Wednesday, January 13, 2010

When Reading Progress Halts!

What do you do when you are on the path of teaching a young child to read and all of a sudden the child has no interest in reading at all. Do you push, do you manipulate, do you entice? What is the right way to approach such matters?

One way of looking at this issue is to see that not all children are the same and even most public school teachers will tell you that in general some things will work for all children but that each child has unique needs. When it comes to reading this can be very true. It may be wise to back off a bit for a while but to keep in mind that putting off progress for too long can be risky for the child in terms of test scores or their learning ability in other subjects. Taking a week or two off of being pushy about reading can be a welcome break to both you and your child if you are a homeschool parent.

You may also want to look at the curriculum you are using and see if maybe it is too dry and down right boring for the child. This is not to say that everything should be vibrant or exciting (in fact, some methods of homeschool do not believe in anything "fluffy" or "dumbed down"). You may also want to consider how the curriculum or program you are using is progressing. Is it giving the child the necessary tools to be able to make the appropriate progress? Is there a foundation in phonics and knowledge of letter blending, etc. to help the child build upon? If not, it may be time to switch things up.

From experience I can tell you that Sing, Spell, Read and Write is a great program for such a time. I have used this on two out of four children who hit this wall during the learning to read phase. You can buy it new but you can also find it on EBay and other homeschool "used curriculum" sites.

Another great program that teachers a great foundation and can be used for years in the elementary level is the Writing Road to Reading. Both of these programs mentioned are wise in that the incorporate handwriting, reading and spelling. They are all so interconnected in our lives that it seems silly to disconnect them in a curriculum.

If you are having this issue with your child we wish you the best of luck. When you teach a child to read you truly hand them the world because they can go so many places and have so many experiences through the joy of reading. It can be magical and yet frustrating and it is hard to know just how to tackle it with each individuals learning style. Best wishes in your endeavors!

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