Jump to content

Menu

Natural whole word readers


Recommended Posts

I'm finding something quite curious with DD4 -- she's definitely naturally a "whole word" reader. DD8 was a textbook phonics kid -- she learned phonics quickly and well, she started out sounding out slowly and got faster, and she progressed relatively quickly to reading quickly and correctly in her head. 

DD4, on the other hand, is something entirely different. It takes her much longer to learn letters and letter combinations. She doesn't like using her finger under words to sound things out. She CAN sound things out, she can even sound things out very well for her age, but the number of words that she can read in context is an order of magnitude larger than the number of words she can actually sound out.

We discovered this kind of by accident. I noticed that she was having trouble with b's and d's, but only very sporadically -- most of the time, she would get it right. It took me a bit of time to realize that she was so fast at matching things to "actual words" that it was almost impossible to tell if she was actually recognizing a letter in context -- she would almost always get it right in an actual word, even when she actually literally was seeing no difference between the letters or the letter combinations! 

Since we've figured this out, we've started doing nonsense words with her, working slowly through the phonograms she doesn't yet know. (She knows quite a lot by now.) It's worthwhile work and helps her with new words, although it takes her a while to internalize. However, in the meantime, she's reading quickly in her head, and when I gave her an impromptu "reading test" this morning, she's definitely internalizing things she's reading. 

Anyway, has anyone seen this pattern themselves? Phonics was SO natural do DD8 that this is very interesting to see. I'm still very glad we're doing phonics with DD4 and we'll keep going, but there's definitely something essentially different going on in her head!! 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Kiara.I said:

I might actually just leave phonics by the wayside for a while. Let her read. I would expect her to intuit the phonics over time. 

Eh, we're doing 10 minutes a day in nonsense words, which helps her internalize phonograms and use them when needed. It's pretty noninvasive, so to speak, and seems worth doing. She mostly reads by herself in her head however she feels like 🙂 . She reads for a while every day nowadays, so she gets plenty of free reading time. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like she's doing really well! That's awesome.

I didn't really do formal phonics lessons with my kids. I taught them the alphabet, and we had a lot of those "a is for apple" kinds of books, magnetic letters, etc around the house. Then, because they were interested, we played lots of rhyming games and pre-spelling games. We also read out loud a lot. Both ended up being early readers. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Little Green Leaves said:

It sounds like she's doing really well! That's awesome.

I didn't really do formal phonics lessons with my kids. I taught them the alphabet, and we had a lot of those "a is for apple" kinds of books, magnetic letters, etc around the house. Then, because they were interested, we played lots of rhyming games and pre-spelling games. We also read out loud a lot. Both ended up being early readers. 

I'm a control freak and also lazy 😉 . So I do better with planning formal lessons. We went through 100 Easy Lessons with both kids, because it's kind of the minimal set of phonograms to start to read. For DD4, we definitely had to slow it down, because she wasn't catching on to the phonograms at the pace of the book. But then suddenly she started catching on to the actual words in the lessons very quickly, so we probably could have sped it back up. (We didn't, though -- it became her special weekend thing with DH, and I didn't want to disrupt it. I just practiced with her in books when I read to her. We still do that somewhat, although I read to her less right now, given how much she reads in her head.) 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

My younger child, while not a natural reader of any sort, had some kind of uncanny ability to extract meaning more or less from air.  She was dyslexic, but would sit down with a Warriors novel.  And, when we were reading aloud, it was completely evident that she could only read MAYBE one word out of every 10-14.  She could not decode the text at all.  Yet, with very few exceptions, she could describe accurately what happened and answer comprehension questions.  I think in her case it was a matter of being very, very good at context clues, having a huge vocabulary, and a keen awareness of "story logic" and a wealth of experience with books.  But it still seems impossible.  I've heard of lots of dyslexic kids who spend so much energy decoding the text that they don't have any attention left over for comprehension, but never the opposite.  

We did do a lot of work on phonics and nonsense words, but she also got lots of practice reading "whole books."  It seems to have served her well.  She finished all 12 books of the Wilson program and has solid decoding skills, but left to her own devices, I think she skips words she doesn't know rather than sounding them out unless she's super stuck.  But, she tests very highly on standardized tests, and she's actually a great writer, if you can get past the spelling.  

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Terabith said:

She finished all 12 books of the Wilson program and has solid decoding skills, but left to her own devices, I think she skips words she doesn't know rather than sounding them out unless she's super stuck. 

Yeah, that's what DD4 currently does. She just says some gobbledygook for names and things she can't sound out. 

I don't think she's as bad with phonics as your younger girl (well, I think your younger girl is an outlier, so that's unsurprising!), so I figure she'll learn to sound things out eventually. However, she's definitely not interacting with text mostly via letters. She's insert random letters into words if the random letters make the word make sense. She'll use context to fill in phonograms she has NO CLUE how to sound out (like -igh and -tion and quite a few others.) 

