exposed to new words, and new ideas; he'll learn the structure of stories and how to predict what's going to happen. Hopefully, he'll learn to love this time with you. Ds 9 now, and reads quite well. But, we still do part of his reading together. He has to read for 40 minutes a night for school. He reads 20 minutes by himself, we read aloud to him for 10 minutes and then he reads for 10-30 minutes in bed. He won't give up those 10 minutes of us reading aloud, and I'm hoping he'll continue for years. If I were you, that would be my goal with your son too.


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#6 of 16 Old 02-13-2011, 09:33 PM
 
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my dd too at K was a very reluctant reader.

 

she was on par with her class but i could tell soething was holding her back.

 

her thing was she was a whole language reader. that is she refused sounding out things. if the word looked similar she'd guess that while reading, but while comprehending she'd figure out the context too.

 

so i found dd needed help with phonics. all the fun ways so far were not wroking for her. if asked hte rule she'd describe it but would not apply it.

 

she also has a v. independent and stubborn personality. i knew tutors would not work.

 

so i psent some good money in buying her the first half of phonic lessons from www.headsprout.com

 

dd LOVED it. the way they did it really appealed to her. before i got the program i tried it on her on a sample lesson.

 

we didnt even finish the first half of hte program. i didnt have to buy the others. within a few months dd's reading really took off. right after the winter holiday in first grade.

 

but that is on par with dd's personality. she takes a bit to start. but once seh starts, seh takes off running.


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#7 of 16 Old 02-14-2011, 04:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klt View Post

My son is almost 6 and in kindergarten and refuses to read.  



Wow, this sounds like an oxymoron to me. Here, being 5 and in kindergarten means by default that you do not read. I mean, if you do, great. But if you don't, not a problem, in any way, shape or form. Nothing to stress over. OP, this is not directed at you specifically, but the culture in general. Is there any way you can take it easy, so there isn't pressure on your son, so he can feel reading is a fun, enjoyable thing to do. Better that than it being "awful homework", then he is starting off with a chore, not enjoying something, that should be a very enjoyable experience. Good luck. 

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#8 of 16 Old 02-14-2011, 05:31 AM
 
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My son is almost 6 and though he is sort of into reading, this is only because his dad and I are English teachers and avid readers and so I think it comes more naturally to him.  His teacher is constantly surprised and shocked by the fact that he reads and wants to practice reading.  Almost none of his classmate are. He still doesn't want to read more than two syllable words in books so we take turnswhere he reads a word then I do and most of his reading is from the signs we pass as we ride the bus to school.

 

It's not at all normal for a 6 year old to be into reading IMO.  Most kids do not hit this until after 7.

 

Of course reading to him and modelling the behavior for him is a good place to start in any family.  The most fun DS has reading is on Starfall.com, Poptropica.com, uptoten.com/Boowakwala and Sheepish.gif clubpenguin.com.  But then the internet is where I do most of my reading anymore, too.  He also loves to look stuff up on google and then he will try to read bigger words.

 

Starfall is a good site to start with because it has all sorts of fun songs for them to learn the sounds of letters and letter combinations.  It's where he learned the silent E function even though I had tried giving him the song I learned as a kid he liked the Starfall one better and now he makes up his own version for things like the silent B at the end of the word, the silent gh in the middle of the word, and the silent P at the start of the word (this came out of the dinsaur books)...makes the P say nothiiiiiiing!

 

He'll get there.  I think your school is being silly.  If he was 9 or 10 I'd be worried.  At not yet six?  Perfectly normal.  I bet in six months time he'll be reading and writing up a storm.  The important thing I think is to not make it a chore.  Reading really is FUN if you make it a game (we frequently play I spy...I spy something starting with...).  If you make it a job it will be much much harder.

 

Here's an example (sorry if I seem to be babbling.)  DS started to show interest in words and letters around 4 and a half and DH decided he was going to teach his son to spell and read.  (oy vey!)  so when DS would make up phonetic combinations on his own like, Kamoonicayshin, I would applaud his efforts and show him the other (correct) ways of making those sounds in the word.  DH (who is a good Scottish protestant) thought pandering to his imagination was only going to cause him trouble, so he would say; "NO son, that's not right. I told you already how to spell it, now go back and try spelling it again, and this time follow the instructions." which would eventually devolve into:  "NO....Now you're just being stupid...If you can't do it right, no dessert." 

 

duh.gif

 

Which of course would lead to us fighting and the whole night ruined. Within days my son had lost all interest in reading and did not pick it up again until this year.

 

DH is now banned from reading with DS and checking his writing, btw. wink1.gif

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#9 of 16 Old 02-14-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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op is the teacher expecting you to do anything about the reading?

 

is your son showing any issues about not reading - like behaviour issues or self esteem issues?

 

i just noticed from your signature that your son is a spirited boy.

 

if the teachers are saying nothing and he is not having any issues i would DROP it!!!

 

perhaps he is a perfectionist who has to get it right before he will do it at all.

 

i would say drop it and dont force him to read at home.

 

doesnt he have those horrible reading logs to do at home. those 'books' the teacher send home with? that is reading enough.

 

from what you write it sounds like a personality thing, rather than an ability thing.

