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Reading question - at what point should one start systematic vocabulary study?


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Despite my attempts at phonics instruction, he is decidedly a sight-word reader, using his knowledge of phonics to decode only when I prompt him.


I really think this is how most of us read. Once you have learned to, most of your reading is "by sight". (Which is actually how I think the whole sight word fiasco has happened anyway, when you look at a good reader, they don't sound out every word.)


I would wait on a vocab program for a few years. I think AAS and just reading will help his vocabulary increase.

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My son is similar to yours - first grade, reading around a 4th grade level, mostly sight reads. I'm about to start AAS, and I think that will probably help him with this issue. I do notice that as he's gotten more phonics instruction, his spelling and reading of larger words has expanded.


I am purposely reading aloud books that are above his reading level, so he can hear those big, strange words and get an expanded vocabulary. I have no plans to do any kind of vocabulary program at this time. I wouldn't expect my first grader to necessarily know what "slain" means. :) I'm sure it will come with time.

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