She also apparently has a MUCH higher narrative memory than random memory. Again, not to the extent of your younger girl, but she had trouble learning the days of the week (we were going over and over it for an hour, and it's not like she'd never heard them before!), whereas this morning, I had her read a short little story I made up about a bear and a rabbit (like, 5 sentences), and she read it once in her head, then recited it word for word without looking at it with good expression 😮.

 

14 minutes ago, Terabith said:

And, when we were reading aloud, it was completely evident that she could only read MAYBE one word out of every 10-14.  She could not decode the text at all. 

So, you've said this before, and I'm curious -- what exactly would she SAY when reading out loud to you if she couldn't decode the text? 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, OKBud said:

Also, OP, congrats on the easy reader 😁😁😁 Jackpot, ma!

She's, err, my more difficult reader. DD8 was my ridiculous kid who I decided to try teaching on a whim at age 3, blew through 100 Easy Lessons without requiring any adjustments, and was reading Ramona in her head by herself when she turned 4. 

By the way, I'm not actually new -- I dunno if you saw the story or not 🙂 . 

Anyway, yes, I'm very lucky that my kiddos are so easy about reading!! I thought DD4 wouldn't be, since she had a lot more trouble with letters than DD8. But apparently, she managed to compensate!! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, OKBud said:

Ok, OP, congrats on your above average at reading four year old even though her sister picked up reading more readily. 

Lol, thanks!! Sorry, not trying to be snarky AT ALL. She's just been trickier than her sister, so from my emotional perspective, it totally doesn't FEEL like things being easy. But of course, it IS, because here she is enjoying reading and having a blast and not having any trouble. So it's a good reminder. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Not_a_number said:

So, you've said this before, and I'm curious -- what exactly would she SAY when reading out loud to you if she couldn't decode the text? 

She'd make up words or attempt to sound them out but not know the phonograms (so, like -tion or -igh, as you mentioned).  There was also a fair amount of just flat refusal.  

Honestly, she does sound uncannily like a (far less extreme) form of Cat!  Congrats!  I haven't met many kids of that ilk, with the super strong narrative memory and pretty poor procedural/ random facts memory.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Terabith said:

She'd make up words or attempt to sound them out but not know the phonograms (so, like -tion or -igh, as you mentioned).  There was also a fair amount of just flat refusal.  

But she'd read the sentence overall? Like, can you give me an example of what the sentence would be as written and what she'd read? 

 

1 minute ago, Terabith said:

Honestly, she does sound uncannily like a (far less extreme) form of Cat!  Congrats!  I haven't met many kids of that ilk, with the super strong narrative memory and pretty poor procedural/ random facts memory.  

Doesn't she, though?? I'm glad I read about Cat on here before I started teaching DD4 to read, because it felt like I'd at least heard about something similar before. 

I'm now curious whether this'll feed into math facts or not. So far, she seems quite good at the math facts she knows (like, 2+2, 2+1, 1+1, 5+5) and she's counting on well. She also seems to sometimes be able to do things without me understanding HOW she did them (like, she figured out 10 - 1 earlier today. I asked her how and she said "I thought about it.")  But I also haven't had to tax her memory much, and her Russian word recall is relatively poor... I'm trying to incorporate more Russian words into phrases and stories and am hoping this helps. 

She will also sometimes LOOK AWAY from words when trying to figure them out. I don't know what's happening in her head as she does that. I wish I did. 

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Terabith said:

Could there be a level of anxiety?  

Hmmmmm. It's possible (and I can see how you'd think that, given Cat!), but it doesn't seem like it. She's just a natural manipulator, lol, and she also has big feelings. 

Like, last week, we met my SIL and her family somewhere, and we drove while they walked. Then, because there was a hill on the way back, DD4 had to drive back with us and DD8 walked with my SIL and her family, and DD4 was naturally resentful. 

Anyway, when we came back home, DH was telling DD4 that she should stop whining, because we saw SIL for a while and had a good time, and DD4 started saying things like "Actually, I DIDN'T have a good time! I was just PRETENDING to be having fun the whole time, and on the inside, I was having a TERRIBLE time!" Which I thought was actually uncannily good emotional intelligence for a 4 year old... she's generally very gifted in that area. But it does mean that she makes disproportionate fusses... not even being truly upset, per se, but doing a lot of over-the-top emoting.  

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Not_a_number said:

But she'd read the sentence overall? Like, can you give me an example of what the sentence would be as written and what she'd read? 

 

Doesn't she, though?? I'm glad I read about Cat on here before I started teaching DD4 to read, because it felt like I'd at least heard about something similar before. 

