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Signs of a Reading Problem

child with reading problem

Do you suspect that your child has a reading problem? If so, you’re not alone.

Lots of parents come to us looking for answers to their children’s reading problems. My own son had struggles with reading when he was young, so not only do I have the help you need, I also understand firsthand what you’re going through.

Let’s get some answers for you!

As you read through this article, trust your instincts. If you think your child is struggling with reading, it is likely that he is. This list can help you be sure.

What Are the Signs of a Reading Problem?

A child with a reading problem may display some of the issues listed below.

  • Sounds out every word on the page, even if he has already read them. Reading-Problems-Blog-House-Vs-Horse-300x300
  • Doesn’t know the sounds of the letters.
  • Oral reading is choppy rather than fluent and smooth.
  • Reads words in the wrong order.
  • May recognize a word on one page, but not on the next page.
  • Substitutes similar-looking words, such as house for horse.
  • Guesses at words instead of sounding them out.
  • Lacks the skill to sound out unfamiliar words.
  • Ignores punctuation when reading.
  • Loses place on the page, skips lines, or rereads lines.
  • Inserts extra letters in a word when reading. For example, may read tail as trail. The misread word often has the same beginning and ending letter.
  • Makes up part of the story based on the illustrations or context clues instead of reading the actual words on the page.
  • Substitutes words with similar meanings when reading stories. For example, may read said instead of shouted.
  • Skips small words such as a, the, to, of, were, and from.
  • Displays poor reading comprehension.
  • Has a difficult time reading single words on a flashcard.
  • Resists reading. It’s a natural tendency for children to avoid what they aren’t skilled at.
Signs of a reading problem quick guide graphic

What Causes Reading Problems?

If you recognize your child in any of the signs listed above, don’t despair! Reading problems can stem from a number of different causes, and most of these can be overcome.

Kids with auditory processing disorder often have problems learning to read. Though a child with APD faces many academic challenges, you can help him learn to read. All About Reading uses an instructional approach that is exactly what a child with APD needs!

Reading-Problems-Blog-Confused-Girl-Chalkboard-300x300

Dyslexia is a common reading and spelling disability. Approximately 10% of students are affected by dyslexia. Symptoms vary from person to person. If you suspect dyslexia, download our Symptoms of Dyslexia checklist.

Vision problems can cause reading issues. Work with your pediatric ophthalmologist to rule out vision problems such as far-sightedness or convergence insufficiency disorder.

Other causes of reading problems include autism and poor working memory. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can also cause reading problems because it is difficult for the child to stay focused on the task at hand.

Is It Possible that My Child Doesn’t Have a Reading Problem?

Signs of a Reading Problem - from All About Reading

Yes, it is! Sometimes a child is labeled with a reading problem, but the real issue is that he hasn’t been taught in the way he can learn. We can’t expect a child to read if he has gaps in his reading instruction or limited experience. While some kids seem to naturally pick up reading with very little instruction, for many kids, reading success requires direct systematic instruction such as that found in All About Reading.

Other times, too much is expected from very young children. Some children just aren’t ready to read yet, and in those cases, it’s helpful to do pre-reading activities to prepare them, such as those found in our Pre-reading program.

Learning to read takes time—and in many cases, repetition and review—before a child begins to experience success. A child might need to see a word 30 times before he can automatically recognize it by sight. If your child hasn’t met a word that many times yet, don’t be alarmed if he needs to sound it out. 

Learning to read can be hard work for kids. If your child has a low frustration tolerance, it can appear that he may have a reading problem even if he doesn’t.

How Can I Help My Child?

If your child has a reading problem, the most important thing to remember is that you CAN help him. And we can help you! The resources below are all designed to provide parents with the tools they need to teach their children to read and spell, even children with special needs.

Resources for Children with Reading Problems

All About Reading is a fun and engaging program that starts with essential pre-reading skills and continues on to teach all five key components of reading. This Orton-Gillingham program contains everything your student needs to become a fluent reader for life!

The Power of the Orton-Gillingham Approach: Discover the foundational elements of this powerful approach and how it forms the backbone of the All About Reading and All About Spelling programs.

10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner: There are very specific teaching methods that you can use to help your struggling learner succeed. One of the most important things you will want to do is to use curricula and teaching strategies that can be tailored to his needs.

