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  #1  
Old 02-10-2011, 11:49 AM
Lake Phoenix Lake Phoenix is offline
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Help 2nd Grade Struggling Reader!

Hello All,

I have a 2nd grader who is struggling with phonics. I have homeschooled him since Kindergarten.

We are working on Teach Your Child to Read in 100 EZ Lessons and are on Lesson 95. He has done well with this because he is able to learn words by recogniziton vs. phonetic decoding. The lesson repeat the words and add new ones as the lessons go along.

He also does well with a reader series: Faith and Freedom (Catholic) same principal. He reads about 180 pages of one of these readers leveled at 1-3rd grade. The book consists of 5 units. He can read this well and the whole reader in 1.5 hours.

He can read simple CVC words and know many sight words probably beyond a second grade level. When he encounters a word he doesn't know he looks for context clues, pictures and intial letters to "guess" at the word.

He is had big troubles with digraphs i.e. We have tried Saxon phonics, Sound beginnings and Seton phonics (Catholic curricula). He still has troubles and refuses to use phonics skills to decode words.

So, he has trouble with new books that present unfamiliar words. He becomes very frustrated and generally dissolves into tears.

Looking for thoughts or suggestions. His reading continues to improve via the readers and learning new words visually/sight words but his phonics skills are weak and not going anywhere.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:05 PM
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Embassy Embassy is offline
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This might be a good read. If he is a visual-spatial learner you may need to use different strategies than the typical phonics program.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:40 PM
Lake Phoenix Lake Phoenix is offline
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Thanks so much for this information re: visual spatial learners.

We have so ingrained to think that if we don't teach intensive phonics our kids are going to fail. It seems I need to find a special route that will work for my ds.

I think continue with phonics and focus on the readers that have word lists.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:12 PM
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Birbitt Birbitt is offline
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Reading pathways has been a great tool for us to help improve reading fluency. It begins with word lists, and then it has a pyramid to read the sentence, each level adding more words than the last. It might help
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:32 PM
romacox romacox is offline
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Scientific Research revels that phonics is far more successful for children learning to read than is whole word recognition.

As a Tutor, I am given children who are having trouble learning to read, and my success rate is 88.8% successful with this children. What I do is easy for anyone to do because I use Ring Around The Phonics which is a game disguised as learning. The kids love it.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:12 PM
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Meghan Meghan is offline
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For my dd, who was a sight-words failure in ps, I started a sytematic phonics program. We practice her new sounds with lists of words that follow the rule. For us, it has taken a lot of time, but is starting to pay off.

For my ds, who learned sight words in ps (and has always read above grade level), it is a harder nut to tackle. He can read well, but there is no fluency or comprehension, and his spelling is terrible. For him, I've started spelling lists which all follow a specific phonics rule. He is told the rule repeatedly throughout the week. For new words, he is told to 'sound it out'. I'm not sure if this will be enough, but that is where we are starting.

No child can possibly memorize EVERY word in the English language.


I would caution you that context and picture clues are of limited use. And 'guessing' is strictly forbidden in my house.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:13 PM
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What is "Ring Around The Phonics"?
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:25 PM
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I'm all for phonics, but for some kids (especially visual-spatial learners) phonics isn't the way to obtain initial reading fluency. I wouldn't ditch phonics unless a child is reading very well. However, I wouldn't frustrate a child who learns better by using a whole word method. I would do phonics alongside a whole word method for a visual-spatial learner.

I'm a visual spatial learner and phonics still doesn't make much sense to me. My boys are non-sequential (whole to parts) as well. Phonics is sequential. I encourage my boys to surge ahead in reading and I trail behind with a phonics and/or a rules-based spelling program.

For me the whole word approach isn't about sight words. We never really did that. It was allowing them to learn to read by reading. It was exposing them to new words and sound patterns in the context of a story. When we came to a difficult word I encouraged my child to sound it out or break it into parts to read it. Repeated exposure in context helped them internalize the patterns of English words. This fit with their whole to parts learning style.
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:27 AM
jenlaw31 jenlaw31 is offline
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I highly recommend the phonics game
http://coloring-page.net/parents/phonics.html

My 7 yr old dd struggles alot with reading. She started out in ps and they taught her whole word reading. She didn't want to sound out any words, she just blurted out words that weren't even close. It has been a VERY hard habit to break. We started using the phonics game last week and she is starting to sound out words much better Plus she loves playing it, it is not set up like curriculum, it is a game where they don't realize they are learning.
I bought mine on ebay for around $20, some go for even less, but the one I bought still had everything in the shrink wrap.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:12 PM
clumsymom clumsymom is offline
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I agree. Different children learn differently. Also, kids learn at different paces. What one child picks up on quickly, another child may struggle with. And, vice versa.

My son took a lot longer to learn to read than my daughter. When he didn't get a new concept, I'd back off for a while and introduce it again later. He didn't learn quickly, but he learned.

I'd suggest spending most of your time teaching with his whole word learning style and slowly introducing phonics. The game suggestion sounds great. Phonics is great, but it also has it's problems. We don't pronounce a lot of words based on the phonics rules. My ds' spelling list (8th grade) is all words with silent letters and words like colonel. English can be frustrating.

All this to say: Don't stress!!!! It sounds like he's doing great!
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