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DS6 may be secretly accelerated in reading. I think I messed up.


idnib
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I'm not even sure how to explain this situation. I can already tell it's going to be disjointed, but here goes....

 

Background:

 

DS6 is slightly special needs. He was mildly on the spectrum and we've been working to recover him for the past couple of years. While he still has quirks, I doubt he would be considered to be on the spectrum today. He is a perfectionist and also has a certain passivity, especially about trying new things. [Just background, I don't want to have a discussion about his recovery. :)] As far as speaking, he has an excellent vocabulary and uses many advanced words for his age.

 

DH and I are both gifted so we seem to be missing some context about what a typical kid does at a certain age. Our own memories of what we learned when are skewed.

 

DS never showed any interest in reading, although he greatly enjoys being read to and. Our house is filled with books and DH and I both read extensively. We go to the library weekly. Still, I've never seen DS sit down and even try to read a book on his own.

 

So after I became worried I got OPGTR and we're on lesson 50-something. When he reads the lessons he does a good job and it seems like he's doing okay, with some words coming easily and him having to sound out others. He makes an occasional mistake. He has slowly been doing some Bob books, sticking to CVC words. All sounds typical for first grade, right?

 

Today I was thinking I would try and get him interested in reading by having him read a paragraph from a book I've been reading to him. At first he wouldn't do it but I repeatedly assured him if he got stuck I would simply supply the word. So he sat down and read a paragraph from a book listed for 10-12 years of age, with almost no help from me. He's reluctant to do it again though.

 

My thoughts: Have I wasted a lot of time with a program he doesn't like and that has made him think he can't read? Is it possible he's accelerated in reading and we missed it due to his reluctance and his former special needs status? (If he's gifted, I think it would be mildly.) Has his perfectionism kept him from trying to read books on his own?

 

I feel phonics are important and I want to move ahead with the OPG. But doing the 2 review and 1 new takes about 30 minutes and DS is irritated by the end, so I'm not sure I want to double up lessons. Should I get a different curriculum? Or slog through?

 

And should I encourage him to read more advanced books and simply supply the words he doesn't know so he doesn't get as frustrated? Or should I stick with books that are at the level he's at in phonics and try to get him to read those even if they are not actually a challenge? Do other people only give their kids books to read if those books cover the phonics they've already learned?

 

I think I'm doing something wrong. I shouldn't be as shocked as I am. How did we work on this every day and I didn't know?

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I think a lot of kids shock us and don't really want to admit that they can do something like reading - they might be expected to do more.

 

Here are some thoughts - however random...:

- Pay attention to his clues - if he's getting frustrated is it too easy, too hard, difficult to sit still, difficult to use a pencil...???

- Sometimes telling him your goals and asking if he has any ideas of how to proceed will give you some great ideas.

- Proceeding with phonics is great, but maybe with something with shorter lessons or skip portions once he's got it.

- My perfectionistic child doesn't want to try anything until he's sure he can do it.

- I think children are radicallly different and what works for one (or for many) doesn't necessarily work for all. Be careful about trying to make your child fit the mold of "typical".

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Both of my older children read well before anyone knew about it :glare:

 

They never did explain themselves, but I got the impression they were worried I wouldn't read to/for them anymore if I found out :p

 

If he enjoys the lessons, then I'd continue on with them. There are so many great phonics rules in OPGtTR that I would not want to miss. All the same, maybe you could accelerate the class. Instead of one lesson a day, try doing two or three joined together.

 

And CONGRATULATIONS! Reading is such a wonderful accomplishment :D

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I would ask him to choose which books he would prefer reading until your comfortable knowing where his skills are at. You may be surprised, he may pick something way beyond where you originally placed him or he may prefer to keep it safe (for awhile). No need to push, keep suppling him with mountains of books to read for enjoyment, on his own time. I would continue w/phonics training but be open to dive into books w/more meaning. I don't think you have messed up, you brought him this far! Congrats!

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Why are phonics important? They are great for learning to read, but it seems as if your son has done that already. They help some people to spell, but many self-taught readers are also natural spellers. I would drop the phonics programme and look for fun, no-pressure activities at his own level.

 

FWIW Calvin had very little phonics instruction. He's an excellent speller and an avid reader.

 

Laura

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I don't think you messed anything up! It's great that he's reading so well. My ds started reading in a similar fashion. I was making him stick with CVC and CVCC words because he was still sounding them out slowly. I finally let him put down the Bob Books since he hated them and just continued instruction with SWR. However, he picked up a Dr. Suess book on his own and read the whole thing fluently EXCEPT for a few of the CVC words which he sounded out slowly. After letting him take off with reading, I started to think that his hang ups with CVC words was over-processing. Sure enough, he went from reading Dr. Suess to a 4th grade reading level in a couple of months and his hesitation with easy words disappeared quickly. I am still continuing his phonics instruction through spelling to cover our bases. I agree that you probably don't need to do the review in OPGTR. It sounds like he's doing just fine.

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I would definitely not skip phonics IMHO. Instead I would try to tweak phonics to make it interesting such as making it more of a spelling program with a whiteboard or chalkboard for practicing spelling words in each phonogram type. I would also try to think of words to throw in that are of interest to your son.

You could also explore other phonics/spelling programs as well to see if they meet your ds needs better.

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Thanks everyone for your help. I'm still not clear on how to move forward, especially because he's reluctant to read anything out of a book. I tried again last night to have him read a paragraph and he wouldn't do it.

 

As far as sticking with phonics, I've seen threads on these forums about kids who speed ahead in reading and then plateau after a few years because of lack of phonics. OTOH, the best reader I know is DH, who can read about 100 pages/hour with excellent comprehension and retention and he and MIL (who's a librarian) both say he never really learned phonics. He's gifted and started reading books spontaneously at age 3 when his baby brother was born and his mother no longer had as much time to read to him. :)

 

Dinsfamily, I think what you're saying resonates with me. The idea of letting him move ahead with reading instead of holding him back while we do phonics rules sounds good, as does teaching phonics anyway, but differently. I'm not sure how to do that, though. What spelling program do you use for this? I was going to order AAS when he got about halfway through OPGTR.

 

Or is there a different phonics program for kids who are beyond the basics but you still want them to learn the rules anyway?

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You could also wait till he is 7ish to start a formal phonics/spelling program as well. His lack of cooperation could be age related. I know my ds has come eons in the way of cooperation over the past several years:D I would still do tons of reading, even you reading to him and occasionaly you sounding out words.

Edited by priscilla
spelling error
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Dinsfamily, I think what you're saying resonates with me. The idea of letting him move ahead with reading instead of holding him back while we do phonics rules sounds good, as does teaching phonics anyway, but differently. I'm not sure how to do that, though. What spelling program do you use for this? I was going to order AAS when he got about halfway through OPGTR.

 

Or is there a different phonics program for kids who are beyond the basics but you still want them to learn the rules anyway?

 

I use Spell to Write and Read but I think AAS would work too from what I've heard. This approach has worked really well for us since ds6 improved so quickly and ds4 taught himself to read at 3yo.

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