View Full Version : What Can I Do To Help DD7 With Vowel Discrimination?

11-10-2011, 07:43 AM
I chose AAS for my girls this year. We started at Level 1 and I've learned that DD7 has a vowel discrimination issue. It's confusing the heck out of me. She can identify the sound of each short vowel in isolation. But put them in a word and she doesn't hear them. She sounds out a word and the vowel comes out wrong. She writes a word and the vowel is completely different than what she sounded out. Example: I'll ask her to spell the word "put". She'll spell "pot" every time. She's not hearing the difference between short o and short u. I've also seen this between short a and short e, short e and short i, short a and short u. I think most of the time she is just guessing. I go over every misspelled word with her. I have her make each individual sound and when she does that she will catch her mistake on her own. The funny part, she can read the words just fine. In addition to AAS we also do work in a Word Family Workbook that just so happens to follow along with AAS and we are working through the Dolch Words packets from enchanted learning. Her reading is great. Her writing is improving. But her spelling is miserable due to the vowel discrimination issue. Any suggestions to help her with this?

11-10-2011, 08:37 AM
Sometimes I find when I am frustrated like that, I actually am doing fine, my kid just needs more time for it. My 8 yo is still struggling w this, but doing better than last year.

11-10-2011, 08:39 AM
My DS has/had the same prob. Someone recommended Hooked on Phonics, I bought it and it worked wonders!

11-10-2011, 05:29 PM
Do you have her segment the word? That seems to help my son. Also, the recent newsletter from AAS had something about discriminating between short e and short i, so that might be something to check out. Their website has lots of info on that kind of stuff. And they have a forum, too.

Accidental Homeschooler
11-10-2011, 05:40 PM
My 6yo had this problem initially also. I made a point to sound them out for her and then she seemed to start getting them. When I had her do it, it was just too frustrating. We also used a magnet board where I would put the word up one letter at a time making the sound as I did it. I think it was just time and practice. When we did read aloud if she missed a word I would sound it out for her and have her read it again. I just quit having her sound it out except to maybe if she said "pit" for "pet", I would say the e sound for her and "look at that word again" or something like that.

11-10-2011, 06:01 PM
Any chance it has anything to do with pronunciation of certain words? My son has trouble remembering words like SEVEN, because we usually say it SEVIN. Today we were talking about the word chocolate and how the way most people say it it sounds like choclit with just two syllables. Marie had an article about pronouncing for spelling recently that was helpful. It's hard for me to imagine PUT and POT being pronounced the same so maybe this isn't the issue for your daughter, but I thought I'd toss it out there.

You said she can tell between them in isolation, does that extend to segmenting? Can she hear it if she approaches the spelling sound by sound?

11-10-2011, 07:01 PM
I am doing the AAS program just as it's written. I haven't been to the site lately but I will definitely check it our soon. We are also using the controlled text readers that accompany AAS, starfall and progressive phonics. She's getting hit with this stuff from every angle but I'm not seeing the improvement that I would think she should have by now. When I help her correct her mistake, I have her say the word just as she's written it so she can hear the mistake. Then, I have her segment the word for me and ask her what vowel she hears. Sometimes she hears her mistake and can correct it and others she just guesses. I'm really hoping that a little more time and patience will resolve the issue. She loves to write but I haven't pushed it because she gets frustrated with her spelling.

11-10-2011, 07:30 PM
My dd has the same issues. She sometimes spells even the simplest of words like the way they sound, rather than the right spelling. Today she spelt 'thay instead of they'. And fore instead of four.
So, instead of working on the phonetics, we actually say the word the way it is supposed to sound. Like sounding four like sour, favorite as fa-vo-rite etc. chocolate was recently worked on like choc-o-late.
We still have issues with a lot of spellings, but we are slowly getting there, one word at a time. Hope that helps.

11-10-2011, 07:48 PM
I just wanted to add a tidbit here, in case it helps.

When my dd was first learning her vowels, she nailed them every time. We did cvc, ccvc, etc for quite a long time.

As the sounds have gotten more complex, though, she sometimes mixes them up. For a little while, she would spell words and leave the vowels out completely. Now she knows there is ALWAYS a vowel in a word, she includes one but not necessarily the right one. (yet, she gets ay, ee, ea, oo, etc with no problem)

For her, I think of it a bit like a cup filling up with water. She's really working hard to keep the water in her very full cup right now, but occasionally a bit drips over the edge. I instituted spelling (without actual tests) this year to help her. It's to early to tell for certain if that alone helps, but she is having an easier time with the vowels- might just be practice practice practice reading though (she'd rather read to me than do anything else)

11-10-2011, 09:26 PM
Thanks to everyone for your responses. I guess my biggest fear is that Sarah has a learning disability like her sister. In addition to the spelling troubles, she also does lots of letter, number, and word reversals. I will most definitely try out the suggestions that have been made. Some of them, I've done on occasion but a little more consistency may be what's needed. I guess all I can really do is keep working with her and reevaluate the situation at a later time. I have this terrible habit of over analyzing things. I'm hoping this is just me in the middle of a confidence low or something. I've been having quite a few of those lately it seems. Must be the weather!

11-10-2011, 11:25 PM
Could you maybe try playing some (fun, relaxed, separate from reading/writing lessons) rhyming games or reading and composing poetry using some of her "trouble" words? Since those are vowel-sound-dependent (and more lyrical, if she's an auditory learner), it may flip a switch that's not getting touched by some of the drill and practice.

One thing I'm finding is that the minute I'm completely exasperated with my 6.5yo's seeming inability to grasp a phonetic sound, I'll just give it a couple more lessons before I go nuts, and it's like night and day; all of a sudden it's like he never had a problem. We use the Funnix program--which I understand to be a little more like Hooked on Phonics in its visual/auditory approach as opposed to the AAS approach, which is left-brain-heavy.

I hope something clicks soon for you & you don't have to deal with another learning disability. So far, we don't have any official ones in this household, but I have a couple of friends with multiple kids with multiple types (meaning they have to learn a new approach for each child), and that sounds mega-frustrating.

11-11-2011, 06:57 AM
I use AAS as a spine but it's not our complete spelling program. I added lots of stuff including games because AAS is a good,solid program but can be mundane. Some of the things we have done: Wrote words on white paper with a white crayon and then painted the paper, cut letters from magazines to make words and glue them to construction paper, and play BOOM which is an absolute favorite in this house. We've done spelling aerobics, spelling basketball, and sailboat writing. We also use Spelling City. We focus on the AAS lesson everyday but I mix it up quite a bit because it can get a little boring and my girls need lots of reinforcement. The poetry idea my be a hit with DD7. She is my artistic child.