|Words from the |
dolch word list
Unlike our daughter, our son was a public schooled student from K through part of 3rd grade, so he had plenty of time to learn their methods. With the exception of really horrible handwriting, he was an A student through the school system. It came as quite a shock when he came home and I realized how many pieces were missing from his education. Both he and I were incredibly frustrated by what seems like a waste of his time in the public school system. Your experience may be different.
With regard to reading, the issues were varied and seemed unconnected at first: he could read above grade level, but he hated it with a passion and would cry when asked. His comprehension with fiction was incredibly poor (an example: after reading a sentence like this, "The girl in the red bathing suit went to the pool.", he would get caught up in the color of the bathing suit and forget the rest of the sentence.), although it seemed decent with non-fiction. He would replace words while reading (saying "hopping" instead of "hoping") and changing the entire context of what he was reading. He hated recounting stories of any sort because he couldn't remember what he had read, even if he had just read it, and even if the reading assignment was short.
I did a websearch for this, and the information I found was little, scattered, and sometimes hard to add together. Eventually I came to the following conclusion (and I refuse to quantify this with research, because I have none and won't pretend it's definitely true): our son could not hold two pictures in his head simultaneously. In other words, he couldn't see the picture of the word AND run the 'movie' of the action at the same time. I had a conversation with my son, and discovered he wasn't running the movie at all. I did find information that sight readers can have poor comprehension, that they often replace words while reading, and that they often hate reading. To me, we were dealing with a phonics issue, so we tackled it as such.
When the Blend Phonics program was over, we began with Aesop's fables. I would read the fable one sentence at a time and have him repeat it back to me. Then I read one fable at a time and asked him to summarize.
|Geronimo Stilton |
was the break-out series
for our son
We finally hit on a series he likes: Geronimo Stilton. It is below grade level, but all I care about is that for the first time, he really loved reading. There is a huge collection of those books, as well, so we won't run out of titles before he gets bored with them. I also think a big part of reading for pleasure is reading something that is a bit below reading level (I CAN read college textbooks just fine, but I would never do it for fun).