I am so very pleased at Caleb’s progress in reading. To read the specific problems he had been having, go here.
Today he read the first 13 pages of Nate the Great. And he read it at a nice pace and never got lost on the page. After that, he started to slow down and seemed tired, so I read the remainder of the book to him. The only word he hesitated on was “telephone.” I saw it coming and knew he probably wouldn’t know the “ph” sound because we haven’t gotten that far in our Phonics Pathways.
I told him that when you see “ph” together is says, “ffff.”
You mean like “f?” Caleb responded. Then he said “telephone.”
He had 2 main problems that was holding up his reading–the inability for his eyes to track smoothly across a page and the inability to distinguish between the letters b,d,p,q, and g. He contemplated every word. Reading was tedious.
Now his eyes track and he seems to only pause when there is a letter b.
Doing “crossing the midline” exercises
We’ve been doing exercises from the Brain Integration Therapy Manual that help with hand eye coordination. The most helpful has been “the writing eight” exercises that he does four times a week. By writing the letters each day and doing the broad figure 8 strokes, he can now distinguish between letters in a way that he has never been able to do. As Dianne Craft puts it, we’re “retraining” the brain.
Doing eye tracking exercises.
The first day, Caleb could not do them. He got dizzy after a couple of seconds and lost his balance. Even with me holding onto his shoulder and then guiding his hands, he got dizzy. I did the same exercise with my 9 year old and 3 year old. They had no problems. This is when I discovered that Caleb must have an eye tracking problem. This was later confirmed by an ophthalmologist who also prescribed reading glasses. For the first few weeks, he continued to get dizzy everyday and I would stop the exercise. Now he can complete the exercise on his own without my arm to steady him. Practice makes perfect. We are definitely making progress. Thank you Dianne Craft.
Getting him Bob books.
This may seem silly. But giving him a set of Bob books (a box of fun, super simple books that I knew he wouldn’t have a problem reading) helped him gain confidence. I gave him set 2 when we were on a long roadtrip. He read them to his little sister in the back seat. Over and over again, he read them. Not just paging through them, but reading them. He was thrilled. Then I added set 3 and 4. I have the last set waiting for him.
Doing Sequential Spelling with him.
This is another blog post but I did want to mention that this is a great spelling curriculum to use for struggling readers and those with dyslexia.
For more information, you can page down to the bottom of my last blog post on this subject for resources about dyslexia, dysgraphia, visual spatial, right brain dominant.