If your child is struggling to write sentences, learn their sight words, and their reading is choppy and laborious, dig deeper.
80% of kids who struggle with reading, writing and/or spelling lack a key skill needed to be successful…they do not have phonemic awareness. What does this mean? A child that does not have phonemic awareness does not automatically assign sounds to letters, and their reading, writing and spelling has tell-tale symptoms. These children struggle to sound out words, will write words with letters in the wrong order, make frequent vowel sound errors, and learning sight words will be extremely frustrating. Most children develop phonemic awareness naturally, but 20% of the population will not, and these children need direct instruction in this skill to become successful readers, writers, and spellers.
Our schools do not teach phonological processing skills past second grade, and they do not use reading methods that will develop this skill in children who are weak in phonemic awareness.
If your child:
1) Dislikes reading
2) Rubs their eyes while reading
3) Skips and misreads common sight words
4) Is a poor speller and has poor handwriting
5) Struggles to sound out unknown words
Dig deeper. The leading reason children struggle to achieve grade-level reading, writing and spelling is due to problems with the ability to decode and sound out words. Our school systems push fluency, when the bottom of the reading pyramid is not solid. Fluency can only be achieved when children have the ability to decode 95 – 100% of the words presented on the page.
Fluency cannot be a goal if the child has not yet mastered the skills that come before fluency:
If your child is a slow reader, has poor handwriting and spelling, and reading activities cause them to shut down and stop working, don’t think they will outgrow it! Children with these symptoms need systematic phonics instruction delivered at their pace to achieve their true potential. Explore this web site and give Aspire Academy a call. We give free consultations all the time to parents who are looking for answers! Our reading symptoms checklist will also tell you if your child needs to be screened for dyslexia. Dyslexia is when children of normal intelligence struggle to learn to read, write and spell. It does not mean your child is not smart. In fact, highly creative, intelligent people like Albert Einstein and Steven Spielberg suffered from dyslexia. Seek help!
Authored by Heidi Kroner, Executive Director of Aspire Academy. Heidi Kroner has started four dyslexia organizations: Aspire Academy, Decoding Dyslexia Iowa, Literacy Lifeline and True Potential Education. Her passion is helping children overcome their struggles and succeed!