Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by mama_dragon, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    So one of my boys (1st grader) is not having a good start to the year with reading.  He was reading just fine at the end of last year.  He was reading little critter books etc.  He didn't want to read much this summer and I didn't push it.  I did however take him to get his eyes tested and he is farsighted.  He just got his glasses yesterday.  Its a very low prescription +1.5 and +1.25 but it does seem to help.  He said the letters are not as blurry.  Last night he was still guessing at words, making mistakes on sight words, not sounding out words.  But he would actually correct himself which was new.  So wondering if he just has some bad habits from the lack of eye glasses or if he is truly struggling.  I plan to start reviewing phonics and sight words with him this weekend.  I swear he was better at phonics last year then he is this year.  Its like it all just left his brain over the summer.  They just started school a after labor day so they are still reviewing.  He is extremely intelligent.  His brother has tested gifted (tested while testing for ADHD and autism which he has neither... he is just "gifted") and he is just as smart and will very likely test gifted.  He just doesn't have the social or behavior issues that his twin has had. 
    The other major issue is that his twin is reading the 1st Harry Potter chapter book and shows comprehension of what he is reading.  The kid went from not knowing his letter sounds to reading chapter books by the end of Kindergarten.  He reads anything and everything.  Its a bit of an obsession with him.  His twin is very aware that he is not as good of a reader and it is really having a negative impact on his confidence.
    So when do I say we have worked on it at home long enough and there is something else going on?  It is just the start of 1st grade and he is on grade level but he has a lot of weaknesses.  At school he is just a chapter behind his twin in their school reader.  And its hard not to compare the two.  I honestly thought he would be the better reader given how quickly he picks up on everything else. 
    I am probably just worrying for nothing and shouldn't compare the two of them.  My nephew didn't read until 2nd grade and tested gifted in 4th grade.  He is an avid reader now.  But I also have a friend whose daughter had major struggles and they had to take her for outside testing at the very end of 2nd grade.  She is very profoundly dyslexic.  The most severe they had ever tested.  She goes to tutoring 3x a week and has a huge 504.  She may never be a strong reader.  She is very intelligent.  They said she would likely test gifted but the school she is at does not have a gifted program.  If they had caught her problems in 1st she would not have suffered.  The school just had her going to title one reading which did nothing to help her.  I do not want him to struggle like she did.  She cried every single night and still hates school.
    Sorry this is a bit of a ramble....
  2. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Talk to the teacher about your concerns.  This way you can see if he is where he needs to be or behind.  
  3. monica77

    monica77 Well-Known Member

    Wow, first let me be really impressed with your son that is reading Harry Potter at the beginning of 1st grade. Also, your other son - as Lisa said - discuss it with the teacher - it may be just your opinion because you compare them. I don't think he sounds that much back for a first grader - it's that the one that reads Harry Potter is really advanced.
    I notice the difference about this with my kids also. They recently turned 5, they are not in kindergarten yet, but Vanessa can read small words and reading comes easily for her, while Max still confuses some letters and even if he can read some words, it's not as easy with him like with his sister.
    Good luck with him, I hope it's nothing serious. 
  4. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    So I have a strong reader and one who is closer to normal. My boy was comparing himself to his brother, which was not good. I had a few talks with him about reading not being his thing (he said it's his brother's thing). I reinforced that it's everybody's thing and everybody in our home reads or will learn to read and read well.

    Over the summer I had them read a book of their choice to me in my bed, alone, everyday. (If we read in common areas, the reader gets distracted or my advanced reader would try to help.) Anyway, the daily practice really helped him become more confident. When we started, they weren't into being forced to read every day, but I made a reward chart up that they loved, which doled out a reward every 5 days. Some were things I'd planned on doing with them, anyway, like a beach trip; others were specific things they'd enjoy-a morning out alone with parent of their choice doing an activity of their choice, etc. The reward chart also helped me see what books they'd read (I asked that each day they read a different book to me). We had to get reinforcements at the library, regularly, too, which was fun in itself.

    Now that school has started I don't make my kids read to me daily. I figure they spend hours at school reading and for first grade that's enough. I so have then read to me on bonus days off, like today's professional day.

    Talk to you boy and see what he thinks about his reading. It's a skill that everybody learns differently at different times.
  5. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    Thanks!  I will talk to his teacher.  They have to do a reading log which is why I am noticing a bit more.  They have to write down books and read for at least 20 minutes M-Th.  The paper has space for 15 books and my one who is not the strong reader is very determined to read that many books each week.  He is very goal oriented.  My good reader picks out several easy for him books to read and then reads Harry Potter. 
    I just have a hard time finding the time to have them both read to me (single parent) plus their extra activities.  I end up letting my better reader just sit near by so I can hear that he is reading while I work with the weaker reader.  I will see if we can arrange the schedule so they each have more one on one time to read to me.  It might not be daily but we can definitely get it in a few days a week.  Since his brother will correct him from afar this might really help his confidence (the weaker reader was reading out of the Harry Potter book because he wanted to try it and the stronger one was correcting him from memory while he was drawing a picture.  I had to repeatedly tell him to stop). 
  6. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    And they are both in the same classroom this year.  Just one classroom.  So I don't think this helps.  Next year there will be two classrooms since we are changing schools.  I am thinking that it will be time to separate.
  7. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Separating my boys has been WONDERFUL. Not so much for me (double the work), but for them it's been amazing.
  8. AmynTony

    AmynTony Well-Known Member

    Abby didn't become a proficient reader until mid 1st grade.  Her teacher said it was normal.  Her brother started reading at 3....she is now one of the most voracious readers I've ever seen....
  9. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I agree that I would talk to the teacher about your concerns.  One of the things that I have my kids do on non school days is read for 20 minutes.  They had to do it everyday over the summer, even when we were on vacation.   One of the things with my kids is they like to help each other and truly think they are helping, so I have to have them do their studying & reading at separate times because often it's giving each other answers but not really helping.  My kids have both been in the same class and separate classes at school but they always have the same homework, so I have to be careful that they are not just parroting each other.
  10. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Jonathan read at age 3.  We found him reading Curious George to himself--6 months later, Jon was in special ed preschool for expressive speech delays.  Marcus did not read at all going into K.  Came out of K reading like a K student, same with 1st.  Over the summer between 1st and 2nd, he decided it was time to read.  At the beginning of 2nd, I had the teacher check on him, and he was reading on a 4th grade level.  Now, in 8th grade, both boys are in Honors LA with an A average--the lag at the beginning doesn't matter at all.
    Also, I once had a student who presented as a severe learning disabled kid, it turned out, he was so vision impaired, his learning was very much affected.  I would speak to the teacher, not compare the two (I know it is hard), but give him time to adjust to his new world of being able to see.
  11. newmomma

    newmomma Well-Known Member

    He seems pretty typical for his grade I would not worry yet.
  12. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    Update.  My slower reader is now on the 5th chapter of the first Harry Potter book.  I was a bit skeptical.  He kept telling me he was reading it at school (they can pick any book to read during free reading times).  At home last night he wanted to read it so I said okay but can you read it out loud.  He is truly reading it.  He does miss a few words here and there.  I am surprised since some picture books still give him grief.  But whatever motivates him and gets him to read.  He is very determined that he is going to finish the book.  I absolutely love when I child finds that one book.  The one that launches their love for reading.  The one that is actually above their reading level but they power through it because it captures their imagination.  Just hope public school next year doesn't beat it out of them.  This morning as soon as he got up he was looking for his Harry Potter book.  I found him sitting in the playroom reading it. 
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