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  1. #11
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    I have to agree with Farrar, pick something and do it is the best advice. The reason imsuggested HoP and not Progressive Phonics is because PP is a little youngish. Thought it might be too cutesy for 7. But that's one of the challenges with starting later. Explaining phonics rules is fine, but there is a reason that most people learn by using a systematic approach. New concept, practice, review, rinse, repeat. Maybe a system will appeal to him since he sounds like he prefers rules to loosey goosey.

    Learning to read can be fun. You will have to make it fun, though. When I was teaching, there were really resistant kids that I really had to push. But when I say push I don't mean shoving worksheets down their throats. I mean making everything into an amazing fun game, making learning to read seem exciting and interesting, making the reading time together sound extra special... Its all about attitude. Get excited. This is a wonderful and truly amazing time.
    I'm a work-at-home mom to three, homeschool enthusiast, and avid planner fueled by lattes and Florida sunshine. My oldest is 6 and is a fircond grader (that's somewhere between first and second, naturally), my preschooler just told me she wants to learn how to read, and my toddler is a force of nature.

    My site is thehomeschoolresourceroom.com and this is what to say and what NOT to say when you meet a homeschooler.

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  3. #12


    I might try progressive phonics first, or something else I can find free online, simply because I have no idea whatsoever what level to put him in, and might need to try a few. He wasn't into cutesy as a preschooler even so I don't think there ever was a window where he'd like kindergarten stuff, but he might tolerate it.

    I do wonder if the sight words would help him more. He gets hung up on things like "knew" and "were" and "walked."

    As for making it fun with games and such? I do try. But I have to somehow make reading special not in comparison with worksheets, but in comparison with chemistry experiments and nature hikes and discussing black holes and real board games and building and playing... Reading is the only thing I have to push at all -- everything else so far he's learned more than he'd be expected to at school with a total unschooling approach. Right now I think the level of reading fun is somewhat above household chores, but rather below everything else in his day.

    I probably need to focus on handwriting with him as well, because he still writes letters and numbers backwards fairly often.

  4. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mckittre View Post
    Right now I think the level of reading fun is somewhat above household chores...
    You gotta get over this hump that teaching reading is boring. He will reflect your attitude about it, and from your replies it's clear that it's not just him who is the reluctant reader. If he didn't like cutesy before, he will not like it now. Why go back to something that you know does not work? Go to your library and see what resources are available. Start with sight word practice and free library materials.

    You could easily research what level to start on in the time it takes you to respond to me on this thread. Time to stop mulling it over and start learning to read. You can do it, momma!
    Developing Fluent Readers | Reading Rockets


    Dolch Sight Words List | Sight Words: Teach Your Child to Read

    Sight Words Games | Sight Words: Teach Your Child to Read



    I'm a work-at-home mom to three, homeschool enthusiast, and avid planner fueled by lattes and Florida sunshine. My oldest is 6 and is a fircond grader (that's somewhere between first and second, naturally), my preschooler just told me she wants to learn how to read, and my toddler is a force of nature.

    My site is thehomeschoolresourceroom.com and this is what to say and what NOT to say when you meet a homeschooler.

  5. #14
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    Agree with the other advice!

    For what it is worth. . . .

    My DS was a struggling reader. We started with Explode the Code, but found that what he was learning there was not transferring to actually reading books. We tried Beyond the Code, but quickly ditched it as it we found it dull and boring.

    Then we found About Reading and I only have positive things to say about it. It is a complete program - teaching (phonograms, fluency, sight words), activities, readers. I especially liked the readers - every word in the weekly story is either known or
    decodable based on what the child has already learned. This really reduced the frustration for DS. The stories were also matched well with his age. I found that with off the shelf books, the stories he could read based on skill were too young for his age (which did not help the 'I'm behind' message). Everything is set up for you as the teacher, making it easy to follow.

    Good luck!
    DS 12, DD 10
    Year 6

  6. #15


    For what it's worth, I'm a professional writer who is actually super eager to have my kids love to read, and expressing frustration or disappointment on an online forum is a nice way to vent a bit and prevent expressing the same to the kids! My 5yo is actually learning quite nicely. I'm not at all sorry I didn't force the reading issue on my 7yo in kindergarten -- we don't have to be on the school's time table -- but I am grateful for all the suggestions to help him now. Seven is not too late. Since he's never been to school, he doesn't even know he's "behind."
    We did some of the sight words this morning. I made them into sentences about galaxies for him, and he used them to write about galaxies.

    I live in a town so ridiculously small that the only thing I could possibly find in my library is the generic early readers (which always do seem to have a fair number of hard words in them), so online is better. I'm not against spending some money, but I want to do it wisely.

