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Thread: Reading trouble

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Foristell, MO
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    593

    Default Reading trouble

    I am doing a mix of Mp1 and SC2 with my daughter. She will be 7 the end of July. Here is where we are at. We started "First grade" in February. She flew through her Core Skills Phonics 2 and spelling 1 workbooks with very little trouble, those are done..so she is working on an Explode the Code Book 2, then I'll have her start Core skills Phonics 3. She is about halfway done with SC Writing, Lesson 106 in Math. Moose Moments slowed her down a bunch. One story took us several days...sometimes all week, and usually with me buddy reading. She can read the stories in the At the Farm book fairly well, but they are short and sweet and she likes that. Now she is reading Little Bear, but super sloooow. She will say a word like "something", but then sound out the word "yes" as "say". One line she'll fly through with no mistakes, then the next line takes sevral minutes of sounding out every word, even word she just read with no trouble.. I have her read the story a couple of times over a few days. She does get better each day, but will still stop to sound out super simple words. If there is an S anywhere in the word, that sound gets said first. Getting her to read the lists in Classical Phonics is hit or miss. One day she'll do beautifully..the next day, back to sounding out every word..same with the flashcards.

    I'm not sure what to do at this point. I am baffled. We have been learning to read off and on for two and a half years. I'm not sure if this may be a LD issue, or maybe she just needs more practice. She has an amazing memory, so I would think that would only help her. I have suspected possible dyslexia in the past. We've never had an eval. She is also truly ambidextrous.

    I suppose I'm not sure what to do moving forward. Slow down even more until she can read fluently and quickly? Continue to buddy read? Keep on and eventually it'll all click? Is this kind of thing normal when learning to read? My other daughter started reading at 4.5 with zero trouble and very little help from me, so this is new territory for me.

    Ideally I'd like to have her start MP 2 in the fall, but as it is now, I don't see her being able to handle that load of reading and writing in 3 months.
    Katie

    2017/2018 Fifth year homeschooling, Fourth with MP
    DS 13: MP 8, E. Greek MPOA: Henle, Logic II, Alg I, MS Comp II
    DD 10: MP 5A, E. Greek
    DD 7: Mix of SC2, MP1
    Twin DD's 4: MP K

    "God doesn't look at how much we do, but with how much love we do it" -St. Teresa of Calcutta

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,551

    Default Re: Reading trouble

    Good morning, Katie.

    You are right. She should not proceed to MP 2 in 3 months. Something is going on.

    If you wanted to pursue an evaluation, you have sufficient reason to do so. Bullet point these:

    1. Inconsistent academic abilities - ex: strong in rote memory, weak in oral reading.
    2. Inconsistent academic performance - ex: strong and certain one day, weak and unsuccessful the next.
    3. A "different learner" than her sibling(s), who learned to read, spell, and write easily. - ex: younger sibling learned to read quickly; she is taking 2+ years.
    4. Not responding to traditional instruction - ex: phonics, oral reading practice, shared reading.
    5. Strong effort, but spotty progress - ex: working 3-5 days weekly on phonics and reading, but still struggling with basic oral fluency.


    If you want to tackle this yourself, I think you will want all of the following:

    1. More visual ways of breaking down these sounds for her.
    She can do the workbooks (CS Phonics 1 & 2), so this is very, very good! She grasps the concepts of phonics and is learning her sounds. The disconnect seems to come when she tries to connect these sounds in the act of reading. I would teach with letter tiles on hand.

    Something like this can be very helpful:
    Little Red Tool Box Magnetic Tabletop Learning Easel (for forming words and fact families) with magnetic letters:
    ◦Smethport Foam Magnetic Letters and Numbers OR
    ◦Educational Insights Jumbo Alphamagnets & Math Magnets
    (Others may chime in with their favorites.)


    2. More explicit phonics PRE-reading.
    Go over the words she will encounter. Teach them on the board or with tiles. When she is ready for Little Bear, teach from SC Storytime Treasures, because we include pre-reading throughout. SC Storytime breaks down the phonics, comprehension, and composition exercises into bite-sized parts.


