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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Reading: If David were starting Kindergarten

Kindergarten starts in my county in two weeks. David will be six in September and this would be his year to start public school. I have been carefully analysising his (lack) of reading skills to see if he is at risk for learning disability and what's next.

This is what he can do:

He can recite the alphabet.
He recognizes most uppercase letters.
If you ask him what letter comes next, he recites the alphabet up to that point to figure it out. He does not know the sound for each letter.
If you ask him to say a word like "coat. " Now say it with out the /K/ sound, he will say "oat." correctly.
And most recently he learned that bike, bat, boat, etc... all start with the /b/ sound. He does not show full understanding of this for other letters yet.

So... if he went to Kindergarten my guess is that "they" would teach him to read this year. They would start by teaching letters and the sound they make and move in to phonics from there.

I KNOW he would not be successful at this.
Because he lacks phoneme awareness. Phenome awareness comes before reading. I know my kids need explicit phenome awareness first.
What the heck is Phoneme awareness?

It's the pre-reading skills that comes before reading. It often comes natural in natural readers. It doesn't necessarily need to be taught. It's something you lmay earn by being read to without explicit instruction.

From here is the skills listed to have phoneme awareness.

Phoneme Segmentation: what sounds do you hear in the word hot? What's the last sound in the word map?
Phoneme Deletion: what word would be left if the /k/ sound were taken away from cat?
Phoneme Matching: do pen and pipe start with the same sound?
Phoneme Counting: how many sounds do you hear in the word cake?
Phoneme Substitution: what word would you have if you changed the /h/ in hot to /p/?
Blending: what word would you have if you put these sounds together? /s/ /a/ /t/
Rhyming: tell me as many words as you can that rhyme with the word eat.

David does not have these skills. He's not even that great with rhyming. That's how I know he would not succeed with the reading expectations of K.

It looks like I got my work cut out for me making sure he learns this stuff. The main purpose of writing this out is so I have a record of his reading skills and can monitor his progress.
David will excel in our home environment at his pace this year. I have no qualms that he will miss an educational opportunity by staying home. He has the advantage of all the things his older brothers have taught me!

Now, I'll leave you with something for you....

One of the /b/ flashcard has a picture of a baby bottle on it. I should of pulled the card out of the deck because I usually don't leave bottle and bottle images laying around the house, but I didn't. When I got to the card with the bottle, I didn't want to ask him what sound it started with until I was sure I knew he knew what it is. My haunch was right, he didn't exactly know. He called it a "juice box for babies."

Now, don't you just love it when a Kindergartner is too smart to know what a baby bottle is called?


Permission to Mother said...

Now something for the juicing people...

I don't like Juice Boxes. I bought "Honest Kids" Pouches for my sons and I call them "Lying Brats" juice. My kids know they don't have HFCS in them, but they also know there is a such thing as fresh juice!

Becky R said...

it is good not to force then to read, they will get it eventually. I just read alot to them.

Permission to Mother said...

Becky, I appreciate your comment. I received a similar comment on the feed that goes to facebook. I took time to reply to that:

We let William go till 8 years old to read, then we let Scott ... go till he was 8...9...10. No luck with reading. Reading does not occur natural in my house, nor does pre-reading. I have learned a lot about dyslexia with Scott (and the humiliation a child has that comes from not knowing how to read and the pain I have as a parent watching a child struggle). Honestly I don't think David has to wait to fall behind to learn to read. I have a haunch if late readers were taught more phenome awareness earlier on instead of jumping into reading and phonics maybe there wouldn't be so many late readers (or perhaps there are more undiagnosed dyslexics in homeschool than we think!). Stay tuned, I'll for certain be writing more about all three of my boys progress and defining more of my thoughts on this topic!

Misty said...

We read ALOT. =)
My daughter has learned her sounds by "accident" =) Watching LeapFrog's Letter Factory it is fun and teaches the sounds at the same time. We have the Word Factory too where the sounds go together to create words.

She wanted to start reading so I started using Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. They are short and fairly easy. You don't learn the alphabet but learn the sound for the letter first. I like that it has them "reading" with just knowing 8-10 sounds. She will be 5 next month, we are doing Lesson 37 and she is reading 4-5 letter words.

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