Problem: I have a 6 year old who just started 1st grade. She is having trouble with reading and recognizing letters and sounds. My 12 year old never had this problem, so this is new to me. I realize no 2 children are the same, mine are like night and day. But I am still worried. I sit with her every night and read and help her go over her homework. I have even bought interactive reading CDs she can play on the computer. Does anyone else have other suggestions? I would sure like to hear them.
Solution submitted by Mom4two from Fulton, MO: My daughter started the year struggling with reading. Nothing was ever mentioned to us by her kindergarten teacher. Her first grade teacher, a very wonderful woman, brought this to our attention quite early in the school year. She recognizes that our daughter will never learn to read by using phonics. My parents were told the same thing about me - the term back then was "phonics deaf." Fortunately for us my daughters teacher recognizes that not all children learn to read the same way. She has told us that our daughter will learn to read by memorization of the words rather than sounding them out and from what I have seen so far this is true. Phonics does not always work for all kids. Not for me and I now love to read so hang in there it will come. Press your child's teacher to come up with other alternative ways - my daughters teacher has her in a group of kids that are like her and she posts the words they are learning that week on a wall for these children to look at and memorize.
Another solution submitted by Desiree from Fargo, ND: This may sound old-fashioned but what your child needs is "Phonics." You need not go out and enroll them or purchase any pricey programs. Go to your library and take out some books on teaching children phonics. Read up on how to teach the different sounds to your child, then play reading games such as "If I say the word 'Bat' what does it start with (what sound, baaa, and what does it end with ttt. They will learn to sound out words and will later fill in the vowels. The problem is that some teachers teach by whole language and some phonetically, with no rhyme or reason as to what teacher your child may get. (At least that is the case in Fargo, North Dakota until recently when the superintendent reviewed the current research that says that whole language is failing miserably for most children.) A fun CD is Ready to Read with Pooh, my daughter loves it. I also read chapter books to her to keep her stimulated, her favorite is The American Girls series. I also get the first grade easy reader books that we read together, with her reading to me. Don't worry she will pick it up soon enough with your encouragement. Some children take longer, and then the light goes on a little later. It will, I wouldn't be too worried, it is only October! Write me if you are still concerned!
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