How to teach silent reading?

(31 Posts)
MandarinTwist Tue 26-Feb-13 13:28:25

My DS is in Y5 and is very badly dyslexic and really, really, really struggles with reading.

He can now read level 2b books 'with support' - ie if I sit next to him and point to every word. If he gets it wrong I leave my finger on the word and he tries again.

However, due to his early difficulties he is in the habit of guessing a lot - even though he's been very well taught with phonics and can sound out most words, he still guesses.

So, my problem is he can't really read silently at all. Because he guesses any word that he can't read easily. So, for example, he get's most questions wrong on a reading comprehension paper.

How can I teach him to read silently?

How can he know if he's read a word right or not?

How can I stop him guessing?

CecilyP Wed 27-Feb-13 12:06:17

It is reasurring that he really can read just about any word if he sounds it out, so it does sound as if his brain is just rushing ahead. Sometimes it doesn't really matter as in the case of rod/pole but in other situations it is really important that he reads what is actually there rather than what he thinks might be there.

I still don't see silent reading as the problem; it matters that he reads accurately and with understanding. Whether he does it silently or out loud is not the most important thing. And unless someone listens to him read at this stage, they will be unable to correct the inaccuracy. I also agree with stargirl about the need for more age and interest appropriate books.

It is good that he is interested in other subjects like history and science and this will stand him in good stead in secondary. You may also find that the secondary learning support department is both more helpful and more communicative.

MandarinTwist Wed 27-Feb-13 13:36:16

Thanks stargirl and cecily.

I've ordered this book - Hi/Lo Passages to Build Reading Comprehension as they seem to have the same approach as Barrington Stoke - ie interest age higher than reading age.

Hopefully we can practice reading comprehension using them, so that at least he gets a chance to practice that skill. I might get him to read the passage silently first and then out loud to me. What do you think?

At home we read Barrington Stoke books, and he loves the teenage edgy themes in them.

School have done an awful lot of Star's list with him. He really has very bad dyslexia. At this age it's hard to get the balance right between taking him out of class, which means he misses out on something else and doing interventions with him.

And right now I'm not keen to ask school to do anything more with him because he's already missing half an hour a day to do phonics. So I'd rather continue to do stuff with him at home instead.

Not that school are keen to do more either.....

stargirl1701 Wed 27-Feb-13 13:38:33

Have you talked to the charity 'Dyslexia Action'?

Have you considered having him use a speech & text recognition programme? You can use them to write and to read text.

MandarinTwist Wed 27-Feb-13 13:44:01

Yes I've talked to Dyslexia Action. They were very happy to sell me tutoring and an EP report, but didn't have any other advice. I was really disappointed in them and their attitude.

I have considered speech & text recognition programs, and reading pens, but don't want to go down that route yet, as I think if we do that he is far less likely to ever learn to read and write properly which is my goal.

We can always take up that option in secondary if need be. But I don't want him to have stuff like that in primary.

And actually his writing is fine enough to be usable now. He doesn't mind writing so I wouldn't ever consider getting him to use software instead of writing.

It's just the last stage of learning to read we need to crack.

mrz Wed 27-Feb-13 18:01:36

MandarinTwist I would use easier texts to support comprehension so he can put the effort into understanding rather than decoding. Perhaps work on texts you feel he can read fairly accurately for comprehension and let him read these silently while answering verbally so you check his understanding.
Reading silently requires less effort (he can focus on reading rather than vocalising what he reads) than reading aloud but of course you can't be sure he is reading accurately if he's reading silently ...so I would continue reading aloud at home to help develop accuracy with his normal books in addition to comprehension using simpler texts.

MandarinTwist Wed 27-Feb-13 18:21:46

Thanks mrz.

Hopefully these Hi/Lo comprehension passages will be easy enough.....

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