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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just curious what types of programs you use at your school to teach the children to read. Jake's school has been using Saxon phonics and math this year, and I'm looking into the homeschool version of that program for this summer, but I was curious if there might be an easier program for him to follow?

I don't want Jake's brain to atrophy this summer :), and he is behind in school also. He has a speech delay, and that has been causing problems with his phonics and his ability to read. It's something we have been working on for the past 4 years of his life, and he's at the point now where it is almost at his age level. He didn't qualify for summer therapy through the school district, but my husband and I are sending him to speech therapy camp this summer at a cost. I just don't want him to fall behind on how much he has gained this summer (this has been an amazing leaps and bounds year for his therapy).

With his improvement in speech, he's gaining an interest in phonics, words, spelling, etc.. He didn't have this for the majority of the school year since he had problems saying many of the sounds and words. I was hoping to find a phonics/reading program and work with him some this summer at home. I kept ALL of his worksheets from this past school year (he brought them home daily), so my plan is to use those as guides also since that was pretty much his kindergarten curriculum.

Math is no problem. He loves numbers and is obsessed with them. He's doing fractions, adding and subtracting to one hundred, and he's never had a problem with his numbers. He definitely did not take that skill from me. :p I mainly want to focus on his reading, because if I work on numbers with him, that is ALL he will want to do. We'll continue to add and subtract for fun when driving in the car or waiting in lines so he won't forget those. :)

This school year, he was supposed to be reading about 50 sight words at the end of the year. School ends on Wednesday, and as much as I've worked with him this year, he only knows about 10-15 of them - and he learned those not by sight, but by learning to spell the words and recognizing the spelling. He started kindergarten at barely 5 (2 months after his birthday) and with his delays, he really wasn't ready for the coursework he had this year. We're having him repeat Kindergarten next year, because I want him to enjoy school and don't want him to go into first grade with a struggle; however, if he can comprehend the material this summer, maybe he could go into first grade with his friends. That's his motivation right now - he wants to be with his friends next year.

Anyway, thanks in advance for any help or advice.

(PS I do want him to enjoy summer - I'm not going to pressure him or work him very hard. He'll still get to play t-ball, go to karate and swimming lessons, spend the majority of the day outside playing, but I do want to steal 2 or so hours of his time every day or every other day to work on his speech and reading. His speech camp will be 3 days a week, and I'm thinking about working on the reading on alternate days of the week with one day off - not including reading him books or summer story time at the library since he loves both of those).
 

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I'm not a teacher but both of my kids loved Starfall.com. It's a really fun, interactive educational website....focusing on reading. Probably just enough to get him through the summer. Both of my kids used it prior to starting school. That's actually how I taught Darbi to read.
 

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I'm going to ask my sister for you... She is a middle school English teacher but has done a lot of curriculum development for the district and edits textbooks. I know she helped purchase the series the school is using now. It's a literature based reading system.

What are his passions? interests? I would start there and try and purchase books, magazines that revolve around things he is interested in. I agree with not wanting to overdo it in the summer but you also don't want him to forget what he did learn.
 

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I was just out on Saxon's website to see if it was the program Michael's school used and they have a home school program. I didn't know that. It does not appear to the one his Lutheran School used. I will call and ask on Monday. I know it was a great program and easy to use. The kids loved it it had stories with pictures for words they didn't know in K & 1st grade.
 

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I'll ask my daughter. She is working on her Masters is reading and moved from a third grade class last year to being a reading specialist this year. She works primarily with 1st and 2nd graders, so she may have some good ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone. Saxon is what they're using right now, and although it's not the exact same as they're using, I'm sure it'll be similar. I'm leaning towards it right now, but before I spend the money on it, I was wondering if there might be a better program out there. :) Starfall.com is great! My youngest son loves it, but Jake gets bored with it very easily. He really loves headsprout.com. It's a little pricey too though.
 

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I'm not familiar with Saxon, our school system (NYC) uses so many programs I wouldn't know where to begin without more specific information on your son's learning style and areas of strengths and IEP's if there are any BUT, I would like to recommend a "Sight Word Wall" in his bedroom or a playroom. Write each of the 50 sight words clearly on a 5x8 index card. Then prepare a smaller index card with each letter of the alphabet and put them in a line around the room at about 6"-8" above his eye level. "He" may then place the words in their correct locations ("and" would go under the "A", "the" under the "T" etc.). I recommend tacky tape (it's gummy and doesn not damage walls) for this.