How to Solve Letter Reversal Problems: Does your child sometimes confuse certain letters, like b and d or n and u? Beginning readers and dyslexic children may struggle to differentiate between letters that have similar shapes, and issues with letter reversals can have a direct impact on reading, writing, and spelling.

Learning Ally is a non-profit organization committed to helping dyslexic, blind, and visually impaired students thrive. Audiobooks help kids experience the many benefits of consuming text, but without the struggle of reading.

Testimonies from Real Moms

Failure Is Not an Option: In this video, author Marie Rippel shares with you the very personal story of how she came to develop the All About Reading and All About Spelling programs.

All About Reading and Dyslexia: Trained Orton-Gillingham instructor and mom Marianne tells her story of teaching seven children with dyslexia.

How All About Spelling Saved My Dyslexic Son: Heather began homeschooling her dyslexic son after exhausting all other options. That’s when she discovered All About Spelling. This blog post shares how her son’s learning was transformed with AAS.

Contact Us If You Need Help

If you have questions about how to help your struggling reader, please feel free to call or email us.

Does your child show signs of a reading problem?

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Vivienne

says:

Good day my child is in gr2 this year, i discovered with the reading that he can not say the small words like, is, him, they, but big words he regonizes immediately and pronouns them correct like , bathroom, town names and so on. May he have autism?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Vivienne,
It can be somewhat common for children to skip small words when reading. We have a blog post that covers this, Help! My Child Skips Small Words When Reading.

As for autism, skipping small words or not skipping them is not really a symptom of autism. You would have to have your child evaluated by a physician to be able to be sure whether autism is likely or not.

Sophy Bahlekazi

says:

Yes my child struggle a lot and she is in grade 5 I do not know what to do because I am trying my best everyday but nothing changes nothing at all please help.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m sorry your child is struggling, Sophy. I hope the tips on this blog are helpful for you. You may find our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner also helpful.

Anne

says:

Thanks for this post as well as the various links throughout for more information. It has definitely given me some food for thought.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad this was helpful for you, Anne!

Noviwe Sylvia

says:

Hi,I have 7 year old son,he doesn’t know how to read and he forgets what the teacher told him on what to do in homework book,and he doesn’t seem interested in learning anything but to play.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so sorry your child is having such difficulties, Noviwe. It sounds like he is an active child, maybe our 19 Activities for Kinesthetic Learning blog post will be helpful to you to try to make learning more active and playful for him. You may find our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner blog post helpful as well.

Busisiwe

says:

Hi my child is in grade 4 he is definitely struggling with reading and writing words on his own since he started school what frustrate me is that he is passing with higher level please help

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so sorry your child is having such difficulties, Busisiwe, and that his school just keeps passing him on to higher levels instead of providing him the help he needs. I recommend you speak with his teacher and the school administrators about your concerns.

I hope this blog post is helpful for you. You may also find our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner article helpful as well.

Phumza Nqumba

says:

Hi my child he is grade 8 he struggling to read im worried can u please help me

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Phumza,
I’m so sorry your child is struggling with reading and spelling. I hope the tips and helps in this blog post and the 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner can offer some help. But students that are older that have such problems with reading and spelling usually struggle because they have gaps in their knowledge and abilities that aren’t allowing them to succeed. Our “No Gaps” Approach to Reading and Spelling addresses this.

Ntombikayise

says:

My son was good with his school work until now in grade 4 he can’t read. He love cartoon more than school work

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so sorry your child is struggling, Ntombikayise! You may find our Signs of a Reading Problem and 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner articles helpful.

SANDRA THON

says:

MY 18 YR OLD RELATIVE IS NORMAL EXCEPT HE CAN’ READ. M Y OPHTHALMOLOGIST RECOMMENDED THAT HE SEE A PEDIATRIC DOCTOR.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m sorry your relative is struggling with reading, Sandra. You may find our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner helpful. But getting him evaluated for possible learning disabilities through a pediatrician is good advice.