I'm now curious whether this'll feed into math facts or not. So far, she seems quite good at the math facts she knows (like, 2+2, 2+1, 1+1, 5+5) and she's counting on well. She also seems to sometimes be able to do things without me understanding HOW she did them (like, she figured out 10 - 1 earlier today. I asked her how and she said "I thought about it.")  But I also haven't had to tax her memory much, and her Russian word recall is relatively poor... I'm trying to incorporate more Russian words into phrases and stories and am hoping this helps. 

She will also sometimes LOOK AWAY from words when trying to figure them out. I don't know what's happening in her head as she does that. I wish I did. 

Cat did the looking away thing, too.  I’m sorry I don’t remember any details. It’s been over a decade and I blocked out details.  

I told Cat you had a mini-her (although significantly less extreme, but the days of the week thing made me literally laugh out loud).   She said, “If it’s any consolation, I get better with time.”  Which is true.  She knows the days of the week now.  Not the months of the year, but she’s really good at using google.  

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Terabith said:

Cat did the looking away thing, too.  I’m sorry I don’t remember any details. It’s been over a decade and I blocked out details.  

I told Cat you had a mini-her (although significantly less extreme, but the days of the week thing made me literally laugh out loud).   She said, “If it’s any consolation, I get better with time.”  Which is true.  She knows the days of the week now.  Not the months of the year, but she’s really good at using google.  

DD4 did actually manage to pick up the days of the week by the end of the hour. Mostly. She still skips Wednesday. But it's better.

It was REALLY striking how much better her recall was for a story she read a single time, though. I mean, that's what, 8 times as many words? And she saw them once instead of doing them for an hour. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, OneThoughtMayHideAnother said:

Both of my boys learned their days of the week from this song: 

But your girls don't like memory songs, if I remember correctly?

You know, my older son is a whole word reader, too, I think. That might be because I didn't really do a solid phonics curriculum with him, even though we did phonics-based games and stuff. So in his case, it might just be my fault. All the skipping of names type of behavior: so familiar. But on the bright side, DS reads sooo fast. Way faster than me, actually. We're learning spelling this year, so I'm hoping to cover any phonics gaps this way. I've already seen some improvement. 

Also, what good stuff has your DD4 been reading? I'd be particularly interested in any recs at about the Frog and Toad or Peppa Pig level. 🙂

No, no, I don't mind memory songs!! I was just being grouchy about it on some other thread, but it's just perfect for sequences with no rhyme or reason 😉 (well, at least no reason 😉 .) I was thinking about playing some songs for DD4, since she's pretty stubborn, and something that makes it fun would be good. Thank you for the recommendation 🙂 . 

Let's see, DD4 really likes Elephant and Piggie on that level, and she likes Pinkalicious a bit too much for my hubby, lol. I also like the Little Bear series and DH recently got Poppleton for her... it's about this cute pig, they are sweet stories. 

She's really been mostly reading the Octonauts recently, which is higher than that level, but we've read it to her a fair number of times and the whole word reading serves her well in it. She also likes listening to fairly hard audiobooks in the morning (DH has her when I work with DD8, and she just listens to an audiobook in his room) -- they did The Witches and Charlotte's Web and All of a Kind Family. Those she obviously can't quite read herself 🙂 . 

Oh, DH said she reads the Berenstain Bears books to herself. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, OneThoughtMayHideAnother said:

Well, in such case here's another one of my family's favorites: the very catchy MONTHS OF THE YEAR:

😉

Thanks for the book recs! We haven't heard of Pinkalicious or Poppleton, so off to check those out. Also, I had no idea that there were Octonauts books!!! Thank you! My little guy is in for a treat. 

In fact, the books were first, lol!! There are only a few in the original series. They are very cute. 

Pinkalicious is pretty girly, as you can probably guess! Don't know if that would bother you guys 🙂 . 

Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, OneThoughtMayHideAnother said:

Oh, the Octonauts books look sooo adorable. So excited about them!!!

My older boy is not bothered by girly at all: I get book recs for him from both the girl and boy threads here. The little one, though... I never know what he'll be bothered by and why. There's a lot of general stubbornness there and strong preferences. But he'll definitely love the Octonauts. 🙂

And thank you for the memory song suggestions!! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

There really is no such thing as whole word reading - the brain stores the word via the sounds. But...kids who are truly so smart they can guess the word via context. I'm guessing that is what you are seeing. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

There really is no such thing as whole word reading - the brain stores the word via the sounds. But...kids who are truly so smart they can guess the word via context. I'm guessing that is what you are seeing. 

Well, it's not JUST context, right? It's, like, the letters and the context and the various ways it could sound. But somehow she combines the information very quickly. And she can have a hard time with even very easy sounding out if it doesn't make a word but is close to a word. Her brain doesn't want to read things that sound wrong in her head. Even in situations where she unambiguously knows what possible sounds the letter makes, her brain prioritizes meaning and sounding right. 

