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lawanz
lawanz asks:
Q:

My seven year old read very slow.

How can I help improve his reading? I read with him every night he is improving a little but not to whee he needs to be. He also just work slow he tells me that when he go fast he always mess up. But his teacher dont understand that she said he should have been held back in the first grade. So now he is really worried.
In Topics: Helping my child with reading
> 60 days ago

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kat_eden
kat_eden , Parent writes:
Hi lawanz,

Sorry your son is struggling in this way. I hope a reading expert will write an answer as well but I thought I'd give you my perspective as a fellow mom of a seven year old boy.

First, I think you're doing exactly the right thing by reading with your son every night. When my son was just emerging as an independent reader, one thing he really liked was for us to take turns reading pages in a book. He'd read one whole page, and then he could "take a break" while I read the next page out loud to him. That worked really well for us.

I think it would really be a mistake to insist that your son start pushing to read "faster". If he's forced to read faster, but then can't understand or enjoy what he's reading, I think it will make him start to dislike reading which will be a huge step in the wrong direction. I think it's much more important at this age for him to gain confidence as a reader and to learn to love reading than to be a "fast" reader. That may mean reading very "easy" books (that might be on a first grader or even kindergartner's reading list). I also think it's really important that he has access to lots of books that are about things he's interested in. If he's excited to find out what happens next in the book, and he's reading at a level he's comfortable with, he'll naturally start to read faster!

I would really try not to let him stay focused on his teacher's suggestion that he should have been held back in first grade. Maybe that's true, but it doesn't mean he can't be successful in second grade!

He's lucky to have a mom like you who is so interested in his success and who is spending the time with him to help him get through this. Congrats and good luck!

Kat
> 60 days ago

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BruceDeitrickPrice
BruceDeitri... , Teacher writes:
When you say read with him, do you mean read to him, or sitting side by side? I think that's the key thing, that you both look at page together, and now and then point at letters and syllables, so he knows directionality, syllables, and then letters. Stroke the letters, stress the sounds. Also, use poetry and songs, things he can or has memorized.
> 60 days ago

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Jeanette38
Jeanette38 , Parent writes:
lawanz
Reading is a skill just like any other. And when you do not have the basic skills then for some children trying to gain the skills becomes worse than not trying. Imagine you were learning to play tennis. How motivated would you be if the ball never went over the net? It wouldn’t be much fun would it, especially if the other player was getting stressed about it.  

So the key is to relax yourself.  Find ways to have fun reading in different situations.  Reading doesn’t just have to be sitting down with a book.

If your child is struggling to read and is spending more time stumbling over the words try reading the book to the child first. Then let your child have a go at filling in some of the blanks that you leave.  Then try taking turns reading a page or line.  Make sure the book is about something that the child is really interested in. Try and find interesting facts books on a topic they enjoy such as sharks, dinosaurs or soccer.  If the subject matter is interesting then your child is more likely to want to master the skills to decode the information.

There are lots of tools available online that can support your child’s reading skills whilst they are having fun. Educational games can improve language development, word recognition or spelling. Kids usually love using the computer and game based learning can be great fun as well as educational.

Ebooks that are animated and read the story aloud as the child follows the words can present reading in a different medium which is removed from the normal associations they have with sitting down to read a book.  You can also let them master the tool themselves to develop their self confidence.  Look out for books where emerging readers can have a go themselves and click on a word to hear it spoken, an example is below.

Try playing word games, like word snap or making words out of different letters.   These can be made at home for free and introducing the fun element of play can engage a disinterested reader.

Let your child write their own stories and print them out.  You could illustrate the story using images available on the internet, from magazines or let your child draw the pictures themselves. Your child will love showing and reading their books to anyone who will listen! If your child is not a confident writer, then write or type the story out for them.  

Use different setting to read eg reading a recipe as you bake cookies, reading the instructions to a game.

My own son struggled with reading when he was your son's age. Boys are often slower than girls at picking up reading skills. So have patience, make reading activities fun and varied and I am sure he will develop his skills and develop a love of reading.
> 60 days ago

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elimama
elimama writes:
try using flash cards with words on them
> 60 days ago

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Karenmom
Karenmom writes:
It's wonderful that you read with your son, it not only helps him, it is also great quality time for the both of you.  

Speed is not as important as accuracy and comprehension.

I don't understand the comment made by the teacher, this doesn't sound very encouraging or helpful.  If he is worried and becomes anxious, it's only going to make it more difficult to reach higher achievements.  He should be praised for his efforts and encouraged to take pride in his accomplishments.  Positive reinforcement is the key to bringing out the potential in our children/students, not negative comments.

Relax, tell your son to relax and just focus on his accuracy and comprehension.  It's far better than he truly understands what he has read than it is that he reads fast.  I'm discouraged by those that want to set a page per minute pace on their children.  Reading should be fun and it's not a race.  Once reading becomes a chore, interest is lost and as we know reading and comprehension of the material is of the utmost importance that carries over into all subjects.

I've included some links that he may enjoy.  These sites encourage reading in a fun way and rewards accomplishments.  These sites are FREE and so much fun!

Best Wishes!