Alison

says:

Good afternoon,

I have a 5.5 year old boy who just started Level 1 AAR a few weeks ago. We started with Pre-Reading, and he completed that program last fall. There are a few things I’m noticing, and I just wanted to see if these are typical or not…

— He will sound out the letters pretty well, read the word (sometimes takes a bit to figure it out but he gets there eventually), but then forget the same word immediately after. For example, he will sound out c-a-t, say “cat” but then on the next page see the word cat and have no idea what it says and might even sound it out incorrectly.

— He sounds out the letters pretty well but when blending will change the last sound. For example, for cat, he’ll sound out “c,” “a,” and “t,” but then say “cab.” He does this frequently with many different words.

— He will sometimes just guess or what I imagine is guessing. It’s the word “cat” and he’ll give sounds that are not “c” “a” or “t.” He’ll start with a random sound, such as “m”.

He knows his letter sounds very well. Unrelated to AAR but just a side note is that math comes very easily to him.

I appreciate your thoughts!
Thanks!
Alison

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Alison,
What you described is normal for a young child just beginning to read. However, here are some thoughts/tips to help him have fewer difficulties.

When he sounds out /c/-/ă/-/t/ and then says cab, he is showing that he needs to do the entire blending procedure including the cumulative blending as shown in Lesson 1 and also in our Helping Kids Sound Out Words blog post.

Review the blending procedure at the start of each day (before you do any of the word cards or anything else). You want to make sure he is doing every step as shown in the book. I would start each day with a tile demonstration until he is able to demonstrate all the steps back to you. (Help as much as he needs while he’s learning to do this, but eventually, it should be easy for him and he will be able to demonstrate it without help):

First, point to each letter and say the sounds.
Second, draw the finger under the first two letters. Blend just those first two sounds. Then point to and say the last sound. This cumulative blending step is really important for kids who tend to forget the last sound or mix the sounds up if they try to jump from the first step to the fourth.
Third, draw the finger slowly under all three letters and blend those.
Fourth, say it fast or “say it like a word.”

The tile activities where you change out one tile at a time are very helpful for working on blending (called “Change the Word” in the Teacher’s Manual). Start with simple words using letters he has reviewed so far in AAR 1: bat-sat-sad-mad-mat, and so on.

Another thing that you can do with young kids that’s fun: (First the parent demonstrates this, and then the child mimics.) Lay three sheets of colored paper on the floor. Write one letter on each sheet of paper, like M – A – P. Jump on the first paper and say /MMMMM/. Jump on the second paper and say /aaaaa/. Jump on the third paper and say /P/. Then start over, and do it quicker: /mmmmaaaa/ /p/, and then /mmmmmmaaaaaaap/. Finally run across the papers and say “MAP!” You can do a similar activity on the table with a race car and the Phonogram Cards.

As for guessing at sounds, saying /m/ when the word is cat or something like that, is it possible that he has become tired or frustrated when this happens? Reading is hard work for little minds and such mistakes become common when they get tired. We typically recommend spending just 20 minutes a day on reading instruction for this reason, but with such a young child even shorter lessons are reasonable.

If you notice him having trouble or just getting tired or frustrated, go ahead and end reading time for the day. Progress can’t be made when a child’s mind is tired anyway. When my daughter was little, we often ended after just 10 or 15 minutes because of how quickly she grew tired. In time she was able to do longer and longer.

As for needing to sound out a word each time he sees it, even if it is only a few moments later, that is very common for those just starting AAR 1! Reaching the goal of smooth, fluent reading will be a gradual process over many lessons. Some kids really need a lot of extra practice in the decoding stage, so spend as much time as needed and try not to worry if your student isn’t reading fluently just yet. As long as he is able to sound the words out without difficulties, he is ready to move on to the next lesson.

Students may need to read a word thirty times or more before they can read it fluently without having to sound it out! So, just know that some beginning readers do need a lot of practice and review. Here’s an article on How to Develop Reading Fluency that can help you understand the overall scope of achieving fluency. Some ideas that can help:

The Change-the-Word activities are especially helpful for working on blending and paying attention to ALL sounds in a word. Change one letter at a time, starting with simple 3-sound words like: bat-sat-sit-sip-tip-top…and so on. They are also really helpful for working on consonant blends when you get to those lessons.