It's kind of hard to describe, honestly. It just looks VERY different from what DD8 did when learning to read. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

There really is no such thing as whole word reading - the brain stores the word via the sounds. But...kids who are truly so smart they can guess the word via context. I'm guessing that is what you are seeing. 

Actually, I'm not sure that's true.  I definitely store words as pictures of words in my head.  I am so visual and not very auditory, though.  I think my dd is like this as well, although her words have more cartoon pictures associated with them, too, I think.  Visual family we are.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

OP, Dianne Craft has some articles on right brain learners that might apply to your dd4.  Stories, pictures, color, and humor are the pegs they hang their knowledge on.  Plus they are big picture thinkers.  If that applies to your dd4, you might check out some of her articles.

I was thinking that one of Dianne Craft's techniques when the kid wants to read the word and kind of guess it, is to make them sound it out backwards.  Start with the last syllable, covering the rest, and have them sound that out.  Then back up to the second to the last syllable and have them sound out both syllables that are showing, and so on.  So they back into a word essentially.  It helped my dd with the guessing, at least when I was around.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ten minutes a day or not, I would drop the phonics. They're unnecessary at that age. Also, studies have shown that children who are taught to read earlier (before age 6) tend to end up having worse reading outcomes long term, than those who learned later. At best, they end up with no discernable difference. Then there's plenty of other studies that show that early academics in general are harmful before age 6/7. From your posts it sounds like you're a Type A 😉, but it'll serve you both well if you learn to let go! Take it from a recovering Type A. 

So, if she's a whole word kid, picking up lots of words on her own, then just let her keep doing what she's been doing. Help her when she asks for it, and when she's 6 or 7, try again with phonics, if she needs them.

Ultimately, while there are a lot of hard core phonics fanatics out there, the reality is not all kids will need phonics to learn to read. I have one of them. We tried phonics with DD. She hated them, so we dropped them after about a month. In the end, she taught herself to read at 7.5 via whole language/sight words, and just asking us for help now and then. She's now 10, in grade 5, and a great reader. 

Also, reversals are perfectly normal through age 7. 

 

 

Edited by df3121
Correction
Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, df3121 said:

Also, studies have shown that children who are taught to read earlier (before age 6) tend to end up having worse reading outcomes long term, than those who learned later.

No, they haven't. Like most social science research, they are all over the place.

 

Here are some that suggest early reading positively correlates with later achievement: 

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-9817.2004.00239.x

https://srcd.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1467-8624.00417

https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2F0012-1649.36.5.596

 

Here's one that suggests it's neutral: 

https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2F0022-0663.91.4.604

 

Here's one that suggests that it's bad (although the sample of kids is really not random, as it's high-achieving kids): 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2713445/#R11

 

26 minutes ago, df3121 said:

From your posts it sounds like you're a Type A 😉, but it'll serve you both well if you learn to let go! Take it from a recovering Type A. 

I don't particularly want to debate my style of parenting or homeschooling. I was just curious if people have seen this before. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Not_a_number said:

Could you please stick to the topic of the post? 🙂 Thanks! I don't feel like arguing about my control freak tendencies. 

1. I did. 

2. You said you didn't want to debate your parenting style. A) Nothing in my comment was even remotely doing so and further B ) I was merely pointing out I was going by what you yourself said. Which pretty much makes it not a debate 🤦

 

At any rate, whatever. You decided to go on the defensive for whatever reason, don't like what I suggested apparently, so do whatever you want. Next time put a caveat that you only want people to tell you you're doing it right  if you don't want to hear different ideas that are directly on topic and answering your post. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, perkybunch said:

OP, Dianne Craft has some articles on right brain learners that might apply to your dd4.  Stories, pictures, color, and humor are the pegs they hang their knowledge on.  Plus they are big picture thinkers.  If that applies to your dd4, you might check out some of her articles.

I was thinking that one of Dianne Craft's techniques when the kid wants to read the word and kind of guess it, is to make them sound it out backwards.  Start with the last syllable, covering the rest, and have them sound that out.  Then back up to the second to the last syllable and have them sound out both syllables that are showing, and so on.  So they back into a word essentially.  It helped my dd with the guessing, at least when I was around.  

Oh, super interesting. So to get them to stop associating it with the actual meaning, I guess? Kind of like mini-nonsense words within the text? I love that idea -- thank you for suggesting it. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, df3121 said:

1. I did. 

2. You said you didn't want to debate your parenting style. A) Nothing in my comment was even remotely doing so and further B ) I was merely pointing out I was going by what you yourself said. Which pretty much makes it not a debate 🤦

 

At any rate, whatever. You decided to go on the defensive for whatever reason, don't like what I suggested apparently, so do whatever you want. Next time put a caveat that you only want people to tell you you're doing it right  if you don't want to hear different ideas that are directly on topic and answering your post. 

