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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in a bit of a quandry. dd1 has just turned 6. She seemed to be reading signs for events in our town (really, reallly free market, family fun run, sales at the coop) and bits in cookbooks around 3 and 4. At 5 she said she wanted to "learn to read" using phonics because her good schooled friend was learning it. I downloaded studydog, etc....

Now she says she's "forgotten" how to read. She wants me to "teach her." But if I show her anything or even run my finger under the words while we're reading it ticks her off. I'm really feeling like I'm not hitting what she needs.

I have no memory of learning to read myself. I apparently learned before 3. My only memory of not reading is looking at the hymnal in church and realizing that the words were printed there. (I had had been turning to the right number for some time. I remember being thrilled because I love to sing.)

So I'm curious about how other people's dc learn to read. And whether they got cheesed and frustrated during the process or it was just ducks and lollipops.
 

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My daughter is learning now. She writes random letters and then asks me what she spelled. I tell her what sound her letters made and then she is happy. Today, she spelled "HATTT", so I told her it was hat-t-t. Then, I explained that what letters made the sounds. She told me that she had actually meant for the first T to be an X, so, we resounded it out "Haxt-t"

Also, magnet letters placed on your fridge can lead to some pretty interesting words


Then, once she gets the words, you can help her write sentences by using magnet words that she can put together! Like these

http://www.toystogrowon.com/sku639

My son learned the same way, but he was also interested in signs while I was driving (like your daughter) and would try to read as fast as he could before we passed it. I remember when he read "tai kwon do" and which completely shocked me because I didn't realize how well he was actually understanding things.

It sounds like your daughter can read, but she's not sure how well she can read. Maybe she doesn't have anyone to compare herself to that is her age. I know that my son gained a lot of confidence in K because he knew that a lot of the kids didn't even know thier letters yet. He was reading over a year above the average kids in his class and he was told so by his teacher. If he had been under the impression that he was behind the other children or had no way to compare himself, he may have just told himself that he wasn't that good at it. KWIM?

Best to you
Lisa
 

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Rain did it fairly independently... a lot of puzzling over blocks and books. At one point we would get stacks of books at the library and she would ask that I read them to her "only one time", and then she'd read them to herself a bit. Before that, she'd take a book she knew well sometimes and seem to sort of puzzle over it. She did not like the "finger under words" thing (darn that John Holt!). Often she would ask me what something said, and I would tell her, and sometimes I'd add a little bit of information... like, she knew hpw to spell "all" from the commercials when she was tiny, so when she asked about "fall" I said "f-a-l-l, like "all" with /f/ at the beginning."

I don't remember her getting frustrated, but she did refuse to read for 6 months after kindergarten... or at least, I never saw her read then.

Could you maybe ask your daughter what words she would like to know how to read? It sounds like she might want this to be more independent, so maybe you could do something like writing four simple cvc words on a page with a picture under each of what the word says, like "cat hat bat rat", and on the back you could just write the words, so she could "test" herself.

I'm just throwing out ideas... you might also try to get more into what else is going on, and why the sudden reading thing...

dar
 

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I can't recommend it enough - www.starfall.com! My kids use this and my son is teaching himself how to read. It is fun and totally casual. He plays when he wants to and he is already reading small books now (and he is not yet 6). Good luck!
 

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Rachael taught herself as well. I asked her how she did it and she said by reading Dick and Jane. But it seems she was reading words here and there before I even bought her those books. She didn't tell me HOW she taught herself, I'm not even sure she knows how she did it
. I know we've always had computer games like Reader Rabbit and such readily available, maybe it was with use of those programs, us reading to her allll the time and well who knows.
 

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Much as I dislike electronics for children, I have to second the Starfall recommendation. I have two girls who are visual learners, picked up sight words early, and tackled phonics later using computer software programs (one of the Jumpstart programs for the eldest, Starfall for the youngest). Both girls are perfectionists and introverts who like to be in charge of their own learning. Computer-based learning allowed them to feel emotionally safe as they learned by trial and error. Both began reading very young and needed the grounding in phonetics they got via the computer just as a springboard. After that it began falling into place on its own, just through daily exposure to print in their environments. (I'm a little premature in predicting the springboard effect with my youngest, but she seems to be starting to take off just this week -- she's still very young and has only been busy with Starfall for a month or so.) My middle two kids followed a similar course, but without the computer programs. The only difference was that they got the most basic phonetic stuff through questions and answers with real-life people. This was a slower process. For the kids who are eager to get on with it now, but don't really want to be taught, I think the computer is a great option.

