My 7 year old boy (1st grade) really struggles reading!

Melanie - posted on 02/09/2009 ( 28 moms have responded )

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I am beside myself when my 7 year old tries to read. He doesn't seem to retain his sight words when he reads a sentence and just has a hard time reading. It is a real struggle and don't even get me started on his spelling words! He has been in a Sylvan program for over a year and that has helped him tremendously, but he still really struggles. His teacher is putting him in a reading program at school to help him. She has even tossed around him maybe having a learning disability. I guess my question is how do I help him overcome this huge frustration? Has anyone else ever had to deal with this problem?

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Kat - posted on 01/21/2012

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Don't buy into the learning disabled projection. Reading is a hard concept (try reading an unknown foreign language) that can really be frustrating to both parents and child. Remember visual clues, facial & body expressions give clarity to the words spoken.

I would try teaching your child the 200 DOLCH Site Words; there free over the internet and help kids recognize words that may not be able to be aounded out. Both phoenic (sounding out) and kinesthitic (breaking down into sylliables or root words) along with picture books will go a long way into makeing your 7 yr old a solid reader. Remember to go slowly and build the basics as a foundation for good reading.

Also don't stress out in front of your child -- too much pressure often back-fires and sends the wrong message.

Elementary Teacher's advice for what ever it is worth.

Amy - posted on 02/09/2009

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My son is now 7 and in 2nd grade. Last year, in 1st grade, he was very behind and struggling with reading so much that at mid-year the teacher said if his reading didn't improve drastically by the end of the year that she would suggest him repeating 1st grade. His teacher put him in a reading program, which really helped. But, I think the things he and I worked on at home helped the most. I purchased Sight Word Post It Notes from Walmart. They are just post it notes that are preprinted with all the sight words. I took the post its and created a sentence wall. I used a wall in our hallway so he would pass it frequently. If he read the sentence to me everytime he passed the wall, then he would get a reward at the end of the week. When he could read the sentence with no mistakes, I made a new sentence.  He loved it.  I tried to make the sentences funny or silly and this really seemed to help him.  I also had him read to me every night and we kept a count of how many books he had read. He loved counting the books.  He was always so proud of how many books he had read all by himself.  I really think all of the praise I gave him and the feeling of accomplishment he got is what really turned reading from a frustrating challenge to a fun and rewarding experience for him. He is now in 2nd grade and reading at a 3rd grade level.  His teacher now says she can't believe he ever had trouble.



I hope this helps!



 

Donna - posted on 02/10/2009

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Dont worry! My son is now 10 and he is doing better. Some boys take a little longer to get the hang of it. try starting with small articles, like comic books or magazines for his age. Sometimes any kind of book can seem overwhelming.

Laura - posted on 02/11/2009

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Hi Melanie! I am a speech-language pathologist & we often use a computer program called Earobics for children with reading difficulties as well as auditory processing difficulties. There are three levels 1, 2, & adolescents & adults. You would probably want to start with level 1. You can purchase a parent cd-rom online which is much cheaper than the clinical one (the clinical one just allows me to track multiple children at once & change the levels if deemed necessary). Here is a link for you to read more... www.earobics.com and http://www.superduperinc.com/products/vi... or http://www.superduperinc.com/products/vi... . These sites should give you a run down of what it is all about & how much they cost. Most of the kids enjoy the games & really look forward to playing. I hope this helps. Take care!

Gina - posted on 02/09/2009

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I used to teach special ed for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders and we found that teaching them to  spell phonetically before reading worked well - if we're talking about all reading, not just sight words. I used the same techniques on my daughter using leapfrog videos before she could even talk. By age 2 she knew all of her letter sounds and at age 4 she can read on her own and sound stuff out. The Leapfrog games and videos make it very fun. The main one that helped was "Letter Factory" and then there was a fishing game that will have them spell out words by pushing the letters in the pond (about the size of an etch-a-sketch). That helped her learn to sound stuff out. Once she mastered sounding everything out she THEN learned the sight words. Don't know if that will help, but it's worth a shot. Sometimes there's just too much "pressure" to read and that makes it harder . When you can make it fun, it flows together. Good luck getting help in school. There are a lot of programs available and if the teacher sees that you are actively involved they'll do that much more the help. You'd be surprised how many parents just feel it's the school's job to do everything and don't care. You're doing a great job looking for help.

