Struggling with The Reading Lesson

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Mom4Him
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:04 pm

Struggling with The Reading Lesson

Post by Mom4Him » Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:39 pm

My 7 year-old, second grade boy is really struggling with The Reading Lesson. (Or, maybe it's me that's struggling.)

I would love some advice, encouragement, and ideas as to what to do with my energy filled little man. :D

When he was 5 1/2 we started The Reading Lesson. We made it through about Lesson 8 when I just couldn't take it any longer. :wink: He wasn't catching on - each lesson was a real struggle, and he wasn't enjoying it. This was new for me, as my 3 oldest girls had done very well with it (& although one has had some struggles since then, they are all pretty good readers). So, we stopped and went through Logic of English Foundations A, B, and most of C last year for his first grade year. He did really well with this - and instead of dreading reading every single day, he actually enjoyed it. :D But, it is much more teacher intensive and time-consuming (especially at the pace we were going), so towards the end of last year we switched back to The Reading Lesson & started spelling the HOD way (which I so appreciate the simplicity of). We started back at the beginning - assuming that he'd fly through it. The first few lessons he did go through quickly. We worked on it through the summer - trying to make it very low pressure, but wanting to keep progressing. My hope was to be finishing up by the time we started school so he could move into the Emerging Readers, as I think he's really needing some of the fun in getting to read real books (that also help progress his reading). I had done a similar thing with my 3 oldest - after they went through The Reading Lesson, before going on to the ERs, we quickly went through TRL again. However, we are only in Lesson 11, and I'm feeling the same way I did a year and a half ago. He really, really dislikes it. The lessons seem to drag as he is SO slow. It's hard for me to see that he is catching on or progressing at all. And I'm really not enjoying it.

He thinks that he can't read at all, but that's not true. Today when doing spelling words, he was able to read them all without my help. But, he lacks confidence and any type of fluency. And, I just don't have the patience to sit there with him as he figures out every single word so - very - slowly. :oops: (Probably partly because in a way this is my 8th time through TRL - and 9th as my littlest lady is also going through it right now - all in the last five years.) I read to him A LOT. We have tried setting a timer. We have tried reading jut one page a day. We have tried simple rewards. I'm just not sure what else to try. I thought of adding Explode the Code, but he does not like writing at all (although he's doing wonderfully with copywork of the poem when I set a timer!!). (And I'm not fond of the idea of spending more money.)

What would you suggest? Do I just keep trudging along? I don't want him to dread reading everyday.
Thank you so much! You ladies are always so helpful in helping me talk things through. :D
Jessica (Mama to 6 precious ones)
twin girls- 12, sweet girl- 11, my boy- 9, precious girl- 7, "baby" girl- 5
Using Rev2Rev, CTC, Bigger, & LHFHG
http://www.ourfamilyforhisglory.com

mjlamarche
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:32 pm

Re: Struggling with The Reading Lesson

Post by mjlamarche » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:02 pm

I have The Reading Lesson for my 5 yr old - I don't really like how the book is laid out. I've never tried anything else though.
I try to think of fun ways to read the words other than staring at the book the whole lesson. So far I'm only 10 days into this but I make index cards with the review words written on them and make a path through the house she has to follow and say the word (or jump on it, whatever) as she moves through the path and has to say it correctly. There is usually some type of little prize at the end, maybe a tootsie roll or a coloring page. GET, DOT, RAT, SAM, CAT, AM, MAD, etc...then I use the cards to make short sentences she can read like "CAT GOT MAD" and stick with the same index cards until she's familiar and quick, then we move on. She has a really short attention span so this activity takes about 10 minutes and we're done with it.
I'd love to hear others suggestions on what phonics/reading programs work well.

rumkimom
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:25 am

Re: Struggling with The Reading Lesson

Post by rumkimom » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:47 pm

Some boys just take longer to learn to read. My older son was 8 before he could read (he is now 9 and a half and in the ERs). My younger one just is not ready yet (age 7), so I am waiting a few weeks and then trying again.
----
Wendy C.
DH-Owen
Emily (19 - graduatated from UCC spring 2018, Fashion Design Program)
Melody (17 - Rev 2 Rev-unit 21, IEW for writing, grammar, completed math)
Steven (12 - CTC, IEW for writing, grammar, spelling, TT Math)
Clarence (10 - PS)

