View Full Version : How to help my neighbor.

08-25-2010, 09:19 PM
So I've been talking with my neighbor. Her son is still not reading very well. This year he will be in second grade. He has been in summer school and extra tutoring since kindergarten. I am wondering if any of you guys have idea as to how I can help advise her in helping him with his reading. Right now I want to tell her she needs to look into ways that do not involve the school. Primarily because the schools is the one doing the teaching so far and so far he can't read well and hates it.

I feel bad for both him and her. My family is big on reading and it is a favorite activity. The boy is really into star wars so I thought of getting him a star wars book.

08-25-2010, 09:34 PM
He may have vision or visual processing issues. My son was passed as 20/30 by an optometrist, but an exam by a COVD developmental optometrist revealed terrible eye teaming and eye control issues...he saw double up close, could not track his eyes across a line of text, could not hold his focus, could not make the words stand still, reversed letters and words, and could not see the spacing between them because his brain wasn't making sense of the white space. He had never told me any of this because he didn't realize what he saw was different - he just struggled and struggled to get past CVC words. Vision therapy has made a HUGE difference for him.

08-26-2010, 12:23 PM
See, thats one of many reasons I home school. My son, going in to second grade, is a tad behind on his reading. But i dont push it much, and he's starting to read on his own - video games, street signs, etc. Lots of boys just get ready to read later, and the more you push it the more they hate it and believe they are bad at it . . .even tho they could be good at it if they give it a break. I dont know what to tell you or your neighbor, aside from support him in believing that he will learn eventually and there is nothing wrong with him (i mean, assuming he's been tested for dyslexia and all those weird vision things)

08-26-2010, 01:31 PM
Second grade was the year of reading problems. Thankfully our son didn't have any medical/vision problems with reading. He just hated the books he was expected to read at that level and had zero interest in them. As a toddler and preschooler he only liked to have nonfiction read to him even at bedtime. I never saw a problem with it until second grade when he started bringing home terrible test standardized test scores. When we started homeschooling we tailored the reading to his interest and gradually upped the diffulculty of the reading. Its worked wonders for us. Last year he was in fourth grade and after the annual year end testing requirement his scores came back as being 7th grade level for reading. After talking to many parents with reading "problems" with their sons around second and third grade- In my opinion the problem is the reading program not the students:)

08-26-2010, 02:54 PM
My SIL finally sought a private diagnostician after the schools hemmed and hawed and flailed around for 3 years without coming up with any answers- or even an IEP. Turns out the kid is dyslexic, but the school never did a full diagnostic battery!

Another nephew (15 years ago or so) got labeled ADD and the school basically demanded he be medicated, his mother didn't feel right about that, sought a private diagnostician, and it turned out he had a reading disability as well.

She may want to consider having him tested by someone outside the school. Universities are almost always less expensive than private psychologists, BTW.

08-27-2010, 07:51 AM
Many kids don't really get reading until 2nd or 3rd grade. It just doesn't click until then. (Just in case there's no other reason he's not reading.)We put a huge emphasis on reading, and we should, but for some it's a skill that doesn't come until later. I've learned that many Europeans don't rush reading skills until 3rd grade for this very reason. For those struggling at age 5 or 7, it's very discouraging. Waiting until later to really focus on the skill doesn't put kids off of reading. That may be one reason many kids, especially boys who seem to learn reading skills later than girls on average, don't enjoy reading. It became something for them to hate doing, not taught as something enjoyable and taught at a time that works. Just a different way of looking at it. It might "click" for him sometime during his second grade year. Or early third grade year.

08-27-2010, 07:53 AM
BTW (and totally off-topic) I LOVE your avatar pic Jeannette! In front of the Lego Store at Downtown Disney? We have a family pic from there as well!

08-28-2010, 08:05 PM
My son was technically behind in reading at the start of first grade. I say behind but I was fine where he was. He simply wasn't developmentally ready to be where the public school kids were. He struggled to read "Mat sat. Sam sat." at the start of the year. He's now in second grade and he's reading Harry Potter - which is a grade 5.5 reading level. I'm so glad that I didn't push him. I have a nephew who struggled until the end of 2nd grade, then it clicked and his reading level shot up way past the norm as well. It's fairly common to happen in boys.

Picking books he was interested in was a huge help. Check out the Ricky Ricotta books - they're pretty easy reading but very boyish. They're chapter books but don't have a lot of words on a page. My son loved them. I loaned them out to a friend with a public school child who didn't like reading - and he loved them too. (He was also going into 2nd grade). Harder books can be read outloud at night - with the parent reading one paragraph and the child the next.

*Do suggest he gets his eyes checked. An eye doctor told me that some kids have trouble reading due to tracking difficulties.