My daughter is 5 years old (will be 6 at the end of February) and lately has wanted to learn to read. However, I've become a bit concerned because it seems as though she has absolutely no memory for letters or words. We can point to one letter, tell her what it is and what it sounds like, and have her repeat it. After doing a second letter and going back to the first, she doesn't know it.
Last night a book we were trying to read had the word "inside". I covered part to make just "i-n" and we worked through the sounds to get to the word "in". Then I covered that part and we'd work through the sounds to get to the word "side". Then I'd go back to the first and she wouldn't remember it. I could switch back and forth repeatedly and she never remembered the word. The word "inside" appears repeatedly throughout the book and she never once seemed to remember it, always having to work through it anew.
In the same book, we worked out the word "going" -- the only word on the page. Turn the page and the first word is again "going" but she didn't recognize it and we had to sound it out from scratch.
This has me somewhat concerned. I know that 5-years is still pretty young but this seems wrong.
What it is not:
- She is not "slow". She speaks 3 languages (French, English, German). She's observant and curious, asking a lot of great "why" questions about how the world works.
- She's not physically incapable. She rides a bike and scooter, and skis like nobody's business. Yesterday she was helping me build a tool-box and had no problem repeatedly putting the wrench on the bolts and tightening them up.
- She doesn't seem to have bad eye-sight. She had no trouble aligning the wrench with the bolts or reading the small, engraved "10mm" on the wrench to make sure she had the correct one.
- She doesn't seem to have a bad memory in general. We play games like "Memory" or "Lucky Catch" (which we lovingly call "boot to the head" -- you'll understand if you've played it) and she does quite well.
We're planning to take her to an pediatric opthamologist to double-check her eyes and play a few more games while paying more attention to how she plays.
So... Any ideas on what this is? Or am I just reading too much into it?
One last piece of information that may or may not be related... She claims to be having some trouble at school (kindergarten) when she has to touch an icon and drag it from the top of a big screen to the bottom. All I know is what she has said -- I've never seen the activity myself.
Update 2014-09-24: My daughter is now 7.5 years and starting grade 2. When we read together she does quite well; it's rare that she doesn't recognize a world she had to work out just the page before.
Update 2019-05-23: Now 12, she's doing very well. She reads easily in both English (Ender's Game at the moment) and French and scores in the high 90's on reading comprehension tests. Her biggest struggle is that she has to understand everything so words that she doesn't know frustrate her and can inhibit her desire to read. She won't just ignore the word, leaving the rest of the words to communicate the the idea. This is not inconsistent with the rest of her personality. :-)