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Any suggestions for a seven year old who is struggling with reading?

Hello Let's Go Learn, My son is 7 years old and is in the second grade. He uses Learning Language Arts Through Literature as his reading program. He does very well in his course work but doesn't seem to transfer what he has learned to other reading material. He is frustrated and thinks he is a bad reader. He wants us to buy him one of the nationally advertised phonics programs so he can read the 24 chapter book like the 7 year old on TV. I can watch his eyes kind of glaze over as he gets lost or frustrated. Any suggestions?

Hello, Thanks for your email. Here are my thoughts: "He does very well in his course work but doesn't seem to transfer what he has learned to other reading material." When you say this, I am not sure if you are talking about not transferring reading techniques or actual content (facts, dates etc) that he has read about in the past. If he is having a hard time remembering what he reads, then the problem is probably centered more around language comprehension. If you teach him how to sound out a certain type of word and then later when he sees a word like that in another situation but does not remember how to sound it out, that is different. If he is having a hard time remembering how to sound out words that you thought he knew, the problem is likely something to do with phonemic awareness and or symbol imagery. If this is the case, working on one of those phonics programs probably won't work. I suggest you find out more about phonemic awareness and symbol imagery to find out if this is the weakness that is hindering your son's progress. I suggest reading "Seeing Stars for Symbol Imagery" by Nanci Bell, Gander Publishing, San Luis Obispo, California. Her book is very informative and easy to read. Let me know if I can answer any other questions.

Tags: phonemic awareness, struggling reader, reading techniques

  1. Melissa
    Reply 05/18/11

    I think I get what you are saying exactly about “He does not seem to transfer.” My seven year old is the exact same way. When I am showing her flash cards she knows the words, however she seems to freeze up and becomes frustrated when reading books-she does not seem to recognize the same things she did on the flash cards! I am very worried. She is super bright, but I think the severe speech problem that she had has caused her to be behind in her reading. I had a meeting today, and they said she could repeat 1st grade-that is absolutely not what I want her to have to do if I can help it! I hope you found answers.

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