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Struggling Reader - But Capable of Sight Reading?


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#1 kristinainar

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 04:32 PM

My daughter turned six in January and we have been working through Logic of English Foundations this school year, beginning in A and now we are in B. She has struggled with reading, but we've continued with her lessons while slowing our pace and adding in extra practice-only days. She knows all of the sounds of each individual letter (the way Logic of English teaches it) and quite a few of the multiple letter phonograms so far, but she just can't seem to connect the phonogram sounds to sound out a word (she even struggles with some of the three letter words still).

 

After speaking with a friend about this, I decided to try some sight words with my daughter. I printed off the Dolch primer flash cards (these: http://www.sightword..._pre-k_4up.pdf)and my daughter learned sixteen new words today (she possibly could have done more, but I felt like I was pushing her and she was getting tired). I just read a set of four words, had her repeat them a few times and then would flash them to her, adding four more words in each time. She knew them all, no problems (I let her have a snack break, then come back and try it again to see if she still knew the words and she did except for one). I am blown away. My daughter can read words like "blue" and "funny", but struggles with "bit" and "gas"?!

 

So what do I do now? Should we take a complete break from Logic of English and just focus on sight words? Continue with both? Push forward with just Logic of English? I thought teaching by sight words wasn't "right" (this is our first year homeschooling). Anyone have a kid like this? :) I was actually able to teach her to "read" before she turned two with refrigerator magnets (just showing her words and having her repeat them), but I stopped once we got to about twenty unique words, thinking she needed a strong phonics foundation first... Maybe this is just the way she learns? Help!



#2 MerryAtHope

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 06:01 PM

The issue with sight words is that most children will hit a wall at some point (often around a 3rd or 4th grade reading level) because they can only memorize so many words. Also, it's hard to distinguish words that have the same shape and the same beginning and ending letters by just sight-reading--words like house and horse can easily be mistaken if there is no context to distinguish the meaning. Phonics gives kids the tools they need to be able to attack almost any word. Most of the dolch "sight words" can actually be sounded out.

 

So, I wouldn't drop phonics in order to focus on sight-reading. (I'd actually save sight-reading for the words where you really need it). Since she's struggling with blending though, I would work on phonological awareness skills. Things like oral blending (you say three sounds like /k/ /a/ /t/ and see if she can guess the word: cat.). Let her say sounds for you to try to blend into words too (even if it makes a nonsense word--laugh and have fun with it! This can help her start to hear how we blend words). This article on How to Develop Phonological Awareness has more ideas for you. HTH some!


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#3 Rosie_0801

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 06:11 PM

Would she learn better using the syllabary?



#4 SKL

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 06:13 PM

I would continue with both.  The sight words will be motivating as they will enable her to read books.  Reading for fun in turn motivates more effort on all the skills, including phonics.

 

My eldest also learned sight words more readily than sounding-out.  She didn't have problems later, because we never stopped studying phonics.



#5 mathmarm

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 08:09 PM

My daughter turned six in January and we have been working through Logic of English Foundations this school year, beginning in A and now we are in B. She has struggled with reading...but she just can't seem to connect the phonogram sounds to sound out a word (she even struggles with some of the three letter words still).

 

So what do I do now? Should we take a complete break from Logic of English and just focus on sight words? Continue with both?

 

I would take a break from LoE to focus more on phonological and phonemic awareness type activities with her. Sightwords.com has a full Phonemic Awareness Curriculum on the site that you can find here

 

If she enjoys learning them and benefits emotionally by having success with sight words, then I would use the list of Sight Words by Sound and start her on learning sight words by phonetic groups. I'm not familiar with LoE. I would sound out each word for her, then have her repeat blending it with me, then say the word.

 

I don't know how long she's been doing phonics or what her mood is like, but if you think it'd help her confidence/disposition to be able to read, then I'd teach her the sight words by sounding them out for her phonetically. Always emphasising the sounds so that a word that looks similar, such as had vs hat will be pointed out.

 

I'd do a lot of buddy reading and always invite her to read the words that she knows, any time that she misreads a word (either phonetic or sight) I'd blend it for her and let her try again.

 

Does she like to write? Does she use letter magnets? I'd do simple spelling lessons/games based on the sight words that she's learning phonetically with her, so that we can wring extra phonics-based activities out of the sight words she's learning.


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#6 fralala

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 05:47 PM

If she's capable of sight reading, then she should be able to read the simple 3 letter words once you've helped her decode them repeatedly. Instead of teaching her heaps of new "sight words", I would continue focusing on the ones that follow the rules. Although it's exciting to be able to read, it can also be confusing to be learning tons of word that follow no rules that you've ever learned at the same time that someone is teaching you to try to remember rules for decoding...

 

I don't think it's uncommon for beginning readers to have an easier time with memorizing words than with blending...blending is tricky, but once mine got it-- and they DID get it-- we'd crossed the biggest hurdle to learning to read. Worth slowing down and focusing on that.