Daughter in 1St Grade Need Help

Updated on June 29, 2011
C.P. asks from Dallas, TX
65 answers

good morning ladies i have a big issue thatb i need your help on.Yesterday was parents conference for my daughter.while speaking to her teacher he told me that he was thinking of keeping her in the first grade again.Me as being her mother i was like no i dont fell that way whats the problem .he was like when having her to take a spelling test with her spelling words and when its time to use her spelling words in a sentence she cant do that But her math and everything else is great.Her spelling is bad.Thats messing up her reading when its time to read.he told me that he is going to have after school tutoring and saturday tutoring that he feels thats she needs to be their so i told him that she will be there.he gave me some poster board to write down spelling word a different way that would help her learn and read them in a easier way.i have so many tears that wants to come down .I CANT SEE MY BABY BACK IN THE 1ST GRADE.I truly feel that i have let her down by not helping her.This has been on my mind since i left the school.Ive been on line trying to find things that would help.PLEASE HELP HE TO GET A BETTER UNDERSTANDING...PLEASE

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S.J.

answers from Dallas on

I have 3 children and my middle daughter repeated 1st grade. When he teacher came to me and said she thought she needed to repeat I was totally against it. I went ahead and had everything set for her to go to 2nd grade because I was worried about what she would say and didnt want everyone to think she failed. She never failed but was not confident with herself and was very shy. After crying and feeling horrible I finally decided to hold her back. I will tell anyone now that it was the BEST thing I ever did. Now she is ahead and a social butterfly.

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A.E.

answers from Amarillo on

C.,
Best wishes to you, you will have to spend a good deal of time with her. She might have a learning disability. Please take her to see a prescriptive reading teacher.

Now, let's look at you. You use no puncuation, no spacing at the end of sentences, you do not capitalize words, and you speak like you are a teenager "he's like she needs to" and "i'm like she wants to" Good grief!! Model the appropriate behavior woman, act like an adult, not a child!

Please take this kindly, and not in a hostile manner, if you want her to do things correctly, then you need to do things correctly also.

A.

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T.C.

answers from Dallas on

I don't know what district she's in, but you need to get her tested for possibly having dyslexia. They can identify it as early as 2nd semester 1st grade. Scottish Rite does it if you can't find anyone else to. If she's in FWISD, they have a program and you need to get her in the testing phase asap because it does take a long time for them to get to her to be tested........they use the scottish rite methods/materials though.
The reason I suggest this is that with dyslexia a person has strengths and weaknesses. Spelling can be one of the weaknesses. Do not just take this teacher's word for it. Get her tested as young as possible so that if she does have it, she doesn't have to struggle as long and that she won't be stumbling around for years without the proper help.

I know this because I'm a FWISD school counselor and the dyslexia "lead" for my campus. I've seen too many 5th graders that are just being diagnosed after YEARS of struggling throughout school.

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S.S.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I'd have her tested for Dyslexia @ Scottish Rite in Dallas. If she has it, there are interventions for it. If not, at least it's one thing to cross off the list. Being held back in first grade really isn't THAT big a deal - especially if it helps her be successful in two - twelve. I have a younger friend who made D's in first grade - technically she passed, but her mom - an RN, held her back. The second time around, she made straight A's. She kept those A's through her senior year, and went to college on a full scholarship. She never regretted being held back because it made the next 12 years so much easier on her, instead of struggling year after year for sub par marks.

I hate to even mention this - but unless you're keyboard challenged, I notice some patterns in your post that make me think you might benefit from an evaluation too - specifically, please go to this website: www.irlen.com and see if anything sounds familiar.

S.

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R.R.

answers from Dallas on

I work in a school and my tendancy is to understand the teacher. Believe me, it is NOT easy for a teacher to face a parent and tell them that. Spelling and reading are basic to so much of their foundation for learning. If she is to a point in first grade that she isn't getting it, then she probably needs to repeat. Spelling and reading use a different part of the brain than math, so it isn't so unusual for kids that are struggling in one area to do very well in another area. Let's put it this way, would you rather endure the disappointment of having her repeat one grade very early, and probably get it; or would you rather endure her struggling year after year after year? At this point I could go into what teens that struggle in school do in their high school years, none of it productive.

There is nothing wrong with trying to tackle her spelling and reading problems now at home. It may help it click, it may not. But please be open to a teacher's suggestion, they are with them for huge amounts of their days.

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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

Something that has helped out with my children is that when they come home we go through their back pack before anything else. I look at each of their papers and praise them for the ones that they have done a good job on and then we go over each answer that they had gotten wrong. I work with them until they can understand why they had got it wrong so I know they understand the consept.
Spelling lists come home on Monday and I make my kids write down their spelling words 3 times each- they also like to quiz each other on their words.
You can also hang the list on the fridge and go over spelling words with your daughter while fixing dinner each night- I have done this also.
Have your daughter practice reading to you- this can be done when you are sitting down together or also while you are fixing dinner. If she is doing well in her other subjects, she shouldn't be held back just for one. Work with her- it will be hard, but don't give up! Dont' forget to be encourageing and give her lots of hugs- I know how frusterating it is to be a bad speller! I had to re-take a lot of spelling tests when I was in school!
God Bless!
~C.

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

I am a third grade teacher, and like the previous post, it is extremely hard to face a parent and tell them that their child may be better off repeating a grade.
Do NOT think of your child, or yourself as a failure! He obviously feels that your child needs another year to fully understand and grasp first grade.
First grade is all about letter-sound awareness, everything builds on that! If she doesn't get it now/this year, she'll be struggling in second grade and years following- she'll be even more behind.
Maybe one-on-one tutoring will help; a lot of kids just need that extra boost of encouragement and it will click. Again, do NOT think of yourself or your daughter as a failure- she is NOT failing first grade. Think of it as "giving your child the gift of another year."

