Now that's he's reading.. now what?


Feb 11 2006, 03:03 AM
When do we actually start "reading" books?
Zachary has really picked up in reading (I'm sure if I looked through this thread, I'd see where I was posting worries about his not reading not too long ago) Well he is reading and doing pretty good at it!! Tonight he read "Ziploc" and it amazed me!! LOL I know, not a big step but I'm so new to this (Zachary is my first) so I'm at a lost as to when to call it "reading" I feel he is just now "reading" since he is sounding out words pretty good?? I've heard others claim reading when they know the sounds of the letters as reading, who knows?

I know it all takes practice and we are going VERY slowly through the McGuffy Primer, Should I let him read 1 page and go on or make him read the pages over and over until he reads them quickly? The first page is "A cat and a rat. A rat and a cat." and that is it, next page adds a few words and so on. Right now we start with page 1 and read all the way to the review (which is 6 pages or so) then next day we do the same, start with page 1 and read to the review. Maybe do this on a week basis or let him move on daily as long as he sounds out each word correctly? This is pretty much the first book he has ever read so I think he's doing pretty good. I have TONS of the little phonics books and beginning reader books but he had NO interest in them at all and only read *maybe* 3 of them. He hasn't been over joyed with reading but day by day he's getting use to the idea of reading daily. Anyway, what do I do?

Feb 11 2006, 08:33 AM
It sounds like you are doing pretty well. My two girls learned to read together and one of
them is a very strong reader and the other one only reads when she is curious. I kept
stressing to them that reading is like riding a bike or something and that you have to
practice to get good at it. Now they stay up until 11:00 pm or so reading and talking all night's cute. My girls are doing second grade work.
I would keep him reading like you are.....enough review to keep him at it and some new stuff
to challenge him. I think it is important to let them read what they will be very easy
but it reinforces what they are learning. It is also important to keep the
learning going.
I put all those easy readers I had out where my girls could get to them easily......on the
coffee table, in their rooms, in the bathroom, etc. They never read all of them...but they did
peruse them fairly often. I think just having them around and accessible helped.
Now I need to get my 5 year old Eli reading......
Congratulations, by the way!!! You've made a reader! Way to go!!

Feb 11 2006, 12:00 PM
I agree w/ Pam....saturate your home w/reading material; above, at, and below his current
reading level. Maybe entice him w/ a trip to the library or bookstore. Sometimes they're
more apt to read something they've picked out...sometimes not. Follow your child's lead on
how much to read.

Feb 11 2006, 12:06 PM
I will give Pam a third "yay". Great advice.
Saturating your home with good stuff is a great idea too. Oh, and ask your child to find
words in the the Glad bags or other containers with labels. We used to drive now
the road and I would ask my girls to read as many signs as they could to me. It was like a
game. Fun.
Congratulations! How exciting!!!!

Feb 11 2006, 12:26 PM
I just wanted to add, we do have books EVERY where!! lol We have 2 FULL book shelves in
this room (our school room), a full one in the kitchen and a full one in the front room. We
even have 1 filing cabinet drawer full and in alphabetical order (The ones in the filing cabinet
are the beginner reader ones) He has full access to them but just doesn't care much to get
them out and read them. Maybe they are too babyish for him?
I was thinking last night after I posted, maybe if we took more TV time away, he'd have
nothing else to do but read?? LOL Did that ever work for anyone? We are using the Robinson
Curriculum so reading isn't going to be something to pick from, it's going to be a MUST!
Anyway, I just wanted to mention that we do have TONS of books (I live at half price books
sometimes!) and never walk out with less than $50 worth of clearance books ($1 or less
each) But like yall said, maybe I need to let him pick some out so he feels they are HIS. (I
usually go by myself cause I like to spend hours just going thru the clearance) He's always
excited to see the new loot but that's about as far as the excitement goes. But maybe it will
be different now that he actually knows how to read? Anyway, thanx for the advice!

Feb 15 2006, 10:10 PM
Sorry for the lateness of this reply. I hadn't seen it a few days back. And I apologize (after just finishing this note) for the extreme lenght, but I had alot to say (hopefully helpful). Anyway, I'm using a curriculum similar to Robinson. It's A2. I debated Robinson but chose A2 instead. It sounds like you are doing fine. I personally define reading as when a child can sound out (or sight read) a series of sentences and demonstrate comprehension of what they have read. In terms of books, I have alot of the leveled readers Step 1-4's. The step 1's worked really well in the beginning. They were high interest and easy to read. I also went with a phonics based series called Dr. Maggie's. Again, High interest story books that are progressive. Initially my two (twins) didn't like to read books either. And in the beginning, I didn't do anything about it, other than ensure we did our daily reading lessons. But once I knew they were reading fairly well, (see above), I began instilling a "policy" that if they wanted me to read books to them before bedtime, then they had to read at least one book to me during the day (in addition to lessons). Sometimes they would choose a real simple book. But they have gradually begun to choose more appropriate levels. We also would do shared reading (I read a page, then each of the kids would read a page). We would do this most often with books we've read many times before, like the Dr. Seuss ones.

