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ElizabethB - HELP!!!!


Terabith
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Catherine (5.5) was reading CVC, CCVC, CVCC words easily. She had the sh, ch, th, ee, ar, old, and ing words down. She knew the silent e rule. None of this was fast or fluent, and it wasn't 100%; it was usually accompanied by a lot of whining about not wanting to do it. She would try to guess, but I'd pretty much, if not cured her of it, at least gotten her to where she knew she was going to have to do it again with the cursor if she did. She'd been reading CVC words for at least a year.

 

We had started Websters, did it for a couple weeks, and then I realized that SHE HAS FORGOTTEN ALL HER SHORT VOWEL SOUNDS!!!!!!!! Completely. Out of her head. Heck, hand her a card with a consonant on it and while she mostly knows it, she's not 100%. Monday I realized that all of a sudden she couldn't read anything. I don't know what to do.

 

She knew all of her sounds (short vowel) at 15 months of age! Capital, lowercase, and she knew that vowels also said their names sometimes. She's always known them! I kept expecting reading to take off for her for a long time, before I finally broke down and started teaching her, because she knew her sounds so solidly. And they are ALL GONE! I started re-teaching them (well, really teaching them for the first time, as a toddler it was just like the way I taught her animals, by pointing them out occassionally). She can't remember them. I'll show her an o and say, "It says ah. It says its name at the end of a syllable." I then turn to her and say, "What does the o say?" She says, "oh." I say, "That's it's name; what is its first sound?" Blank look.

 

THREE DAYS I've been trying to teach the sounds of the vowels. She gets incredibly frustrated, says, "I already know this." I say, "Okay, just prove it to me." She can't, and she can't seem to re-learn it. She's stuck on the letter names. And this is having a very deleterious effect on her behaviour. HELP! What do I do?

 

(It's not fair to blame this on Webster, is it?)

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I'm not Elizabeth, but can you make a game of it to minimise the pain of re-learning? I got a free phonogram file-folder game from All About Spelling. It's basically a track, you roll the dice and move that number of squares, pick up a card and say the sound(s), if correct get a second move, if not the next person gets a turn. I think there are a few "move back 3 spaces" type squares there too. You could do it on a snakes and ladders type board, too, I think.

 

Min

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(It's not fair to blame this on Webster, is it?)

 

Probably not, but it's popular to blame dead white guys, so you can if you really wish!

 

When they are that age, new knowledge can seem to knock out the old. My daughter had that problem with addition, and some of my remedial students have that problem with phonics and spelling.

 

Like Min says, games can help.

 

I would play some Starfall games and my concentration game, make a fun game on the white board of turning words from short to long and back again (hop hope hop; note not note no; hi hip; me met mete met me), and even put the Talking Letter Factory movie on if you have it and she will tolerate it. (My son could use a few more repetitions of it, but feels he's too old for it. I might make him watch it if I could find it, but it hasn't turned up yet after the move so we're playing games instead to solidify the sounds.)

 

My son has also known his letter sounds since he was 2, but is still having trouble remembering them at times when trying to spell and read words. My daughter never had this problem with phonics, but she did with math. My son does not seem to forget any math. My daughter once forgot what 7 + 7 was. My son, then 4, piped up "14." She knows her math facts now, but we have to review borrowing and carrying monthly. I have explained it about 1,000 times and 100 different ways.

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Yeah, I'll try the games. I tried the game on the white board with making words short/ long, etc. She did NOT find it fun. She screamed and tried to hide under the bed.

 

She refuses to watch either Letter or Talking Words Factory. I'd make her, but it is hard to MAKE her watch and pay attention. Sigh.

 

It's just discouraging. She's been so solid on it for so LONG. I'll try the games, but she is so resistant right now. She says over and over, "I already KNOW this! Why are you making me do it?" She knows that she should, but she just doesn't remember and can't seem to remember either. I'll tell her what it says, have her repeat it, ask her another one, and then go back to it, and she won't remember. Sigh.

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I noticed you are using Headsprout. I'm going against the grain by saying this because so many people swear by it, but ditch it. I truly believe it does promote guessing and is very whole word oriented with a little phonics thrown in. I'm convinced my oldest two have had reading problems because of it. Another thing I would recommend is to lay off reading instruction for a month or so and give your dd a break. If her learning to read cvc, cvcc, ccvc, etc words brought tears, then taking a break from formal instruction might be just what she needs. She's only 5. ;)

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Thanks. I think the first half of Headsprout is pretty phonetic, but the second half does become much more word oriented. To be honest, learning to read the words itself did not provoke (many) tears. She's just forgotten the vowel sounds, and re-learning is what's causing tears. Also, she had to spend time in the time out chair today because she hit me. Three times. It's just hard. I don't know what to do or how to teach her. If I could afford it, I might just put her in the classical school. Or the O-G school for learning disabilities.

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:bigear:

I began the Webster syllabary with my son today and because we had been doing SSRW, he's stuck on the opposite problem... he only knows the letters by their short sound, not long. So BA (bay) was always bah, etc. It'll take time I'm sure. He's watched Leapfrog about 1000 times, so he should know them.

 

I agree to give her a little break. Maybe she just needs to not fight it for a little while.

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Thanks. I think the first half of Headsprout is pretty phonetic, but the second half does become much more word oriented. To be honest, learning to read the words itself did not provoke (many) tears. She's just forgotten the vowel sounds, and re-learning is what's causing tears. .

 

I thought the first 40 lessons of Headsprout were pretty phonetic as well until I looked at it more closely with my dd 5. It does teach how to blend the word a couple times, then it drills the whole word a million times. Therefore, it doesn't give dc time to learn how to really blend. It definitely changed my thoughts on the first 40 lessons also.

You're dd must me so frustrated:grouphug: I'm so sorry she's forgotten the sounds. Having to learn them again would bring me to tears, too.:crying: Maybe after a little break, she'll suddenly remember the sounds again. Hang in there.

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Today went better. I got out the magnetic alphabet and dictated words for her to spell. (CVC and one CCVC) She had a bit of difficulty with hearing the "r" in frog, but otherwise was fine. I pretty much went back to just short sounds. I think I'll just stop getting her to say all the sounds at the moment. I'll just tell her that "here the vowel says its name" rather than going into second sounds. For identification, we're gonna stick with short.

 

We played with the Fridge Phonics and I wrote vowels on the sidewalk and called out sounds for her to jump onto. Then I had her toss a rock onto them and say the sounds. It went better. At least there were no tears or hitting, and she seemed to have some vague familiarity, or at least ability to learn them again.

 

I agree Headsprout does move pretty quickly from the blending to the fluency part of it. Maybe my thoughts are skewed because I did a lot of work outside of it with the words they taught, and doing nonsense words. I thought it did a good job of teaching the concept of blending but was a big help in getting them over the "saying all the sounds but can't read the word fluently" hump.

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I would back off an not overly worry about it. Play some games to keep phonics in her mind, but really with a 5yo they don't need to be reading. While I don't think you would ever intentionally push, your attitude (body language) and such can really put a child off, and you don't want to do that with reading.

 

If it makes you feel better my 2nd dd could spell for a whole year before she could reading. She had not problem hearing a sound and recalling the letter, but ask her to look at the letter and recall the sound? Forget it! She just couldn't for a long time. But eventually she did, yes behind schedule, but she did and now she reads above grade level. It didn't hurt her much. :D

 

Heather

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