Hope that helps.
God Bless

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D.M.

answers from Dallas on

C.,
Like many others have said please test her for dylsexia. My daugher was tested at the end of 1st grade and we found out she was dyslexia. Dyslexia usually runs in families and you may not have even been aware you had it.
It can range from mild to profound. I myself found out that even I had dyslexia see I myself was held back in 1st grade. Here's a few sites on dyslexia that may help their is a lot of misunderstood information about dyslexia.
I hope this information will help and good luck to you.
Don't give up you through you your daughter will succeed since she has a mother like you that really cares.

http://www.dyslexia-parent.com/spelling.html

http://www.dyslexia-parent.com/mag28.html

http://www.dyslexiacenter.org/students.shtml

http://www.dys-add.com/index.html this is the site that also has the video on the subject it’s over 3 hours but I think they are about an hour a piece each one- she is a good speaker and should hold your attention

DISCLAIMER: No two people with dyslexia are exactly alike because dyslexia ranges from mild to moderate to severe to profound. Some people with dyslexia also have AD/HD. This site above has good clues on the different types of dyslexia and the symptoms

What are the rights of a dyslexic person?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) define the rights of students with dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities. These individuals are legally entitled to special services to help them overcome and accommodate their learning problems. Such services include education programs designed to meet the needs of these students. The Acts also protect people with dyslexia against unfair and illegal discrimination.

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

Please before you make a decision one way or the other have her tested for dyslexia, dysgraphia, or any other learning disorder that could be holding back her reading and writing skills. If she is on track in everything else and if her reading comprehension is good it will do you no good to hold her back. If you can determine a learning disability and work with her to overcome it she will catch up and be able to keep up in her current grade.
I agree with some of the other statements that if it is whats best for her there is nothing wrong with holding her back, but it sounds like your gut is telling you something different and you should make sure that you have all the facts by getting testing done before you agree to anything.

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J.V.

answers from Dallas on

I cannot imagine how you must be feeling -- I have a daughter in Kindergarten and can empathize with how challenging it is to get these little ones to focus and learn. I would begin with her pediatrician -- tell him/ her what your child is experiencing. I would also network with other parents to see how they go about teaching their kids. My daughter plays on a soccer team and we have discussed different ways to "teach" younger kids. I came away with some great ideas. I would also recommend, once you work through the emotions, have another meeting with the teacher as he has some accountability with your child's learning. Once you have worked through some of the emotion, it will be easier for you to ask questions and challenge him on how you can reinforce these matters at home (incorporating fun!). Maybe it is appropriate to check into a learning center like Sylvan? You could also connect with your church and see if there are any teachers who could give you ideas on how to help your child. All this being said, start with the pediatrician - she might need an assessment as there could be things out of her control (i.e., ADD) that she might need assistance with. Good luck!

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L.T.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.,
We went through the same thing last year with our son that was in 2nd grade. There is still time to help your daughter ask the teacher what she need to score in her reading to be able to pass to the 2nd grade and work with her everynite and every morining, make flash card with the word and play games in spelling them and write song with the spelling word and read out loud everyday and praise her on everyword she get right. It work wonders with our son. We still do it to this day. I hope this works for you.
L. T.

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

C. P. I am a retired teacher of 32 years experience who tutors in the home since retiring. I love children and I have a Master's degree in Reading so I am qualified to help your child. I make it fun as well as learning and I only have 1 tutoring student once a week at the present time so I would have time for your child. Call me ###-###-#### and we can discuss price, day and the possibility of working out a day to work with your daughter. A. C.

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M.R.

answers from Dallas on

I just scanned through the 25 previous messages. Did any of them say anything about simply reading to your child? I have the best memories of my mother reading to me. I continued the tradition with my two girls. My older daughter was reading on an adult level by the 6th grade. My younger daughter was told the same thing as yours in the the first grade as well. I wasn't worried about her and I did not send her to summer school and now she is in 8th grade with no problems. You need to set the example of good reading and good grammar. You are the expert and teachers are your well-informed advisors.
By the way, I am also an educator, but always a mom first. Good luck!

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C.Q.

answers from Wichita Falls on

dont panic just keep working with her and she will be ok.
my son is now 14 and he is dislexic we found out this when he was in the 3rd grade with a lot of hard work he is a lot better but it is a daily strougle with this you have to just keep working with them. good luck and god bless

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

You need to talk to the principle, the teacher can't just "decide" that... hang in there and make sure you learn what your rights are.

HTH
A. J

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D.C.

answers from Dallas on

Make an appointment with the principal and set up a tudor. Most elementary schools have tutor's available (they are usually other parents). Also seek out the counselor and see if there is anything else available for your daughter. There is no reason to keep her back if that's the only issue. You may also ask for a three-way conference with counselor, principal and teacher to discuss this further. Don't wait contact the administration ASAP.

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

Does your daughter have a late birthday (born after June 1st). I was a first grade teacher for several years and also was a special ed resource teacher. Most of the children I taught who had late birthdays were at a disadvantage. If your daughter does have a late birthday, it might be beneficial to hold her back a year. Also, I suggest that you have her tested by the diagnostician at her school to rule out any learning disabilities. The earlier you start, the better. Many parents will send their children to kindergarten with a late birthday, and then, have them repeat kindergarten again. There is no stigma at that age and it will be to her advantage. I disagree with what one person wrote that the teacher can't hold a child back. Actually, the teacher can make the recommendation and consult with the parent. It is a mutual decision. There are many factors to consider here. Her age, and whether she has a reading disability. No matter what, before you agree to hold her back, I would demand that she be tested. It is the responsibility of the school to offer it and to no cost to you. Tutoring is a good idea but, before investing money in it, I would have her tested first to see where her deficits are. Good luck to you. I know it is frustrating.

