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Mei

Reading readiness question

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Hi all, I have some questions about my 4.5 yo daughter's reading and would love insight. I'll try not to write a novel.

We've been using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons since December (right after she turned 4). Overall she's done well, but I have at times questioned whether it was getting too hard. We're at lesson 72, right before the switch to a regular font (the book uses a different orthography for the majority). She can decode just about any word in the book. Here are the things I'd like input about:

1) Sometimes she switches words (e.g. says 'did' for 'and', 'the' for 'then'). I will either point again to the word until she reads it the right way or just tell her the correct word.

2) Depending on the day/story/how consistent we've been, she may have to read a good portion of the words by sounding out instead of 'the fast way'. So I guess this is a fluency issue?

My question is, should we continue through with lessons, take a break from reading altogether, go back to earlier lessons? I'm fine with it being a little bit of a struggle, but don't want to push her beyond what she can do. I'm a little nervous about the switch to regular font and whether that will add too much complication or whether that will make things easier because we can use other resources and books more easily. We've read things in regular fonts before and it wasn't terribly hard, but I do wonder especially about cues for vowel sounds and silent letters.

Anyways, any advice or encouragement you have would be much appreciated. This is my first time teaching reading and I don't want to mess it up. Thanks!

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Being that she is so young, I would take a break. 

With my own three children I have noticed that readiness to read is similar to readiness to walk, children won’t do it until they are ready. 

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Here is what we did with the book:
-Throwback Thursdays: Once a week do a lesson that is 10 or 20 behind where you are currently working.  It makes it go slower, but revisiting older stories helps to build fluency and confidence.
-make cards to go with the words/sounds in both the "funny" way and the regular print.  You can play more with the cards than you can with the lesson plan.  We used to make the sounds crash like Gawain's Word from Between The Lions (it's on youtube if you don't know what I'm talking about 🙂 )
-take a break entirely.  It's okay.  By the time you get to the last thirty lessons you can start to check out beginner readers from the library.  The We Read Together series is great because in level 1, you read a page and the child reads 2-3 words.


If you really want to take a break but keep going, the Reading Mastery books are DISTAR also.  There's a whole program you can order through the McGraw Hill website that goes a bit slower than 100 EZ lessons.

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Learning to read is not linear for most children. It happens in jumps and spurts and it's more than okay to slow down or just practice what they know for a while rather than frustrate them by pushing forward when they aren't ready. They will be ready to move forward when they are ready to move forward and no sooner. I would put the book away for a while, keep practicing what she knows with games and short readers at or below her level and try moving on in the lessons again maybe in early fall. If she still isn't ready in early fall, try again around her birthday. Sooner or later, she will be cognitively ready for more lessons.

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If it seems like a struggle, I would either take a break, or go back and repeat lessons. I just taught my 5th child to read this past year and every time she seemed to struggle (or when it wasn't fun anymore), we would back up and repeat. It always amazed me how much the repetition helped, and she was always ready to move on again once we got back to where we'd ended up before. No need to rush, especially since your daughter is so young!

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Is she asking you to stop or does she want to continue? 

My DD wanted to learn early but then she had enough and wanted to stop for awhile. We would put it away for a few months then she would want to do it again. This went on for awhile.

My kid would sometimes switch words or miss one because she was distracted or bored. She 6.5 and still does (mostly because she is distracted by the pictures).

Fluency comes in time and with practice.

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