How to Teach a Dyslexic Child to Read & Write New Words

If your dyslexic child is struggling no matter what age. This plan is a great place to start. My little girl was aged 7, in year 2. When we started relearning 3 letter words. I knew if she could read and write basic words. Then she would be able to move on to harder work.

The plan can also be used to learn longer words. It works well for children who are struggling with basic key stage 1 work. Helping them to relearn the basics and get more confident at learning.

Learn 3 Letter Words

Here is a guide to how we did this, using the "Mooki Cards". You can help a dyslexic child too, by following the plan below.

The "Mooki" cards I used to teach simple 3 letter words were:

Best Time to Learn

We started by doing just 10 - 20 mins of practice after school. My little girl has homework, reading from school too. I did not want her to get too tired, so we only practised on alternative days. Monday, Wednesday, Friday worked best for us.

We choose the best time for her to learn. This was after she came home from school. First I would allow her to play before dinner, then after dinner we would start work.

Motivate Dyslexic Child

To get her to do practice she needed motivation. I used the "Reward Chart" card to do this. We agreed that if she did 10-15 mins of practice, we would play a fun game together afterwards. Like "Guess Who" or "Screwball Scramble". If she really was not in the mood to learn, we would skip a day.

What we Used

To start doing the work we moved to a calm area of the room. This area I had made into a dyslexia friendly space, using the “Calm Corner” card. Starting just 10-20 mins of practise.

To keep it simple, I used a pad of paper and a pack of felt tips. You can use other things like paints, lego, biscuit making to write the words. See the "Multi-sensory Learning" card for more ideas.

Yet, lets face it, after a long day, no parent wants to be clearing up paints and doing cooking. This is best left for weekends.

Start Teaching

We started by working through the “Rocky Foundations” card. List of common 3 letter words.

I choose 2-4  words from the word list. For my little girl to practise reading and writing. Then followed the steps below. Dyslexic kids learn best by multi-sensory learning.

So it is best if they can speak, hear and write the words. Seeing a picture to match the word, will also really help them. Rather than the child just seeing letters on a page.

Step by Step Plan:

  • Read it -  Write the word on the sheet, ask the child to read it.
  • See it - Show the child a picture of the word. Draw or use a computer.
  • Write it - Keep the word covered, ask the child to write the word down.
  • If they can’t write the word down, ask them to copy the word.

Try this:

  • To make it more fun, we changed felt-tip colours for every word.
  • If using a computer, get the child to type in the word for more practise.
  • Use the "Traffic Light System" card, to check the child understands the activity.

Top Tips

  • Any extra practise that a dyslexic child can do, is good. Aim to do just 10 mins, 3 times a week. This maybe hard at first, but as it becomes part of their routine they will be more willing to do it.
  • Getting started and keeping the child going is the hardest part. Give lots of praise and use the reward chart to motivate them (see section above).
  • Don't worry about the child learning every 3 letter word on the list. It is more important that they are practising reading and writing letters.
  • Try to teach 3 letter words that rhyme, at the same time. Such as "Dog, Log, Jog". Or words that start or end with the same letter. See "Word Sounds" card for rhyming words.
  • If your child does mirror writing, then get them to trace over the word a few times. Using the "Practise Writing" card, to help them to start writing the letters correctly.

Remember dyslexic children need to learn something up to 10 times. It is more important that they are trying, practising, than getting every word correct. It will take time for the child to learn, it can take a few day for new things to sink in.

List of 3 Letter Words

Use the cards below for lists of 3 letter words, to try now at home. All children are different. You may need change the plan above to suit your child, you know them best.

All the cards are available as part of a "Mooki Cards". Complete with 56 cards and storage wallet. Perfect for using at home or in the classroom. Order your "Mooki Cards" here!

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