Learning the Alphabet Case Study

Case Study: How Henry Learned the Alphabet

learning the alphabet case studyHenry, who had just turned five, came into my office with his mom. Mom was concerned that Henry didn’t know all the letters in the alphabet. She said that Henry had been in preschool since two years old and therefore had enough exposure to the alphabet that he should have learned the letters by now.

When I assessed Henry, he was in the above average range of intelligence, but only knew five letters…H E N R Y. As I watched Henry it was obvious that he became totally engaged when he was playing and having fun. So, I took out the Tiger Tuesday Alphabet Lotto game and invited him to play the game with me. He wanted his mom to join us and she did. Each one of us had four Lotto boards, each with different letters of the alphabet. Henry chose which boards each would get.

He then wanted to be the caller. Of course I was delighted. It meant more practice in learning the letters. As he picked up each alphabet card with an upper case letter of the alphabet, he quickly looked at his boards to see if he had that letter. When his mom got one of the letters he’d jump up and down and tell her that she was doing great. But, the final result was that Henry won.

I told him that he could keep the game. When it was back in the package he stood hugging it. As they were leaving, his mom told him that she was taking him to Toys R Us because he had done such a good job. He then said, still hugging the game against his chest,  “Can I take my alphabet game with me into the store? I love this game.” [Read more…]

Poor Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension skillsIs Reading Comprehension a Problem?

Sometimes kids think they can read. After all, they know all the words. But that doesn’t mean they understand what they read.

Disinterest, struggling with decoding individual words, text is too difficult for a child’s reading level, deficit in working memory which is common with kids with ADHD, visual processing disorder, and limited vocabulary cancause poor reading comprehension.

Poor Reading Comprehension Skills Lead to Poor Grades

When kids don’t understand what they read, it affects their ability to succeed in school.  All subjects, including science and math, require reading comprehension. Even Tests and exams require good reading comprehension which results in low grades and poor test scores if a student has poor reading comprehension.

 Signs of Poor Reading Comprehension [Read more…]

What is Dyslexia?

What is dyslexia?

How Phonics Help Children With Dyslexia Learn to Read

Dr. Linda advises a worried mom to have her child tested for dyslexia, and then explains what dyslexia is and why a phonics-based reading program helps.

Dear Dr. Linda,

Our daughter is in the third grade and was just diagnosed with dyslexia. She’s embarrassed to go to school, because she can’t read. My husband and I are willing to pay anyone who says that they’ll teach her to read.

One of my friends said that her son went for eye therapy and that helped him read. Another friend told me to try a program called “Fast Forward.”

Someone else mentioned trying one of the “movement-based learning” programs. Some are expensive and many involve hours of after school time.

She’s only eight, so we don’t want her to spend all day in school and after school doing schoolwork. We also don’t want to spend a lot of money unless it will help. If it will help, we’ll spend whatever we need to spend. What else is available that won’t be hours and hours a week? Claudia D.

Dear Claudia,

This is a common question. As you know, when a child is already in the third grade and still struggles with reading, many parents will [Read more…]

Improve Reading Comprehension

How to improve reading comprehension

How Having Your Child Draw Pictures Helps Them Learn to Read

Mom of 5th grader gets advice from Dr. Linda about improving her son’s reading comprehension.

Dear Dr. Linda,
My 5th grader was diagnosed with a reading problem in first grade. He’s had extra reading help since then. They take him out of class for instruction. But he’s always complained that he’s missing things in school and doesn’t feel he needs the reading class. I’ve never seen a problem. He seems to read fine when he read to me, but his teachers tell me that his reading comprehension is poor. So I haven’t argued with his teachers. However, nothing has improved. In fact, after his last review, his reading comprehension scores were worse. What do I do? Do I leave him in the reading class? Jen

Dear Jen,
I can’t answer your question about whether to leave him in the reading class or not. I would discuss this with his teacher. However, I can give you [Read more…]

Why Do Kids Hate School?

Child hates school

Does Your Child Hate School?

A 3rd grader hates school and mom asks Dr. Linda what to do. The answers include finding out if she has ADHD, or a physical problem first. Having more fun with learning and physical movement both also help.

Dear Dr. Linda:

My little girl Tammy is already whining about school starting. She’ll be in 3rd grade. I’m not really sure why she doesn’t like school. She liked her teacher last year and has lots of friends.

Her grades were o.k., but I know she could do better. She keeps telling me that school is boring and that her homework is boring. And she certainly didn’t get too much homework.

I think she makes mistakes on her arithmetic and reading worksheets because she just doesn’t pay attention. So now she’s really not reading up to her grade level. And she doesn’t know her arithmetic facts for her grade either.

