View Full Version : Greetings from Sunny Colorado and asking for Advice :)

07-31-2010, 12:34 PM
Hello, my name is Anke and I am so glad I found this Site and Forum. My husband and I have 6 year old twin boys and one of our son's has a very rare Autoimmune Disease called Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM). There is no cure and treatments are very intensive. We spend 51 days in the hospital between February and March and we have a go to the Hospital for IVIG Infusions, plus he gets Chemo and Solumedrol Infusions at Home plus weekly PT, OT and Speech Therapies. I feel like I fell way behind last year since he was diagnosed and I am very worried now about my boys keeping up. I thought we would have it easier being a Homeschool Family to deal with this schedule but it has not been. My worry is that at age 6 my boys make no effort to read at all. If anyone could give me ideas on what worked for them the best. I tried reading to them, trying to sound out the letters, Phonics and it just does not click. I am told they are very bright and intelligent and I just don't know why they put the breaks on when it comes to trying to read.
Thank You for any ideas!
Mom and Advocate to Connor & Alexander

08-01-2010, 01:16 PM
Have you gotten the Leap Frog video's. I am not a big tv person, but I SWEAR by the DVD's !!! Letter Factory, Story Book Factory and Code Caper.

Personally if they haven't made any progress with phonics ( it sounds like you have tried very hard ), I would look at I See Sam Books ( these can be found on the internet for free, I do not have the link at the moment, but if you go to The Well Trained Mind Forum, there has been a lot of discussion about them ), which teach sight words. Even though I am big on phonics, some kids just don't get it, or get it later after reading while noticing that the combination of certain letters make the same sounds,. like word families band, sand, grand. Then I would try some phonics workbooks later, as I said I am strongly for phonics.

Some children just aren't ready to read at 6, I have one son that was 8 before he even began to read. The good thing was that he learned very fast and " caught up " very fast. I have also had fluent readers at the age of 4. So every child is different. I would continue reading aloud to them every chance you get.

Beyond that I would suggest testing for a child of 8 that has made no progress, there are issues that could be keeping them from reading.

08-01-2010, 03:37 PM
Thank You so much Jana. I am printing out our first 'I See Sam' Book :) I used to have the Letter Factory and lost it when we moved, I still have the Code Caper but not the Story Book Factory so will look into this as well.

i truly appreciate you taking the time to give me your insight!

08-01-2010, 04:08 PM
Thank You so much Jana. I am printing out our first 'I See Sam' Book :) I used to have the Letter Factory and lost it when we moved, I still have the Code Caper but not the Story Book Factory so will look into this as well.

i truly appreciate you taking the time to give me your insight!

Any time ! I am sure others will chime in with suggestions too ! The biggest fear I had when I first started was that my children would get "behind". But what is behind? What works for one child might not work for another. And with all the issues you have faced it doesn't surprise me at all that you have a little bump in the road !

I have a son now 19 that still can't write a single sentence that anyone else can understand. He was premature and has major fine motor issues. He can type up a storm though. ;-)

08-01-2010, 04:23 PM
Hi Anke, and welcome :)

One of the best things about homeschooling, I think is that you're able to work on your kids' schedule - there's no one looking over your shoulder to see where they're at or how much they've done. Have you looked at www.Starfall.com? My oldest wanted nothing to do with it, but my youngest loves it. We do a combination of sight words and phonics - I use "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons", and I let my boys do my youngest's phonics lesson together sometimes (peer help), which they like (some days - other days, that's a no-go, lol)

Like Jana said, you guys have a LOT on your plate - they're only 6; there's plenty of time :)

08-03-2010, 10:19 AM
Welcome Anke!! It's great to have you here at SHS!! I know it goes against the traditional education way of thinking, but homeschoolers have known for a while that there is really no "right age" for learning to read. Every kids seems to approach it differently. I had one son who taught himself to read at 3 1/2 years old and was reading newspapers at age five. My other son didn't really start reading fluently until age 8 or 9. Learning to read seems to be like learning to walk...you can't force it until they are ready! I think the biggest thing you can do in the meantime is help them ENJOY the process. Making reading FUN...and let them see you enjoy it as well. I've always kept this article (http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/articles/031806.htm) bookmarked on my computer to suggest to homeschoolers...you might enjoy it as well.

Best of luck to you. Hope to see you around here often!

08-03-2010, 01:40 PM
I think the people above me have said quite a lot on the subject...one article that I like to go back to is located here: http://www.besthomeschooling.org/articles/lillian_jones_ps_kdgtn.html

There is a link on that article to one titled "Much Too Early" which is also full of useful information on reading early.

Keep in mind that early reading is not an indicator of the child's intelligence...you know your children better than anyone and you would know if they were "behind" in anyway.

08-03-2010, 02:20 PM
I am clearly a better early than late mom....... but we do things very slowly. there is no rush to accomplish things. We only "work" for maybe 2.5 hours a day. My son begs to do "work" everyday. And by work I mean most reading aloud. My son reads a short passage from McGuffey readers every day. We do some hands on math for Saxon K, do a Math Mammoth worksheet. We read about science, and from a read aloud, daily poetry selection. He practices a very short handwriting page, more for fine motor development than for neatness. He does mazes like they are going out of style, I buy huge books that he goes through like nothing. We have a calendar on the wall that we change daily with the month, day, year, shapes, colors and weather. We do some messy art each day, a messy science experiment most days, and listen to music.

I do have an early reader, but it was his choice. His phonics lessons are kept to about 5 minutes a day. He also asked to do math. And absolutely loves to be read to, both of my little ones do. Emma drags books out for me to read all day long. Our sit down worksheets consist of about 10 minutes of our day. We play games, and puzzles, and build things constantly from blocks, legos or anything else we can find.

I see nothing wrong with starting early, as long as you aren't expecting your preschooler - kindergartener to write research papers, or do algebra. LOL

08-03-2010, 02:43 PM
I can not tell you all enough at how wonderful I find all the responses you have posted. I had a long talk with two of my friends and they said the same think that I am putting to much stress on the 'reading' factor. I love to read and have an extensive library at home and I guess was worried that my boys would not have the same love of reading. I realize now looking at them that both love to be read to each day and that both have a love of making their own picture books :)

I am so glad that I found this website and the support!

Thank You!

08-03-2010, 10:28 PM

I hope all goes well with your son's treatments. I'm sorry I have no good suggestions on the issue of reading, but just wanted to step in and say "welcome". This is a great site for information and support.