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Is it a sign of a problem when a 6th grader doesn't read out loud well?

My SS is in 6th grade. He gets good grades and he reads a lot. The past couple months I have heard him read out loud though and it doesn't seem like he reads that well. I'm not sure if it is just that his vocabulary lacking or nervousness about reading out loud. When he doesn't know a word, he does not attempt to sound it out phonetically and tends to just mumble past it. Is this normal for his age/grade level? Is it a sign of a problem?

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:21 PM on Apr. 26, 2010 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (15)
  • i would assume nervousness. I was always a straight A student in reading but I couldn't and still can't read out loud, i will studder and mix up words. It's just me being afraid, i don't know why though, lack of self esteem i assume.

    Answer by mrsbean08 at 3:33 PM on Apr. 26, 2010

  • When he's reading, does he read with expression? Or monotone? Does he intonate? If he sounds like a robot then its a problem. When he reads the words he doesn't know, is there 1 in every sentence? Or scattered throughout the passage? Rule of thumb, if he struggles to read 5 words on the first reading page of a book, then it's not independent reading (I.e. the books too hard). If its scattered, then read them for him. Its ok to do this. Ur not the teacher and don't know the rules of linguistics. Continue getting him to read aloud for about 5 min a day. Let him read the rest of the book or passage silently if u notie he can read it independently. Plus, rdg aloud is good practice.

    Answer by Vero0724 at 3:50 PM on Apr. 26, 2010

  • Can he read a section and then tell you what it was about? One thing I found with my boys is that they had a tracking problem with their eyes and if left untreated can cause major rpoblems in reading. Tracking is the eyes moving left to right while reading if there is a problem the eyes will fight the brain to move back to the left instead of continuing right which makes it very hard for the reader to retain information and to read fluently. it is really easy to fix with reading glasses and eye excercises. I would have his eyes checked it could be something else but sometimes things that look like a larger problem can be easily solved with an eye exam. At this age they should still offer extra reading help maybe discuss with the teacher what his test scores are and look to see if he is meeting benchmarks, ask if the teacher has noticed an issue and let them know your concerns.

    Answer by 3_ring_circus_ at 4:01 PM on Apr. 26, 2010

  • imo, there is a big difference between reading out loud and reading in your head. because he has good grades, i would guess there is no comprehension issue. when i read an adult book out loud, one that i have not read before, i have to take it slowly, and even then, i will still stumble over words. give it a try yourself. i always read much faster to myself. maybe he is trying to read out loud just as quickly as he would in his head! he could practice reading out loud, but i don't think that is a very important skill. that he can read and comprehend what he is reading is very important.

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 4:10 PM on Apr. 26, 2010

  • nope. I maxed out on all my testing at higher levels for reading. I can't read out loud well at all.

    Answer by pagirl71 at 8:07 AM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • It could be that he just doesn't process as well going Verbal.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 9:36 AM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • Its a processing delay- he probably is a fast reader so he skims when he reads to himself. His mouth can not keep up with his brain. I am the same way. My poor kids when I try to read out loud they look at me like-WHAT? I have to read it to myself first, then read it out loud. As far as mumbling an unknown word, thats a reading strategy that allows you to get the meaning of a word without actually knowing how to pronounce it. I wish I was better at reading out loud, so I wish I had practiced more when I was younger. BUT, if he is like my kids, the last thing he has time for is practicing reading out loud. So, if you can get him to practice, great, it will help him later in life (he will not end up like me!) but if you have trouble fitting it in, don't beat yourself up about it.

    Answer by soyousay at 9:54 AM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • It is a sign that he is never going to win a Spoken Word grammy.

    If he is testing well for reading comprehension it is not a big deal but you certainly want to stop him and have him go back over the words he skipped.

    Answer by Suzy_Sunshine at 12:04 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • I would say practice more, worry less.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:06 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

  • It's probably just nerves. I would maybe do something like have family reading night one or two days out of the week. Everyone reads something out loud to the family. He can get the practice, and do it in front of people he knows well and trusts. He'll get used to it. I used to be nervous about it when I was that age too, as a college student I was always the first to raise my hand or start to speak in front of the class LOL. Don't worry mom.

    Answer by BaisMom at 1:18 PM on Apr. 27, 2010

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