Reading Issues

Lounge By mbelgard Updated 18 Oct 2008 , 7:06am by redpanda

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mbelgard Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 8:18pm
post #1 of 9

My youngest child started kindergarten this year. He had already taught himself to read a little bit. The school determined that he was reading about at a begining first grade level.

Our problem is in what my kid does when asked to read something. Last night I was reviewing the word "almost" with him, one of his new words this week, and he was fussing that he couldn't read it and in the middle of the fussing told me what the word was. icon_confused.gif He pulls the same stuff during reading with the aide who's doing extra stuff with him.

Once we get him to LOOK at what he's reading he almost always either knows it or can sound it out so we aren't asking him to do things he isn't capable of. The school also tested him so the teachers know what reading level to have him work on.

If asked this child will tell you that he can't read. I honestly can't figure out how he managed to teachi himself to read anything with his attitude.

Does anyone have any ideas to make reading go better? It isn't any fun to do homework with a child who doesn't want to try.

8 replies
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Mike1394 Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 8:32pm
post #2 of 9

He's bored sounds like ya got a smart one. Good Luck LOLOL


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Deb_ Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 9:22pm
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When I read this I thought of my son, who's now 18 and in college.

I used to get so frustrated with him because I knew he was capable, it was just trying to get him motivated.

What I found helpful with him was. Instead of making him do his homework right after school, I'd give him a snack and let him run off some of his energy outside for a while, or let him watch a t.v. show, or play a game, anything to just get him out of the "structure mode" of the school day.

I'd take his new word list and make flash cards, nothing fancy, just write them out on paper and cut them out in squares. If I remember correctly he had about 10 new words a week. I had to make it fun or else I'd lose him.
So one night I'd take 5 of the words and place them on the table and I'd give him a bowl of Alpha-Bets Cereal and tell him to find the letters and spell out the words. The trick was he had to sound out the word as he was spelling it and he couldn't go on to the new word until he could sound out the first.
I'd be making dinner or something so I could keep an eye on him.

I found that he focused a lot better when I gave him some fun exercises rather than sitting him down on the couch making him read them from a list. The list used to overwhelm him, the flash cards were just 1 word at a time, less confusing for him.

Sometimes I'd take a large cookie sheet and cover it with shaving cream and let him write the word with his fingers, I'd say the word, he had to spell it out in the foam. This could get a little messy, but hey it's only shaving cream, it cleans up easy enough.

My daughter was more the conventional student, but my son definitely needed the more creative approach to keep him interested.

Of cause, my kids loved being read to at night. When they were starting to read, we'd take turns reading pages, I'd read one they had to read the next and so on. I'd try to find books at the Library that we didn't own, because I knew that they had memorized most of their own books, so I didn't want any cheating.

Good luck,

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shelbur10 Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 11:52pm
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Sounds like my DD. She's the kid who didn't walk until she was 16 months old and could do it without falling down. She's a total perfectionist and it's a constant struggle to get her to do anything new, because she doesn't want to fail. Maybe he's resistant to new words because he holds himself to too high a standard. It may take a few times of seeing that word for him to get comfortable.
Another thing to consider is that he may be gifted. One of the characteristics of gifted kids is that they don't "display" things they know. For instance, he may refuse to read that word because he already knows it and he doesn't feel obligated to prove it. If he's more advanced than the other kids in his class, he may also be trying to hide that because he doesn't want to be 'different.' Or maybe he is just bored.
I don't really have any good suggestions, other than remind him that it's okay not to know everything right away and that some things take practice...that doesn't mean he's not smart. Maybe you could also supplement his school words with some more advanced words, he may respond to a greater challenge.
Good luck!! Sometimes I think the smart ones are the hardest to manage.

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mbelgard Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 12:42am
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Originally Posted by shelbur10

Maybe he's resistant to new words because he holds himself to too high a standard.

That just might be the root of the problem. He wouldn't write or color for a long time because he didn't do it "right."

What they're sending home for reading practice is at the level they've tested him at, we don't see the standard kindergarten reading homework. He does need help with some of the words so it really doesn't seem too easy. If they send home easy stuff he doesn't throw any kind of a fit so I don't think it's due to the work being too easy.

I know all the problems with an advanced child, my oldest is one too but he WANTED to try to read harder stuff so we never had struggles over doing work.

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tchrmom Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 1:35am
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All the ideas above are good. I have a kindergartener who can read some also. I don't know what level.

My son pretty much taught himself as well. He often doesn't want to read words, and pushing him doesn't usually work. I try not to at all. I did the Dolch words with him a little this summer, but if he didn't want to look at them, I stopped. And if he got upset because he didn't know words, I stopped.

I am also a teacher. My advice is to read to him a lot-- anything he is interested in. I am surprised that they are sending homework, and maybe that is the problem-- after a whole day at school, most 5 and 6 year olds don't need more structured things to do. It sounds like he's doing well.

I do hope this works out for you.

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sarahpierce Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 12:14pm
post #7 of 9

I agree with the previous posters- you have a smart one. They have some good ideas. You can also try this: Let him watch TV, but mute the sound and turn on the closed caption. This way he has to read the TV, and it will give him new words instead of the same old dribble that's in those begining to read books. He's bored, challange him.

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funcakes Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 11:44pm
post #8 of 9

He is in kindergarten! Life should be FUN!!!! It is of upmost importance that children learn to LOVE to read, not just learn to read. Take him to the library and explore all the books, let him take out the ones he loves. He will learn to read these. Have his favorites on hand, to read as well as the "homework" ones. Don't dwell on the assigned ones too long, just get them done and move on to the fun ones even if they are not on his level, just read it along with him, having him point to each word as you read together. We do not need to produce any more kids that can read well, but will not choose to read.
Reading is not learning to say each word in a book correctly, reading is gaining meaning from print. Talk about what he likes and doesn't like about each book.

Don't stop reading to him. finding exciting, funny and beautiful books beyond his current reading level is what will make him want to learn to read.[/b]

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redpanda Posted 18 Oct 2008 , 7:06am
post #9 of 9

I have another idea or two.

Often, kids who teach themselves to read don't learn through sounding out words, even if they have learned the letters and their sounds. What they do is learn reading more holistically--they view words as units, not as a collection of individual letters. Reading words that are familiar is instantaneous. Sounding out new/unfamiliar words is a pain. My son's big objection was "it wasn't fun".

Another thing that can happen is that early readers may not learn to use context to help them to figure out words that they do not know. One thing that he really had trouble with when he was about 7 was getting information from the pictures in the stories. He was reading at a high 3rd grade level at that point, but he never used pictures to help him predict what was going to happen/interpret what was going on.

What I did to help him with this last issue was get a bunch of books out of the library--the Mercer Mayer "Boy and his Frog" series. These books have no words, but really great pictures that tell the story.

One last thought--could your son just be being really literal when he says he can't read? Maybe to him you aren't truly able to read until you can read "everything" without trouble or help?

Just my $0.02.


(My son is now almost 16, and has to have books confiscated when he has things that he needs to get done.)

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