I do what I want and I think is right, yes! 🎵 I highly recommend it! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, perkybunch said:

Actually, I'm not sure that's true.  I definitely store words as pictures of words in my head.  I am so visual and not very auditory, though.  I think my dd is like this as well, although her words have more cartoon pictures associated with them, too, I think.  Visual family we are.

Yes, but to get to that point of storing the image of the word, your brain first has to break it down into sound chunks. It all happens super fast, so it looks like "whole word reading" and once you know the word you can identify it at a glance...you really can't NOT read it. But to store it there in your brain in the first place the brain had to know the sounds. They've done functional MRIs and such - it's actually fascinating to see what parts of the brain are used, and how. 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a DS6 who reallllllyyyy wants to be a whole word reader. This week he has read “farm” for “foam” every single day! 

During our reading time, I use the cursor method with a phonics program. (We use Dancing Bears). You uncover one sound at a time in the word. It has helped him learn to track left to right and read the sounds. He hates it, LOL.

We do phonics practice for 10 minutes per day. During his free time he usually has a book in front of him, and I don’t require a cursor when he’s choosing to read in his free time.  I have seen him stop and get a bookmark and use it as a makeshift cursor to decode a troublesome word, though. So hopefully it’s starting to sink in!

Have you had your DD’s eyes checked? Things improved a bit for DS with reading glasses. Turns out he was farsighted. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, perkybunch said:

 

I was thinking that one of Dianne Craft's techniques when the kid wants to read the word and kind of guess it, is to make them sound it out backwards.  Start with the last syllable, covering the rest, and have them sound that out.  Then back up to the second to the last syllable and have them sound out both syllables that are showing, and so on.  So they back into a word essentially.  It helped my dd with the guessing, at least when I was around.  

Interesting!  This technique is also used in learning to pronounce difficult words in a foreign language- I believe it is called back chaining.  Our short-term memories do better to capture the whole word's sound if we work backwards through the syllables.  

I'm a total type A.  Unless a child is miserable and/or developmentally unable, 10 minutes of phonics a day isn't going to kill anyone.  :wink:  I take with a large grain of salt any study that is not specific to a home-learning environment.  

To the OP's question:

- My third was this way.  We struggled through phonics lessons from K onward, and it was a total slog.  Note that I'm a firm phonics believer and my first two did great with phonics and blossomed into strong readers who enjoy reading for pleasure.  Back to dd8, we chipped away at phonics, 10 minutes a day, but I realized she was doing better with the other 10 minute reading segment we did each day- reading for pleasure out loud.  She needed to read in context, or I guess it was all just gibberish to her.  So I did set phonics aside, and we just read for pleasure.  Within 6 months, she was reading (not fluently, but with pleasure) middle school novels.  We are now going BACK to phonics, but from a spelling perspective, and I figure this will fill in any gaps as we go.  Meanwhile, the littlest is doing spelling with us as his main phonics instruction, and a graded reader for his 10 minutes of reading with context.  

I think there is a lot to be said for approaching reading form both directions- pure decoding, and context reading.  

We also play ElizabethB's nonsense word game, which I love.  

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

Yes, but to get to that point of storing the image of the word, your brain first has to break it down into sound chunks. It all happens super fast, so it looks like "whole word reading" and once you know the word you can identify it at a glance...you really can't NOT read it. But to store it there in your brain in the first place the brain had to know the sounds. They've done functional MRIs and such - it's actually fascinating to see what parts of the brain are used, and how. 

I think they've similarly tried to figure out whether subitizing is actually different from fast counting or not and the jury is still out! It's fascinating stuff 🙂 .

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

I think there is a lot to be said for approaching reading form both directions- pure decoding, and context reading.  

Oh, absolutely. The thing is, she's already doing context reading by herself. She reads in her head. She reads quite complicated books in her head! I also do read to her and have her read back to me occasionally. (Although I've slacked on reading to her since she's started reading to herself and also listening to hours of audiobooks -- I figure she's fine either way.) 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/25/2020 at 3:01 PM, Not_a_number said:

DD4, on the other hand, is something entirely different. It takes her much longer to learn letters and letter combinations. She doesn't like using her finger under words to sound things out. She CAN sound things out, she can even sound things out very well for her age, but the number of words that she can read in context is an order of magnitude larger than the number of words she can actually sound out.

This can be a symptom of stealth dyslexia.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, bensonduck said:

Have you had your DD’s eyes checked? Things improved a bit for DS with reading glasses. Turns out he was farsighted. 

She's little, so it's hard to have a good check 🙂 . Last we checked, she's the normal amount of nearsighted for her age, although on the nearsighted end... I'm going to try to take her outside more, that's supposed to help. (The pandemic and living in NYC did NOT help with that, obviously.) 