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D.B.

answers from Dallas on

Something you don't mention is your daughter's age. Is she a summer birthday and young for her grade? If so, it could be developmental and holding her back is a good choice. My son has an August birthday and I held him back during preschool so he would be one of the oldest. If she is not young or immature for her grade then I would suggest testing for learning disabilities. Public schools tend to not test this young but will if you push hard. My son goes to a private school and only has trouble with reading but it effects the other areas for reading content and directions. I had him tested and it turned out he had vision issues. He sees 20/20, but has focusing and tracking trouble. He is getting glasses that help the eye muscles work together. It has been very expensive to do all of the testing, but as a former 3rd grade teacher it is much easier to get things corrected in first grade than later. Your daughter will only get farther behind if you don't address the issue now. Good luck.

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K.H.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C., I know you have a lot of responses but I thought I'd share a little something with you. I am a 55 year old grandmother of 7 and raised 2 extremely smart daughters. Something I did that I believe really helped my girls. When they were 4, I labeled evreything in the house using upper & lower case letters. The phone, refidgerator, television, ect. thoughout the day we would say them out loud and spell them. Not all at once but 2 or 3. I even labeled the toilet, things in the bedroom, pictures everything possiable. then we would make sentences using those words I think it gave them a head start. Hope if you try it it will help. Try not to worry about her she will be fine. I had a real hard time reading when I was young. I was determined my children would do better. God bless you all I know she will be fine.

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T.F.

answers from Dallas on

Well, I want to start off by saying that YOU DID NOT FAIL YOUR DAUGHTER BY HER NEEDING TO BE HELD BACK AND HONESTLY, (AND THIS COMES FROM A DAUTHER OF A 2ND GRADE TEACHER WITH MANY TEACHER FRIENDS WHOM KNOWS THIS SITUATION WELL AND HAS DISCUSSED IT MANY TIMES WITH THESE TEACHERS), IT IS BETTER TO DO IT THEN FOR YOUR DAUGHTER TO STRESS AND BE AT THE BACK OF THE CLASS THE REST OF HER SCHOOL YEARS.
Some kids simply need a year for things to click and then that one extra year puts them in honors classes. Some kids just need the added maturity to give them the self esteem to get passed bumps. AND IT IS FAR BETTER TO HOLD THEM BACK IN THE k-1 GRADES THEN LATER, WHEN IF EFFECTS THEIR ESTEEM MUCH MORE!!!!!
Is your child a later birthday for her class? If she is a spring to summer baby and needs the extra year, I as a parent in the know about early education, would most certainly not even think twice about holding her back NOW!!!!!! My son is a May birthday and if it is ever an issue, he will be held back with no worries from me because I know first hand how beneficial it is to the child to go from stuggling to "just getting it" a year later and being more at the top of the class or at normal level than at the back. Really, stuggling in school effects children's self esteem. Why fight esteem and education issues when hopefully that all could be dispursed by "repeating" a year? To, when holding her back, you would also make her one of the oldest in her next class and that is a bonus to the child as well, eps in high school: drivers license, graduating when 18, etc.

JUST SOMETHING TO CONSIDER FROM SOMEONE HIGHLY SURROUNDED BY EARLY EDUCATION SPECIALISTS!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, as a person that has stuggled with spelling my whole life (but no where else), I learned later in life that I had very poor phonics training (I learned this from my mom, a now 2nd grade teacher that was reminding me, as a college student, to remember my phonics rules, which there was nothing there to remember!). Try hooked on Phonics, or something simular, read to her, and have her read (I never read enough for myself as a child) books, signes, receipies for you, billboards, etc..ANYTHING. She will see words over and over and sight-learn the spelling.!!!!!! And make sure she remembers her phonics rules ("when two vowels go a walking, the first one does the talking", "I before E except after C", etc)!

Good luck and remember that holding a child back is NOT a failure and shows nothing about your parenting skills or your child's intellegence!

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D.S.

answers from Dallas on

You might want to talk to her dr. about dyslexia just to be sure. If so better to catch it now. My sons class sends books home every nite to read on there level. Started out with books that had maybe 3,4,5 words small words to each page. At first it was oh my gosh. But now it has gotten to where he can do it on his own. Meantime mom go to your local library ask for books on first grade beginneres level. Also help her sound out the words (phonics) cat c-a-t. Lot of patience and time. Just work with her. WORK WORK WORK!!! Cause in 3rd grade in texas they have to pass the taks reading test to be promoted to the next grade. Thats why they are so big on the first graders learning how to read. Also read to her as well. She will get frustrated but thats ok. Just keep on! good luck C.. D. S.

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L.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.,

I taught first grade for two years, and it sounds as if your daughter is a little week spelling words phonetically. She needs to get some extra help in phonics.
Have you thought about hiring a tutor?

Have a wonderful day!

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

Wow, you have gotten a lot of good advise to consider; you are blessed to have gotten such a response from those who only want the best for you and your daughter. As I scanned the remarks, I didn't notice anything about t.v. or computer time. You should have your daughter reading from books, newspaper or magazines (start with those that interest her then expand to educational) and writing a report. I heard of a Dr. whose mother made him do that; even during the summer months he had to do book reports for her and it turned him around in school. Turns out his mother didn't know how to read! Today he is the #1 pediatric neuro-surgeon in the U.S.!
Also, make sure she is learning how to spell phonetically - Mardels has a homeschooling section where you can buy books to enhance your daughters education if you have an extra few dollars to spend.
Time with her; even demanding she obey you in turning in book reports will enhance your relationship through the years. Just keep in mind that whatever is done is to prepare her to survive without you. When that day comes you will be so proud of her abilities! Blessings!!!