Jennymommy
Posts: 298
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:19 pm

Re: Struggling with The Reading Lesson

Post by Jennymommy » Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:41 pm

He may just need a break from phonics, and jump into reading fun, short books. Let him pick some that interest him. We went with some readers in boxed sets at Barnes and Noble...since he chose, he was more inspired. Once he could read those well, he chose another set, then he was ready for the emerging readers. He hated the going-nowhere Bob stories...

MelInKansas
Posts: 1700
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: Struggling with The Reading Lesson

Post by MelInKansas » Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:47 pm

What is it that you think he doesn't like? What was it about Logic of English that seemed to work so well? Is that one more "rule" based? Does it not have him reading as much at a time? Is it slower? You say it's more teacher intensive so perhaps there is more teaching on your part, or more activities you do with him or something. Did you feel like he was making progress in actually reading in the other program? When he's trying to read in TRL is it the blending he is struggling with? I assume he knows letter sounds and some of the blends TRL teaches (TH, SH, AI, EA, etc). I had one daughter who was really bad at reading several sounds in a row and then blending the sounds together into a word. She would sound things out very choppily and never really got how to decode a word on her own. If the other program was helping him make progress in doing that, then maybe it really is time to switch back. It's got to be so hard to fight a child on something they really hate every day.

If he needs more activity while doing TRL you should photocopy all the story pages and let him color or draw on them. There are the few worksheet pages and sometimes I copy those and sometimes I don't, but for a resistant child I would definitely copy them.
Melissa
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
His mercies never come to an end"

DD12 - Rev to Rev + DITHOR 6/7/8
DD10 - CTC + DITHOR 2/3
DD7 - Bigger + ERs
DS5 - LHFHG
DD2 - ABC123
2 babies in heaven

bethelmommy
Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:34 pm
Location: Alaska

Re: Struggling with The Reading Lesson

Post by bethelmommy » Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:54 am

I posted a link below to a reply Carrie gave to a similar question awhile back. She is addressing what to do after The Reading Lesson if a child is not ready for the Emerging Readers, but I think her wise advice would help you in this situation as well. For my two oldest children, both slowed in progress during the second half of The Reading Lesson. We read Bob Books and other beginning readers to increase confidence and I was ok with just accomplishing a review page and one new page from The Reading Lesson during some stretches that were more difficult. Also, I know at some point Carrie has posted some helpful strategies for teaching The Reading Lesson. I think she recommended using a white board, but maybe I am getting confused with another post. Hopefully someone else here remembers and can link it for you or I will try a search when I get a chance.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15701#p110278
Grace and peace,
Alicia
DS 13 RTR, DITHOR 6/7/8
DD 11 CTC, DITHOR 4/5
DS 8 Beyond, DITHOR 2/3
DD 6 LHFHG, Emerging Readers
(Previously completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, and DITHOR 2/3, 4/5)

countrymom
Posts: 770
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:16 pm

Re: Struggling with The Reading Lesson

Post by countrymom » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:08 am

Basically agreeing with the other posters and Carrie's advice. Age is really a factor with boys. My older boy, who is a born student, still struggled some at young 7. By end 7 he started to take off and by end 8 he was well above grade level. My younger son, a definite struggling reader took a long time and some "stalling" to get through The Reading Lesson. I would periodically stop and do games like the other poster mentioned or read very easy books with him. He will be 9 in November and I can't remember when we finished TRL, but he was well into 8. We have now slowed in the ER set because he is just not ready for the harder books. One thing I did with TRL was I would read the "story" section first, pointing to the words as we went. Then I would have him read it. I would do that as much as I needed to until he got the words. We didn't go to the next unit until he mastered the key words. Also, I only spend 10 minutes a day when he was 7. When he turned 8 I started requiring two 10 minute sessions that were separated by a recess.
Countrymom
Wife to J
Big J - LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, R2R, Rev to Rev, Modern Missions, beginning parts of World Geography
Little J - LHTH, LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, working in CTC

