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Janeway

Do I need a reading (comprehension, not phonics) curriculum?

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Son (9 yrs old) pretty much got 100% (earning scores in the high 90's percentiles) right on the ITBS in the areas word analysis and spelling, but in vocabulary and reading comprehension, he only earned 77th and 65th percentile, with a comprehensive reading score of 71st percentile. He is a great speller and can spell lots of words he does not know the meaning of. Also, his Cogat profile was  9B(V-). When I went to the site provided to explain it, it said this meant a weak working memory. When I looked for information on how to improve working memory, everything referenced ADHD. 

 

The question is, would it be wise to use a reading curriculum? I have never used one with the older kids. Or would a reading curriculum be a defeating thing? I don't want to turn him off to reading. 

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I would not use a formal curriculum if his phonics skills are solid. I would work on just reading books with him doing buddy reading (you read a page, then he reads a page) and asking him questions as you read the story together to ensure he knows what's going on in the story as he decodes his page. If you are using books that are right on target for his reading ability (not too easy, not too hard) then his comprehension should improve with practice, without wearing him down with a formal curriculum.

Unless, as you indicate, there may be an underlying ADHD issue, in which case further testing and diagnosis might be a good idea.

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It could help. 
I never used a reading program with my oldest in elementary.  Middle school, yes, but not elementary.  For the youngest, though, I decided to try the Elson Readers.  I've gotten in the habit of buying one a year, doing occasional narrations and occasionally using the study questions in the back, but it's never been too taxing on him and we've had some really good discussions.  And it has let me pull other books off our shelves by the same author or about the same topic if he was interested.  We're done with the reader halfway through the year and I let him pick out something else to read for that time.

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Have you noticed a problem with reading comprehension in his daily work with you?  If so, then perhaps a formal reading program is needed.  Otherwise, the issue is more likely the way the test questions were formated.

Read aloud and/or have him listen to audiobooks that are above his current reading level. Ideally have him follow along with a printed text.  Look up unfamilar words together. Have him read aloud to you books at or slightly below his reading level.  Encourage silent reading from a wide range of materals.  

If he likes workbooks - Reading Comprehension Crosswords or Reading Detective might suit him.  Either would give him extra practice at the sorts of questions asked on standardized tests.   Analogy and logic books such as those published by Dandy Lion and Prufrock Press are another fun way to get used to the the sorts of questions asked on standardized tests.  You could also find a few sample test online to work through together.  

 

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I'd just have the student read to you a bit each day and discuss his readers and also read-alouds that you do with him. I would not worry about doing a separate reading comprehension program with overall good scores (and the scores could be something like bad or confusing questions, or that he reads a bit slower than the test allows for etc...). Having him read to you is one of the best ways to really know how he's doing with regard to all reading skills, and also to help him develop comprehension skills. 

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4 hours ago, Sherry in OH said:

Have you noticed a problem with reading comprehension in his daily work with you?  If so, then perhaps a formal reading program is needed.  Otherwise, the issue is more likely the way the test questions were formated.

Read aloud and/or have him listen to audiobooks that are above his current reading level. Ideally have him follow along with a printed text.  Look up unfamilar words together. Have him read aloud to you books at or slightly below his reading level.  Encourage silent reading from a wide range of materals.  

If he likes workbooks - Reading Comprehension Crosswords or Reading Detective might suit him.  Either would give him extra practice at the sorts of questions asked on standardized tests.   Analogy and logic books such as those published by Dandy Lion and Prufrock Press are another fun way to get used to the the sorts of questions asked on standardized tests.  You could also find a few sample test online to work through together.  

 

His narrations are a bit weak. But I am thinking maybe we just need to continue with narrations and such and then see what happens next year or two with the testing. I usually only do the testing every other year, so we will see. He has only been home schooled for maybe 6 months or so. 

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There's no harm in working through materials for reading comprehension. It's clear you think it's a relative deficit and are concerned. 

I really like the Spotlight series (links below). I buy the ebook and print so I can hand him one page at a time. So a day's packet will be one page from each book in the series. I think we started with the gr1/2, so you may or may not need to do that to keep it comfortable.

Compare & Contrast Resource Book Grade 3-4 Paperback

Inferring Resource Book Grade 3-4 Paperback

Compare & Contrast Resource Book Grade 3-4 eBook

Cause & Effect Resource Book Grade 3-4 eBook

Does your testing have subtests to show where the reading comprehension is breaking down? I would not work on it randomly if you're concerned. Almost any workbook will hit the skills quickly and easily. Allows you to work on language as well. Does he have any issues with his narration? Narrative language is another component of reading comprehension. If he's breaking down at the vocabulary level, that's more concerning. You could do work on lexicon and see how words are organizing in his brain. (attributes, features, functions, synonyms/antonyms, etc.). 

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