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ilamathi
ilamathi writes:
for me also the same problem.i am looking for advice
> 60 days ago

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yshery
yshery writes:
I have the same issue. My son is in 1st grade and reads slow but comperhence everything well above his grade level. The teacher started timing him and telling him to speed up. Which has made him make several mistakes with reading. I try to tell to slow down, take your time.  Stuck with needing to reassure him that he's doing great.
I just happen to be looking at standardize testing and sure enough 2nd graders are tested on how fast they can read. At least in Washington state.
So her motives may be to pass that test.
Not worried about the psychological damage it may be causing him and the fact it will really just slow him down.
4 days ago

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Lisa18967
Lisa18967 writes:
How To Teach Children To Read; Discover Proven Techniques Based On Child Development To Accelerate Your Child's Reading Skills
-This book starts painfully slowly, but my advice is "hold on." At first, I couldn't stand the agonizingly plodding pace. And it wasn't just impatient me. My three year old didn't see the point of saying the list of words as slowly. But we gave it a chance anyway, after all the good Amazon reviews and marketing hype on the book itself. By a quarter of the way through, we began to look forward to reading time. One small addition I made to the scripted course was to invite in stuffed animal guest teachers (see suggestion 1 below). It worked like a charm.
I love the way the parent's part is scripted. The script turns anyone who can read into a patient, supportive master teacher! I love the way all sorts of short activities make up each lesson - very balanced. Best of all is the way this book's lessons touch all the bases. They connect letter sounds with words with stories with writing and finally, with reading comprehension, the point of the whole exercise. I really appreciate the short stories and the picture from the story with discussion questions. Now that I've talked to some teachers, this balanced, comprehensive approach is a perfect way to start a child reading. It doesn't lack any aspect that they will use later, or emphasize one to the exclusion of the others.
I didn't expect the writing, but I am very happy that it's in there. I bought the book for my three year old, but I am putting my 5 year old through it too, because it is so complete and methodical.
When I first saw the phonetic alphabet, I thought it was a little strange. But my child has no trouble recognizing the joined "sh" symbol as an "s" and an "h." And the "sh" is a single sound in his mind, as are "s" and "h." The notation caused us no problem at all, and I only mention it because another reviewer found it problematic. We did not. Likewise, I wasn't disturbed by short e not being mentioned sooner. Who cares? The order presented was gradual, and as logical as any other.(Although it led to a lot of stories about ants.)
I would also offer a few suggestions:
1. If your child loves his or her stuffed animals (or Power Rangers, etc.), then you can use them to be "guest teachers." When I started with this book, I hadn't yet come up with this diversionary tactic, and sometimes working through a lesson was harder than it needed to be. With a beanie baby teaching, my three year old is far more interested in the lessons. My boy picks which animals will help each night, and then he listens intently to them. They help sound out words, rhyme, and watch him write. They are much more interesting than old Daddy, as they are allowed to have excessive personality! When it is time to find certain words in the story, my son doesn't like to just point to the requested word. He prefers to race the beanie-baby guest teacher to the words. (The beanie baby invariably loses.) When it is time to write letters, the beanie baby counts them in Spanish. And so on.
2. Check out some of the "We Both Read" books to supplement toward the end of this book. The "We Both Read" series has a complicated left page for the adult, and a simple right page for the child. You take turns reading, and continue the "reading together" experience beyond the 100 easy lessons.
So after a slow and frustrating start, which in retrospect was absolutely necessary, we both look forward to our daily reading time. We brought in the beanie babies to inject the missing element of fun. I know Matthew will have a solid foundation in all the parts of written communication, and Matthew likes the fact that his favorite stuffed animals are teaching him to read.
Five stars. Awaiting "Human Relationships in 100 Easy Lessons."
Is your child halfway through first grade and still unable to read? Is your preschooler bored with coloring and ready for reading? Do you want to help your child read, but are afraid you'll do something wrong?

 is the most successful beginning reading program available to schools across the country. Research has proven that children taught by the DISTAR® method outperform their peers who receive instruction from other programs. Now for the first time, this program has been adapted for parent and child to use at home. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is a complete, step-by-step program that shows patents simply and clearly how to teach their children to read.

Twenty minutes a day is all you need, and within 100 teaching days your child will be reading on a solid second-grade reading level. It's a sensible, easy-to-follow, and enjoyable way to help your child gain the essential skills of reading. Everything you need is here -- no paste, no scissors, no flash cards, no complicated directions -- just you and your child learning together. One hundred lessons, fully illustrated and color-coded for clarity, give your child the basic and more advanced skills needed to become a good reader.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons will bring you and your child closer together, while giving your child the reading skills needed now, for a better chance at tomorrow.
-I'm so impressed with how this book was put together. The lessons are fool proof for the parent, as they are written with detailed directions. New sounds are gradually worked into previously mastered tasks so that the child is never given more than he/she can handle (this does wonders for my daughter's reading confidence). Before you know it, your child is reading three and four paragraphs, and the process of getting there wasn't painful at all!
One note: I have read other reviews from parents using this book with 3 and 4 year olds. Certainly, if your preschooler shows an interest in reading, this book is an excellent choice. But NOTHING will work unless your child is READY to learn, not even "100 Lessons." Reading readiness happens at different ages (like every other milestone in childhood), and we as parents must respect our children's personal timetables (difficult to do sometimes, I know). Hey, remember when WE were in kindergarten? We spent our days playing, painting, napping (do they even nap anymore these days). Reading came along in first grade, and many of us may not have been ready to learn until then.
-

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