nena3927
Posts: 114
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:10 pm

Re: Struggling with The Reading Lesson

Post by nena3927 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:45 pm

I've had some of the same struggles with my 7yr old ds and I would say to keep moving slowly through TRL or take a break for a little while and get books that you know he CAN read and just let him practice those. In the link posted above, Carrie was addressing me and my struggles with my ds after finishing TRL and not being able to start the ER set right away. Her advice was spot on. I tried AAR and AAS with him in July because of all the rave reviews and was burnt out in two weeks from the teacher intensiveness although it did help. After trying those two programs, I honestly was ready to put my dc in Abeka Video School as I was so frustrated with trying to get everything done that needed to be done. I think Logic of English is similar in teacher intensiveness so I completely understand in not wanting to continue with that. I got down and prayed to the Lord for guidance. I'm also expecting our fourth child and have been very sick and in bed quite a bit so that was a factor for me too. I really felt the Lord lead me to follow the guide as written. So the past week, I've dropped everything extra that I added, went back to the ER set slowly and my ds has done great! Just taking the summer off and letting him read whatever he was interested in seemed to work. He read three stories in the Emerging Reader's Bible when he only had to read one, and he only missed one word! That's a big improvement over where we left off in April. I've also been praying the Lord would open his understanding and help reading be enjoyable and easy for him. God works in ways that we can't! I also think a lot of boys are just later readers. I'm finding in our homeschool co-op that a lot of boys seem to be 8 or 9 before they take off with reading. Please don't be discouraged! You are doing everything you can. It will come. Being patient with them is the hardest thing...boy do I know this! Stay encouraged! He will more than likely take off soon if you keep pressing along with some type of reading whether its easier stories or TRL. HTH!
~Nena
Blessed Wife and Mother of 3 :)
DS (7) Beyond
DD (5) Beyond
DS (4) Loving R&S Preschool Workbooks

Mom4Him
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:04 pm

Re: Struggling with The Reading Lesson

Post by Mom4Him » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:06 pm

Oh, you ladies are so, so helpful! Thank you! :D
Reading through all of your comments has been a sweet blessing. It's also helped me to realize that it's probably more *me* than *him.* :wink:
I think I'm simply tired of this early reading stage (not just from him, but from all of my sweet children over the last 5 years). I long to see progress with him - in many ways because my next two little ladies are right on his heels. I'm also putting unnecessary pressure on myself to get him reading because he's not where his sisters were at, he has a hard time at AWANA since he can't practice his verses on his own like other boys in his group, and many other little reasons that add up to way too much comparing on my part. And, I'm just ready for him to move on. I needed a new dose of perspective and patience, and God is using you ladies to bring just what I needed in this situation. :D

To answer some of the questions -
I think what he really liked about Logic of English Foundations was the multi-sensory approach. He really enjoyed the games, snacks, and "fun" that were incorporated into it. It did a good job of teaching him to blend sounds together and to decode the words. Another thing I liked about it were the very gentle handwriting lessons, as well as some of the rules that I had never heard of before, but were so helpful to me. I truly think it was the right thing at the time, but as you progress through the levels it gets to be more and more, and the lessons take longer. There's copywork and dictation and spelling and writing on top of reading, and those things are already wonderfully taken care of with HOD. So, it just got to be too much, and took too much of my time. If I would've slowed down a bit and not been so impatient - that may have helped. But, again, I wanted to keep trekking along. :wink: :oops: The next level has kids reading from real books, which I think he would love, but all the other aspects of the program just seem like too much to me right now.