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Morgan - posted 2 days ago

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Hello Melanie,
My 7 year old son has been through so much pressure this year in 1st grade. Since October the "Advisory Board" identified his areas of concern and he has worked so hard. 4 different types of "learning Labs" and a tutor. The end of the year is right there and we met again last week and they have made it very clear that he can not move on to 2nd grade. Did i mention the teacher says he is at a level E, but he brings home and tests on Level I books, which is a 1.9.

What do I do????? I feel its wrong to FAIL him...i worry about his confidence and self-esteem.

Melanie - posted on 08/21/2012

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Hi Melanie, I too have the same problem with my 7year old son. I have just recently had him tested for dyslexia. I am grateful that my Mother-in-law has taken a year to teach him how to read and write, because after 2years in the school system here in England, and he could not do either. We took to teaching them (I have two sons) at home for a year on the Accelerated Christian Education Homeschooling programme and it has done wonders, although now with Michael's diagnosis of dyscalcula and dyslexia we are having to look at further support for Michael to ensure the best for his future. It is best to get your son tested because then you will know where you stand. I personally have to say that I am glad that I did, because it has answered a lot of questions about my struggles with learning when I was a child.

Its never a wasted effort to test, it just gives you a firmer ground on which to stand.

Hope this helps!

Kulia - posted on 08/21/2012

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Yes that is exactly what my sons teachers said also and that they did not know what to do and his teacher even said that he is so smart. This got me very upset because he was bored in school I further talked to my son and thought maybe the work is not challenging enough and instead of just doing do the work like he is suppose to decides not to because of the work being easy or teachers nowadays are just not inspiring anymore. Either way they also wanted me to take him to get him checked as well.

Kulia - posted on 08/21/2012

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Thank you so much I really thought no one else had this problem with their children. My son had problems just like that and it was so frustrating. Thank you for that tip with the post its and making sentences. Thank you once again.

User - posted on 04/02/2012

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My daughter just turned 7, and is in 1st grade.. the teachers are already disscussing hold her back because of her lack of attention and poor grades. they do not feel she understands the work. But when she gets home to me she does it with little help. she is severly ADHD and borderline bi-polar, an she is on meds for the adhd, but because she isn't a constant treat no meds for the other disorder. I am at my witts end beacuse i know my daughter is smart and can do the work,but she isn't proving herself in school.I have put her in the 504 program, and she has been in it for most the year.I feel like her teachers would rather hold her bck than to test her for learning disablities... what should i do???

Laquetta - posted on 01/20/2012

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I am goin thru this rite nah but tha thing is my son is 9yrs.n in tha 3rd grade so I really kno wat ur goin thru,n not ta mention da iLEAP test dat da 3rd graders hav ta take dis yr n da thing is da teachers can't read anything to them dey hav 2 read it on der own so im very concernd n nervous,but I plan on workin harder than usual,so if u hav any pointers im all ears.

Jaimie - posted on 01/20/2012

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My son also had a speech issue or apraxia, and reading was an issue. we tried a few things, Jolly time reading program and we also pulled up tutor. we found a reading for about $25 an hour, most of the cheaper tutor are for reading but specify special needs, because no matter what issue he has they will know how to deal with it. I did a lot of research and have special needs doctors or specialist in my family. we tried a few things. hit me up and I will pass on!

Jennifer - posted on 02/10/2009

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Quoting Amanda:



 Label everything in your house so he begins to understand the relationship between words and objects. 



Amanda






That is a great idea!!!!



 



I've noticed my son reading things he sees along our drives.  We passed a pepsi billboard and he read it without my asking him to try, "all for one........"  "oh, all for one, one for all...."  And he tries to read everything now.  It's definitely a mountain to get over.

