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Tigermom
Tigermom asks:
Q:

What can my son use to help himself in picking up on word sounds?

My son has a problem with sounding out some words- What ever he hears he writes what he hears. And when he reads- if he stops he will start all over at the beginning - I'm to the end of my rope . please help if you can.THANKS!
In Topics: Helping my child with reading
> 60 days ago

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Expert

BarbK
Mar 11, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

I'm glad to hear you are reading with your son.  I see why you are concerned.  Since I don't know how old he is, some of my suggestions may work better than others.

First I would have his hearing tested.  It might be a physical problem and once correct he might pick up reading very quickly.  Also and eye examine may also be in order to rule out that he can see the letters.

Phonemic Awareness is the educational term for sound play.  Make sure he can do this easily.  You can recite nursery rhymes, read Dr. Seuss books or other rhyming books and rhyming poems.  Read the first part and see if your son can finish the sentence.  When talking about objects ask him what sound does it begin with.  For example, if you are looking at a "can", he would say /c/ - not naming the letter just the sound.  Then ask him about ending sounds.  Make it more of a game.  There is a short test called the Yopp-Singer that either you can give your son or ask your school's reading coach to administer it. (See link below)  Phonemic awareness should be mastered by second grade.

Phonics is the next step.  It is matching the letter sound with the letter representation.  This can be a natural extension of the "game" above.  Going back to our example above, after asking him the sound at the beginning of "can" and his says /c/, ask him what letter makes a /c/ sound.  Play this game with the consonants and then the vowel - both short and long.

Since you've said he gets stuck on certain words, I would practice the high-frequency sight words.  These are the most common words and many of them can not be sounded out.  He really needs to be able to recognize them automatically.  There are two sets of lists to use (pick one) they are about the same.  (See link below)  Print out the list starting with the first grade level and continue until he misses five in a row.  Master that list and then move on to the next.

When your son stops and then goes back to reread the sentence, he is doing that in order to make sense of what he is reading.  He is working hard - sounding out words and trying to comprehend.  Once he knows those sight words he will only stop in order to sound out those words he doesn't know.  This will help with his fluency.

Finally, continue to read aloud to him.  Find a favorite spot and curl up with a good book and read, read, read.  By you modeling will make a big difference.  Kids are never too old to read a story to.

Hope this helps.  Good luck!
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Additional Answers (2)

MrsReading
MrsReading , Child Professional, Teacher, Parent writes:
Hi Tigermom,

I don't know the age of your son but I am guessing around 6 or 7? If this is the case you may want to try and do some interactive writing with him:
1) Have him draw a picture of anything he'd like.
2) Talk about his drawing and construct a short sentence together. EX: "This is a big tree."
3) Write the sentence interactively. In other words, he writes the letters for the sounds he hears and you add in the ones he doesn't hear or that are silent. Make sure you sound the words out slowly and really enunciate the sounds for him. Also, remember to have him read it back to you, pointing carefully to each word. Eventually he'll get the idea and the two of you will have a nice little memento of working together!
> 60 days ago

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MrsReading
MrsReading , Child Professional, Teacher, Parent writes:
Hi Tigermom,

It is good for him to write what he hears. You can praise him for his efforts and then correct him by saying, "I know it sounds like a __ but in this case it's a __, you just have to remember it."

As far as repeating back to the beginning when reading, this is not a bad thing. It shows that he realizes he's gotten tangled up and is going back to gather up meaning and speed while thinking about what that tricky word may be.

Don't be at the end of your rope! The things he's doing (if he is 6 or 7) are things that good readers and writers do as they are learning.
> 60 days ago

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