Reading is not natural. The reading process should be taught in a systematic way. If any of the steps are skipped, then students may develop reading difficulties.
50% of children will learn how to read without knowing all the rules and phonetic components. However, at some point, some of them will start to have trouble reading. This usually happens when words start to have more syllables or if the word is unfamiliar.
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Students who have not had the reading fundamentals taught or do not have good word decoding skills will start having reading problems in the 4th, 5th or 6th grade. This happens because the subject matter becomes a little more difficult and beyond their ability to decode words.
When this happens, some students begin to hate reading like Sam did. Read Sam's story.
About 25% of children will struggle with reading right away. These are children who have little or no phonemic awareness. That is being aware of the sounds of letters. This is the first step in the reading process.
A rich language environment is very important to help develop phonemic awareness. The more a child hears our language spoken, from birth onward, the better her phonemic awareness will be developed.
Having the TV on 12 hours a day isn't the same as having adults in conversation with children so they can hear how our language sounds. Having the TV tuned to Sesame Street isn't the same thing as a parent reading to their child.
Movies, television, and other media sources will help your child develop her phonemic awareness. However, interaction with siblings, parents and other adults is the best way to help her develop a language rich environment.
How do you know when the child is ready to start being taught beginning reading skills? When they start asking you what letters are or ask you to read a sign to them.
The middle of the road students are the children who will start to read right away but will also struggle. The teacher would probably put these students in a middle reading group.
The problem here is that these children are reading just good enough not to get the extra help they need. These students will probably struggle with reading even after the 4th grade. They will not become life-long readers.
It doesn't matter what group your child falls into. What matters is that they are being taught how to read in the proper order.
Like sports, there are fundamentals that every child should learn when learning to read. If a student appears to know how to read, then teachers often ignore or gloss over the important fundamentals of the reading process.
The reading process should be taught in a sequential, systematic way. The only way that I recommend that reading be taught is by the Orton-Gillingham method.
There are many programs that teach reading this way. Some of these programs, even though they are based on the O-G method, fall short of my approval. Some of the programs contain just enough Orton-Gillingham components that they are recognized as phonics.
Learning to read is an individual act. Teaching the reading process should be individualized as much as it can be. This is impossible within a classroom setting. Every child learns differently, at different rates, and with different styles.
Some children will be able to listen to the teacher and "get it." Other children will need to be more hands on with what they are learning. This can be done with multi-sensory phonics. Some children will not only need the hands on with what they are learning but they will need to repeat it over and over before they "get it."
Most homeschool parents that I have helped realized that their child was not learning to read after their first year. I have taught home school parents how to teach their learning disabled child how to read. You can too! Go to Steps to Reading.
Many parents can learn to teach their children how to read. BUT since a LD child needs to learn reading in a specialized order, and in a certain manner, a reading specialist or a reading coach may be the best substitute for the parent.
If you need a coach or a reading specialist, contact me. I can set up classes with you and your child using Skype and the internet. Call Rene at 785-845-1201 between 8am and 10pm CST (central standard time) for a FREE CONSULTATION. Leave Reading Process;
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