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Reading for a child who doesn't get phonics?

Forum: Homeschooling


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October 3rd, 2008, 05:23 AM
HeatherHomeschools's Avatar Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 226
It's taken me a month, but I think I've finally realized my 7yo's issue with reading. He does NOT understand phonics. Especially when it comes to long/short vowels. He cannot/will not sound out words. When he was in PS the school sent out letters to the parents telling them not to let their k/1st graders sound out words. If they didn't know the word just read the word for them.

Okay, but how is he supposed to learn how to read words he doesn't know? I can't go around reading all the words around the ones he knows.

Will he eventually get it just by "sight", like sight words? Or should I keep pushing on with the phonics. He can read short vowel sound words but long vowel sound words w/ the silent e confuse him every time. He gets extremely frustrated and shuts right down because he just does NOT get it.

I should clarify....he can read. He can read long vowel words in the context of a story or sentence most of the time. But when I have the flash cards out and have him putting the long i sounding words under the picture of the bike he can't do it. He can't read the word when it's by itself. But in a sentence, he has no problem. He cannot, however, sound out words. He just doesn't get that part. I can't get him to look at a word like "DOME" and tell me the sounds one at a time -- "duh-ooh-mmm". He can't do it.

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October 3rd, 2008, 05:59 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
Posts: 28,853
Maybe back off a bit for a little while. Sometimes it takes longer (especially for boys) to "get" it. Can he memorize sight words? There are plenty of "weird" words (like have... why do we say hav with a short a and not have with a long e?) to just memorize. Cameron is 7 today and learning to read is slow going for him. Things click a little at a time for him. I've found that just having him read every day and me telling him stuff like "o w says ow" every time he stumbles over a word like down helps incredibly. I have to say it about 250 times before he gets it, but it has worked, or rather is working. He's remembering some of that stuff sometimes. The LeapFrog videos (both Word Factory ones particularly) are helping him a lot. We just got the second Word Factory DVD (Code Word Caper) and suddenly some of the phonics rules he could NOT remember before he started remembering. I've also decided that if he (Cameron) can read sentences and stories I don't care if he can read individual isolated words. Individual words isn't how we read in real life usually anyway. Since I backed off the flash card thing Cameron has started to read his older readers on his own for fun. BTW, there is some research that indicates that kids, particularly boys, tend to have three points where reading skills "click." One is 4 to 5 for the early readers. Then there's a huge number that get it around age 8. And then pretty much all can read by age 12. Lucky for us, our older than "typical" (for school at least) readers are homeschooled and we can let them get it at their own pace.

~Heather, wife to Jamie (15 years; June 5, 1998) and mom to
Ani - 14 (February 15, 2000), Cameron - 12 (October 3, 2001),
Fritz - 7 (July 11, 2006), and Adrian - 5 (June 19, 2008)
Smaller on the Outside

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October 3rd, 2008, 02:54 PM
joandsarah77's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 5,547
I would back up a step or two. My daughter will be seven in November she has only just 'got' the sounding out of short vowl sound words like 'Fat' and a few simple blends like 'clap' and 'fast' It took us a long time for her to get the sounding out. She till now has a tendacy to forget the sound of the first letter so instead of reading 'his' she will sound it and read 'is' From what i have read the more sight words you do the more phonic blind a child will get.

"Cats are keen, cats are great, cats are clean they lick your plate."
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October 6th, 2008, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 420
I'm new here, but wanted to chime in on this. My dd is 9 and we are doing 4th grade. She had a really hard time with phonics (actually, has a hard time with anything that requires her to memorize). We worked for over a year on short vowel sounds before giving up and moving on. She doesn't get phonics, but has managed to remember a good deal of it over time. Spelling is what gives her the most trouble at this point, because she just doesn't know the rules for the vowels (long, short or vowel blends). She does read really well though. I'm thinking you just need a little more time. We took phonics easy and slow and still need reminders, but she's getting there


Shannon (32 years old) ~ Married to dh (for 12 years) ~ Mom to dd (10 years old)
Visit my blog at: http://aroundthehomestead.blogspot.com/
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