If your child is struggling now, things will only get worse in the future. Students do not ‘outgrow’ poor reading without intervention, they just fall further and further behind. And without strong reading skills, every other subject will be harder for your child too. You MUST take action. You must resolve to help your child, urgently and intensively over as many weeks or months as it takes.
It typically takes our clinic about four months of DAILY INTENSIVE SYSTEMATIC tutoring to get a reading-impaired middle-school child up to grade-level. Our clinic deals with the worst readers, young adults who often join us with reading at a grade-2 or grade-3 level. We pull our students out of school each morning, to reset their self-defeating behaviors and give them the intensity of tutoring they need. We’ve tried in-school and after-school but that hasn’t worked, we need the best two hours of their day, consistently and without distractions. (And after all, what does a grade-8 student who can’t read benefit from being in a classroom? Social skills?)
Your child might not need this intensity, and you may not be willing to pull your child out of school. But you MUST set a daily routine – at least an hour each day. Ideally when your child is fresh and alert. If you can’t manage this yourself, consider hiring a tutor – perhaps a high-school student in your neighbourhood, there are no special skills required. If your child is too tired after school, then plan for an intensive summer program – 9:00 sharp every morning for two hours.
Just want to get going? Start with ‘BLENDING’. If your child doesn’t need it, you will whip through the lessons in 3-4 sessions. If your child DOES need blending, then nothing else is going to help your child until you complete that program.
All of our reading programs are free. Please share them widely.
Blending is a web-based program for students who have difficulty blending spelled sounds into words and segmenting words into component sounds. For example, the word ‘bat’ has three sounds, and a reader must be able to turn /b/ /ah/ /t/ into ‘bat’ and vice versa.
Reading is a paper-based synthetic-phonics program. Synthetic Phonics teaches your child to recognize the approximately 40 sounds of English speech and the spelling patterns that we use to encode those sounds into writing.
Spelling is a web-based program for words with Latin and Greek roots. English is a simple and regular language if you understand its structure. REGULAR?! Yes. Hint: ‘regular’ has the base ‘regul’, from the Latin regula meaning ‘rule’. By learning how affixes work, words like ‘regular’, ‘deregulate’, and ‘irregularities’ become simple to read, spell, and understand.
Grammar is a paper-based program for learning and practicing the parts of sentences. Your child likely understands ‘John stood up and left when his sister arrived.’ But he or she may struggle to write clearly without an explicit understanding of grammar.
Comprehension is a web-based program based on the book The City of Ember by Jeanne DePrau. It is a grade-5 level text that uses description and metaphor, which often baffle readers who still depend on action-based writing styles.