View Full Version : Need help with 5-year-old twin learning to read

Julie M in Georgia
09-22-2009, 09:17 PM
My boy/girl twins turned 5 a couple of months ago. After about a month of homeschooling, we are on Lesson #13 of Reading Made Easy. I really like the book, and it is going great for my dd. She is catching on to blending three letter words. My ds knows most of his letter sounds and is able to say each letter sound separately for a word, but just isn't able to blend them and say the word.

I have been letting my dd leave the table and continue to work with my ds for awhile longer, but he just gets frustrated, and can't say a word even when he seems to be really trying.

What should I do with my ds? I'm thinking about just continuing on in the book with both of them, and letting it go when he can't get it. I'll let him try, but just give him the answer before he gets frustrated, and have him just repeat it. I'm thinking that he'll still get something out of it and when it does start clicking I can go back over anything he needs help on.

How does this plan sound? Any other suggestions?


09-22-2009, 09:33 PM
If it were me, I would try to do reading separately with them. Boys often are not ready to read at the same time as girls. Sounds to me like he is showing all the signs of just not being ready yet. Play reading games with him building on his strengths. He knows all his letter sounds and he is only 5 years old!! That is truly fantastic. I would play lots of games that allow him success with what he is doing well. Maybe a worksheet or two every week that continues to reinforce letter sounds.

FWIW, my oldest ds went through 30-40 lessons with 100 EZ and he did not ever read that way. I switched to an older version of Hooked on Phonics and played MANY board games with him. We did treasure hunts with letters and we jumped on index cards on the floor and said each sound as he jumped. He played StarFall on the computer and he watched the Leap Frog videos and played Leap Frog games. We had a lot of fun and he learned to read and to enjoy reading without 100EZ lessons. He was reading before he finished K5 and is ahead of grade level now.

09-23-2009, 03:17 AM
I would just back off of reading with him for now. He's been introduced to the concept. Now let his mind digest it and put the info where it goes. Try back in 3 months, and he may be ready then. That's what I've done with my 3 kids over the year when they got stuck on a concept.

I know public school K pushes reading, but that doesn't mean all kids are ready for it.

Dawn Gilmore
09-23-2009, 05:33 AM
I completely agree with giving him a bit more time. Just because they shared a womb, does not make them the same child with the same abilities. Give him time to be a 5 year old boy. Let him excel in the things he should be excelling in... climbing, jumping, running, playing with a ball... continue to read to him, make it interesting and exciting, but encourage him in the things he does well... the reading should come, but it may come a little later for him.

Pushing a child who isn't ready will NOT create a love for reading later, rather it will be viewed as a chore or something to be dreaded.

Laura W.
09-23-2009, 07:16 AM
I agree with the others. I have b/g twins who are 5 (6 next month), and they are on very different levels in reading. It's normal for girls to be ready earlier than boys. Separate them for reading/phonics so you can work with each one on their level.

When I had a child who knew their alphabet, but wasn't ready for blending, we spent several months just playing alphabet games before retrying the phonics program we were doing.



09-23-2009, 08:27 AM
My twins are 8 and one is a stronger reader than the other. I had to separate them early on and do individual phonics lessons with each. I also used two different curricula. One did well with Phonics Pathways and the other thoroughly enjoyed the free Progressive Phonics (http://progressivephonics.com/).

09-23-2009, 11:43 AM
Please reassure him that the "reading light" will go off in his brain when it is supposed to. Everyone's "reading light" is on a different day and year. You can keep reading stories to him, run your finger under the words as you read. Be positive and help him not to feel compared or worried about. He will read just fine when his brain is ready.

Susan in Kentucky
09-23-2009, 12:16 PM
Mom of twins here as well. I have 2 boys who are working through RME and even though they are on the same lesson I do reading separately with them b/c I didn't want them to be competing with each other. It's been good to spend that one on one with them as we do everything else together.

I would play lots of games with him and not force him to sit thru the lessons. My 2 are in 1st grade; I started RME with them last spring and have been taking it slowly - we are on Lesson 41. Mine loved (and still do) starfall.com - it is great to reinforce the letter sounds but also introduce CVC, blends, vowel combos, etc.


Julie M in Georgia
09-23-2009, 03:03 PM
Thanks for the advice. I didn't really want to separate them, but it's probably best. I don't want my ds to hate reading. That's the beauty of homeschooling.:) I can't imagine how ps teachers keep so many kids together when my two kids the exact same age aren't at the same level!

Can anyone recommend some more phonics games?

Esther --what Leapfrog games would you recommend? I've heard good things about the Leapster gaming system. Is that what your kids used?

09-23-2009, 03:18 PM
We like Happy Phonics (http://www.lovetolearn.net/catalog/product/07073) simple- low-key- and fun games that cover everything.

09-23-2009, 04:33 PM
Instead of doing extra work with ds, I would do the extra work with dd. She seems ready, he is not. ;)

My ds just turned 8 and he is on lesson 60 of RME. I started and stopped with him 3 different times, it wasn't until the 4th time (at 7 1/2) that he was finally ready. I wrote the dates that we attempted it on the front page of the book. I tried at 5, 6, 7, and finally 7 1/2 before things started clicking.