The Word Cards allow you to track what has been mastered and what still needs work. Keep word cards in daily review until your student can read them easily, without needing to sound them out. Here are some fun review ideas for word cards. The Word cards will stack up as you go–just rotate through a portion for 2-3 minutes each day and then pick up in the book wherever you left off previously. And here’s a fun little video explaining what to do when the cards stack up.

The fluency pages can be re-used as well. You might enjoy our 16 Ways to Make Practice Sheets Fun. (And check out the comments as well–lots of fun suggestions in there!)

Students who struggle with fluency will also benefit from rereading the same story two or three days in a row to gain fluency and confidence. Buddy Reading can be very powerful in helping students who are in this stage of struggling with fluency.

Rereading the stories will help accomplish these goals:

– Increase word rate
– Improve prosody. Prosody is “expressive reading.” It involves phrasing (grouping words into meaningful phrases), emphasis, and intonation (raising pitch at the end of questions, lowering pitch at the end of sentences)
– Improve automaticity (be able to recognize most words automatically without having to sound them out each time)

Here’s more help with Overcoming Obstacles when Reading AAR Stories.

You can also do a variation of buddy reading called “echo reading.” You read a few sentences with full expression, and then your child reads the same sentences, matching your expression as closely as possible. Do this for approximately five minutes a day, or whatever is a comfortable length of time for your child. Add in lots of praise when your child shows even a bit of improvement.

The “Fun with Emojis” article gives an enjoyable way to work on reading with expression too. This can be a great way to make reading fun that also sneaks in some extra practice from the fluency pages or readers. Check out Reading with Expression for this activity and others.

I hope this helps you feel better about your son’s reading while also giving you lots of ideas on how to help him practice and improve. I’d love to hear how things go over the next month or so. Let me know if you have additional concerns or questions.

Yoel amol ogale

says:

My child is making mistakes in words he will say m w

Yoel amol ogale

says:

Good

Tamoor

says:

My name is tamoor i form pakistan my age29 my cast kashmeer i living islmabad my porblam i want raeding but idont no how i do this ..totle i have reading class 3 only

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I am so sorry you are having such problems with reading, Tamoor. The things explained in this blog post can help, as can our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner.

Carissa Woods

says:

I need help

tre Robinsom

says:

this is a very Great word fr children to learn there grammar right off there back im really impressed

Caroline

says:

Um not sure he got a problem, but some times like his name, he is gonna write it correctly for the first time, second time he doesn’t write correctly

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Caroline,
If your child is very young and just learning how to write, this is very normal. However, this could be a sign of a problem with an older child that has been writing his name for years. Without more information, I’m sorry can’t help much.

Nicoline Blakwood

says:

I would really like to do individual work with this grade 5 child that is comprehending at the premer level and can only read the grade 1 words, Please expose me to all the help I can give to hm.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nicoline,
It is likely that this student has gaps in the necessary skills for reading success. Check out our blog post on The “No Gaps” Approach to Reading and Spelling. You may also find our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner blog post helpful.

Augustina Victor

says:

My child has a reading problem like skipping of letters while writing and spelling

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m sorry your child is having difficulties, Augustina. Maybe our Helping Kids Sound Out Words blog post can help him or her focus on every letter of words. For spelling, take a look at Segmenting: A Critical Skill for Spelling.

Adelheid Mouton

says:

My 10 year old son has a problem with his reading, he memorizing he reading books and when it comes to read (he in grade 4) the sums or social studies questions or anything he don’t read it properly he knows the answers but don’t read the questions, when you ask him orally he knows everything. And I let him read while sitting next to him and then he can do it. How I help him. Thank you

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Adelheid,
I’m sorry your son is having this struggle with understanding what he is reading. It sounds like he may need practice with reading more carefully for meaning. You may find our How to Teach Reading Comprehension helpful.

Monica

says:

Hi! My son is turning 6 in a few months. His school expects him to be reading and we just can’t seem to get there. He is supposed to count to 100, and know the entire alphabet (lower case and upper case with sounds and like words). He is also expected to know sight words. Like certain animals, pronouns, and words such as the, has, had. I feel like I have taught him “and & the” so many times. But he always forgets them and starts to guess. He quickly gets disconnected and of course I get frustrated. We do decodable books and flash cards. I’m just scared they’re going to separate him from other students because he is falling behind. Please help.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m sorry your son is having difficulties, Monica. Some children do have a lot of trouble memorizing and need extra time or other approaches to learn these things.

