6 Year Old Can’t Remember Letter Names

6 Year Old Can't Remember Letter Names

From time to time, I like to tutor some of my students.  I think it is important for decision-makers in education to be in the “front lines” so they can view education from the teacher’s perspective.  Yesterday, I tutored a 6 year old in reading.  I quickly noticed that after two months of instruction with his regular tutor, he was still unable to retain certain letter names and sounds.

I worked with him for an hour.  We spent the entire session yesterday working on the letter “F” which he previously spent a total of five hours working on with his regular instructor.  He completed a guided interactive lesson on the letter “F”; drew pictures of words beginning with the letter “F”; learned a song about the letter “F”; spent 15 minutes tracing the letter “F”.  However, after one hour of instruction on the same letter with two 5 minute breaks, he was unable to provide me the name of the letter. 

Obviously, I was a little distraught because this was my first experience working with a child that has such severe retention difficulty.  The majority of the remainder of my day was spent researching possible diagnosis for his learning difficulty and how to properly instruct him despite his hardships since he did not have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in place from his school.

What I found was that he may be exhibiting early signs of a form of Dyslexia as there are many forms under this spectrum.  This form of Dyslexia affects the brain’s ability to retain certain information.  My research suggested that extra time be spent on one concept, teaching in a variety of ways to target all learning modes. 

Based on my research, we modified his individual learning path to double the instructional time for each unknown letter, provide ample reinforcement at home with his mother, and continue teaching to the different modes of learning. 

We will continue to document his progress in future blogs.  If you are an educator or a parent with experience dealing with a student exhibiting the same characteristics mentioned in this blog, please feel free to chime in below.

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