I thought it might be a visual processing thing, but it doesn't seem to be, in terms of how she interacts with other images. I'm not averse to this explanation and am keeping an eye on it (no pun intended), but I'm not seeing it yet.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, EKS said:

This can be a symptom of stealth dyslexia.

I wouldn't be surprised. However, she's slowly getting the phonics down, so I figure we'll inch towards full phonics understand at the rate that works for her 🙂 . Nonsense words seem to do it for her, in terms of teaching her to actually decode. I make up my own sheet of nonsense words every day, to work on the phonograms we're currently focusing on. She needs a lot of practice. 

ETA: however, I've checked her phonemic processing or whatever it's called, and it's excellent. She's very highly skilled with audio input. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Not_a_number said:

Oh, absolutely. The thing is, she's already doing context reading by herself. She reads in her head. She reads quite complicated books in her head! I also do read to her and have her read back to me occasionally. (Although I've slacked on reading to her since she's started reading to herself and also listening to hours of audiobooks -- I figure she's fine either way.) 

I would encourage you to continue having her read aloud to you, even if it's just a few sentences.  Reading out loud is a separate skill set, and worth working on- things like pause, intonation, etc, in addition to pronouncing words that she understands but may not pronounce right.  I still find the occasional gap in my dd11's pronunciation or intonation.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Monica_in_Switzerland said:

I would encourage you to continue having her read aloud to you, even if it's just a few sentences.  Reading out loud is a separate skill set, and worth working on- things like pause, intonation, etc, in addition to pronouncing words that she understands but may not pronounce right.  I still find the occasional gap in my dd11's pronunciation or intonation.  

Yeah, it's a good idea. Frankly, I need to do this more with DD8 -- DD4 is my drama queen, so she really CARES about getting the intonation right when she bothers. Sometimes, she reads outs loud to herself because she likes to hear the sound. But DD8 really kind of couldn't care less. So we should practice. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

My DD was a self-taught reader (in that I didn't realize she was actually reading, as opposed to memorizing books, until she started reading words in isolation with no visual cues at 15 months old), and definitely seemed to intuit phonics, but dislike using them unless absolutely necessary (one of my few memories of her sounding anything out by choice was when she was trying to decode e-rec-tile dys-func-tion from TV captions on in a pizza place as a preschooler). I didn't do school formally until I brought her home to homeschool at age 5 after a rather disappointing kinder year in a private school which tried (she went to 3rd grade for reading, and played math games with some of the more advanced 6th graders a couple of times a week while the 6th grade teacher tried to get the other kids caught up), but where even the teacher suggested we homeschool, and the principal offered me their closet of past textbooks and wished me luck.  I taught phonics explicitly for spelling, and discovered she just plain didn't need them there, either. She was almost frighteningly capable of spelling words correctly as well. I still don't know how much of that is memory and how much of that is being able to intuit language. She picks up on written languages easily, too (listening and speaking comes later). She's very, very visual-things like font choice and color choices in ads really bother her (she is taking a graphic design class as an elective this year, and I definitely think she feels vindicated because a lot of the things that have always struck her as "Wrong" apparently violate standard graphic design principles). I still have no clue how she does it. 

 

Having spent a good part of my professional career teaching in a school for kids who struggled in reading, and having had it beaten into my head just how important phonics was, it definitely was concerning to have a kid who seemed to completely skip that step and not need it. I considered hyperlexia, but it was pretty obvious that she did comprehend what she read as long as she had the emotional maturity and background to do so-it wasn't just word calling. It was simply that somehow, she had jumped to the level of reading fluency we try to get to by about 3rd/4th grade as a very, very young child, and just built from there. I still have no clue how she did it. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Not_a_number said:

She's little, so it's hard to have a good check 🙂 . Last we checked, she's the normal amount of nearsighted for her age, although on the nearsighted end... I'm going to try to take her outside more, that's supposed to help. (The pandemic and living in NYC did NOT help with that, obviously.) 

I thought it might be a visual processing thing, but it doesn't seem to be, in terms of how she interacts with other images. I'm not averse to this explanation and am keeping an eye on it (no pun intended), but I'm not seeing it yet.  

A good pediatric ophthalmologist can get a good check on children much younger than 4 years old. My younger daughter was less than a year old when she needed to see a pediatric ophthalmologist for a obstructed tear duct that needed surgery and then of course follow up. She was seeing the eye doctor regularly from infancy through preschool.

If you are concerned, I would get her in to a good pediatric ophthalmologist. With all that I've been learning with youngest ds about eye development, I would even go so far as to say all children should be seen by a developmental pediatric ophthalmologist by kindergarten. Ds had been to a regular ophthalmologist at age 5 who did see children but wasn't specifically a pediatric or developmental ophthalmologist. Both he and ds's pediatrician missed his slight strabismus, that while slight has been causing him problems. Not the fault of either doctor really, they just aren't trained to see all the possible presentations of eye problems in young kids.