Christine - posted on 02/10/2009

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I have to let you know... my son and daughter teachers recommended a website called:



www.starfall.com



It has helped my both my kids so much with pronounciation, vowels, reading, and phonics ... please try it and let me know....

Jennifer - posted on 02/10/2009

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My son seemed to be having a difficult time earlier in the year, now while he still stumbles on some words that he should know, he is doing so much better. He has reached the point in the year where they are tested every Friday on a new batch of words and he's doing well. It's definitely an effort on both our parts.



How much time does he spend with books as opposed to toys/tv? We had a problem with this, I was way too easy on tv time. Summer break he even forgot to spell his last name, or he was just really lazy.



Spelling and reading definitely has to be a constant activity otherwise mine will forget everything.

Kez - posted on 02/10/2009

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My 7 yr old daughter struggles a little with reading as well. We read to her every night. I found when she brought her first reader home a couple of days ago she found it very difficult, but with gentle persistence she started to remember all the things she has learnt about reading. I think as parents we need to work with the teachers as when I was little we were taught to sound things out but they do it differently these days. Maybe have a chat with your childs teacher to make sure that what your doing at home is no contradicting what your child is learning at school. Also lots of praise when they get it right, kids love that. I have told my daughter as long as she is trying her best I'm happy with that.

Kimberley - posted on 02/09/2009

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I too am experiencing the exact same issues with my seven year old son.He is at the point of being tested by a pyshcologists for attention deficit disorder.He has also been in a reading recovery program.I feel so much for my son's struggles and hate homework time and this is only grade one.Homework time usually before being completed ends with him crying and me several times trying to keep his focus and repeating myself.I fear if he does have attention deficit disorder they will want to place him on medications and the long term effects of medication make me worry.I just as a mother want the best for my child and worry about whether the decisions I am making are the best for him.

Marcelle - posted on 02/09/2009

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Hi Melanie,

Like others have mentioned, my son seems to slip as soon as he stops practising. So, he has to read everyday. One thing that does make it easier, is that he sees everyone else in the house reading on a daily basis and talking about what they've read. We started him with anything that would keep him reading to the end of the work, Tintin and Superman mainly, and slowly worked in some Scholastic books. I hate Deltora Quest books, but they keep him reading, so he's made his way through 2 of those series. I also add classics in a friendly format from time to time.