One of the reasons I have always liked The Reading Lesson is that it is so simple. You just sit on the couch snuggled together - work through a couple pages - and you're done. I could certainly incorporate some of the games he's enjoyed playing, but at some point all the games and treats need to come to an end, and I want him to love reading (or at least like it) without all of that. So, at this point I think I'm going to put The Reading Lesson away for him - and to help with my sanity. :shock: My main concern with this is that I'm uncertain of when he would have enough phonics/reading instruction. I've read on these boards numerous times of kids struggling when they get a little older because they never "finished" the reading instruction necessary. I'm not really wording that correctly, but an example would be when others have gone through Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons there seems to be a gap in their learning!?

Today I grabbed a few Level 1 readers that we have, let him choose his favorite, and he read from it for about ten minutes. He loved it! If everyday went like today did, I would be one happy mama. His fluency still really struggled, but we worked through it. I read some and he read some, and he didn't want to stop. Every now and then we stopped and talked about a few things - compound words, how the y said the e sound at the end of the word, etc. - I'm just not sure how confident I am in doing it this way without the "hand-holding" that I prefer. But I really, really like the idea of boosting his enjoyment of reading by actually reading.

Thank you, again! I really appreciate all the wisdom and encouragement each of you share. :D
Jessica (Mama to 6 precious ones)
twin girls- 12, sweet girl- 11, my boy- 9, precious girl- 7, "baby" girl- 5
Using Rev2Rev, CTC, Bigger, & LHFHG
http://www.ourfamilyforhisglory.com

MelInKansas
Posts: 1700
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: Struggling with The Reading Lesson

Post by MelInKansas » Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:21 am

That's great that he enjoyed sitting and just reading some books with you! Maybe it's time to stop TRL for a while and get back to enjoying the reading time together.

Letting go of your own goals and expectations is always good. If he's not ready, he's not ready. If he's doing his best and it's just banging his head on a wall, then it will be good to slow down and back off a little bit. It seems with each of my kids, when hitting really hard resistance to reading, backing off and giving some grace and time for them to grow was really the best answer.
Melissa
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
His mercies never come to an end"

DD12 - Rev to Rev + DITHOR 6/7/8
DD10 - CTC + DITHOR 2/3
DD7 - Bigger + ERs
DS5 - LHFHG
DD2 - ABC123
2 babies in heaven

Nealewill
Posts: 1611
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:08 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Struggling with The Reading Lesson

Post by Nealewill » Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:38 am

If he read the level 1 books and he did well with them, then I think he is doing great. My oldest learned to read with more whole language approach. It took her until she was 8 to read well enough. She did Preparing when she was 8, almost 9 and that year was huge in her reading solidification. She did CTC last year and I would only now say she is a fluent reader. Before this year, she still fumbled a ton! But now, she can read pretty much anything. My son, he is 9 and he used a very heavy rule based reading program. He really struggled and I struggled to teach him. I still did give him lots and lots interesting and easy books to read while we did the other program. But I didn't do any writing or anything else with that program - only the reading. For me - I learned only 2 rules that helped him read better. First, just like we learn sounds of letters and letter groups, he needed to learn that words have prefixes and suffixes. That was a huge help. The second rule was for sounding out longer words and how to determine if the vowels were short or long. You would look to see how many consonants were between the vowel. For example, cucumber. The vowels are "u", "u" and the "e" gets disqualified be cause it is followed by an "r." So it is really an "er." Since the first "u" only has one consonant after it, it is long. Since the second "u" has two consonants, it is short. I guess there is kind of third rule - every syllable has a consonant. We learned this fairly early on in the program. I have never forgotten this. That program was a huge help to my son but he still isn't what I would call fluent. He still struggles. At night before bed I do still have my kids read books and they have books by their bed. My son is the hardest to find books for because he is really picky. Last night, he wanted to re-read Bears on Hemlock Mountain. He is constantly re-reading the books from the ERs. He loved them! And guess what, I let him re-read them as much as he wants. He also loves to read book about dinosaurs. We have several from MB including the one about the ocean monsters (the one from the level 4/5 boys book pack) and he can actually read that alone fairly well. So for him - if it is something he likes or something important to him, he will get through it.

