I’d still like to know more about the child in question before making a lot of suggestions, but here’s one:
The sight has lots of phonics-based stories that don’t use a lot of vocabulary. I used to use it with some Russian 1st graders with learning disabilities when I was tutoring back in NYC. They loved it because, unlike the books they got from school, they were able to stumble through these books by themselves after about 4 tries, and read them fluently after about 8. The pictures are funny, and they enjoyed seeing the same characters in different books. “Zac the Rat” was a confidence builder like no other for these kids I just printed the stories out and gave the kids a new one every 3 weeks. My friend homeschools with them, using her computer. If you do it that way, the kids can interact with the stories: pronunciation/listening practice and games.[/quote]
Hi Persephone, I’ve seen the Starfall site before. As you say, they’re phonics-based stories: “decodable readers”, with each reader focusing on a particular sound.
I’ve been thinking about these kinds of books recently. A possible criticism is that the language used is very artificial. Unusual names and words juxtaposed for the sole purpose of practising phonics skills. Some experts vehemently oppose this kind of instruction. But, as you said, some kids seem to love these books! The fact that the books are decodable builds confidence and the pictures and stories are funny. And these particular books, at least, focus on the vowel sounds, which are harder than consonant sounds.
I agree that this could be a nice easy way in for the OP. After a couple of reads through of each story, he/she could ask the child to identify the sound that is common to most of the words: for example in “Zac the Rat” it’s the “short a” sound.
I haven’t read the book: “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” but it certainly has a lot of good reviews. The trouble is that it is designed for native-speaking children so unless the child already has a fair listening/speaking ability OR the OP is prepared to design a language teaching program as well, it might not be ideal.