As of Today 8

I work with Robert every day and yet I haven’t realized before today that  Robert is not aware of the differences between long and short vowels sounds.  How was it possible that I didn’t know?  I was fooled by the fact that Robert could (?) read since he was 5 years old and that he always had problems with the clarity of his pronunciation.  I worked on extending the sounds of long vowels in his speech and in his reading, but I did not go to the core of the problem.

Robert started reading through Edmark Program that relies heavily on visual discrimination of the whole words.  Because of this method he reads quickly, too quickly to be understood.  There was a time when I asked Robert’s school  to teach him  through Reading Mastery that relies on phonics.   The school started it, but the teacher was not very familiar with method.  Yes, it is a direct instruction, which should be self – explanatory to teachers but it wasn’t and the school switched to something else.  Maybe that was my fault as around that time I bought Horizon Reading to Learn curriculum for home, but I shared it with the school.  I bought it because  it addressed reading comprehension better than any other program and it was not as expensive.  Although in Horizon there were some cues regarding decoding (for instance silent letters were printed in blue), I did not pay much attention to Robert’s clarity or reading.

So years passed by and I was not aware that Robert doesn’t  know that the same letter might evoke two sounds.

Today we were doing simple exercise.  I read the word (without Robert seeing it) and he was supposed to repeat and then tell me what long sound he heard. Finally, he should place the printed word in a proper column. It went rather well, and only twice Robert wanted to put a word under the wrong letter to make the columns equally long.  He was disturbed that the column with “e” had only three words, while the column with “u” had already five.

Later I showed him how silent “e” latter changes the sounds and meaning of the words. ( I did that with my typical (?) daughter when she was in Kindergarten. by the way) He seemed to grasp the concept easily.  Mainly because he knew all those words already.  His pronunciation for cut and cute as for many other similarly constructed words was always a little different, but now I offered him a rule as a support.  He seemed pleasantly satisfied with that information.  But maybe I am reading too much from  his sly grin.

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