In order to be a fluent reader, your student must master three skills. Your student must master phonics- which includes knowing letters and their sounds as well as common letter patterns such as 'dge' and 'ph.'
Our students must also recognize sight words in order to read quickly and accurately, especially when words don't play fair such as 'enough.'
Lastly, our students must use contextual clues to ensure they are reading correctly.
During instruction, my student and I focus on the areas they find the most difficult as we make sure all skills are mastered.
The purpose of reading is to understand. When your student knows how to read but cannot tell you what the story was about, your student must learn how to make pictures of what they read using their imagination.
Throughout comprehension instruction, your student and I will work together to learn how to make pictures of what they read. Schools require our students to answer critical thinking questions. However, critical thinking is incredibly difficult unless the student can image the material first.
Math is difficult. Math requires the ability to understand symbols and the meaning behind those symbols, much like letters in reading. Math also requires the ability to memorize math sentences, much like sight words in reading. If reading is hard, often math is also hard.
Math also requires understanding concepts, much like reading comprehension. If reading comprehension is difficult, often math is difficult as well.
While working on math, my student and I experience math through sight, touch, verbal practice, and practice on paper.
Once the student's reading, comprehension, and/ or math instruction level reaches grade level, we can turn our attention to homework. We apply the same principles we used during instruction to schoolwork. This is a very important step to ensure the student independently images and comprehends their schoolwork.