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Help! My Child Struggles with Reading, Spelling, Phonics, and Writing!

by Sarah K Major February 04, 2016

Help! My Child Struggles with Reading, Spelling, Phonics, and Writing!

Some children have no trouble at all learning to read, write, and spell inside traditional classrooms or using a traditional language arts curriculum.

Children who learn to read easily can...

  • Learn the names of letters
  • Learn the sounds those letters (and letter combinations) make
  • Sound out words (remembering the sounds they are saying as they move through the word so that by the time they come to the end of the word, they can collect those sounds into a word that makes sense)
  • Learn and remember whole words once they have sounded them out several times
  • Transfer what they have learned about smaller words and use that knowledge to help themselves figure out new, larger, more complex words
  • Do all this mechanical stuff while still absorbing the meaning the words carry (in other words, they can do all the work of reading while still understanding what they are reading)
  • Recall words well enough to spell them reasonably well when writing
  • Create a story, keep a train of thought going, as they write using those words they have learned to read

But thousands of children cannot learn in that traditional way

In our day and age, we have become very specialized in the labels we assign our children who cannot successfully learn to read, write, and spell. For some children, one particular aspect of reading gives them more trouble, while for other kids some other part of that linear process (see above) is the sticking point.

  • Those who have a particularly difficult time with manipulating sounds (as is required in sounding out words) might be identified as having an auditory processing disorder.
  • Those who cannot visually maintain a sequence of letters such as is found in a word might be identified as dyslexic.
  • Those who are very active and who have trouble maintaining focus in a linear way (such as is required to stay on a line of text until you have sounded out everything, leaving out no details) might be identified as having ADHD.

And the list goes on. Some are identified as having disabilities in comprehension, in writing, etc., but in general, all of these skills that give children so much grief are reading skills. Because children are different from each other, what they are good at (and what causes them trouble) will vary.

If the percentage of children who struggle with reading were very small, it would make sense to continue identifying the children as disabled. However, a very large percent of children today are not proficient with reading. A very large number of children cannot function in a traditional arena.

At Child1st we create resources for teaching reading that remove the difficulties of remembering sounds, sounding out words, reading sight words instantly, deciphering new words, remembering phonics concepts, spelling correctly, writing, and comprehension.

Let’s turn our focus away from identifying disability 
and instead refine our teaching approach

This is what we believe:

We have readers and non-readers. Non-readers or struggling readers need hooks for learning and remembering no matter what their label might be.

At Child1st we create those hooks for learning and remembering. We strive to do this in a way that will empower parents and teachers to utilize our teaching resources without having to do extensive preparation and without having to rework programs so that they appeal to various types of learners.

About Beyond Sight Words Activities:

Because there is such an emphasis in our schools on children being able to fluently read lists of sight words, we have focused on this skill, but have added to this limited skill the other components of reading: alphabetic principle, phonemic awareness, phonics, writing, spelling, critical thinking, and comprehension.

Non-readers or struggling readers need hooks for learning and remembering 

no matter what their label might be.

Beyond Sight Words Activities has been designed for those who already have SnapWords® Cards and don’t need to have another copy. This resource is available in five levels of difficulty compatible with SnapWords® Lists A, B, C, D, and E. 

Activities included in Beyond Sight Words Activities :

  • Mini-Lessons for each sight word that not only guides you through teaching that word, but brings in many other words for study that share a sound spelling. Mini-Lessons include teaching the word, writing the word, finding words with similar characteristics, and writing sentences using the word.
  • Bingo – instant word recognition
  • Go fish – reading sight words
  • Sight word sentences to illustrate – comprehension enrichment
  • Fill in the blank with a sight word – for comprehension
  • Making phrases with sight words – for comprehension and correct usage
  • Sound manipulation or word morph – for phonemic awareness
  • Word searches in many levels – recognition 
  • Crossword puzzles in more advanced levels – comprehension 
  • Word wall games – to practice higher level thinking, comprehension, opposites, synonyms, etc. 
  • Write about it – colored illustrations that serve as writing prompts for the children
  • ABC order – alphabetic principle
  • Making words tactilely – phonics: to study the structure of words including more complex sound spellings
  • Assessment – for measuring accuracy and reading fluency
  • Sentence Unscramble – Each activity reviews all the words from each SnapWords® List
  • Plain word wall words to coincide with the SnapWords® studied
  • Tracking charts to record each student’s progress
  • Certificates of achievement

 





Sarah K Major
Sarah K Major

Author

Sarah's absolute belief in every child’s ability to learn, and her passion to empower the child by supporting his/her own unique giftedness have fueled her life’s work and provided a new pathway for children to succeed academically.


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