I'm definitely going to be encouraging my grown children to take their kids to a developmental pediatric ophthalmologist at least once starting at school age when they have kids of their own. If no problems are detected at that appointment, then I see no reason that you have to keep going to the specialist but I think it is worth any extra cost to know exactly what is going on with their eyes as they start school. And just for the record, we didn't need a referral or pay any extra to have ds seen by the developmental pediatric ophthalmologist. The provider was in network and it counted as his yearly eye exam. She was just much more thorough once she realized he did have an eye problem that needed addressing.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, sweet2ndchance said:

A good pediatric ophthalmologist can get a good check on children much younger than 4 years old. My younger daughter was less than a year old when she needed to see a pediatric ophthalmologist for a obstructed tear duct that needed surgery and then of course follow up. She was seeing the eye doctor regularly from infancy through preschool.

If you are concerned, I would get her in to a good pediatric ophthalmologist. With all that I've been learning with youngest ds about eye development, I would even go so far as to say all children should be seen by a developmental pediatric ophthalmologist by kindergarten. Ds had been to a regular ophthalmologist at age 5 who did see children but wasn't specifically a pediatric or developmental ophthalmologist. Both he and ds's pediatrician missed his slight strabismus, that while slight has been causing him problems. Not the fault of either doctor really, they just aren't trained to see all the possible presentations of eye problems in young kids.

I'm definitely going to be encouraging my grown children to take their kids to a developmental pediatric ophthalmologist at least once starting at school age when they have kids of their own. If no problems are detected at that appointment, then I see no reason that you have to keep going to the specialist but I think it is worth any extra cost to know exactly what is going on with their eyes as they start school. And just for the record, we didn't need a referral or pay any extra to have ds seen by the developmental pediatric ophthalmologist. The provider was in network and it counted as his yearly eye exam. She was just much more thorough once she realized he did have an eye problem that needed addressing.

I don't think we've been seen by a developmental ophthalmologist, per se, but we've at least had lots of contact with pediatric ophthalmologists 🙂 . She has mild ptosis (a droopy eyelid), so we've been following that up annually. It's been a year since the last time we were in there, though, and I'm not super eager to go right now during the pandemic... last time we were there, they said they don't do surgery for a while, and that her eyesight seems fine. She was flagged as borderline nearsighted at her pediatrician's in July. 

But anyway, she's been checked relatively thoroughly. They are quite worried about lazy eye and stuff like that with ptosis, so she's had people take a look at her eyes in a serious way. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Not_a_number said:

I don't think we've been seen by a developmental ophthalmologist, per se, but we've at least had lots of contact with pediatric ophthalmologists 🙂 . She has mild ptosis (a droopy eyelid), so we've been following that up annually. It's been a year since the last time we were in there, though, and I'm not super eager to go right now during the pandemic... last time we were there, they said they don't do surgery for a while, and that her eyesight seems fine. She was flagged as borderline nearsighted at her pediatrician's in July. 

But anyway, she's been checked relatively thoroughly. They are quite worried about lazy eye and stuff like that with ptosis, so she's had people take a look at her eyes in a serious way. 

That’s good. I’m sure they will be able to flag any issues then that they see. You might want to raise the reading thing with the Dr next time you are in there. If you think it might be worth mentioning. 
 

We similarly never would have seen a pediatric ophthalmologist except that one of my older kids has a hereditary optic nerve problem and they want to check all of the kids annually. So when DS began doing the whole word reading thing despite my best efforts to teach him via phonics and segmenting words, the eye dr was like, “let’s put him in reading glasses and maybe it will help.”  
 

4 year olds are tricky. Your DD may be doing this because it’s easier for her and it seems to get the end result of knowing what the words say. I’d be interested to see how she fares in spelling when the time comes. Oh, does she do the whole word thing in Russian too? 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, bensonduck said:

That’s good. I’m sure they will be able to flag any issues then that they see. You might want to raise the reading thing with the Dr next time you are in there. If you think it might be worth mentioning. 
 

We similarly never would have seen a pediatric ophthalmologist except that one of my older kids has a hereditary optic nerve problem and they want to check all of the kids annually. So when DS began doing the whole word reading thing despite my best efforts to teach him via phonics and segmenting words, the eye dr was like, “let’s put him in reading glasses and maybe it will help.”  
 

4 year olds are tricky. Your DD may be doing this because it’s easier for her and it seems to get the end result of knowing what the words say. I’d be interested to see how she fares in spelling when the time comes. Oh, does she do the whole word thing in Russian too? 

She doesn't read Russian, so I don't know 😄 . I'm also curious about spelling, although DH reports that she can spell simple words. 