Part of everyday is to read. His spelling is still very spotty i.e. on different days different words are misspelt, pointing to a concentration problem. But we have not focussed on what could the problem be, but rather that we all have issues with something, and we all need to practice to specific skills to stop those things from causing us to fail ourselves.



~~~ hth

Gina - posted on 02/09/2009

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I used to teach special ed for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders and we found that teaching them to  spell phonetically before reading worked well - if we're talking about all reading, not just sight words. I used the same techniques on my daughter using leapfrog videos before she could even talk. By age 2 she knew all of her letter sounds and at age 4 she can read on her own and sound stuff out. The Leapfrog games and videos make it very fun. The main one that helped was "Letter Factory" and then there was a fishing game that will have them spell out words by pushing the letters in the pond (about the size of an etch-a-sketch). That helped her learn to sound stuff out. Once she mastered sounding everything out she THEN learned the sight words. Don't know if that will help, but it's worth a shot. Sometimes there's just too much "pressure" to read and that makes it harder . When you can make it fun, it flows together. Good luck getting help in school. There are a lot of programs available and if the teacher sees that you are actively involved they'll do that much more the help. You'd be surprised how many parents just feel it's the school's job to do everything and don't care. You're doing a great job looking for help.

Rebecca - posted on 02/09/2009

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I have 4 brothers who struggled at school. Our son is 5 and struggles with writing and his reading is reasonable. His kindergarten keeps talking about retaining him. He did not retain knowledge over the summer and will have to do something every summer to help him retain information.

We have a lot of the schoolastic books. I try to find the books he can read himself. We have the sight word flash cards from Toys-r-us and I paid about $3. He loves to see how many he knows. He is hard to motivate so he mentioned he wanted a new transformer. He has to earn 40 stickers to get that new transformer and then I think we will make it stickers for Chuck e Cheese tokens. It seems to be working he is slowly getting more into practicing. He also wants to be a policeman so I am getting him to practice writing us tickets. He also has the Tag learning system and the Leapster2. The Tag allows the child to touch each word for it to be read back and also has comprehension questions in each book. I can track his progress online based on his play/answers to questions.

There are many types of learning difficulties when it comes to reading. Has Sylvan done an assessment? Or the school district? My brother can read but has no comprehension skills (Phonic Dyslexic). I am constantly on the lookout for early signs with our son as I know the earlier the intervention the better.

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

Melanie - posted on 02/09/2009

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It is nice to see that I am not alone on this issue! I will try each and every one of these ideas! I'm even going to the vitamin store to buy some chewable children's omega 3 to see if that will help (fingers crossed)!!

I love the website www.starfall.com and I can't wait for Kaden to try it when he gets home.

Thanks again for all the great advice!!!

-Mel-

[deleted account]

I am have this same issue with my 7 year old son as well, but not just with reading. He lost at least 6 months over the summer break. He is good with oral language and math concepts but doesn't seem to retain info like site words, math facts and spelling words. He also finds reading and writing very difficult. It seems to take alot of effort for him to do these things. I have done a tone of research and now believe he has dislexia. I encourage you to look it up and see if any of the signs look familiar to you. Daily practice helps him but as soon as we stop, he back tracks. He is also hard to motivate so its a constant struggle to keep him up to date with assignments. Definitely get his school on board with you. They may have programs in place to help already but might need you to instigate them. Good luck, its nice to see we are not alone!

Amanda - posted on 02/09/2009

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Hello!  I was a 1st grade teacher for 6 years and have been teaching kindergarten for the past 3.  There are some websites that may help.  One is www.readinga-z.com.  You have to subscribe to that one, but the books you can print out will help him tremendously.  Label everything in your house so he begins to understand the relationship between words and objects.  Make sight word flashcards.  Go with maybe only 5 at a time.  Play a game with them....flash the cards...for every one he gets right, he can keep.  When he gets it wrong, you keep it.  Keep playing until he eventually gets to keep all the cards.  It won't take long!  Practice writing the sight words in sand, shaving cream, etc.  Shaving cream is fun because after he writes it with your help, if he knows the word, he gets to smear it all up and erase it to try another one. 



I have tons of ideas, but that should get you started!!!  Let me know if you need anymore help!  :)



Amanda

Amy - posted on 02/09/2009

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Your so welcome! If you can't find the pre-printed post its, you can always make them yourself. But, I did really like the pre-printed ones. I think they were only $4 or $5 dollars. Well worth it. I hope you find them and I hope it helps!

Taijuana - posted on 02/09/2009

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Thanks so much I am going to go to walmart to see if I can find it. Hopefully they do. I don't want him to fall behind in reading. He use to be such a great reader.

Taijuana - posted on 02/09/2009

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Hello my son has the same problem, but last year he was a great reader. He is in the 2nd grade he'e gettin ready to be 8 next month. The school is helping tme out with him. It's like he just forgot everything over the summer last year thats why it's always good to have them active during the summer not just playin all summer. It worries me to death I just hope this problem doesn't make him stay back this year. His teacher tells me to read with him every night and practice his sight words and I do. I am trying to overcome this situation to.

Heather - posted on 02/09/2009

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My son is five and isn't reading like the kids in his class. I had him go get screened with a speech therapist and she found out he is behind and has a speech and reading disorder. Maybe look into getting him screened and they have programs where they work one on one with him. My son has been improving ever since he got put on this program.  He had problems remembering his sight words as well. Maybe one on one with a speech therapist will help him out. Usually the schools have to pay for them through the state. All you have to do is tell the school that you want your son evalutated and they have to by law do it.

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