My daughter is failing reading, how can I help?

Justinn - posted on 01/15/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )




My daughter struggled with reading all through Kindergarten. We talked about holding her back, but promoted her because reading isn't something they really focus on in Kindergarten. Her teacher and I agreed that we should wait and see what happens to her in first grade. Well now we are half way through and she's still struggling.

We read together every day and we work on her spelling words every day. Some things I notice is that when she speaks she adds letter or sounds to words that aren't really there. For instance she was reading the "name" (this was one of her spelling words) She was trying to sound it out.. "nn-ahh-mm-eh" she said. I said "remember the E is silent. He is only there to help the A make his long sound. "Oh" she said "Name" She read it fine. Then I had her spell it without looking. "Spell name. As in your name is Angel" she looks to her paper and writes "Nabe" I was confused and asked her to say the word name. She said "Nabe. My nabe is Angel"

She adds sounds to LOTS of words. Not just this one, so when we are reading together and she reads a word like name she thinks a B should be there and then gets frustrated or confused with the word when it isn't spelled how she thinks it should sound.

She did this in kindergarten too. Several of her sight words she would say wrong that she now says correctly. Her speach has greatly improved since kindergarten so this tells me that she is getting it and WILL get it. I guess I'm just looking for advice here. As of now we are thinking she'll probably be held back becasue of this and that hopefully next year she'll have grown out of it and excel first grade her second try, but my concern is what if this is something to do with a speach or hearing problem? She has been tested and by more than one doctor who have said she has no speach or hearing problem... What do you guys think?


[deleted account]

Sounding out the silent letters in words (such as the silent "e") is very normal for early readers and shouldn't be a concern. After a while, she'll get it, but it just comes from seeing the silent letters over and over.
SOMETIMES Substituting N's for M's, and vise versa, or B's for several letters (especially C's & M's) is fairly common, but it is often a symptom for fluid on the ears, behind the eardrum. Only an audiologist would do this test--They blow a little puff of air into the ear and read the reverberation waves. If the peak of the line is off center or if the line has no peak at all, it means that there is fluid in the ear and it must be drained. It is entirely possible for her to pass a standard hearing test and still have this problem, so I would definitely have that done.

Assuming she doesn't have that issue, try this book: "Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons" by Siegfried Engelmann. I know it sounds gimmicky, but it's not. They are 5 to 20 minute lessons that you will do with her. They will focus not only on phonics but also on a lot of those "trick" rules in the English language, like the "igh" sound and the silent e's that are causing you problems. The book is only $10 on amazon, so it's worth a try. That said, it doesn't actually teach your kid to read all on it's own. It is a foundation for reading. It is based on the DISTAR program to help struggling public school kids learn to read and is meant to be used along with school and regular reading, so keep reading with her and doing the school assignments as well.

When you read with her, try this technique. You read the first page, follow along with your finger pointing to each word as you say it. Read slowly enough for her to hear the different words, but keep the natural inflections in your voice that you would use when telling a story. Let her read the second page as you follow along with your finger. Try to slide your finger slowly across longer words at the pace she should sound them out (go fast under silent letters and "tic" letters like K and T). Take turns until you finish the book. It is okay to help her with harder words, but always try to let her figure out the word on her own first--give her at least 15 -20 seconds. Let her read through the page twice--ones to learn the words, and a second time once she knows them so that she can focus on comprehension. When children are focusing too hard on phonetics or figuring out the words, they don'g comprehend the meaning of the entire sentence, all of the words strung together, so it is helpful to read it twice until they know the words without much effort.

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