Russian is MUCH more phonetic than English, so I would actually guess that if she had learned Russian, she'd use phonics more. As is, she actually does know a lot of phonograms. The problem with English is that even despite knowing a lot of rules, you're often best off doing some matching to words that sound right, because so much of it breaks the rules. Like, she was reading a book that said something like "Came to live with them in the city," except she read "live" with a long i, and was like "Oh, he wasn't alive before?" Which is... a reasonable way to sound it out, and we've been working on that rule! But using the rules isn't actually as functional for her as doing some amount of context-matching and sound-matching, given how easy those come to her.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Not_a_number said:

 

Russian is MUCH more phonetic than English, so I would actually guess that if she had learned Russian, she'd use phonics more. As is, she actually does know a lot of phonograms. The problem with English is that even despite knowing a lot of rules, you're often best off doing some matching to words that sound right, because so much of it breaks the rules. Like, she was reading a book that said something like "Came to live with them in the city," except she read "live" with a long i, and was like "Oh, he wasn't alive before?" Which is... a reasonable way to sound it out, and we've been working on that rule! But using the rules isn't actually as functional for her as doing some amount of context-matching and sound-matching, given how easy those come to her.

I hear you. Maybe it would be a fun project to take a language with a different alphabet like Russian or Greek and see if she wants to try  sounding out words. Like a puzzle. One of my older kids had a lot of fun trying to decode the names of the Greek gods in Greek, for example.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, bensonduck said:

I hear you. Maybe it would be a fun project to take a language with a different alphabet like Russian or Greek and see if she wants to try  sounding out words. Like a puzzle. One of my older kids had a lot of fun trying to decode the names of the Greek gods in Greek, for example.

Oh, she DOES sound out!! For nonsense words and short words she does. And she'll do it for longer words, if she knows the rules and it makes a reasonable word. She's quite good at it for her age. It's certainly PART of how she internalizes words. But somehow, it doesn't feel like that's all that's going in her head, and it's harder for her than doing something more piecemeal using more information. 

It's a bit hard to describe!! But, like, we've been doing nonsense words, and she can read stuff like this: 

 

Starp yaddel lurp quin.

Audden floiz mape sof.

Axar riff flope snawmen.

Flurpen sade unmub queal.

 

Obviously, there's no context and no meaning here 😉 . And it's much harder for her than actual words, but she can largely do it. It's more the discrepancy that's interesting!! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/27/2020 at 10:28 AM, Not_a_number said:

I wouldn't be surprised. However, she's slowly getting the phonics down, so I figure we'll inch towards full phonics understand at the rate that works for her 🙂 . Nonsense words seem to do it for her, in terms of teaching her to actually decode. I make up my own sheet of nonsense words every day, to work on the phonograms we're currently focusing on. She needs a lot of practice. 

ETA: however, I've checked her phonemic processing or whatever it's called, and it's excellent. She's very highly skilled with audio input. 

Sorry, I meant to get back to this the other day and I haven't read any of the other replies.

Stealth dyslexia is stealthy because it doesn't really show up as a reading problem.  You may see problems down the road with spelling and/or writing.  And these problems may not even be that horrible; they may just seem somewhat out of place given her overall cognitive ability.

Anyway, just something to keep in the back of your mind as you watch her development.

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, EKS said:

Sorry, I meant to get back to this the other day and I haven't read any of the other replies.

Stealth dyslexia is stealthy because it doesn't really show up as a reading problem.  You may see problems down the road with spelling and/or writing.  And these problems may not even be that horrible; they may just seem somewhat out of place given her overall cognitive ability.

Anyway, just something to keep in the back of your mind as you watch her development.

She's my very spiky kid. She talked early enough and walked late enough that they happened at the same time. She's brilliant with emotions, excellent with narrative memory, and struggles with symbols and disconnected word recall. 

I fully expect to have to be creative with teaching her, lol. Luckily, I have creativity to spare. 

Edited by Not_a_number
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/27/2020 at 2:01 PM, Not_a_number said:

Oh, she DOES sound out!! For nonsense words and short words she does. And she'll do it for longer words, if she knows the rules and it makes a reasonable word. She's quite good at it for her age. It's certainly PART of how she internalizes words. But somehow, it doesn't feel like that's all that's going in her head, and it's harder for her than doing something more piecemeal using more information. 

It's a bit hard to describe!! But, like, we've been doing nonsense words, and she can read stuff like this: 

 

Starp yaddel lurp quin.

Audden floiz mape sof.

Axar riff flope snawmen.

Flurpen sade unmub queal.

 

Obviously, there's no context and no meaning here 😉 . And it's much harder for her than actual words, but she can largely do it. It's more the discrepancy that's interesting!! 

Oh, I think that's pretty normal. Nonsense words are not stored already in orthographic memory so will be a bit harder/slower than previously seen words. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...