View Full Version : 12th Grade Reading... Sorry for Double Posting

Ashley Paige Smith
09-27-2013, 07:18 PM
I've recently been given custody of my 17 yr old sister. After observing me teaching my children (6.5 and 4.5) she expressed interest in being homeschooled. So, I went and withdrew her from public school this week and have been gauging her interests and trying to figure where she's really at, mainly in LA & math. In school they had her in English 4 w/ honors and say she has a 12th grade reading level.

She was reading something today (I can't remember what it was) but she started asking me what some words meant. Some of the words were mirage, distortion, phenomenon, wading... She had NO clue what any of these meant. So, I had her write the words down and look up the definitions and after that she still had NO idea what some of these words meant so I had her write down definitions for the base of some of the words (ie; distort, wade, etc). She said that it helped her understand. At the moment I have her writing sentences using the list of words that she looked up.

She has also never laid eyes on any type of classic literature or anything with any real depth to it. She starts getting anxious and I can tell she is intimidated when I mention reading. She really wants to improve her reading comprehension & vocabulary though. She is very excited about me helping her with this.

So, what my question comes down to is does anybody know of some good resources (preferably free or low cost) to help with her reading comprehension? Also some recommendations for reading would be much appreciated.

Ashley Paige Smith
09-27-2013, 07:41 PM
After reading her sentences I have NO earthly idea how they put her in the english class that she was in.

Here are some examples of her sentences.

Distortion : When I jammed my finger in the front door, and let it heal with out going to the hospital it was out of distortion.

Peculiarity : People think my eye colors are peculiarity, because they are three different colors.

Afresh : We filled my closet with afresh clothes, shoes and hats.

Necessitated : In order to drive a car it is necessitated to fill with gas.

09-27-2013, 07:46 PM
It sounds like she doesn't understand parts of speech. She's using nouns as verbs or adjectives and vice versa. I don't have any specific resources to suggest, but it seems like she needs to learn grammar before anything else.

09-29-2013, 05:11 PM
How awful to be told that you're doing awesome at something when you really aren't. I don't think there is any quick fix. Parts of speech would be a good place to start, and maybe a vocabulary program like Wordly Wise or latin roots or something similar.

I think she just needs to read A LOT from a variety of sources. Read news magazines, current events, short stories, novels, classics, non-fiction, just everything. Read some aloud, have her read it aloud to you, have her read classic children's fiction aloud to your kids, listen to audio books. It seems like she has a lot of catching up to do.

10-02-2013, 10:40 PM
Get her eyes checked, both for glasses and potentially vision therapy. Reading is great. Audio books are also great. Have her listen to as many as she can, reading along if she has time.

Also...supervise and make sure she knows how to use a dictionary. Sounds like she was looking up peculiar and not peculiarity.

For actual reading material, look on Accelerated Reader for some good quality (award winning) books that would interest her. Maybe something like Julie of the Wolves or such, but be sure that the reading level is lower - maybe 6th or 7th grade to start. It may be VERY worth your money to get a reading Lexile test done so that you can see exactly where she is at. Or, get her records from the school (or even just look at them) and see if there is a lexile score with any of the year end testing that is so popular now. You should be able to look at her record for no fee or hassle.

11-25-2013, 08:34 AM
Oh my gosh! I admire you for your apparent skill, and determination to help her, and admire her for her courage and apparent genuine desire to learn even at the 11th hour, when just continuing as she was going in high school, she likely would have just graduated and gone on the same as anyone else, with official papers declaring she knew things and had skills, that she doesn't have.

That takes courage and real character.

My question is, is her natural speaking vocabulary as limited as her writing would suggest? If so, having real conversations with someone who does use complex, rich, descriptive language, might help improve her vocabulary, in addition to reading real books.

If you have determined that she doesn't have a hidden situation like a visual, processing, or learning disability which causes her to read with poor understanding or not hear what she's reading, reading something like "Little Women" or other engaging books with rich use of language, if they gain her interest, might help. Otherwise, perhaps as the other poster said, even getting that rich language into her mind by any means, such as audiobooks or being read aloud to, would be just as helpful at least for the goals of getting her interested in real books, and expanding a stunted vocabulary.

Hope you keep us updated on her progress, because we're all rooting for her, and you.

As to the abysmal vocabularies and writing/thinking skills of kids being pumped through the school system with official stamps of approval, I wish I could say I were surprised, but I have seen too many horrifically embarrassing essays written by people who actually got into college, to be shocked.