November 10, 2011

Homeschooling the Difficult Reader

I've shared semi-openly here that Jeremiah is my reluctant reader. Capturing his interest (and keeping it) has been my biggest challenge in homeschooling...ever.

I'm fairly certain that Jeremiah is a right-brained thinker. He doesn't enjoy anything concrete. He has creativity oozing out of his ears. He struggles with the phonetic code. His progress has been 3 steps forward, 2 steps back.

I truly believe in letting each child work at their own pace. I follow my kids interests when I choose what we will study next. However, there are those times that you have to push a child to do things they simply do not want to do. Many times my kids have discovered a new interest or talent after a little nudging from Mom or Dad.

I can't say that I haven't worried over Jeremiah. So many times I wondered, "is homeschooling right for him?" or "am I going about this the right way?" I haven't been in any particular hurry. I've waited patiently for that magical moment to kick in for him. That moment when all the letters on the page just suddenly make sense. However, that just has not happened for Jeremiah. So it's time to explore other options.

Some of the things we've tried: How to Teach Your Child in 100 Easy Lessons: I used it to teach the other two boys how to read with no issues. I didn't even finish the book before they were reading independently.

Right Brain Phonics
: We did this one for a while. We used the flash cards and word lists. But it's very dry. There aren't any stories. It just never held his interest long enough to be very effective. There wasn't that feeling of accomplishment you get when you read a story. Besides, he's had so much trouble with the phonetic code...

Reading Incentives: We did the summer reading challenge at the library this past summer. We went to the library every week. I even set a family goal of taking everyone out to Sonic for Happy Hour, if everyone completed a book that week. We made it to Sonic almost every week. He made a lot of progress this summer, but he still wasn't reading independently.

So now we are trying Hooked on Phonics. I bought the first grade kit, since that is about his level.

He puts in the dvd and watches his lesson. Then we read the workbook pages together. At the end of every unit, he gets a book that he sits down to read on his own. This was the first time he ever sat down to read a book without my help! He was so stinkin' proud. 

After he does his silent reading he comes to me and answers some comprehension questions. He is flying through the first box. He actually comes to me and ASKS to do a reading lesson. The curriculm was a little pricy, but it was totally money well spent.

I did not receive any compensation, nor was I given any of these products as a sample.

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