    3. More oral reading practice.
    You have provided much, but she will need more. If your husband and her older sibling(s) can assist, so much the better. This must be twice daily, 15 minutes of oral reading both times.

    4. MP Phonogram Cards for Pattern Review.
    If Classical Phonics is too much like a "book" for her right now, use your Phonogram Cards. (Get these, if you do not have them.)

    5. MP Phonogram Cards for Sight Words.
    Drill the sight words and simple words, so she is not perpetually trying to sound out "said" or "the."


    Combine #1, 2, 3, 4, 5 for a Summer Reading Intensive

    PREP
    --Pull out ALL of those PPR booklets and ALS readers that she likes. Set them up in a reading bin or basket. Add any other early readers she really enjoys.
    --Determine two good time periods per day. (Immediately after breakfast & immediately after dinner?)
    --Create a chart for marking the successful completion of two reading periods each day. They do not need to be the same time each day. Just be sure they are accomplished and marked.
    --Have letter tiles on hand to review the word patterns or families in the book before she reads.
    --Have the phonogram cards on hand, bundled by "sight words" and by various sound patterns.


    TEACH
    --Conduct a 5-min. mini-lesson prior to her reading. If the teacher is your husband or a sibling, have them simply drill 10 sight-word cards before beginning. If you are the teacher, use the morning session to teach her key words from the text. Isolate sounds with letter tiles. Pre-teach any word patterns found in the reader she will read in that session.
    --Let her read. Buddy read if she is truly fatigued during that session, but otherwise allow her to do the "heavy lifting" during the oral reading portion. Tell her she is building her "reading muscles" this summer. You want to increase her stamina along with her proficiency.


    SUPPORT
    --End with a word of encouragement or congratulations related to the completion of her session (rather than focusing on her still-struggling skills). "Very good!" or "You just completed another reading session!" "Here is your pink pen. You can mark another X on your chart!"
    --Let her mark the accomplished session on her summer chart.
    --If you want to invite the whole family to support "Katie's Summer Intensives," you might target a goal (90% of the 5 days a week), and then everyone goes to a nearby waterpark together to celebrate the accomplishment of reading on her own twice daily for X amount of summer days.


    She has already proven that oral reading will not come so easily to her as with your other children, but the above will help her immensely.


    After your Summer Reading Intensive, she will likely need an alternate route. This might be a different reading program altogether (Barton, AAR), or it might simply be a more incremental, explicit reading, spelling, and writing program, such as SC. We are hearing wonderful things from parents using SC 1 Core and SC 2 Core for reading challenges.


    Let's re-evaluate her status after 4-6 weeks of the above, if the above sounds good to you. In the meantime, you might pursue the evaluation, so you/we have more information. Either way, we can help you craft a detailed and customized plan for fall, so her learning needs are addressed.

    You are doing a good job. This is not easy, when she falls in the middle of older children and young twins, but you are addressing this at the right time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    1,551

    Default Re: Reading trouble

    Btw, Katie, I just noticed on this thread, that you're coming to Sodalitas!

    We can talk at much greater length there, so that you leave with a clear fall plan for your daughter.

    Info for all:

    Sodalitas 2017

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Foristell, MO
    Posts
    593

    Default Re: Reading trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by cherylswope View Post
    Btw, Katie, I just noticed on this thread, that you're coming to Sodalitas!

    We can talk at much greater length there, so that you leave with a clear fall plan for your daughter.

    Info for all:

    Sodalitas 2017
    Cheryl,

    Thanks soooo much for all this excellent advice! I think I will pursue an evaluation this summer. I would hate to miss or overlook something significant that could just add to her frustration and set her further behind. She is incredibly bright, has an astonishing vocabulary and other very strong skills, which leads me to believe there is an underlying issue.

    For now we will follow your summer intensive plan. With my big kids finishing up soon, it will be much easier to give her my undivided attention. She wants desperately to read like her big sister so they can have a book club

    I'd love to chat at Sodalitas! Thanks again!
    Katie

    2017/2018 Fifth year homeschooling, Fourth with MP
    DS 13: MP 8, E. Greek MPOA: Henle, Logic II, Alg I, MS Comp II
    DD 10: MP 5A, E. Greek
    DD 7: Mix of SC2, MP1
    Twin DD's 4: MP K

    "God doesn't look at how much we do, but with how much love we do it" -St. Teresa of Calcutta

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Foristell, MO
    Posts
    593

    Default Re: Reading trouble

    Good morning!