One way to approach “sight words” is to teach him phonograms so he knows the sounds that letters make and can sound the sight words out. Even words that are rule breakers like “was” has only one letter not saying a sound we expect it to say (the A in this case) while the other letters say exactly what we expect. This makes it only a matter of remembering that the A says /uh/ in this word rather than memorizing the entire word. And other words (like “and”, “had”, “has” and most other so-called sight words) are completely predictable and easy to sound out if students know phonograms. Check out our How to Teach Phonograms blog post.

Brenda

says:

Hello. I’m a concerned mother. My is ten years old. She’s in 4th grade. During this lockdown i realized that she can’t, even AlpAlphabets and Vowels or even a word except her name and surname but she passes all her grades. It frustrates me cause I tried home teaching but she just can’t and I get angry at her. I really want to help her, just don’t know how or where to start. Please help me help my daughter.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m so sorry your daughter is having such difficulties, Brenda. I first suggest you speak to her teacher if you can. It seems odd she is passing but is unable to read.

Often when older students struggle like this, it is because they have gaps in the foundational knowledge that aren’t allowing them to progress. All About Reading and All About Spelling offer a “No Gaps” Approach to Reading and Spelling that can make a large difference.

You may find our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner blog post helpful as well.

Linda Hill

says:

My 8 year old grandson can only write his name. I have sat down with him and so has his dad he can recognize certain words. We have both tried getting him to read a sentence but it take almost 15 minutes for us to get a 4 word sentence. He is a very smart child and very independent. It is hard to see him cry when his classmates are online working and he is getting angry and upset with himself. He does however love the area online where they read the books and show pictures. We are thinking strongly of taking him off the online schooling and homeschool him completely. Any suggestion at this time would be very helpful. Thank you. Linda or Gma as my grandson Jabe would call me.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Linda,
I am so sorry that your grandson’s struggles are causing him to be so angry and upset! It’s heartbreaking, and it doesn’t need to be. Some people just need to learn differently and it sounds like he is one of them.

Whether to continue with the school program you are using now or to homeschool is a personal decision. If you opt to continue to work with his school, you can request testing and different educational options for him. It does no good to continue to ask him to do what he cannot do.

Whether you opt to homeschool or just want to help your grandson after school, All About Reading can help. It is specially designed to take the struggle out of learning to read! Our placement tests will help determine which level he is ready to start with and our programs are easy to teach at home.

Please let me know if you have questions or need any help.

Margaret

says:

Hi i have my 8 years old boy is struggling to write and read. This is what wrote “I haf a deg,i see ae tree. Sometimes he writes b instead of d.what i don’t understand he can read his own sentences. Please help!!!!!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m sorry your son is struggling, Margaret. You may find our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner blog post helpful. We also have a How to Solve Letter Reversals article that has helpful suggestions for children that confuse b and d.

If you have further questions, please let me know.

Maritza

says:

Do need to be worried if my child doesn’t hear letters beginning and end of a word

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Maritza,
Being able to hear the individual sounds in words is an important skill for both learning how to read and for learning how to spell. It is one of the phonological awareness skills. Our Fun Ways to Develop Phonological Awareness blog post can help you help your child become stronger in these skills.

Please let me know if you have further questions or need more help.

Sannie

says:

My son is 8 years and he can’t read or write I need help please

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Sannie,
I’m so sorry your son is struggling with reading and writing. We have articles on our Free Resources page for more help. Our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner blog post may be of help as well.

Please let me know if you need more information or have specific concerns.

Nina

says:

We have been using AAR and AAS for about 4 weeks now. My daughter is 7 years old and in 2nd grade. She ticks many of these boxes.
– Oral reading is choppy rather than fluent and smooth.
– Inserts extra letters in a word when reading. For example, may read tail as trail. The misread word often has the same beginning and ending letter.
– May recognize a word on one page, but not on the next page.
– Substitutes similar-looking words, such as house for horse.
– Guesses at words instead of sounding them out.

