55 answers

I Need Help Teaching My 7 Year Old How to Read.

HELP!!! I am homeschooling my daughter. When it comes to reading, she is having a problem with transfering information she learns. We're using the Phonics program. As long as we're reading the books that come with the program, she reads just fine. If I take the learned words and give them back to her on 3 x 4 cards, it looks like Greek to her. My question is...are there any steps I can use to help her.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I am overwhelmed with gratitude! I have received wonderful advice, but more importantly I have been embraced with sincere compassion. I can come out of the forest now and know which direction to go in to help my daughter. Several of you have invited me to e-mail you privately and I shall. Thanks to all for taking time out of your life to inspire and advise me on my personal quest for my daughter myself.

Featured Answers

Use the Msking Words book, Phonics Lessons Level 2 by Fountas and Pinell, and or Guided Reading. All of these books integrate decoding, comprehension, and spelling. Some children have problems generalizing what they read from one program to reading words in isolation or in other texts. I have taught for 14 years in a public school setting. I have two daughters, ages 23 and 25. We also have a 4year old grandson.

It sounds like you doing everything you can. One thing that I did with my boys when we were starting to read was letter searches everywhere we went or magazines. Then 2 letters together and so on. The most important thing is to not get frustrated, that puts a damper on their reading. Other than that good luck, and hang in there.

I am a 1st grade teacher and I have taught Reading Recovery. We use different strategies to help while reading. Some things that you may use while she is reading is to ask her if what she reads, makes sense, looks right and and sounds right? When reading words in text there is meaning and she can predict using the strategies that I listed above along with a few others. Having her read words in isolation can be more difficult.

Best of luck!

More Answers

You have to be careful giving words in isolation. There are no context clues to help the child decipher the meaning or sound of the word. Probably why she can read it in the phonics program books. Try finding books that are not with your phonics program that include the vocabulary words and see how she does.

Do you have any training in reading instruction? You may want to at least consult with someone such as a reading specialist or get some training on your own before trying to tackle this. Teaching kids to read is a very complex process. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I am homechooling my three girls and we had the same problem with our oldest. there is a wesite site called letsgolearn.com and it was a life saver for us. they have a reading assesment test she can take and it will print out a report and tell you what areas she is weak in and then give you suggestions of things you can do to help her build in those areas. i would love to share and help any way possible...email me if you want!
But I do want to stress DON"T PANIC!!! Your anxiety is not going to make it better and it will only stress your daughter out...some of this advise suprises me a little...

My son learned how to read when he was two years old. He went to school, but the way I was taught was that the teachers are there to teach at school, but when he is at home it was my job to teach him further. Since he was two I read to him consistantly. Any words he had trouble with I would write them down separately and when we were done reading I would give him the words to spell (depending on his age) I would make him write it 5 to 10 times each. Then I would make sentences out for him to fill in the word. then I would even give a spelling test. also I would use those words when he got home from school or over the weekend in our conversations or have friends or family help too. Be consistant everyday but not to over do it. I always would randomly ask him to spell out a word when we are in the car or at home or grocery shopping. I will ask him to use that word in a sentence that day to someone where ever we were too. oh don't forget to make sure he knows the meaning of that word by giving a definition too. my son is 14 yrs old now and I dedicated my self to making sure he came first in his education. My son is in 8th grade gifted and talented classes since elementary years. he already has high school credits. He already has his college plan out. Believe me you can do it, u don't need hooked on phonics, I am not knocken it and it cant hurt but I couldn't afford that program and with time I taught my son reading, english, math, history, and science on my own at home. It is also good to take him yourself to the museums and take tours together to learn new stuff, your child will get use to or want to learn all the time. Make it fun to learn!

I see many children whose parents are having this same struggle in my practice. Without meeting your daughter, it would be impossible to say why she is not succeeding easily. Many children struggle with visual tracking, convergence of vision or auditory processing (yep, reading has a LOT to do with sound). There are several components that can be holding her up.

It might be wise to consider checking some of these things for her and then having a specific program designed to help address them.

Hi L.,

I just want to second some of the advice you have received. I homeschool 3 kiddos (9, 6, 6). My twin girls are polar opposites for reading. One needed Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (at Mardels for 20.00) and the other needed hooked on phonics. One of mine zoomed through reading and has no issues at all the other one can read, but she struggles more than her sister and I have to go slower, not let her feel any anxiety from me or she just freezes and her brain stops working. Plus, I have to say that my one who struggles is night a day from when I started teaching them to read at 4.5. Her sister had no problems from the beginning and progressed at a normal rate. I think my other daughter would be reading at the same level had I waited until 5.5 to teach her. I just don't think she was as ready. I don't think it hurt her at all that I started early, but it was more anxiety for me. So do take a deep breathe. Check out what you can about dyslexia if you think you need to, but she may just be a late bloomer and that is the awesome thing about homeschooling. Good luck! Email me if you want. ____@____.com

My kids are not homeschooled, so this note may be irrelevant for you.
What you are describing sounds a lot like two of my children. That was how it began...difficulty reading and it quickly spiralled into them not wanting to do any work. We had hired private tutors and enlisted the school's help with any extra reading assistance they offered.
We discussed the problem with the Pediatrician and she recommended that we have them tested for dyslexia. We felt like it certainly couldn't hurt, and we could come away with a better understanding of our children's learning needs.
They are currently in their public school's dyslexia program and are flourishing. For the first time, they are initiating reading. They are comfortable reading aloud to friends and to each other. We still have a long way to go, but are happy with their progress thus far.

I would highly recommend you get her tested for dyslexia. You can apply to have her tested at Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas. It is free. You will need her doctor to sign a referral, but that will come in the application packet. It may take a few months to get an appointment, but the information you will learn is invaluable. If she does indeed have dyslexia or another reading disorder, I would recommend you seek help either from a Certified Academic Language Therapist, or from your school district, or somebody else who has extensive knowledge of dyslexia and reading disorders.

The good news is that dyslexia is "overcomeable" with the proper intervention and a very direct, systematic approach to phonics instruction, combined with spelling, writing, and sight words. But children with dyslexia do require a different approach than a typical child without any reading disorders.

Good luck!! And don't get discouraged....

I'm homeschooling my preschooler (5 1.2), because she missed the K cut off. I am having a hard time with the reading side too. I spoke to a girl friend and she recomended a book called How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I just got it in the mail and am going to start on it Monday. My friend said the book worked well for her daughter. Good Luck!

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