If your child is having difficulty with reading, and you can afford it, get a Kindle, or other e-reader.
Not only will your child become more engaged and motivated with their new gadget, but with the Kindle you can make the font bigger and spacing between lines wider. This change makes complicated text (usually with a smaller font) look more like a beginning chapter book. By changing the size of the font, it is easier for the reader to track the words, aiding with reading fluency. (There is a reason those easy readers have a large font and fewer words on the page.)
Looking up vocabulary words is also instantaneously accomplished with a couple clicks. If you want to see something laborious, ask a profoundly dyslexic student to find a word in a dictionary! A deep vocabulary is one of the keys to reading comprehension. Because of the ease, barriers are lifted and the child is no longer guessing about unknown words.
And it doesn’t hurt to be able to buy a book instantly.
One component of the Wilson Reading System is listening comprehension. The goal of this is to expand vocabulary, general knowledge, the love of literature/information and work on comprehension skills while not being bogged down by phonics, decoding, sight words, tracking, etc. Yesterday I read aloud a fascinating article in the Smithsonian Magazine about a family that lived in isolation for 40 years in Siberia (super article…go read it!).
#2 was fascinated at had a lot of questions about Russian history, geography, religious freedom, nutrition, endurance athletes and life in Siberia, all of which we discussed. I also wove in questions about the characters in the story. “What do you think the dad was like?” “Tell me know you know about Dmitry?” “How do you think the scientists felt when they discovered the family?” Drawing these inferences from text is so important to reading comprehension. When a dyslexic child is reading they sometimes are spending so much energy simply understanding the plot that asking high level questions would overwhelm them and make reading that much harder. The skill needs practice, so I have moved high level comprehension to mainly a listening activity at this point for my homeschooled child. Its amazing to me how much he can get out of a complicated article…many times he understands more than me because I’m the dyslexic one spending my working memory on decoding the text, I don’t have enough power left to deeply comprehend.
While he is listening to a complicated text I find its good for him to have something to do with his hands and so he knits hats with the aid of a circle loom. They are easy to use and he gets a sense of accomplishment, especially when you use extra bulky yarn!