She told me on Thursday that reading “is torture.” I think that a lot of the activities in AAR are fun. When I asked her to tell me more about this, she said it’s really hard. She has always been behind. Her birthday is in late August so she is young for her grade level. And maybe it’s just that we missed the last 2 months of school essentially due to Covid-19. An extreme case of summer slide?
I started looking into dyslexia and dysgraphia because she is very intelligent and if she can answer orally, she does great. She has a high vocabulary and loves to listen to books. I’m just not sure if she is not there developmentally or if I should pursue testing. How do I know when to test her? How long should I wait to see if she catches up developmentally?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nina,
From what you describe, there is cause to be concerned for your daughter. However, you are correct that it is difficult to pinpoint if this is a case of forgetting much of what she knew due to limited teaching and practice over the last half a year due to COVID-19, or if there is an underlying learning disability at play. One positive is that an Orton-Gillingham based approach is what is recommended for reading and spelling for either dyslexia or dysgraphia, and you are already doing that with All About Reading and All About Spelling.

Have you seen any improvements in the last four weeks? How are things going with All About Reading and All About Spelling?

The Change-the-Word activities found periodically in the All About Reading Teacher’s Manual are very helpful to encourage students to pay attention to each sound in words. You can play this activity with the tiles far more often than scheduled, even daily.

Rereading stories two or three days in a row can go a long way toward building smooth, fluent reading. Buddy reading is a useful technique to use with each story is long and painful to get through as well.

The fluency practice pages can be re-used as well. You might enjoy our 16 Ways to Make Practice Sheets Fun. (And check out the comments as well–lots of fun suggestions in there!)

Rereading will help accomplish these goals:

– Increase word rate

– Improve prosody. Prosody is “expressive reading.” It involves phrasing (grouping words into meaningful phrases), emphasis, and intonation (raising pitch at the end of questions, lowering pitch at the end of sentences)

– Improve automaticity (be able to recognize most words automatically without having to sound them out each time)

Here’s more help with Overcoming Obstacles when Reading AAR Stories.

You can also do a variation of buddy reading called “echo reading.” You read a few sentences with full expression, and then your child reads the same sentences, matching your expression as closely as possible. Do this for approximately five minutes a day, or whatever is a comfortable length of time for your child. Add in lots of praise when your child shows even a bit of improvement.

The “Fun with Emojis” activity gives an enjoyable way to work on reading with expression too. This can be a great way to make reading fun that also sneaks in some extra practice from the fluency pages or readers. Check out Reading with Expression for this activity and others.

For word guessing, check out our Break the “Word Guessing” Habit blog post.

Finally, tThe decision to seek professional testing and diagnosis for a learning disability is a personal one, and even if you decide today to pursue testing, it can take months before you can get the testing done and then weeks after that before you get results. In the meantime, keep working with her consistently, 5 days a week, and you should see progress. If you don’t, let me know so I can help you help her!

Nina Reeder

says:

Robin,
Wow! Thank you for your thoughtful response! These are some great ideas that I can’t wait to dig into. I think I need to try more of these ideas listed here and in the appendices to make the lessons more fun. We have been completely skipping the practice sheets because she is frustrated by the time we get to that point. The last couple of stories, she doesn’t want to do the warm up sheets either. She wants to go straight into reading the story. I think the buddy reading suggestion that you linked would be a big help for her.
If she has made any progress so far, it has been very slow. All About Spelling has been going pretty well. I’ve been stretching those lessons over the course of the week and having her do fun activities to practice the words. I think I need to do the same with reading.
How long should each lesson take? I started out doing one lesson a day. Then I realized that they should probably be spread out over the course of several days. We are on Lesson 13 now.
Again, thank you so much for your thorough response. I am really blown away!
Nina

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nina,
I’m pleased to hear my response was helpful for you.

We recommend spending just 20 minutes a day in reading instruction. Set a timer and when it goes off, place your bookmark so you know where to start the next day. Our How Much Time Should You Spend On Reading? blog post has more details about this. Most students need two to three days to complete a lesson, and those that struggle may need a week, or even longer.

From what you describe, those fluency practice sheets and warm-up sheets will be important for her for practice. However, they are too much for most students to do with everything else in a lesson. You could spend an entire day’s work (20 minutes) on a fluency practice sheet if a student is struggling.