  7. #16


    Agreed that Progressive Phonics is really one the young end. I mostly suggested it because it's free. But also, we found the basic method worked incredibly well for my slightly later reader. Once we'd done the PP lessons (and, at the time, there were a lot fewer than there apparently are now), we just started taking out piles and piles of books and reading together using the same method. I'd just constantly jump in with those harder words while we isolated the words with a little notecard for reading.

    I agree with AAR if you really want to get serious. Not sure how the pricing compares to HOP though. The last time I saw and used HOP, I thought the books were really good. But AAR and LOE have the really solid O-G approach, which I think is superior. But... whatever works is what's best really. And lots of things could work. Don't overthink it too much. Just pick something.

    I think Peggy Kaye's Games for Reading has good suggestions for romancing kids to the joy of reading (Games for Writing by her is also great - it's my favorite of her books). BUT... it's not a systematic approach. I think there are essentially two tiers to reading - one is the systematic approach with tons of practice. You don't spend a ton of time on it - it's maybe a half hour a day tops, even for a slightly older kid like that. The other tier is the games and romancing kids to the idea that reading is worthwhile and fun and wonderful. You can turn the practice and the rules and so forth into a game sometimes, but sometimes it doesn't work that well. On the other hand, doing that stuff as an extra - and, of course, reading aloud constantly - that's great for giving the other piece meaning.
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  8. #17


    You might want to try Funnix. It is the same people who did "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" except that it is on the computer...AND it has a placement test. That you can retake as you go along if you like. It costs about $40 and is on a disc. It has pages you can print out for reading and some writing exercises. I used it with my son when he was about 8, the stories are really fun and not too babyish. If you don't know what level your son would be at, don't buy the workbooks, just print the pages you need.

    The program was great for my son as he didn't want to work for Mom. But when doing Funnix, I controlled the mouse and clicked after he correctly said the sounds or whatever. There was little to no instruction from me...I clicked the mouse to move to the next thing.

    After Funnix, he was middle 3rd grade but still needed phonics work. (He is dyslexic, and doesn't remember the stuff without LOTS of repetition.) I got him the Logic of English Essentials. I didn't use the game cards much, but the letter-sound cards I did use. I even learned that "ough" has SIX different sounds! There is an app that they have for apple products if you have an iPad or iPhone, it was helpful for learning ALL the different sounds that each letter and combinations have.

    It does not sound like your son has the same issues as my son, but may be missing some of those things that Logic of English Essentials may help with. It is very "rule" based, but the rules actually do cover most of the things in English...but not words from other languages. Things that I picked up on my own, like "ck", is ALWAYS a short vowel....I knew that from reading, but never put it into words. There were lots of others too, like the "ough" and even some of the vowel sounds (that they actually have at least 3 sounds, except e, I think, not "just" the short and long sounds that I got at school.)

  9. #18


    You can make your favorite games into reading games! I have done this with speech for my littler one, and it's pretty easy. What games does he like to play? You can insert word cards in the games you currently play, like before you move your piece you must also pull a card to read. You can do BINGO with sight words. I put up 3 or so per week for my Kindergartener, and she's been pretty good about remembering them. One thing I will say about playing games on the tablet0 if you are not there, you may not know how much he is guessing If you choose to go with LOE, I think Foundations B would be a good place to start based on what you've said. We are working on Foundations A, and even that is really too simple for my Ker, but I know she isn't ready for more quite yet (we are doing CVC words, she knows all basic phonograms, and is learning harder ones like sh, th, ch, ck, ect.) We are working on fluency with CVC words before we move on. I have her play a lot of games, matching word cards w/ pictures, sounding out words to spell on her white board, we do a lot of bingo and tic tac toe (you can put phonograms or sight words on the TTT, and they have to read it before they can write the x or 0). You are right, that you will have to make it interesting to get him involved, but if he's wanting to learn, you need to explain to him that first he has to read those silly easy readers. I will be honest, my kids never liked them either, but they did have to read them daily. It builds fluency, and some kids take longer to get that fluency. I would recommend LOE or AAR (we didn't like it as much, my kids thought the 'games' where not really games, but the readers are good practice and the fluency pages are genius).
    Mom to 5 great kids~

  10. #19


    Think I'm going to order AAR. He wanted to keep working on reading his way, reading the simplest thing he could imagine being interested in, a few pages each day of "Why do Elephants need the Sun" (which has photosynthesis, and gravity, and lots of other not so small words), but finally threw it aside in frustration because he said it was so slow to figure out all the words that the sentences didn't make sense. Which I knew, but now HE knows it, and is on board with the necessity of starting with the simpler, more boring books and exercises.

    His favorite games are strategic geeky complex board games designed for teenagers and adults -- he does try to puzzle out the reading in those when he can. He doesn't like fiction, or comics, or joke books -- he just wants to be able to read high-level science, and it's going to take awhile to get him there.

    On another note, my 5yo has just gotten to the point where she can read Elephant and Piggie books, and is happily taking off with her reading.

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