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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp.  All rights reserved.
about the book
The Homeschool Diner's Guide to
Homeschooling by Subject

Reading Struggles, Reading Remediation
and "Catching-Up"

by Julie Shepherd knapp, copyright 2006

Helping older children improve their reading skills.  

If you need help in choosing a remedial reading, phonics, or spelling  
program for your student, I suggest you look over the choices listed here,
then visit the
Learning Abled Kids website for even more options.  You
may also want to join the
LearningAbledKids Yahoo Group and ask
for advice from the member parents.  Many of them are homeschooling
children who struggle with reading and have used various products.

Handling a Reading Problem: Strategies and Attitudes from the
Reading Treehouse -- words of wisdom and ideas for support

Mary Johnson's Two Sentence Reading Test -- an easy way to see if
your child is reading phonetically or only by sight words (from
Potter's Education Page)

The Reading Treehouse by AdvanceAbility -- free online tips,
strategies, and activities for teaching children to read and write, includes
phonics, letter direction, etc., a wonderful resource

I Read It, but I Don't Get It: Comprehension Strategies for
Adolescent Readers by Cris Tovani and Ellin Oliver Keene -- written
conversationally, this book addresses the reasons students struggle with
reading comprehension and offers strategies and examples to help them
get past their difficulties

Deeper Reading: Comprehending Challenging Texts (4–12) by
Kelly Gallagher -- "...strategies that enable your students to accept the
challenge of reading difficult books and move beyond a "first draft"
understanding of the text into deeper levels of reading..."

7 Keys to Comprehension: How to Help Your Kids Read It and Get
It! by Susan Zimmermann and Chryse Hutchins -- written for both parents
and teachers, from a review -- "[this book]...successfully isolated the
processes which are used (subconsciously) by natural readers in order
to make the leap from phonics to understanding. Each one of these
processes receives a full treatment, containing conceptual,
demonstrative, and pedagogic angles..."

Jacob’s Ladder Reading Comprehension Program Set by Joyce
VanTassel-Baska Ed.D. and Tamra Stambaugh, Ph.D..Designed around
three "skill ladders", with  students move from lower order, concrete
thinking skills to higher order, critical thinking skills while reading poetry,
myths/fables, and nonfiction. Three levels designed to start at grade 2,
but can be begun at any grade level, as needed.  

Programs to Help Kids Who Struggle and Older Students

Spectrum Reading Series by McGraw-Hill --  K - 12 workbooks for
reading comprehension and vocabulary building, start with a grade level
that seems easy for your student, then move up as skills improve,
available at Borders Books, teacher's stores, and thru

Reading Horizons at Home -- interactive software for students 10 to
adult, improves reading, writing, and spelling skills, starts with vowels
sounds, includes spelling rules, based on the Orton-Gillingham method,
uses multi-sensory approach that teaches to all learning styles

Teaching Phonics and Word Study in the Intermediate Grades  by
Wiley Blevins for Scholastic -- This is a single resource book that is
designed to improve the reading and spelling skills of upper elementary
to middle school students (grades 3-8).  It helps educators provide a
systematic, explicit phonics instruction to help older students develop
phonemic awareness, includes linguistics, phonemes, phonograms, and
spelling rules. Includes Greek and Latin roots, games, and activities.

Lexia Learning: Strategies for Older Students -- interactive software
for students 9 and older to improve reading and spelling skills, starts
from the very beginning, with basic vowel  sounds, but allows students to
proceed at their own pace

Touch Phonics --  (K - 5) (or 1 - 6 for remediation) a manipulative
based multisensory phonics system by Dr. Robin Steed, improves
reading and spelling, uses textured plastic letters ("touch units"), teaches
phonemic awareness, sound-to-symbol correspondence, segmentation,
blending, and substitution

Teaching The Right Brain Child by Dianne Craft MA CNHP of Child
Diagnostics -- manual, videos, and flashcards (sold separately), a former
homeschool mom and special ed teacher helps parents learn how to use
Right Brain Strategies to teach their children Spelling, Math, Reading,
Phonics, Sight Words, Vocabulary, Following Directions, and Study Skills.
Her website is rather bare bones... here is a description of

Right Into Reading -- (K - 3) (or for remediation with older students ) a
phonics based reading and comprehension program provides phonics
instruction, reading comprehension questions and writing practice

Letterland -- a complete learn-to-read program published in the UK,
uses a story-based phonics system where each letter is associated with a
particular character (such as "Clever Cat" for "C"), includes phonetics,
pictograms, visual mnemonics, multi-sensory activities -- children sing,
act, draw, write, move, speak and build words (the website even includes
tips for dressing up as and acting out each letter character), offers early
readers (stories about the letter characters), and software programs,
useful for different learning styles and special needs  

"Hi/Lo" Books ("High Interest/Low Reading Level)  

Tea Leaf Press Fiction for Reluctant Readers -- several series of
books for older children who are reading at a lower grade level

Orca Currents and Orca Soundings  -- two fiction series by Orca
Publishers aimed at older students who are reading at a low grade level,
stories are especially targeted to boys

Bright Apple Products -- Barclay Family Adventures, follow the family
on easy-to-read journeys that feature interesting facts about history,
geography, and science, interest level 3 - 9 and reading level 3 - 4

High Noon Books by Academic Therapy Products -- several options in
"hi/lo" books for older children who read at a low level

Classical Comics offers graphic novel (comic book) versions of
Shakespeare plays, Frankenstein, and several other books. They offer
three versions -- one with the full original text, one with modern text
equivalent, and one with simplified text for struggling readers.

Related Issues:

Trouble with Spelling, too?

Is it possible your child has a reading disability?  Learn more about
Dyslexia at the Diner's
Dyslexia and Vision Problems section