As a final encouragement - not all girls are expert readers. I had a really hard time learning to read and didn't become fluent until I was 10. I stayed at my grandma's house during the day while my parents worked over the summer when I was moving up from 4th grade into 5th grade. I was really struggling and the school suggested getting me a tutor. My grandma is a really smart lady and she actually got me reading. She gave me the book Hans Christian Anderson's Complete Fairy Tales. These stories were written in the mid 1800s. It was a tough read. My grandma told me that everyday after lunch I had to read one fairy tale to her. I was allowed to pick the fairy tale but whichever one I picked, I had to read the whole thing. Needless to say, I picked the ones that were the shortest at first LOL. I remember fumbling through them and my grandma having to help me with every 3rd word (it seemed like at least). Then, by halfway through the summer, I was picking longer ones and she wasn't helping as much. There were days I was reading out loud to her for an hour + a day! And, for the record, these weren't happy fairy tales. They were usually sad and someone important from the story usually died. I remember reading The Little Mermaid from that book and it is NOTHING like the movie LOL. I didn't have any extra phonics instruction. I was given a book and told to read it! I ended up liking the book so I kept reading it. I looked forward to that time of day where I would sit at the kitchen table while my grandma and grandpa would start washing dishes right after lunch and I would read to them. I read until they finished drying the dishes. Most of the time the stories took so long that my grandma would then get out her ironing or knitting and do that while I finished read the story. That is such a fond memory I have of my grandma and I will never forget it. I am also thankful for it because after that summer, I finally liked to read too. It must have been quite a significant improvement because when I started the 5th grade, I actually had teachers complement me on my hard work over the summer and complement me on my reading abilities.

So - I know you are scared but reading books and getting excited about books really is a great method. The more your son does copywork and the more he sees words, the more it will come as well. If you choose to go the book route, the only thing I might consider getting some of explode the code workbooks. HOD recommends this for kids who need a little bit more phonics instructions. I would look at the table of contents of those books and see which ones he might need. It sounds like your son has had a lot of experience with reading already. If there are any phonics sounds he hasn't encountered yet, I might consider those workbooks and maybe just consider reading as many books as you can. I would also set a timer for how long you want him to read to you. I tried to get in 40-60 minutes a day (broken up of course) with my kiddo's by this age. I had them read to me for 20 min in the AM, they could read to me in the PM for 20 min. And then at bed time they read to themselves for 20 min. I don't care if all they did was look at pictures for the last 20 minutes but I wanted their nose in a book. At this point, all of my kids seem to like reading well enough. They read their books for school and my youngest reads when she is not doing school. If I add up their time, they probably read between 1 to 2 hours a day and I am happy with that. Quality and quantity go a long way when teaching a child to read IMHO.

Glad to hear your son liked reading the easier books. Hopefully soon he will enjoy other books. In addition, if you find the Beginner Bible overwhelming, you could always start with the second book from the ERs or you can just get books from the alternate reading schedule. My son didn't like looking at that Bible because it was too thick. But he liked reading all of the other books just fine.
Daneale

DD 13 WG
DS 12 R2R
DD 10 R2R

Enjoyed DITHOR, Little Hearts, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, R2R, RevtoRev, MtMM

queenireneof3
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:44 am

Re: Struggling with The Reading Lesson

Post by queenireneof3 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:19 pm

Hi! Glad you had a good reading day with your kiddo.

I have taken my first two kids through TRL. One caught on to reading faster than the other, but both hit a wall with TRL where we just weren't making good progress and they weren't loving it. I used chocolate chips as motivation to finish lines/pages and that helped a lot. However with both, we had to take a break from TRL and use other resources for awhile. I found readers and games online and someone had lent us Hooked on Phonics. After a couple/few months (different for each kid) we were able to go back and fly through TRL.

I don't know why both kids hit a wall, but I think taking the time to reinforce short vowels before moving on with the rest of TRL made all the difference for both of them.

You and your kiddo are not alone in that! :)
Sara Irene
wife to Brett for 16 years already!
mommy of ds B (13yo), dd S (11yo), ds S (7yo), dd (3 yo), dd (1.5yo), and two who went to meet Jesus 3/5/2014 and 7/23/14

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