Friday, May 30, 2008

Samuel's reading skills

Today was the last day of school, as you know.  All year long we've worried about Samuel's grades in the reading/language areas.  He reads very slowly & on a lower level than they want him to be on at the end of the school year.  (for example, they want him reading 90 words per minute & he reads 57 wpm)  Anything to do with words that he has to read or write, he does poorly in.  (spelling, handwriting, english/language arts)  You may remember that earlier in the year, we had him tested for dyslexia & the lady from the school district said that he did not show signs of being dyslexic.  She is the same lady who evaluated Andrew, so I believe her tests & evaluations are correct, but even so, Samuel struggles with these things none the less.
Part of the problem is that he hears things funny.  For example, any word that begins w/ the dr- blend, he writes with a j or g beginning.  If you ask him what "Jrake" is, he'll pronounce it that way (the way he spells it) and then point to his friend "Drake".  I'm not sure if that falls under speech problems or reading problems, but none of his teachers to this point have ever suggested he go to speech classes, so I guess it's a reading issue.
Anyway, in today's report card, he was labeled "at risk" in reading because his fluency rate is so low.  He failed his end of the sixth 6 weeks benchmark test, too.  The teacher's suggestion was to have him read tons over the summer.  When schools starts in the Fall, we're supposed to talk to his teacher about his reading skills and try to determine early in the year whether or not he needs to go to the Reading Recovery classes or some sort of one-on-one extra help within the district.  While it doesn't sound like a big deal to have him read more this summer, reading is definately NOT Samuel's first choice of hobby.  He would much prefer riding his bike or skateboard, playing basketball or watching TV to picking up a book & reading it.
We always spend lots of time at the library during the summer anyway, so my hope is to go every Monday and let the kids get new books, and I will concentrate on Samuel always picking at least one chapter book he can ACTUALLY read.  He tends to have a bigger appetite than he can reasonably handle---i.e. he will pick out some GIANT 3" thick book because it has a cool picture on the front when I KNOW he will never finish it.  If I point that out to him, he gets upset & it frustrates him that I don't have faith in him to finish it.  It's a fine line in petting his ego and convincing him to get something more suitable to his level of reading.
Anyway, if you have any thoughts/suggestions to help, feel free to tell me.  Other than loads of reading for fun, I can't think of anything that might help.  Maybe I will let him get his own library card (he's been asking for one) so he can check out MORE books than usual.  Hmm.....

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