 

to me it sounds like hiring a private tutor will mean more torture for him.

 

however i will say this much... about private tutors. when we used to visit the library my dd loved this person tutoring a girl out there. dd wanted to be tutored by her (dd didnt need it). she really liked the person and loved all the stuff she was using to help this child learn math.


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#10 of 16 Old 02-15-2011, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone- I am reading as you post, I came down with the flu so haven't responded yet but will tomorrow when I have a cup of joe!


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#11 of 16 Old 02-15-2011, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Meemee- I think that is kind of why I want to do a tutor over the summer. To have my son think this is a really cool person, and to have them have a relationship or bond that he trusts, and that is fun.  I think once he has that, he will become so much more animated about it.  I think he struggles with his teacher and the burden of "work." 

 

 

I'm still reading the posts, and will write more!


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#12 of 16 Old 02-15-2011, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Just wanted to give the thumbsup.gif thumbs up to all these great posts.  To my surprise, most of the K classes (there are 3) ARE reading, and my son is just in the lower rank. He is getting help 2X week from a teacher there, and they go over phonics and sounding out.  He went into K not knowing the sounds of some of the letters, so maybe this is why he is lagging behind (?)  He does bring home those horrible, stapled together reading books, which I think are beyond his reading level--whatever happened to those books "See spot run?"  That's what he needs.  Where are those books?


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#13 of 16 Old 02-15-2011, 02:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klt View Post

Just wanted to give the thumbsup.gif thumbs up to all these great posts.  To my surprise, most of the K classes (there are 3) ARE reading, and my son is just in the lower rank. He is getting help 2X week from a teacher there, and they go over phonics and sounding out.  He went into K not knowing the sounds of some of the letters, so maybe this is why he is lagging behind (?)  He does bring home those horrible, stapled together reading books, which I think are beyond his reading level--whatever happened to those books "See spot run?"  That's what he needs.  Where are those books?


At the library!

 

Not quite Spot but my son loved the Bob series. We took out from the library and then ended up buying the more advanced series because I was constantly renewing...

 

http://www.bobbooks.com/

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#14 of 16 Old 02-15-2011, 03:44 PM
 
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Another second for the BOB books.  They are really easy, good confidence builders, great building blocks.    Also, Starfall.com is pretty fun for kids!

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#15 of 16 Old 02-15-2011, 05:18 PM
 
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Benjamin gets books about a dog named Chip...they are pretty much Spot books.  Level one is simple tense single syllable words, lots of sight words.  Level two is simple past regular construction, and slightly more advanced phonetic combos, and level three is mixed tenses.  This is at a bilingual school, though. 

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#16 of 16 Old 02-15-2011, 06:27 PM
 
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Sorry if I'm repeating anything already said, but I used to work in special ed with reluctant (and stubborn!) readers and we had lots of success using games that built their confidence, and finding printed word in other places besides leveled readers, which seemed to immediately turn them off. Kids' magazines, comics, etc were great tools for keeping them engaged.

 

One favorite activity was cutting out letters from magazine/newspaper ads and using them to put words together (words of their choosing, or preselected vocab words, usually from the same word family or something similar). Then the real fun (and I have had success with this with my ds too) was letting them be the teacher and ask another student, or the teacher, what word they had just made. We would feign confusion and get the answer wrong ad then they would giggle excitedly and tell us what it REALLY said. If you are a good enough actor, you can even teach them new words using this same method, and they will think they are teaching themselves, or that they knew it all along.

 

My ds doesn't have the attention span for a formal phonics lesson but he really wants to read, so for now we are doing a lot of sight word drill games and just incorporating phonics into our day by talking about letter sounds and so forth in the car. In that situation the sight words are a great boost to his confidence as an emerging reader. We use these books:http://www.simonandschuster.com/specials/kids/behindthepulse/trucktown/books.html

 

They are actually leveled readers (the ready-to-roll series) but my ds absolutely loves them, where he won't have anything to do with BOB books or anything similar. We read the same one over and over for a couple weeks as ds practices reading them (but he is only 3)....I don't know what will happen when we run out of trucktown books! Of course, he has them memorized, lol, but since we have started working with the books systematically I notice that he is recognizing those same words and now trying to decode other words that look similar, in other books, on signs at the store, and so forth. So the sight reading is not as limiting as I thought it would be.

 

Another though I had, that worked well with my ex-BIL when he was about 8, and reaing at kindergarten/1st grade level, was to do a read aloud every night. I read to him from the boxcar children. I read him the first two chapters, to get his interest piqued. Then, I told him that it made my voice tired to read so much to we would need to take turns...I would read a paragraph, and he would read one. The turns were brief enough that I didn't have to worry he would lose the storyline and lose interest if his comprehension took a backseat to his focus on decoding the words. It was excellent practice and he came to look forward to it. In about two months he was reading at or near grade level.

 

Also, starfall.com is really fun.....I give them a lot of credit for helping ds learn the letter sounds. At one point 95% of his screen time was on starfall. He preferred that to watching TV!

 

If you want ideas for some specific games, activities and ideas I'd be happy to share some of the things we did in our special ed class, just let me know!

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