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V.B.

answers from Dallas on

I taught kindergarten for 11 years and could always tell the 2-3 in each class that needed another year to mature and just feel ahead or at least keep up with the class. Many time they were in a single parent home. This is the best time to let her repeat. You will never regret it. Just don´t make a big deal out of it to her. Then when she is older, driving, dating, etc. , you will be so glad you did it. She will also do so much better with her grades and all her lessons. Don´t be upset about it, use this as an opportunity to help her feel better about herself and mature.
V.

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S.H.

answers from Dallas on

Hi, C....

Wow! I understand your wanting to move her on, but I do believe the teacher's intentions are good. Perhaps, as another poster said, find out about Sylvan or something similar. (I know there are other learning centers, but I don't know their names.) Perhaps it is dyslexia or something else. It's better to find out now so you can help her adjust for coming years of her life.

Definitely send her to the after-school and Saturday tutoring, if it is available. I would try to go, if possible, to get an idea of how they are working with her so you could do that at home.

Have you talked with your daughter, though? I would just lovingly ask her about how school is going and her subjects. You could ask, specifically, about her spelling/reading. Let her explain what she's struggling with. What does it feel like to her? Frustrating? Panicky? She can't think straight when she has to do that? How does she approach math problems or other problems? Just talk with her and let her know that you love her and want to help her.

If she has to repeat the year, I would emphasize that she is still loved and smart; she just needs help in this area. These are steps to a great education; so, you want to be sure she gets and does her best. Best wishes, C....take care!

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I would definitly but her in tutoring but I would also found out what the teacher is doing as intervention. Find a resource outside of school to help you fiqure out what is really going on. The school wanted to put the neighbor girl in Special Ed because she struggles a little in math and doesn't do awesome on the taks test. The thing that really stinks is the school hasn't been doing anything for intervention. My neighbor hired my mom, a special ed teacher, to help do some tuoring and fiqure out if she really needs to be tested for special ed. After 3 tutoring sessions she is doing better in math and my neighbor has decide against having her tested despite the schools wishes. I now it is hard to hear and accept that your child is not "perfect". Thats what we all want. But arm yourself with info and don't let the school bully you into something you don't feel is right. Good Luck!!

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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

C., I agree with the people suggesting you have your daughter tested for dyslexia. Two of my 3 sons were diagnosed with it (as well as their dad) and your daughter's issues sound like what we went through with them. Many people have suggested flash cards, but manipulatives worked better for my boys. I printed individual letters on squares of cardstock. I would lay the squares out on the table for the word they were trying to spell and let them put the letters in the correct order. Initially, I only gave them the letters in their word. As they got a word down I would start adding random other letters so they could reinforce the word. I also used colored sand in a cookie sheet for reinforcement practice especially the night before the test. Sand worked better than sugar - had more weight so the letters stayed in place as they wrote the next letter. After practice I poured the sand into a ziplock bag and saved it for next time.

I will also say that although holding your daughter back won't fix dyslexia, if there are any other reasons it can be a good thing. One of my sons pre-school teacher told us she didn't think he was ready for kindergarten. However, she couldn't give us any reasons why and was a new teacher to us (changed schools between his 3 and 4 year old programs). His birthday was in early Feb so we decided to go ahead and put him in. What she couldn't put her finger on was that emotionally he was a little behind the other kids. He never did bad, but consistently struggled the first half of the year and then would "catch up" the second half. Only to repeat the process the next year. He was in high school before he really caught up. We definately regretted not holding him back when we could have. Look at the whole picture and make the best choice for your daughter. Good luck to you.

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

As a former teacher, it is much better for a child to repeat a lower grade like K or 1st rather than fail and have to repeat 4th or 5th. Don't beat yourself up. All children are different and some just don't learn to read and write(and spell) as soon as others do. Your daughter obviously needs extra help in this area just like some children do in math. Send her to the tutoring, work with her at home and listen to the school when they reccommend what is best for your daughter. They are telling you what they consider is best for your child. Good luck to you and your daughter!

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K.L.

answers from Dallas on

I agree wholeheartedly with Stephanie W; repeating a grade can be an opportunity for necessary additional growth. I am hopeful you will take advantage of the tutoring offered at your daughter's school while it is available. I'm not sure where in Dallas you are, but if I’m not too far away, I'd love the opportunity to work with your family over the summer. I am an experienced tutor and former teacher with excellent student relation skills and a heart for struggling students. You can reply here or contact me at [email protected]____.com for more information.

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H.D.

answers from Dallas on

Is it possible that she's dyslexic and that's why she's having issues with spelling and reading??? I would have that ruled out first. good luck

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L.K.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi. Even though this is an old post......We have a simple spelling strategy for you to try. It is a easy process that your daughter can use to get an early grasp on her spelling. It will help her think about her words without having to memorize them. It works best if it is introduced with parental or teacher assistance.

If you go to our website, you can find out more. http://www.spellacadabra.com Then, if you think it is something you might like to try, you can contact me directly and I will be happy to walk you through the steps to use it with you child. My contact information is on the site.

You will solve this (if you have not already), do not worry. :)

Sincerely,

L.

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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

Have you discussed the possiblity of a learning problem such as dyslexia? My daughter had the same exact problems in 1st grade, I went to the teacher and said I wanted her tested. The usual wait time was like 8 weeks to try tutoring and such, but it was obvious there was something not right. So instead of waiting we pushed through the testing. The testing was done right before Spring Break and it came back she was VERY dyslexic, but so very bright an intelligent that she could fool a lot of people.

My suggestion is to get testing for that ASAP. Do NOT let the school tell you they won't...they HAVE TO... if you request it. IT's THE LAW. Don't give up on your child. It may be as simple as dyslexia..not that dyslexia is simple. But schools have programs for dyslexia and my daughter is doing so much better with reading now that she is in the dyslexia program. And she knows there is a reason behind her problem, and that alone has helped.

I don't see why your child should stay another year in 1st grade if reading is the only problem. Right there should have been a big old flag waving at the teacher that something isn't right.

