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Thread: Need some help with reading / spelling / phonics

  1. #1
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    Default Need some help with reading / spelling / phonics

    I hope y'all can give me some suggestions. Princess starting trying to learn to read at age 3. Right away it became apparent there was a problem. After lots and lots of testing and rabbit trails and wrong paths, she was finally diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome shortly before she turned 12. Once we got her filters, she has really taken off with reading. However, her filters haven't solved all the issues.

    One of the things we're dealing with right now is spelling. Because she literally could not read at all until 14 months ago, she missed out on all that experience, so learning to spell with reading experience didn't happen. Once we got her lenses, I began to work with her using Phonics Pathways and Reading Pathways and Sequential Spelling. She has come so very far in reading (she's reading Narnia, and Madeline L'Engle and such), but spelling eludes her completely. She can't spell enough to make a grocery list, write a letter, answer basic questions.

    Here are her strengths: She's a fast learner, huge vocabulary, loves to be hands-on, loves to read, seems to be gifted with auditory learning.

    Her weaknesses: She is still visually unstable; she appears to have a slight auditory processing glitch (she can't hear all the sounds in a words, and sometimes hears them in the wrong order); her visual memory is weak.

    She and I were talking about her frustration yesterday. She says the things we have done so far aren't sticking. She doesn't remember how to spell words from looking at them, she doesn't remember how to spell words from hearing them or writing them, and she seems to have no Velcro for phonics and "sounding out" either.

    Any suggestions on a curriculum or methods or anything else to help this girl spell? She has penpals, and I have to literally spell every word. It's holding her back.
    Robin, wife for 20 years to a wonderful man, and mama to 18yo Belle; 16yo Kitty; 13yo Princess, and 11yo Boyo.
    Words for 2015 and 2016: Be her.

  2. #2
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    :friends: We've BTDT with nearly an identical back story.

    We went with Sequential Spelling which is quick & to the point. Our specialist said NO to white boards & copying so I took the longer route with spelling. I created a spelling slide on my computer {Mac} in KeyNote. I can make the background a colour that both my kids can tolerate, but I learn towards the appropriate colour for the severe Irlen student.

    Once the background colour is set I slap in the words & it's up & running. I basically cut & paste to create new slides for new lessons. For a while I had 2 books worth of slides on my computer, but um.. yeah, it was time to ditch them. Our specialist also has us using special paper for each child. My severe child needs a blue hue where as my less severe needs a grey hue. Crazy part? Both will jerk their heads backwards if given the wrong sheet because they cannot see on it.

    So each child has a "spelling" book on their own colour paper. The difference for picking up spelling is huge. Having said that, our eldest {severe} has had an ipad for 3.5 years now. His specialist recommended it for a few things & we gave it as a birthday gift when he was 13. It really helped build his confidence with a lot of things including playing reading or spelling based games with company. Having said that, I find that this kid can spell perfectly when he has a spelling lesson, but not so much when he's doing other things.

    The other day I finally said to him, "Okay, listen!! When you spell that word that way you mean something incredibly RUDE!!" I went on to express what was going on {I'm reserving what I said so as not to totally embarrass the kid} & he was utterly mortified. Needless to say he hasn't spelled it that way again. When he takes notes during science lectures I've had to tell him NOT to fuss over perfection in spelling, but to get those thoughts down! For years it was sketches, letters, & symbols, but now it's some pretty impressive notes with sketches to match. I was kinda blown away by his science notes the other day.

    We also do a LOT of typing. {Another thing Dr T encouraged over handwriting for our eldest especially due to the severity of what he's dealing with..} This makes a HUGE difference for our kid. As he types & sees the redlines come up & fixes things he's finding he makes less "red line mistakes" as he gets use to seeing them spelled correctly.
    Kendra, wife of Lawrence, mother of three.

    I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.

  3. #3
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    Hi Robin,

    You are such a good mama! I can tell you have worked so very hard to help your sweet girl! We aren't dealing with the same things here so please take any of my comments that are helpful and discard the rest. Our issue with spelling and reading is dyslexia. We are using the Orton Gillingham method of learning to read/spell and there are lots rules for figuring out spelling that I didn't even know. Its been helpful here and may be something you would want to look at or consider. Hugs to you mama!!!
    Leslie Nelsen, Family Room Moderator
    Wife to Roger, Mom to Christopher (24) married to Emily, Rebecca (21), Joshua (17), Isaiah (15), Daniel (13), and Eliana Joy (10).

  4. #4
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    Kendra, thank you. She would like to try something besides Sequential Spelling next year; she doesn't feel like it "sticks" for her.

    Leslie, thank you too! I have not heard of Orton Gillingham; it sounds interesting. I will look into them. And hugging you right back!
    Robin, wife for 20 years to a wonderful man, and mama to 18yo Belle; 16yo Kitty; 13yo Princess, and 11yo Boyo.
    Words for 2015 and 2016: Be her.

  5. #5
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    FWIW, AAS works with rules, which my severe VPD kid loved because he's all about rules & songs to help him remember anything. He just found there wasn't enough practice words to really keep him going so for a while I combined AAS & SS.
    Kendra, wife of Lawrence, mother of three.

    I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.

  6. #6
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    Robin - The program that I'm using is Barton. If you want to talk more about it or ask questions, I'm happy to share what its been like for us.
    Leslie Nelsen, Family Room Moderator
    Wife to Roger, Mom to Christopher (24) married to Emily, Rebecca (21), Joshua (17), Isaiah (15), Daniel (13), and Eliana Joy (10).

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