Miranda
 

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Oh, Rain did have Reader Rabbit's Journey, or something like that... and some software thing with an outer space theme and catchy music... I think she played them quite a bit, but I don't really remember. We did have a long discussion when she was 3 because the program said "bot" wasn't a real word, and I spent time on mIRC then so she knew it was... she gave up on the game for a while after that.


dar
 

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I don't know if you do videos or not, but I have heard really great things about the Reader Rabbit Letter Factory/Word Factory Videos. I know a number of people that have said for their children right on the verge, these videos helped it all "click" together.
 

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and I can only say I think it's the reading aloud that did it. I read to them an hour a day at least. They have learned to read from age 4 to just over age 6 1/2. I never used phonics or anything like that and I wouldn't like someone to run their finger under words the were reading either.
 

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Ds was reading independently at almost 8 years old. He had a "reading explosion" at that age-went from Bob Books to fluency in a matter of days.

Up to that point the only reading education we did was the Hooked On Phonics program. We were *very* relaxed about it, taking almost 2 years to complete all 5 levels. At the end he wasn't a "reader", but he could sound out very simple booklets like the Bob Books.

At that point I stopped doing anything about reading. I think he was 7. At some point he became upset that he could not read the instructions for a gameboy game. I remember that being the first time it bothered him that he couldn't read.

Not sure exactly what happened~he reversed into total non-reading for several months. At a store one night dh said if there was any book ds wanted to read he would buy it for him. Ds found a Dr. Seuss he wanted, read it, and they bought it. He read it fluently, out of the blue, just like that.

He had a winnie the pooh book on audiotape that he listened too daily. A couple of days after the Dr. Seuss incident, he was sounding out words in a match Pooh book, and something clicked. He got it. The voice on the tape, the words on the page...fluency...the way words should sound...the fact that reading fluency is, above all *MEMORIZATION*. You didn't read all the words in this post, for example. You have memorized so many words and reading patterns you only need to glance at the sentence and know what it says.

Really ds just had so many little experiences, over time, they added up. In between he didn't ever seem to progress. Then all it once it came together for him and he could read. There was really no gradient or incremental pattern.
 

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P.S.

Hooked on Phonics was a great program IMO. It didn't make ds a reader, but it really grounded him the concept of letter sounds. It's very easy, because it's mostly audiotapes and flashcards, and ds loved the chanting songs. It really helped him identify the oddities in English as well, which was VERY helpful later. When he did read, I think many things we'd sung/chanted in years past swam back into his consciousness.

We also did a little chant, for years, that was probably the single most helpful "teaching" thing I did with ds. I think I made it up. Very plain, like this:

A says "Ah"....B says "Buh"....C says "Cuh"....D says "Duh"....and so on, to a slow clapping chant. We did this in the car a lot.

Later on when ds got stuck on a letter I'd say "Chant it out" and he'd go "G says.....GUH!!!!". It was SO helpful to him.
 

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Just out of curiosity, does Hooked on Phonics really say the letter sounds like "buh" and "duh" and "guh"? Those letters actually make the sounds /b/, /d/, and /g/. I ask only because Desta was taught in Ethiopia that the sounds were "buh," "duh," and "guh," and that really frustrated her learning to read when she got here. I had to train her out of that because she would sound words like "bat" out by saying "buh-ah-tuh" and then say the word as "buhatuh." I had to reteach the correct sounds so that when she sounded out "bat" it actually sounded like /b/ "ah" /t/.

Namaste!
 

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It was realy hit and miss with my dd. She was really gung ho, this was when we were HSing as part of a home study program with the school dist at 5. Prior to that I read to her she learned the alphabet ect. But she got burned out with the busy worksheets they wanted us to turn in. And I didn't like the emphasis on producing things to turn in instead of her learning at her own pace.

Anyway, my mom sent us a phonics program, can't remember which one as it's been over 10 years now. We did some together but she got more frustrated the more we worked on it. I then let it go. We still read things together than she wanted to hear and she was clearly learning but stuck in places. It clicked one day when she was about 7-8 and that was it she was off running.

