The learning to read process follows 6 steps.
Common Concerns/Questions When Teaching Your Child to Read
My child can blend a consonant and a vowel together (ex: ha, he, hi, ho hu), but when they go to read a word, they revert to sounding out each individual sound, h-a-t, instead of ha-t. Why are they doing this?
When sounding out a sentence, my child just read the word "bike" in the last sentence but when they get to it again, just a few words later, they don't remember it as "bike" and have to re-sound it out. They even do this with sight words they know! I think there's something wrong with them and maybe it's a learning disability or processing issue.
Why can my child sound out/read single words on a flashcard or written on paper, but when they are put into a sentence, they either cannot read it, or they meltdown?
My child cannot answer one question about something they JUST read.
This will be the case until your child is a fluent reader who no longer decodes words. Do not test your child's comprehension on words, sentences, and stories they are working hard to decode. Test comprehension on things that YOU read ALOUD. Read your child lots of good literature. Don't ask them questions, instead say, "Tell me about the story I just read." Or, "What's something you can remember about this story." You will be SHOCKED at the detail they can remember.
My child still cannot determine if a letter is b or d. I think they are dyslexic.
This is a common assumption about letter reversals in reading and writing, but it's the wrong conclusion to instantly jump to. There are many students with dyslexia who have never once struggled with b and d reversals. Letter reversals in reading and writing are not even considered a concern until after 3rd grade. Gently and calmly correct or guide.
All the other kids seem to be catching on to reading, but my child is not. What is wrong?
Chances are nothing is wrong! Reading is almost entirely developmental. You cannot speed it up any faster than your child's brain is ready to go. The more you force them, the more you grow a distaste in learning and a distaste for doing hard things. This does not mean you don't work through their lessons and require them to finish their work. It just means to do not add undo stress and anxiety if it is not clicking as fast as you want it to click.
Is reading hard? Yes. Absolutely. Affirm that for your child when they say things like that.
"You are right! This is a really hard thing, but you CAN do hard things." And it might just be the hardest thing on the planet, but keep a soft tone and a smile, especially when they are angry, melting down, or giving up. When you match his/her frustration with yours, or his/her anger with yours, you fuel the fire instead of putting it out.
If your child is still working really hard to decode and a lesson seems long, split it up! Do half of the reading, or half of the phonics lesson. Then move onto another subject and come back to it. Or, wait several hours and come back to finish the rest.
And remember, this too shall pass, and your child will be reading in no time!
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