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Can't See The Forest For The Trees

By Josefa Beyer

That's me, deep in the weeds.

My reading students, by contrast, are big-picture thinkers and thank goodness, because our world needs their big ideas and solutions. Unfortunately, big-picture talent can make learning to read harder. These bright minds want to gobble up unknown words whole, leading them to say words that are almost right, but don't make sense.

Confound is read as confuse, cheerful as checkers. That's when I say, "You'll have to take this word one bite at a time."

Of course, we Orton-Gillingham instructors do much more than coach kids to slow down and try harder. With every lesson, we grow children's ability to interpret individual sounds and letters accurately and fluently.

With multi-sensory learning, children master spelling and grammar rules, syllable patterns that determine vowel sounds, and syllable division so they can break big words into readable chunks. Our students study English at an almost granular level, because they need to grasp the smallest stuff in order to read and write about the big stuff.

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