As an educator myself, and a mother that has been there...and going through it again with another child. Don't give up. Get her tested for dyslexia and any other learning disability the school will test for. Don't wait!!!!

G.C.

answers from Dallas on

Get her tested for dyslexia! If she has it then it's the school's responsibility to teach her so she can learn better... And THEY are the ones failing if they hold her back.

My husband got held back a year before he got checked for dyslexia. He didn't need to be held back, and he suffered in school for years because nobody saw and addressed his problem.

If she has dyslexia, then being held back WILL NOT FIX IT!!! PLEASE get her tested ... and if she doesn't have it, THEN listen to the other advice these moms have given you...

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D.B.

answers from Dallas on

C., if your daughter is struggling in first grade, it's not going to be easier in 2nd or 3rd grade. It is wonderful that you are so concerned---she is blessed to have such a devoted mother.

If a child is neurologically ready to read, you cannot stop them from reading. If they aren't neurologically ready to read, the method of teaching doesn't usually make much of a difference. Many parents exhaust themselves and their resources trying different tutoring/teaching methods, when the brain processing is indeed the struggle.

Without meeting your daughter, I would have NO idea what her particular struggles are, but I think it would be wise to consider brain processing.

Please feel free to email me privately if you would like to continue the discussion.

www.parentswithpurpose.com

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J.A.

answers from Amarillo on

Hi C., I'm sorry you are feeling bad about things. It's always hard to hear that our kids are struggling. Here are my suggestions...

First, ask the teacher why you haven't been told of these problems before. We can't help our kids if we don't realize they're struggling.

Second, ask the school to test her for dyslexia and any other learning disabilities. They have to test her if you ask for it.

Thirdly, let them keep her after school for tutoring from now until school is out. After that time they should have the other testing done too. Don't make any decisions on holding her back until then. The school can't hold her back if you don't want them to. She can always go for help after school next year too if she still needs it.

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K.G.

answers from Dallas on

look into sylvan learning center kumon or another co. that specailizes in education enrichment and tutoring. Also talk to the school counselor and RULE out any learning issues ex: dyslexia/vision/processing issues / problems etc... a professional will need to help you in those areas and will not be able to be corrected with tutoring at home.If she does still need to repeat 1st grade see if there is another neighboring school she can go to for 1st grade so it is a different setting in which she doesn't need to worry about her friends who are moving to 2nd and seeing them everyday.

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J.H.

answers from Amarillo on

When they are still in the first grade it doesn't bother the child so much (just the parents ) for them to be held back, and if she catches up and will be with the rest of the kids she will feel better about herself, than always being behind in her classes. She may just have a special reading problem, they have programs for that, that help them get over it, and I assume her eyes have been checked.. If you don't make a big deal of being held back in front of your child, she probably won't care so much, and it may be a big step up in helping her catch up.

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L.F.

answers from Dallas on

C.,

I'm sorry you're going through this, I know it's hard. I would definitely enroll her in the afterschool tutoring and saturday school. I would also set aside time every single evening to practice her spelling words for the week. Also make sure you review her homework every night for accuracy. And of course, make reading part of your nightly routine. If she continues to struglle you might want to check into testing to see if she has any learning differences like dyslexia that could be causing her problems.

Don't beat yourself up over this, you're obviously and loving and concerned mom and I'll know you'll do what is right for your daughter.

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V.S.

answers from Dallas on

I would immediatly set up an appointment with a principal. I would be asking questions about what is available to help your child. I would suggest that I was a bit shocked that the thought of her being held back is being thrown around without discussion with you first.

Is she in reading recovery? Is her work already remediated? Has she been tested for dyslexia? These are services that your school BY LAW has to provide if your child qualifies for them. Even if there is not a dyslexia specialist on campus, they have to bring one to campus or train one if they have a child with that need. You need a diagnostician involved. Don't go in mad, go in with the idea that your daughter may not be getting the help she needs and you need help to get her that help.

If they are being glib and your teacher doesn't want to tell you that this is a social issue, then you need to get to the root of it. Is your daughter extremely immature? Is she the youngest in her class? Is she actually managing school alright or is she always overwhelmed, in tears, or non-participatory? Has she made friends, real friends? Ask for another conference with her teacher. Ask these questions too.

For this to come out of left field is strange. Have you not been seeing the notes/grades/concerns because they weren't there or because you didn't want to see them? If they weren't there, if this is the first you've heard of problems serious enough to hold your daughter back, then I think you have a teacher who is seriously out of line. If you have been refusing to hear it, then you need to start asking the school for information about your options. You need to let them know you are not sure you are on board with holding her back and ask them how they are helping your child with her specific needs.

If they don't cooperate/offer different options, you need to get someone who specializes in this sort of issue to go to the next meeting with you.

VickiS

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hello C.. You did not let your daughter down. Keep working with her and the teacher. BTW, it seems the teacher wants to help. If you have the time do the extra tutoring too. Also, work with her daily may be 15-20 mins on weekdays. I am in a similar situation, and we may be encountering a learning disability or ADD. Not sure yet, but doing research and working with teacher. The important thing is to ask QUESTIONS, if you dont like the answer, write down the info, and hit the internet. Your are your child's advocate. You may want to check into summer school programs too. Also, get with your pediatrician, maybe there may be a medical concern. Either way, hang in there. Don't give up. JC in Mckinney

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E.C.

answers from Dallas on

I have not had this issue yet; however, I am sure that you are not alone. This is just one teachers opinion anyway. Maybe you could work with her on her spelling and she will improve by the end of the year. If not, it really will not be the end of the world if she is held back. It actually might be better for her in the long run. She probably just learns differently than others. It probably would have been nice if if he would have touched base with you throughout the year verses waiting until now to tell you. I would have appreciated someone alerting me a while back so that I could be aware of the issue and have longer to work on it. Anyway, good luck to you!! I am sure that you are a fantastic mom - don't worry about this slight setback. It will not harm your child for life.