One thing you can do to speed the reading along a bit is to include the dolch sight words into your lessons. I don't like the sight word method, but it's still important for children to know these words. I made them sound out all the words and then if they didn't sound they way they looked, I would let them know. "Great! You sounded it out correctly. But this word is an exception. It actually says___". That way, I knew they were using their phonics but also learning their sight words. I'd put checks on the back of each card whenever they could read a word immediately. After three checks, the card was put away. I started with about 10 cards. And grouped them based on high frequency and word families. I eventually went up to 25 word card stacks, adding new as others were learned. This added only about 10 minutes to each child's reading lesson but really helped in their reading, as so many more words were readily accessible to them when reading stories. You can get the sight words on the internet through an engine search. There are many sites that have documents all set to print as word cards. The dolch list is split into K-3rd grade but I didn't follow that. I based it on words they would need to use most often and ones that could be grouped together. There is a website that has extended "important words" lists that we are going through now. There's alot more words per grade level. It may sound like overkill, but I'm a firm believer that learning to read is THE most important aspect of being successful in academics and in the world.

We are also using McGuffey. But we started with "100 easy lessons to teach your child to read" first. Then we went on to the primer and 1st reader. For the Mc Guffey's, we went through them quickly because most of the primer and and about half of the 1st were review from 100 ez lessons. So we would do about 5 lessons a day and move on. When the kids had trouble with more words per lesson, then we slowed to 1-3 lessons a day. There is so much review of the words in the mcguffeys. All previous words are used repeatedly in subsequent lessons, I haven't worried about doing the lessons more than once. Sometimes if my son had a hard time with a particular story, I would have him repeat it the next day. I also would make both of them repeat a sentence for smoother fluency if they had to sound out too many words. This hasn't happened very much in the Mcguffey's because it's been alot of review. But it happened often in 100 ez lessons. BTW, I have twin boy and girl. My dd has finished the 1st reader and caught on to reading very easily. She's having some trouble with multi-syllable words but is other wise doing very well. My son took longer to catch on and we went slower with him in the beginning. He's almost done with the 1st reader. After he's done, we will spend alittle time reading regular books (dd has been doing this for a couple months now) and then start the 2nd reader. Starting with the 2nd reader, I may instill a two day per lesson plan as the content is more advanced and stories alot longer (sound out words aloud, read story silently on first day. review words and read alound story on second day). I still haven't decided though. One other thing I have done with the Mcguffey readers and now with dd in the regular books is I set up a vocabulary notebook. They each have their own notebooks. I write down any word they have trouble sounding out in context (at this stage, trouble means if they have to literally sound out each letter or if they just to an uneducated guess. If they can quickly sound it out by reading clusters: pl-ay-gr-ound, that's acceptable). Once the word is written down, it's reviewed daily until they can recognize it easily on two consecutive days. If they cannot recognize it easily, they have to sound it out. So while I don't have them repeat the lessons, I still know they are reviewing the trouble words.
Sorry so long but I hope this helps...

Feb 15 2006, 10:27 PM
Oh wow, thanx, that was very helpful!!..
Now to reply to it.. LOL j/k
Ok I just had to reread through my first post cause I couldn't remember.... I do not like the sight words because I did not want them to know them without know how to sound them out (like the look say method I guess?) but the way you explained it sounds great! I'll have them do that instead, I've gone back and forth and we've run into "sight words" and I'm stuck on "what do I do!!" so that will take care of that problem and get us moving on with reading!

That sounds like a good idea with the McGuffeys too, we'll move on instead of going over each page a million times because it is all repetitive. I didn't make him even read today because I can tell he's getting tired of it (a lot was going on today too, dh stayed home from work, so I ran to the office depot to get school stuff.. I wasn't *here* so kids didn't do school

We have never been able to stick with anything on phonics, right now we are trying out Starting at Square one (by AVKO) I have a ton of phonics books (Alpha Phonics etc) but the kids get bored with them so fast, maybe I'm going TOO slow for them? I tend to want to repeat everything to make sure they get it but maybe I need to just move on and let them learn it that way. The way I do it, it'll take us 25 yrs to finish school

Anyway, thanks for all the ideas, I'm going to make sight words now (I have tons of lists of sight words saved on my computer LOL)


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