In our case the biggest problem is that she doesn't like to be corrected or do something wrong so she wanted to do it on her own. She also had a problem with the fact that sounds are inconsistant in English.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You guys are amazing! Okay, here's what we've come up with...we tell each other wonderful stories. We are making books and writing the stories down. Sometimes she want me to write them for her; sometimes she wants me to spell out the words.

She wants to write independently in her journal, so dp is showing her how to use letter sounds to guess the spelling of words, which she is finding fascinating.

Here's what it seems like. She's not interested in reading as a process. She wants information and stories...now more independent of us.

Now, she's not a particularly independent soul, so this is exciting stuff.

We've been completly distracted by her close neighborhood friend leaving, so I didn't have a chance to post and tell you how your great ideas led to some really productive conversations about how to give her what she is asking for.

Thanks a million.
 

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I made up the "B" says "Buh". I can't remember how Hooked On Phonics (HOP) said it.

This never caused problems for ds. I'm not sure how you can say the short "B" sound without ending in a slight "uh". I learned letters with an "uh" sound and it didn't confuse me. I'm sorry this is causing problems for your dd. There are many different types of reading learners.

I think ds mostly learned to read by memory. I'm glad we did HOP but it did not make him a fluent reader. HOP seemed to give him basic reading rules that he applied later, when he was ready to read. Fluency seemed to happen for ds as the result of auditory memorization. Ds knew (from many books on tape), how his stories should sound. He also knew what the words should say. He is a strong auditory learner. He is a natural mimic and has always loved to copy voices and tones and expressions.

For a long time, ds was only fluent reading ALOUD. For him reading was so much an expression of what he heard. He could regulate his reading if he could hear himself.

I know some schools of thought frown on memorization, but our experience was that it has a place. Ds knew phonics rules, and I think knowing them before he could read meant he had no resistance to phonics. Once you know how to read phonics seems boring. Memorization made him fluent, but he could fall back on phonics to sound out new words~this was fluency~part memorization, combined with skills to sound out new words.

It sounds like we did something rigorous but we definitely did not. Most people go through HOP in a year or less. We took 3 years and only did the stuff ds found tolerable. We did nothing else.
 

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DS is 6 and reading and I the only two literacy things we've done are:

Every night I read aloud to him. And not from picture books, but he's always seemed to pay attention and try to find where I am on the page. He'd ask "where does it say everyone" and I'd poitn it out.

Playing games on TVO kids and PBS kids. We tried study dog and starfall but he wasn't interested in games developed to teach reading. Character games (TV show characters) were what did it. We don't have a TV around so I'm OK with computer time.

Oh, maybe this helped motivate him too....BF and I spell stuff out all the time
. We don't have much time away from DS so if something's too good to wait to talk about we spell and just recently we've realised he's gotten pretty good at working out what we're spelling. He's so interested (better than saying nosy, no?) that he can't help but desire to understand what we're saying
.
 

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Tanglewood has a free learn to read "program" on their site. It's like 20 or 30 "lessons". They're single pages, and so simple and easy. My daughter always loved worksheets and still loves her workbooks....so this was a good thing for her. Plus doing the work was fun and new for her. I started when she turned 4yo. She'd known her letter sounds since she was 2yo's (don't ask how, she was seriously just intuitive with knowing what letters made what sounds..for the most part). We did a page a day like they suggested. I wasn't religious about it. We did it probably 3-5 times a week...+/- on some weeks, ya know. Very lax. Another thing that I think helped immensely, is that at the same time as teaching her to read, we checked out 30-40 books a week at the library, and read them ALL. We read A LOT, A LOT, A LOT. It made her more interested in reading. She's three months shy of 6 now and reads at a fourth/fifth grade reading level (not necessarily comprehending at that level, but she can read at that level).

One that that ends up being difficult for early readers (as I'm finding!) is that they wnat to read "Chapter books" but the easy readers stuff tends to be boring for them, but the harder books are incomprehensible. Ugh.

My ds almost 4yo, doesn't even recognize his letters, let alone know the sounds they make!! Talk about night and day! Then we have a 2yo that is similar to our eldest....but not quite as quick a study... Crazy the way they're all so different!

GL!!
 
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