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Teaching a 9-year-old to read?

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  • Teaching a 9-year-old to read?

    My little neighbor is nine, and can barely read at all. She knows some simple words, but she is probably two or three years behind from where a nine year old is supposed to be with reading. She doesn't have any disabilities or anything, her parents just really haven't taken the time to teach her to read (she does online school and they pretty much just tell her what the words are instead of teaching her how to read them herself).

    Since this little girl is a Christian and the rest of her family usually doesn't go to church, I usually bring her to church with me (with her parents' permission of course. I have known the family my entire life and am close friends with her older sister, so they know and trust me). And I sometimes take her out to lunch or to the book store or somewhere afterwards. I was thinking of trying to teach her to read small books and help her learn to sound out words and such, and I was wondering.......are there any particular reading materials that you would suggest to teach a nine year old to read? Not a homeschooling program, I'm just talking about certain books or works sheets (either free or very cheap) that would help. Even just a certain brand of books that are meant for beginners, something that they would have at Barns and Noble (we have a local one that allows you to go there and read their books without actually buying them, so that would be ideal since I am a teenager with no extra money).

    I also welcome any advice about how to do this while only seeing her about once a week. Her parents know and appreciate me taking her there and reading books and everything, they.....just don't do it themselves.

  • #2
    One of my four kids couldn't learn to read-did private tutoring, private schools, read to her.. in fourth grade her reading level was way below average. Anyway I started a list and every book she read was worth fifty cents and biographies were a dollar. I didn't care how small the book was. Every month I paid her and she advanced ten years in one year.

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    • #3
      Curious . . . does she attend school?

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      • #4
        Genesis, I raised a son with a learning disability, and also private tutored a young Chilean girl who's first language was Portugese! Neither could grasp the new way of learning, which seems to be, ignore the words, look at the picture and make something up

        So for at home tutoring, I found that the best books are the old-fashioned "Dick and Jane" type books that start you out with simple words and lots of repetition "Dick. Jane. Jump. See Dick jump. See Jane jump." etc. They don't make these books anymore, but fortunately I had my old grade school readers, and some of my mothers from the 1930's!!! I also scoured the flea markets and second hand bookstores for them, I actually found a lot in this older teaching style. These books work because of the repetition and simple pictures that go with them. Many also have spelling lists in the back that you can use.

        Also, I made little flash cards with pictures on one side and the word on the other (eg. picture or drawing of a cup, then the word cup on the other side) And made a game where I placed them "word side up" on the table and she had to read the word then flip it over to see if it was right. It made learning fun.

        Be positive, give lots of encouragement, make it fun.

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        • #5
          Dr. Seuss books are terrific for teaching reading.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MidnightCry View Post
            Curious . . . does she attend school?
            She is in online charter school. But I think her parents pretty much just tell her the words instead of teaching her to sound them out for herself or something.

            Thanks for the advice everyone!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Lucy View Post
              Dr. Seuss books are terrific for teaching reading.
              I agree - that's how we started teaching our daughter to read. She hasn't put down a book since! :-)

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              • #8
                I guess I would go to the basics does she know her alphabet and the sounds that each letter makes? Then I would move to the vowels. I had two late readers (one who is special needs) and we played lots of word games, and lots of simple books that THEY where interested in, so they would get it. We also did lots of songs. My late readers are excellent readers now.

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                • #9
                  Yeah she knows the letters and sounds. Thanks.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Genesis22 View Post
                    She is in online charter school. But I think her parents pretty much just tell her the words instead of teaching her to sound them out for herself or something.

                    Thanks for the advice everyone!
                    It could be that the school subscribes to the "whole language" method of teaching reading. It was VERY controversial about 20 years ago and is still used by some schools. It does NOT work. The method involves simply memorizing words and then adding to word bank as the student goes along. You will see the teachers that use this method sticking word cards on everything. They will have 'door' written on the door, and 'desk' on the desk and so on. They do not teach phonics.
                    I teach PHONICS because once learned, the student can sound out any word as they are presented. Dr. Seuss books use the phonetic groups of letters to make funny rhyming words and funny stories. Repetition is helpful. Find a good phonics workbook...or maybe some worksheets from online.

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                    • #11
                      Kids need to be read to and read with, that means reading books to a child and getting the child to read them back to you. This needs to happen constantly, they also need to be exposed to books and encouraged to choose books for themselves they feel comfortable reading.

                      I learned phonics at school and I have taught phonics to kids, but the main difference between a child that can barely read and a child that reads really well is the time you spend with them. My dad read to and with my sister constantly when we were growing up and by the time I was 9 I could read books by myself silently.

                      Perhaps ask if she can come over regularly so you can help her with her reading. Not just read the book with her, but ask her to do some reading on her own as soon as she is capable. You'll also need to talk about the book with her, ask her questions and encourage her to ask questions. She's still young enough not to be turned off by reading as a difficult task, as so often happens with kids when they don't learn to read properly.

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                      • #12
                        God bless you for taking a special interest in this young girl. You are making a big difference in her life!

                        I would suggest that you visit your local library. There are all kinds of early reader books that will use certain words repeatedly. Recognizing simple words is a good start. The librarians should be able to make recommendations as well. Plus, the books are free.

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                        • #13
                          One quick test, Hopefully she knows numbers;

                          write 1, write 11, write 44. Ask her how many numbers she sees - indicate with her fingers. Our son was actually seeing double - had a lazy eye-eyes not working together that really effected his reading. After some therapy his reading took off.

                          Dr Suess, Howe readers, and Educational and Fun stores are execellent helps.

                          Some Schools - have extra reading programs.

                          Check out Public Libraries. The $ reward for reading is an excellent tool too - Great idea!


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                          • #14
                            Yay, Phonics!

                            Your library should have beginning reader/phonics books. The easiest would be one that has a lot of "-at" words like cat, bat, hat . . . The books go up in difficulty to handle blends (bl-, sh-, tr- . . . ) and silent letters ("kit" becomes "kite").

                            Rhyming is great, even when you're going to church and don't have a book. Rhyming helps children hear the different parts of words and how they differ and how they are similar.

                            When you are reading with the girl, have her read some words. An example:
                            You: "'Encyclopedia Brown told Sally he knew who switched the baseball --' can you read the next word?"
                            She: "Bats."
                            You: "Great. '. . . baseball bats. He said . . . .' "

                            Then have her read more and more of what you're reading together.

                            A side note: our language is a phonics-based language. Letters, and their combinations, are clues to how things sound. There are some confusing bits, but most of it follows understandable rules. If she needs encouragement, perhaps thinking of reading as 'breaking a code' or figuring out a puzzle will help her get past the 'little kid' books.

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                            • #15
                              I thought of something else that I couldn't remember the other day. I used EXPLODE THE CODE curriculum with a child of mine that was a late reader. It was wonderful and did the trick.

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