Well, I won't have the results for Amber's test for about 2 more weeks, but Claire (2nd grade) was tested yesterday. I brought her to our testing facility so she could use the Woodcock Johnson III. It is primarily verbal, so I knew it wouldn't be overwhelming for her. She thought it was fun...lol. She did very well too. I knew that she would be a little under grade level in reading and spelling, since they are so closely related, and she really only began to progress in just this last school year. She actually tested higher in both than I thought she would though! She tested above 2nd grade (2.2) and has only been reading since about September. We have been working with it since she was 5. She did well with phonics and even with sounding out letters, but could not transfer that knowledge into reading. My now 9 yo learned so easy, I thought something was wrong. But the more I researched the more I learned that it just happens. I laid off for the rest of the year and began again the next school year. We continued to read books together the whole time.
We started the new school year and things were going good. I thought maybe the way I was trying to teach her was the problem. Amber learned by doing phonics and using flashcards, 5 new words every week. That didn't work with Claire. So I tried teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons. I liked the format a lot and thought it would work. Within a few months we were right back to where we were the year before. I decided to wait a little longer. After all, she was only 6 and if she didn't read it was ok. I had a lot of pressure on me though because she was in the first grade. If she were in "Real School" she'd be reading by now. I was very frustrated and unsure. I started really praying about what to do. My fear was that if I continued doing what I was doing I would quench her love for reading. I continued to seek God and research. One day I came upon a website for struggling readers and I bought Right Track Reading. It helped tremendously! We worked through the book and in 6 months she was reading! She is very hands-on and this book called for us to write all of the letters and combinations she needed in the book on small 1"tiles. Then she would make the words instead of just stare at them. While she was making the words she was working on her tracking. She improved so quickly! The extra time and the new way of trying worked!
My now 5 yo does not like this type of learning though. I had to go back to 100 easy lessons. It is so amazing to see how God designed all of my children so differently! How each one learns differently and thinks differently. I am constantly amazed by Him everyday when I look at my 4 little ones.