Do you have any suggestions? Thanks. Perplexed Mom

Dear Perplexed Mom:

Tammy isn’t the only little girl who finds school boring. Parents sometimes ask me why do kids hate school? So many factors can cause a child to say that school is boring or that they hate it. Some kids have [Read more…]

Reading Strategies for Dyslexia

reading strategies for dyslexiaTiger Tuesday helps dyslexic kids learn to read!

Dyslexia, a common reading disorder affecting as much as 17% of the population, can affect a child’s performance in every class, even math and science. Reading is a basic skill for school success from the primary grades on through college.

All of school can be a struggle for children who can’t read. However, dyslexic children canlearn to read and do well in school if they’re provided with appropriate reading strategies for dyslexia.

The Tiger Tuesday Multisensory Interactive Reading Program provides fun activities with the reading strategies for dyslexia that kids need.

What is Dyslexia?

Children struggle with reading for many reasons. Many of these children aren’t dyslexic. Dyslexia isn’t reading backwards. It’s not a visual problem. It’s not associated with a low IQ. Many people with dyslexia are highly intelligent. Dyslexic children aren’t stupid or lazy.

According the International Dyslexia Association, “Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origi [Read more…]

How to Teach Kids to Read Words

Teaching Children to Read Step by Step

Learning to read begins with vowelsSurprisingly, learning to read begins soon after birth,  when an infant hears spoken language. The more language young children hear, the more the language part of the brain develops. Hearing a variety of words and language patterns, through conversation or by listening to and looking at picture books, promotes development in the “reading centers” of the brain.

Reading Readiness. Next, between the ages of two and four, children are introduced to the alphabet. The English alphabet is made up of 26 letters. Five letters are called vowels, a, e, i, o, and u. (Eventually they learn that w and y sometimes act like vowels.) The other 21 letters are referred to as consonants.

As an aside, for those who are interested, vowels are sounds made with unrestricted air flow through the mouth. Consonants, on the other hand, are sounds made with restricted air flow, usually by the closed lips or by the tongue against the teeth or upper palate. Interestingly, in other languages, even more complex sounds are created than English speakers are accustomed to making.    

Preschool children usually enjoy learning the alphabet because it involves fun activities like singing the ABC song, pointing to or touching the letters on cards or in games and toys, writing the letters in activity books or playing electronic alphabet games. By doing these activities they learn to recognize and write the 26 letters in the alphabet, in both upper and lower case. [Read more…]

Is Retention the Answer?

Retention not the answer for dylsexia

Holding Kids With Dyslexia Back a Grade is Not the Answer!

Dr Linda argues that retention is never the answer for slow readers. Instead get them the appropriate remedial help.

Dear Dr. Linda,
My mom, who lives in South Carolina, told me she read that her state is planning to improve their educational performance with a new plan to go into effect in 2017.

They’re proposing that any child who’s not reading at a third grade level by the end of third grade will be retained.

I almost choked when I read that.

My son who’s in 8th grade has severe dyslexia. He reads at a third grade level. By the way, he’s also is on the honor roll. If they kept him back because of his reading, he’d still be in third grade!

How can I, and other parents of children who have dyslexia and other learning issues, get through to the people who make these laws? Any advice will help.

Thanks, Alison.

Dear Alison,
Since I haven’t read the article, nor do I know about the new law in South Carolina, it’s difficult to comment on this. However, if that’s mandated by 2017, I hope there’s more to it because [Read more…]

What do Beginner Readers Need?

What do beginner readers need?What do preschoolers, kindergartners and 1st graders love?

Beginning readers play, run around, skip, sing, and imagine. They love learning new things about their world. They’ve got questions, energy, and enthusiasm.

Most, especially if they’re been read to or introduced to books, look forward to reading themselves.

What they don’t have [Read more…]

How to Promote Reading in Your Home

Create a Reading Environment to Help Kids Learn to Read

Dr. Linda explains why a reading environment at home is important and how to promote reading with your children.

Dear Dr. Linda,

Madison’s teacher is telling parents to encourage reading at home. She says she’s not just talking about helping Madison with reading her school book or helping with homework.
Man reading to himself models reading for children.

We do both of these things already. And we read stories to Madison when she was younger.

The teacher recommended creating a reading environment at home. I have no idea what she means. She didn’t explain how to promote reading.

Can you tell us if you think a “reading environment” is a good thing and how to promote reading? Wondering about reading

Dear Wondering about Reading,

I’m assuming the teacher means making sure people in the family read and talk about reading. She’s just didn’t tell you how to promote reading for your kids. She’s probably suggesting [Read more…]


Purposeful Playful Practice!
Tiger Tuesday makes learning to read fun, fast & easy