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Help with reading please


LEK
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I have a moderately gifted 5yo (6 in april) who has just started first grade this week. She is advanced in all areas except reading by 1-3 levels. Although for a typical 5yo I would not worry about reading as of yet, for my DD it is really causing problems as her reading is holding her back in all her other subjects and causing both her and myself a great deal of frustration. She wants to advance in her studies but me needing to read the instructions (when I have a highly gifted 4yo and a baby to deal with) is just not working a lot of the time so she has to wait and then she gets frustrated about the time it is taking to finish.

 

She just seems to have no real memory for printed words (although she can spell beautifully). She is still sounding out CVC words and has no fluency at all when reading, she can read the same words every day and just still not seem to recognise them, every day she sounds them out again! She can decode nearly anything but just cannot read IYKWIM, her reading is so laboured that she is getting no meaning from it (and it is painful to listen to, least of my worries but it is!).

 

We have been using OPGTR and while it is helping her learn the phonics rules and how to decode this knowledge is just not translating into reading ability.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to help her develop fluency in her reading? Are there any supplimental activities you would recommend? Games? Any other reading programs that have helped other children with similar issues? I am open to all suggestions, supplimenting OPGTR, getting a new reading program, buying games etc, whatever it takes.

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It takes a lot of repetitions for many children. I like my phonics concentration game to get some repetition in in a fun way:

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Phonics/concentrationgam.html

 

Also, most online programs use too many sight words for me or lead to guessing in other ways. I like the games on starfall (except their sight word game) and also like Read, Write, Type.

 

http://www.talkingfingers.com

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My daughter was similar until recently. If she really can decode anything (and mine could), then the only answer is practice and patience. How much of her own reading is she doing? I spent a lot of energy just finding more and more materials looking for something my would actually want to read. She wouldn't stand for Frog & Toad etc although those were a comfortable level that would have been good for practice. In the end it was Harry Potter that hooked her. She was willing to struggle through slow painful sentence by sentence which quickly got faster. Soon she was starting the third book reading silently to herself (at which point I finally convinced her to stop and try something else for a while as it was getting scary).

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Lots of practice. My 6 year old K'er is in the same boat. He asks a gazillion questions that I would love for him to just read some books and answer on his own! Oh well. It will come. It is just taking a lot of time and patience. He understands phonics well. It is just taking time and tons of repetition to transfer over to reading. Decoding is no problem.

 

The difference between this child and my other two children is that he thinks in pictures, and that often leads to late blooming readers. My dad was the same way, but when reading clicked, he took off (he read all of Isaac Asimov's books one summer around 6th grade - loved that stuff). My dad is a brilliant man and had a successful engineering career. He says he is slightly dyslexic. I never noticed.

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