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I agree with Steph's response.

Being held back in the lower grade is not that big of a deal and a lot of people do it. It can benefit your daughter for the rest of her school years.

Yes, it is hard to take that information from the teachers but they are trying to help you and your daughter. It does not mean you are a failure.....it is ok....a lot of kids need an extra year to fully grasp what is needed.

Again....I hate to mention this as well but....Like, Steph....check out the website she mentioned. I read through your previous responses and they are similar. This first grade retention might help you both.

Best of luck.

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J.H.

answers from Dallas on

Do not take this personally! You must do what's best for her, and it has nothing to do with you letting her down. I have never known anyone to regret having their child repeat a grade, however I've known several who have regretted not doing it. You do not want her to have to struggle the rest of her school years just to keep up. Always missing recess to finish work, tutoring, etc. They would not suggest she repeat if they didn't think she was smart, and would benefit from this. Please listen to the teachers, and take their advice. If you were not her mother and emotionally involved, you would not think twice about doing what they suggest. Hang in there, and do what is best for your baby!

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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

C.,

You still have some time, if your child doesnt have a leaning disability you will be amazed at how much progress she can have in a few months if you are consistently helping her. My first grader has also had some challenges with reading, her spelling is really good but she has not picked up reading as fast as some of the other children, I was told that children are usually not held back for one subject if they are doing really well in everything else. For the last two months I have been a slave to her spelling and reading every night. It is a labor of love but I can see she is progressing. The biggest thing is to try not to frustrate your child, make it fun and do it often. In the end if she needs to repeat it wont be the end of the world, however if you think you can change the schools perspective in the next few months by committing to tutoring and extra work, you should do it. You will also have the summer to get her to where she needs to be. I think the school will probably work with you if they see your concern and commitment to her learning. good luck.

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C.P.

answers from Dallas on

Hello C.,

make sure your daughter does not have dyslexia or dysgraphia. sometimes is very hard to detect. don't give up! I have my 1st grader write/trace the words 2 or 3 times every day. does her spelling gets worse when she's congested? if she's sounding out the words and she's congested then she'll spell them wrong (my daughter does that) I'm trying to get her speech evaluated. Good luck! ~C.~

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D.T.

answers from Dallas on

That's a tough one. The teacher does have your child's best interest at heart. If you live in Garland ISD you have choice of school and I would probably move my kid to another school next year if I felt it was going to be hard on her repeating the same grade. Not because of the school or teacher but just a different environment for her. Although, she's young enough that she probably won't even remember it and she'll just be one of the older kids in the grades to come which may not be so bad either. Read to her and do flash cards. Make it a nightly game. Give her stickers to put on a chart when she gets so many right. Good luck!

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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

Don't let this get you down. My son stayed back in the first grade and it was the best thing for him. My son is ADHD and has motor skill dyslexia. You may want to have your daughter tested for dyslexia. It is best for the child to find out if they have a learning disablitly (I hate to use that word) early on in order to get them the help they need so that they can excel in school. My son is on medication now after trying diets, natural remedies and I work with him on his writing. Don't get discourged, your daughter will not be the first to repeat a grade or the last. Good luck.

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A.M.

answers from Wichita Falls on

Has your daughter been tested for dyslexia or any other types of learning disabilities? I understand not wanting to hold back your daughter, but think about how much easier it will be for her to repeat first grade instead of 7th grade.

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D.D.

answers from Dallas on

Dear C. P,

I've already said a prayer for you and your daughter. Please know, if the school does hold your daughter back, it won't hurt her. It might actually be the best thing that could happen to her. If the school feels it is for her benefit, it probably is, and you should not feel like a failure or feel responsible in any way. Some children simply learn differently than others.

Maybe this summer, you should enroll her in Silvan (or something similar). It's very possible they could bring her up to the level of her other classmates, so her school won't have to hold her back. If the school does have to hold her back, please don't take it personally, and don't let her know that it bothers you. If she notices that you are concerned about it, she too will feel bad about it. Approached correctly, it could be a very positive thing for your daughter. You don't want her going through school struggling to stay up with everyone else and, as a result, feeling like a failure. You want her to feel successful.

Please help her do whatever is necessary to feel good about herself. You too need to feel good about yourself. You can do both by getting your daughter whatever help she needs.

Take care of yourself while caring for her, and don't "beat yourself up" over anything. I'm sure you are doing your best, and it's obvious that you love your daughter! That's the very most important thing--that she knows how much you love her and how important she is to you.

Stay strong,

Deb D

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N.H.

answers from Dallas on

Remember to remove yourself and do what is best for her and not you. It si so much easier to stay back now instead of 5th/6th grade or be teh kids who has to struggle so hard inhigh school when you know she is so bright and just need a little extra time in elementary school. You may want to meet with the counselor. Or even have her tested so that you feel better about it. My sister pushed her son into k when he was 5 but a young and immature 5. We all tried to talk to her about it and finally 1/2 way thru she pulled him out. He attend the following year. He never knew the difference and is at the top of his class and loves school. Take your time.

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M.P.

answers from Dallas on

I completely understand where you are coming from. I was in the same situation several years ago. My daughter's birthday is late August, so when her teacher started to talk to me about the difficulties she was having the question came 'is this due to lack of maturity or a deeper problem'? We had her tested, she is dyslexic and ADD. Then the decision came of what is the next step with one option of having her repeat the first grade. It was a difficult decision but when it came down to it her dad and I discussed her long term situation and decided it would be best for her to repeat the first grade. We came to this conclusion after considering many things:
first - she is the one who has to do the work and endure the struggle.
second - by holding her back during her early years, the impcat on her would be less. By this, I mean that she did not have time to make longterm friends; it would be less noticable to her that her classmates moved on to another grade and she stayed behind; as time passes she would forget that she was held back.
third - we wanted to give her every opportunity to succeed so by holding her back she would not only repeat lessons she already had, by her having less struggle and better grades would improve her confidence and she would see that she could do the work.

