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Eleven year old with reading age of 5

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by Elektra, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Elektra

    Elektra New commenter

    My niece's son is eleven, but has a reading age of 5. He is given homework, which he cannot do 'Spend 20 minutes on it, then leave it' (Teacher) but he gets very upset and insists he has to complete it, gets increasingly frustrated etc
    I think the school is failing him. He has some classroom support and my niece is hoping to get him into a special school next year, rather than the local comp, but she is at her wits end (lone parent with a useless ex-husband and older son).
    Can anyone out there offer any ideas to help her help her son reach his potential?
  2. If she's within reach of me in Exeter I'll teach him to read for free.

  3. Posts like that restore my faith in humainty. Good on you.

    ... and I agree, teach him to read.
  4. Elektra

    Elektra New commenter

    <u>You are so very kind</u>, but unfortunately they live in the Midlands. Any suggestions about <u>how</u> to teach him to read - that really is the crux of the problem (writing age about 6).
    I should also have mentioned he has problems with numeracy and is physically very small.
    Other difficulties - kids his own age don't want to play with him, because he can't follow their games/ doesn't have the skills for football etc (He asked some boys if he could play with them and they said 'Only if you give us &pound;2.10' so he took &pound;10 out of his money box and found a &pound;2 coin on the bookshelf. The teacher noticed the 'exchange' and sorted it out, but he is quite isolated.
    My feeling is he needs above all 'a kinder environment' (Special School locally sounds good) He is a very nice boy and really 'wants to help' and <u>be</u> sociable.
    So - any other ideas?
    Thanks again
  5. Have a look at maizie's suggestions -but also the following, especially Bearing Away:
    The Butterfly Book: a reading and writing course. Irina Tyk. Pub. Civitas www.civitas.org.uk/butterfly/index.php
    A programme 'Bearing Away' is a basic phonics programme for pupils with complex learning difficulties; 10 minutes, one-to-one daily, scripted, no training required www.prometheantrust.org/bearingaway.htm
    Stairway to Reading: Free, online, remedial tutoring program (Canadian) Registration needed: www.societyforqualityeducation.org/stairway.html

    A one-on-one remedial reading program for students of any
    age who have already received some reading instruction but
    who are struggling with reading. Caution UK users: there are some N. American
    accent/sound differences.

  6. I'm in the midlands - where abouts are you?

  7. This is very kind of you and I do hope you'll be able to help = They live near Cannock (Great Wyrley to be exact) but my niece does drive.
    (By the way, it's still Elektra, but my account was locked for some reason and I've had to rejoin!!)
  8. Can I suggest Reading Recovery material?? It's normally hugely successful with older children who have not managed to read well by 8/9+. Also used by some SENCOs in secondary schools. There is a new range called "Fast Lane" in the PM series, older interest level, but low reading age - from about 5 or 6. There are fiction and non-fiction titles and these come with little CDs that have the story on them, so can be used as read along - great for building confidence! See the Nelson Thornes website (www.nelsonthornes.com) and search for PM/Fast Lane in the Primary section.
    OK, I admit did used to work for NT, but feedback from customers always suggested that the PM range really did do "what it says on the tin" ! I occasionally got the odd SENCO calling me up to thank me for putting them on to the series, and to tell me how well their students were doing!
    Might be worth a look if the Mum is willing to spend a little money and do a bit of Googling on how best to use the material - she could even try contacting her local NT rep who might be prepared to explain how it all works better than I can here.
  9. Thanks, I'll let her know! I'll also get in touch with my school's NT rep, to see if she knows anything/ can let us have inspection materials.
  10. Unless the NT matrials are based on systematic, structured phonics (which, if it is what Reading Recovery use it won't be) they really won't be at all helpful. A child who has reached the age of 11 without progressing beyond CVC words needs good phonics, not look and guess texts..
  11. I'm an LSA and I work with a nearly 15 (13 when I started) girl who now had a reading age of 9/10 (it was below 6 when I started).We're aiming for 11 by the time she leaves school, depressing perhaps but an achievement considering where she started.
    The number one thing the SENCO and I found that worked for her, and I know it's obvious, was reading every single day, even if it's only a page, just something, practice is so important! If he really protests (as my student did at first) read to him, show a love for reading (my student's parents are not literate so this was challeging for us). Get his brother to read to and with him too, I've not met a boy who doesn't want to copy his older brother! You can get books aimed at 11+ year olds but with basic vocab (We found looking for books for EAL students was the easiest way to find suitable books. Biff, Chip and Kipper don't cut it with 14 year olds...)
    Also, my student responded really well to very frequent reading age testing so she could see her result climbing up a few months at a time. We tested her at least once a half-term (the paper took 20 mins to complete). Seeing the improvement also helped the staff to keep committed to a occasionally very difficult young lady! I cried when she reached a reading age of 9 (I also cried when she reached 66% attendance!) but never in front of her!
    Perhaps his in class support could help with extra reading in a non-core subject (an unpopular suggestion perhaps, but anyone with a reading age of 5 isn't getting much from lessons like French, Geography, Citizenship etc...), or if not, take him out for one English lesson just to read, or during registration (I do this with another of my students who is also far behind). Little and often is best.
    The part about the homework really upset me. His mum needs to demand a suitable amount of differentiated work before her son becomes totally fed up with education! He sounds like a lovely boy but I am one of many support workers having to deal with students who have become really hacked off with being given work they have no hope of understanding or completing. A reality check may be in order, if this child is so far behind he may need to do 40 mins or more of homework/reading a night rather than 20 (20 mins of worksheets/school set work and 20 mins reading?! [​IMG]) but a suitable amount at a suitable level is key!
    I'm hoping to start my English PGCE next September so literacy is a subject that gets me fired up!
  12. Phonics International provides several pieces of cumulative text for every letter/s-sound correspondence introduced.
    This is not 'literature', but a programme of systematic material which allows for daily practice of blending, segmenting and handwriting - the core basic skills required. It is not at all expensive whilst providing plenty of cumulative material.
    Even the free alphabetic code charts may be of help without the need to 'buy' anything.
    See the full range of alphabetic code charts in the free unit 1.

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