With my youngest child, I found she was more receptive to the sheets if I spread them out over many days, setting a timer for 3 minutes (building up to 5 minutes as we move into the higher levels) and having her read from a fluency practice sheet a little bit each day. I let her choose which lines she wanted to read each day and then cross them out after she read them. For her, that was better than playing the games and such from our 16 Ways to Make Practice Sheets Fun blog post. But it took trying different things to find what made her the happiest, so you may find something else works best for your daughter.

Our 12 Great Ways to Review Reading Word Cards blog post is full of ideas on how to make reviewing the cards a game. Our How to Teach Phonograms includes printable games for reviewing phonograms. Also, we have a game supplement Reading Games with Ziggy the Zebra that is full of games for reviewing. This supplement is designed to match up with All About Reading level 1, but most of the games will work with any level and even with All About Spelling or math cards.

My daughter struggled very much with All About Reading level 1, so we played lots and lots of review games. We made Fridays review game days and she was always happy to continue to play (and review) far after the timer went off.

One thought: you didn’t mention which level of All About Reading you are working in. If it is level 1, then it may be best to put aside All About Spelling for the time being. We typically recommend waiting to begin All About Spelling until a student has finished All About Reading level 1, or the equivalent reading level. Our blog post The Right Time to Start Spelling explains this further.

I’d love to hear how things go over the next few weeks. Let me know if you have any questions or need anything else.

Paul

says:

my 6.5 year old ticks all those boxes. However the teacher said he has an above average technical ability to read (we’d been teaching him since he was 4 wereas the kids in his 6-7 year old class just started to learn last month, due to the system in the country) Yet the teacher says his comprehension is as good as his classmates , who started to learn to read last month. consequently, he was assessed at having a reading ability of the rest of the class – which is shocking since he reads the books he brings home out loud in 10 minutes , when he has a week to read them . Which is why I googled and found this. This site suggests things are even worse since he ticks every single box in that list. Its as if you have been teaching my child to read for the last 2.5 years too!

> Skips small words such as a, the, to, of, were, and from.

he skips them but more aften he will say “a” for “the” and “the” for “a”. “for” is interchangeable with “of”. “of” is also interchangeable with “to”. “from”can be read as “the”

I’m trying to work out whether my child has reading difficulties or the teachers have teaching difficulties.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Paul,
I think you will find our Help! My Child Skips Small Words When Reading blog post helpful. You may also found our 10 Solutions for Kids Who Read Too Fast post helpful as well.

It sounds like your son isn’t paying close attention to each word as he is reading. You can help him to overcome this by sitting with him when he reads aloud to you and require to read each sentence and word as written. After he reads a sentence, if he has skipped a word or misread a word, ask him if what he has read made sense. While sometimes the words skipped or misread will allow a sentence to make sense, it most often changes the meaning. This is very likely the cause of your son not comprehending well. He is misreading sentences so they either don’t make sense or the meaning has been changed. Stopping him after each misread sentence and asking him to think about what he read will help with this.

Then have him reread the sentence paying attention to each word. If he misread the sentence on the second attempt, point to the misread or skipped word and have him read only it. Then have him reread the entire sentence again. It likely won’t take him long to start paying closer attention to each word. However, continuing to have him read aloud to you for 10 minutes or so daily is important to ensure he doesn’t revert to the habit of skipping or misreading words.

I’d love to hear how things go over the next few weeks. Let me know if you have further questions or need more ideas.

Paul

says:

Thanks. BTW I do think teachers know what they are doing!!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Paul.

nidhi jain

says:

my kid has a learning disabilities she is 13 year old

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Nidhi,
You may find our 10 Tips for Reaching Your Struggling Learner helpful.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Carol

says:

Thank you for this information. Very helpful. At what age should a child start All About Spelling? How early can they start?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Carol,
I think you will find our The Right Time to Start Spelling blog post helpful. It details on the considerations on when to start All About Spelling. But, in short, after a student has finished All About Reading level 1, or the equivalent reading level, is when to start.

Laura

says:

I suspect my daughter has APD and maybe dyslexia as well. I’m thankful for AAR, she has slowly been making progress!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

This is wonderful to hear, Laura! I know from personal experience that it can be frustrating and disheartening when progress is slow, but keep up the great work. Success in reading will come!

Laura D

says:

Thanks for helpful information.

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