My daughter is now a sophomore and soon to be a junior next year. As we originally thought, she does not mention anything about being behind a year. That extra year did help her confidence. This, along with getting her the necessary help for her dyslexia she is an A-B student. Though it was a diffult decision, holding her back and holding her back early was the best decision her dad and I made for her.

The thing to remember is to put you daughter first and think of long term. I am sure you are doing everything you can but don't feel that by having her repeat the first grade you are letting her down. Letting her down would be if you did nothing and she continues to struggle more and more at each grade level.

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M.D.

answers from Dallas on

Chritina,
My son had issues with reading too. His 2nd grade teacher suggested he might be a kinesthetic learner (learns by touch) instead of the typical visual (looking and writing words over and over) and auditory (phonetics) learners the schools typically teach too. Try pouring sugar in a cookie sheet and let her spell the words with her finger-tip or put shaving cream on the shower wall and let her spell while she's taking a bath. That helped him, but what really helped him turn the corner was the reading intervention program at school (I think it's called Title X - and the kids are taken out of class).

Since your daughter is not behind in the other subjects, I would argue with the school that she has a learning disability vs immaturity, etc. that would warrant her being held behind. We were forutunate that our school automatically put our son in the program, but I've heard on the net that sometimes you really have to be an advocate for your child and INSIST that the school spends the $$ on services to help your child. Another thing is a teacher is frowned on if they suggest testing for learning disabilities since it costs $$, but the school will typically do it if a parent requests it.

If tutoring is only going to be practice, practice, practice, you need to argue against that...you need to make sure they're using different teaching approaches to help her (including ones for dyslexia).

Best of luck to both of you.

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

You have received a lot of good advice. Definitely have her go to tutoring. Sometimes a different approach from someone other than the regular teacher can make something "click" for a child. When my children were having some problems with spelling, I labled just about every object in the house with a printed word - for example, I taped a paper with the word "table" onto the table, the word "door" onto the door, etc. Even if these are not her spelling words, it might help her understand the relationship between letters, words, and objects. A few months of tutoring can certainly make a difference. Also talk with the counselor, as suggested, about testing. If she is still 6, she may just need some more time. But if she is really struggling, holding her back now is the right time. It's much easier in first grade than in the higher grades, emotionally and socially. First grade is a major part of the foundation for her entire education. You know your child -do what you think is truly in her best interest. My grandson repeated kindergarten this year and was relieved, because he was not ready for first grade. Now he has blossomed and is reading and doing very well!

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S.P.

answers from Dallas on

first off, it is not just you and your daughter...there are many friends who are willing to walk with you as a single mom. Being held back in first grade is not the end of the world...but I do think you need more info than spelling. ARe there other indicators that she would benefit from repeating the grade, like social issues, like not working up to grade level in subjects other than spelling? Ask more questions. Write down what the teacher/counselor tell you. Then you have something to work with. Ask for a end of year evaluation. And then get busy and work with her in all areas that they mention between now and the end of the year. Even if the decision is to repeat the year, she will be light years ahead in the problem areas if YOU have worked with her. Do not make it drudgery, but rather a thing that the two of you can do together with ample rewards(doing something special with you), even stickers, etc. And lastly, do not beat up yourself over not helping her in the past. Maybe this all came about because she has a learning difference that you can get help for her at a very early age and help her to be an overcomer! But you must take on a winner's attitude yourself to pass that on to her. You can do this! You are her MOM....her most prized possession! Blessings,

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.,
I am a mother of 4 (2nd gr, 1st gr, 4 yrs and 2 yrs) and a speech pathologist. If your daughters difficulties are only in the areas of spelling and using the words, I would recommend that the SLP at the school test her for language difficulties. She may also need to be tested for Dyslexia (she sees the letters backwards or out of order). They usually don't test for that until 2nd grade. I would recommend that you take her to the tutoring as well. If your daughter is one of the younger kids in class with a summer birthday, she just might need the extra help to help her catch up. I'm not sure that she needs to take 1st grade again without getting the areas I mentioned tested first. Good luck. I hope this helps a little.

M.D.

answers from Dallas on

C.,
If you don't want your child to repeat the 1st grade than work with her. I know this takes a lot of time to do, however, it will be worth it in the end. Make it fun for her too, go to the dollar store have her pick out 3-4 books. Read one book to her, then have her read it back, when she gets stuck help her. Let her try to sound out the words. PROVE to her teacher that she doesn't need to be held back. There are still two months of school left, this is your chance to see how she's doing as well as see if she needs to stay back or not. Once you know she can read those books, go get some more. Make them easy and gradually get harder ones. I believe you just need to spend one-on-one time with her. Shut off the TV, make a menu out for dinner meals so you can have them done, and read every night for at least one hour. Break it up if you have too, but make sure you spend one hour every night, more on the weekend, working with your daughter, I know you'll see an improvement. Don't get frustrated either, you may have to read the book to her a few times before she starts catching on. Of course she's going to memorize the story but she will start to associate words. You have to put in the time, don't search anymore on the internet, spend quality one-on-one time. That's what she needs.
God Bless,

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D.S.

answers from Dallas on

C. keep your head up. First,you need to know that you have not failed your child in any way. Im just shocked that you are getting this news at the end of the year. If the teacher would have come to you when the situation began maybe you couldve had it under control by now. At this point you cant really say if it is medical or if she just needs extra help. I know you will do whatever you can to make the best decision for your child. God bless you.

