That's good news, Mss, that you are making progress with Sylvanna! I know how difficult it can be. I'm glad the sight words helped. We have a list of 100 now for the first grade class -- it seems like a lot to me. And one of them is "surprise".. that doesn't seem like a common enough word to put on the list, but we'll practice it!
Good luck with the testing, too.
My Daughter who is now 5, and my Son who is now 4, are spot on a years difference in schooling. Last year, our Daughter who attended a special needs school started to learn to read last September. Our Son is going through the same motions a year later at a different school.
The reason for my replying to this post, is that they have both been taught a slightly different way.
They were both sent home with a first book that only contained pictures, and you have to talk the children through the story of what is appearing to be happening, using plenty of expression.
Next thing that happened is that they were both sent home with a first book in a series using 5 or 6 family characters eg, the series that they are learning has the characters Mum, Dad, Chip, Kipper, Biff,(the 3 kids) and Floppy the dog.
Both were sent home the corresponding 'flash card' for the persons name to learn, whist our Son has only been given a few flash cards and he has to learn the words as he goes along with the book, our Daughter on the other hand, was given loads of flash cards, and didn't receive a new book until she had learnt the flash card words that the book was going to contain.
In other words, our Son has had to learn the words as he has gone through the book, whereas, our Daughter had already learnt the words before she was given the book, and has whizzed through her books at an alarming rate!
I feel that this is a much better way of teaching to read, and have now decided to teach our Son from the same method, hopefully it will bring good results for him also!
I use to work in the public school system, and now volunteer to help children learn to read. Here are the most common causes of your situation:
1. Sounds like your child might be an active child, and perhaps a hands on learner (kinesthetic learner). These children are often very bright, but the school system is not designed for them, and are often mis-diagnosed as ADD, immature, problem child, not as smart as others. ... What is worse the child begins to believe it.
Kinesthetic learners often show genious when they learn to ride a bike, play a computer game, or a play a board game. They learn by doing, and often feel formal learning is useless because they to not see an end result. I use active learning for these kids (hands on games) while they are young, and gradually get them use to the more formal learning. A good book on this personality type is "Please Understand Me II" by David Kiersey.
2. After learning their phonic sounds, many children have trouble blending them to form words. This is often because they have learned some of the sounds incorrectly (learned them in a way that does not allow them to blend). This happens as often with electronic games as it does in the school system. The most common letters this occurs with are: T, D, B, G, H, C, J, W, K, and P. There is a free video on line that explains this, and lets you hear the correct and incorrect pronunciations. I am not permitted to provide you the link. But you can go to "Ring Around The Phonics" site, and click on phonic sounds for this information.
If this is what is keeping your child from progressing, all you need do is correct how he/she is pronouncing these letters, and he will advance quickley. If more is needed, look for hands on curriculum to suppliment his/ her learning at home.
Phonics works: Sounding out words is best way to teach reading, study suggests
New research has shown that learning to read by sounding out words (A teaching method known as phonics) has a dramatic impact on the accuracy of reading aloud and comprehension. There has been intense debate concerning how children should be taught to read. Researchers tested whether learning to read by sounding out words is more effective than focusing on whole-word meanings. Ref. Source 4r.
Reading between the lines in children's vocabulary differences. A new study has found that differences in vocabulary growth among grade school children of different socioeconomic statuses are likely related to differences in the process of word learning. Source 3f.
Lots of patience and lots of practice. When you read with them make sure not to sound frustrated. Make them feel like its an exciting time and activity, not a chore.