    Could you please recommend the best way to test for LD's?

    I am not sure where to start and don't want to be running in circles. Recommended by a friend, I have contacted the STL archdiocese assessment services and I am waiting to hear back. But I'm wondering if I should try out public school system, or a psychologist, or an assessment center (do those exist??) ? My son's psychologist tested him for ADD/ IQ several years ago and the results told us what "year" level specific areas fell. For example, working memory, visual/perception, comprehension, etc. Would this kind of testing be enough to find underlying LD's? Or does she need a battery of specific tests? Our public school system is pretty good. I wonder if I should start here since it is free? Or skip altogether and find a specialist? I'd like to have the least amount of appointments and tests and not spend our summer chasing a diagnosis. I also don't want to give her a label if there truly isn't one.

    What have others done when assessing for LD's?

    Thank you!
    Katie

    2017/2018 Fifth year homeschooling, Fourth with MP
    DS 13: MP 8, E. Greek MPOA: Henle, Logic II, Alg I, MS Comp II
    DD 10: MP 5A, E. Greek
    DD 7: Mix of SC2, MP1
    Twin DD's 4: MP K

    "God doesn't look at how much we do, but with how much love we do it" -St. Teresa of Calcutta

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,551

    Default Re: Reading trouble

    Hi, Katie.

    I am familiar with the StL area.

    In addition to your friend's recommendation, you can call your local school district, or you can call one of the options below. Before you make a decision, do each of these:

    1. Check with your insurance to see which of the options, if any, would be covered for a child your daughter's age.

    2. Interview your top choices to double-check whether they take your insurance, and if they provide LD assessment for a child your daughter's age.

    3. Get a feel for the "fit" (for you) of any testing center(s) by calling and asking any other questions you have.

    4. Do not be afraid of testing. They will not assign a "label" if your daughter does not really have learning difficulties. You are not looking merely for a single diagnosis, but you want to know how she learns best, where she struggles, if those struggles are significant, how to modify more effectively if needed, and how to encourage her strengths and talents along the way.

    5. Call now to try to obtain a summer appointment, if you want one.


    Options in St. Louis include these well-known places:


    StL Children's


    UMSL

    Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Reading trouble: Will First Start Reading work for dyslexic child?

    Hello,

    I have a 7 year old son who seems to have dyslexia. He does have speech problems. (articulating words with L,R,F,V,and th) He had been tongue tied when he was little. He can make these sounds, he is just in the habit of saying it the old way he did before his frenulum was cut. So, we are working on that with him every day as well. We began using First Start Reading last year and loved it. We had not done any formal reading instruction prior to this. He had problems confusing letters in the alphabet, remembering what the sounds were, and retaining the previous day's lesson. We made it to the end of the first book. He still could not put most words together. I put it aside for several months and worked on reading to him, learning the alphabet really well, and playing games to help him make the connections. We went back to the First Book in FSR and I had him do it again to see if he had figured it out. He did better, but still had a hard time with the same problems. We would really like to stay with FSR. Is there something I am missing that would help make him more successful? I would be grateful for any advice or ideas you can give me on teaching FSR to a dyslexic child. He has begun to feel sad that he cannot read. We really want to have this year be successful for him.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,551

    Default Re: Reading trouble

    Hello! Are you using the MP plans or the SC plans for FSR? If you are not yet using the SC 1 phonics and reading plans, I would begin there. You will be teaching the same phonics progression but with more intentionally varied, multisensory, and reviewed input.

    Eta: It is good that you both love FSR! This will help. This time, however, be sure that you do brief, successful lessons daily with no large breaks of time for vacation. He will need a very steady approach to help everything remain fresh, become over-practiced, and sink in.

    End lessons on a high note. "Very good! That's all for today!"

    You want him to think, "Really? I did well. Good for me!"

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