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P.I.

answers from Dallas on

hello.i was wondering if you could talk to the school counselor and have your daughter tested. my oldest son is in 8th grade and has a comprehension problem since elementary. i held him back in 1st grade thought it would help but we still struggle. the resource or special ed teacher can test her to see if she is having any problems. if she is then with the IEP her work can be modified. i know it makes you feel as though you have failed your daughter but if she is having a problem then you are not failing her. but i do advise get her tested and go from there. just wondering does she have a hard time saying any letters? if she has a learning problem being patient is the only thing i can say. it isn't easy when you feel they should know what to do with out having to explain it 500 times. i wish you the best and your daughter also.

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M.P.

answers from Dallas on

Flash cards. She should be practicing at home alot. But you can make it fun. Hide the cards around the house and have her read them to you as she finds them. Make double the cards and play a game of memory where she can only turn over two cards at a time and she is trying to make matches. Get her a dry erase board and you and her can practice spelling them together (she tells you a word to write and you write it and then switch and you tell her one - this gets her to read and write them and she's spending time with you at the same time! win-win!!) Maybe she could invite a friend over after school to study their spelling words together. Good luck!!

-From one first grade mommy to another- : )

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J.J.

answers from Dallas on

I agree with the others. The teacher has your daughter's best interests at heart. Be sure you are reading to her a lot at home. Try to get her to play with educational toys and games. The important thing now for you is to be sure she doesn't feel bad and start to dislike school. Make learning fun, but make it a part of your every day routine! God bless.

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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

Sweetie, reading is the key for children to succeed in school. Try "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons". It tells you exactly what to say.

Holding her back is not terrible. She may even do better because she will have more maturity. I was older than my peers and had a better grip on life. My husband has a friend with two kids and he held both back on purpose and they are doing fantastic. She will also be better in sports and other activities by being older.

If you do not want her to be held back, take her to Silvan and have her caught up. Not sure the cost. The book I recommended is about $25.

Purchase level 1-3 reading books or go to the library and have her read every night. Even a handicap person with an IQ of 70 can learn to read. She just missed something or the reading time needed to practice was not there.
~~~~~
What ever you do - never criticize her and always promote her skills with great praise. It is not the child's fault the lessons were not learned. If it weren't for home reading I am not sure how kids can learn in public school. So much social aspects to deal with even in elementary school.
~~~~~
PS: Mom, possibly consider additional education for yourself. The junior colleges offer reading, writing for adults. This will also help you to help her. If she sees you working on this she will have a great example to follow!

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G.A.

answers from Dallas on

You have all this year and next summer to work with her. I failed 3rd grade and my mom made me read every day and do some flash cards and after I was held back they put me up with a mixed 3 and 4 grade class. I am dyslexic but years ago they did not understand that. I thought I was listening to all the instructions and it blew me away in Jr high when I looked around and everyone was doing something and I never heard the teacher say anything about doing anything. But it has taken me years to understand what I have to work on, that others just get it. For instance I am very careless where I park my car and what entrance I enter into a store or mall. I spend hours looking for my car. My kids just knew. So once I had a yellow ball on the top of the antenna and that helped me. I have a sign in my rear window now and that helps but just being aware of the problem helps us solve them. So as far as your child, she may need more help on the sounds or letters. Once she gets phonics she will understand sounding out words. Get some learning tools at teachers tools and work with her. I have a ton if kids I work with in my day care. The two yr olds know more then a 5 yr old I am sure is dyslexic too. Each child seems to not be interested in learning until they start to learn then it becomes fun. Once they start learning they never want to quit. I find repeating over and over little things sinks in. Also they found that autistic children and children that learning is hard, singing helps. So sing her words to her. Sound them out and read together. Have her point to like all the words that are say "at" or "be" something that is in it a lot. Read then say what is that word? She will get it. We all do not mature at the same level is why it is a wonder why we even have grades. But we do. So just keep working with her. Several times a day spend that time to go over her words. My granddaughter wanted to read so bad she took out a Bible and carried it around and finally she just reads. She told me in the first grade she read all of the Bible and when I told her ok lets read it. I asked about the hard words and she said she skipped over them. LOLO You can do this and she will go ahead and be successful in it. Ps. I never worked with my children and feel guilty about it. Single struggling and stressed out. Now get to do it with other children and find it so much I missed when mine were small. God Bless G. W

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K.P.

answers from Dallas on

C.,

If you have a computer or can use a friends, check out spellingcity.com it is a great site that helps kids with their spelling. You can save spelling list, play games with the words, etc. God bless you.

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.,
Don't beat yourself up over this. The teacher was probably giving you advice to help your daughter be more successful in her school career. Not every child is ready to move on to the next grade and a caring teacher may make a recommendation to have them repeat a grade until they get all the basics. Otherwise they can get further and further behind and become very frustrated. Does your school have a reading specialist? Does your daughter spend some time with this person? Some individual time might help. Also, have you had your daughter tested for learning disabilities? Problems with word patterns and letter patterns can be a form of dyslexia. My daughter (who is going to graduate from college this year) had a terrible time with spelling and reading. A wise teacher suggested we get her tested and she had mild dyslexia. With some tutoring and some adjustments, she has been very successful in her later school career. The school can do that testing for you, but I would also suggest you contact the Shine Hospital in Dallas. They provide testing and consultations for several learning disabilities. And they are experts in this field. All of their services are provided free of charge, but the wait list is often long, so you might want to begin the process.
Good luck --Keep reading to (and with) your daughter so she develops a love of reading. It is fine to keep reading favorite books over and over.

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi, I am a certified teacher and have a tutoring business. www.acceleratekids.com. If you go there, email me and I will see if I can help you get this situation sorted out. Try not to be upset. I'm sure it is a situation that can be remedied. You need someone with public school experience to help you get a handle on what her exact problem is. Once that is done, we can get a solution underway to help her out!

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