Teaching and learning vowel sounds for English words is hard. A beginning reader must learn vowel sounds and know when to use which sound. Most older readers who struggle with reading have problems with vowel sounds.
|The letter "e" is long in the word "me", but it makes the schwa sound in the word "the".|
The letters "oo" make the long u sound in the word "too", but the letter "o" makes a short sound in the word "not".
There is a special challenge helping an older reader who doesn't know vowel sounds. Phonics Pathways Simple Expercises to Improve Reading Fluency is a book that I use to help older struggling readers learn vowel sounds and more.
I'm in the middle of tutoring a friend's daughter who is in third grade. I am currently teaching her short vowel sounds. I've written a pretty good post about teaching short vowel sounds. Click HERE to find the post if you want ideas to teach short vowel sounds. I'm using many of the books you will find in my Amazon Store to teach my friend's daughter. We have been using magnetic letters, helping her hear the difference in short vowel sounds, and reading nonsense words with short vowel sounds. I'm having a great time helping my good friend's daughter. I wish I would've helped before. It makes me sad that our schools don't teach our children to "read". My daughter had problems learning to read too. I'm sure it was a direct result of too many unrelated sight words and too much guessing at words. My daughter ignored letters and looked in the air when reading. It worked fine for beginning reader books, but she fell behind her twin brother when the books started getting more difficult. Somehow her brother learned to "read" words. Many children learn to read without a lot of practicing phonics. I volunteer in my children's school and there is an absence of phonics books. A few rules are taught here and there. The lucky ones figure it out, but many are left behind not knowing how to "read".