My new post is up over at Heart of the Matter. It's titled, Emergent Readers to Super Readers! I get asked all the time what you do with a child who is finished a reading program but not reading fluently or they are not choosing to read independently. Here's a peek at the article:
We hope that when our children learn to read they will be on fire for reading and will devour books left and right. But, how do you get there? How do you move from early reading to consistent independent reading? Before I answer this question, I want to make the disclaimer that I am not a reading specialist nor do I have formal training or classroom experience in reading instruction. What I do have is the experience of a homeschooling mom who has taught 3 and just about 4 (my youngest is currently an emerging reader) children to read. Children who have varying abilities and interests. Children who learn in different ways. Yet they all have one thing in common. They read often and they read very well.
The three who are veteran readers started reading independently at different ages. Each of them came to the skill in a similar way through different learning styles. One of them came by way of apraxia and a severe speech delay- a condition which often rears its ugly head when it is time to begin reading. Often the same pathway disruptions that affect speech are the ones necessary for reading as well. I also want to say this article is not targeting children with other special learning issues that might influence their reading progression from the start. However, I think some of the tools I mention will be helpful to all emerging readers. This article is for parents who want to know what happens after the completion of a phonics program before a child is reading independently by choice and doing it well.
I decided on this topic because I get asked this question a lot. I’m all done with “x,y, z program.” What do I do now? My child is not really reading much independently. How do I get her to read more? So often I see moms who want more phonics instruction because their child just needs a bit more or somehow there must be a magical stepping stone of workbooks or short readers that will bridge the gap between just starting to read and reading on their own all the time. I have concluded there is just one remedy for the “space between.”