To help him out a bit, you might want to color code some of this...remember, the goal is for him to gain confidence and we do whatever it takes to help him along and feel successful (i.e. all "T" words might be green or on a green card, or "wh" or "th" sounds might be red, something, anything, that will support success). He then has a task...to recognize a "given" (be very specific about the number you want him to read)number of words each day or night (after dinner or before bedtime - but not when he's too tired). He is rewarded with something (maybe a penny) for each new word until he collects all 50 pennies. Also, keep a chart with 50 boxes on it - for each new word, one box gets colored, this is a visual to help him see his success and set goals. Ask him to repeat and spell the word several times, on a following night ask him to locate the words he found last night before he attempts new ones (repetition is important for young learners - old ones too!). Now the clincher....let him find these words in books, magazines, billboards, anywhere!! Let him cut and paste or write the words in a scrapbook, anything to keep the repetition going!!

By the way, I am a teacher, a teacher's teacher actually!! If you choose to try this please let me know if you see results!! Good luck to your very lucky boy!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
einsteins legacy said:
I'm not familiar with Saxon, our school system (NYC) uses so many programs I wouldn't know where to begin without more specific information on your son's learning style and areas of strengths and IEP's if there are any BUT, I would like to recommend a "Sight Word Wall" in his bedroom or a playroom. Write each of the 50 sight words clearly on a 5x8 index card. Then prepare a smaller index card with each letter of the alphabet and put them in a line around the room at about 6"-8" above his eye level. "He" may then place the words in their correct locations ("and" would go under the "A", "the" under the "T" etc.). I recommend tacky tape (it's gummy and doesn not damage walls) for this.

To help him out a bit, you might want to color code some of this...remember, the goal is for him to gain confidence and we do whatever it takes to help him along and feel successful (i.e. all "T" words might be green or on a green card, or "wh" or "th" sounds might be red, something, anything, that will support success). He then has a task...to recognize a "given" (be very specific about the number you want him to read)number of words each day or night (after dinner or before bedtime - but not when he's too tired). He is rewarded with something (maybe a penny) for each new word until he collects all 50 pennies. Also, keep a chart with 50 boxes on it - for each new word, one box gets colored, this is a visual to help him see his success and set goals. Ask him to repeat and spell the word several times, on a following night ask him to locate the words he found last night before he attempts new ones (repetition is important for young learners - old ones too!). Now the clincher....let him find these words in books, magazines, billboards, anywhere!! Let him cut and paste or write the words in a scrapbook, anything to keep the repetition going!!

By the way, I am a teacher, a teacher's teacher actually!! If you choose to try this please let me know if you see results!! Good luck to your very lucky boy!!
I love that and will give it a try! I'll let you know how it works out. :)
 

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I am a Kindergarten teacher, so I will give you a few tips! You got some great ones already! Seeing that he was young and has a few speech delays, I would start from the beginning! He will need a strong foundation with the letters and sounds before he can start the reading process. Definitely make it fun! When a child has delays, the instruction usually goes right over their heads at the time it was being presented. He was probably asked to do something he wasn't able to do. That is why I say start with the beginning and build their confidence up. Usually we see big "gaps" in the learning foundation, because by the time a child starts to "get-it" so much learning has been lost. They are constantly "cathing-up" with the others.

1. Put the letters on index cards or star cut-outs. Use poster putty to adhere them around his bedroom...ceiling works great if you can reach. At night use a flashlight to play leter tag. You can lay on the floor and ask him to find you a letter and point to it with a flashlight. After success with that, ask him to find the letter and tell you the sound it makes or you make the sound and have him point to the letter. You can then move onto to words, like house..." Can you point to the letter that has the same beginning sound as house?, etc." You can also use this with his sight words as well, but I personally would wait on that.

2. We use "rapid letter naming charts". Make a chart with the upper case letters on it, randomly in rows. Time him to see how fast he can correctly name the letters. Keep his score on the back. Since he loves numbers, see if he can beat his time each time he tries. Being able to quickly recognize his letters, will build fluency and blending skills later on. You can try this with lower case letters as well. You can also change the direction that he says the letters...across, down, etc.

I will add some more later. I just returned from vacation and was just checking in! Sooo much laundry to do!
If the recommendation from his teacher was to repeat Kindergarten, you may want to stick with that decission. Your son just needs some more time and that is the one thing you can give him. If he has some delays, he just needs to "catch-up". First grade is even more demanding...both academically and with longer instructional times. He may become frustrated and start to dislike school. If he thinks he "might" go to first grade, he will be very disappointed in the fall. Make it positive. Let him know how he can still play with his other friends, but he is going to make new ones. When students repeat we make it very positive.
Good luck with everything. I will try and post more later. If you have any other questions, let me know.
Debbie
 
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