Help with reading

My son is starting 3rd and is an excellent reader. He has been through phonics many times and is bored by it at this stage.

The problem is that he still cannot or will not sound out words. He will guess the word, and when I ask him to look at the word again and break it into syllables he can kind of do it but mostly he just says a syllable and then looks to me for the answer. If he does finally sound out the word on his own he will pronounce it incorrectly, usually accenting the wrong syllables.

I can’t afford an expensive program but if there is something that will fix this problem that older students can use without being bored we will find the budget for it. At this point I am about to lose my mind repeating the same thing over and over with no results.

He currently reads at 4.8 grade level.

ETA: Thinking more about this, I am thinking that I might have him look the word up in the dictionary and use the pronunciation key to sound out the word then have him read the word a few times to make it stick. Any thoughts?

I cannot speak for it but I found this very interesting and I will be using it with my children.
It says to be good for remedial help as well:

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I don’t have any suggestions for that age with reading, as my son is still a few years off. Just curious as to how you found his reading grade level?

I used the resources on this page:

When I worked in the public system, my district used Houghton Mifflin for their main literacy, and it dedicated a whole section to ‘templates’ which basically was a list of sounds and eventually words that the children had to segment and blend every day. The sounds eventually became more complex to include dipthongs and words.

The curriculum is very expensive as it is designed for public school systems, but I have used the principles of segementing (separating sounds) and blending (blending two or more sounds) when teaching my children. Taking a page from Houghton Mifflin, I spend some dedicated time practicing these skills outside of reading books.

Using the simple example of ‘dog’:
NOTE: letters in quotes are letters or spelling; letters in / are sounds

  1. Show the word. Point to the first sound and ask, “Sound?” (answer /d/ not the letter d)
  2. Point to second sound and and ask, “Sound?” (answer /o/).
  3. Using your finger (or a marker) draw a line under both ‘d’ and ‘o’ and say, “Blend.” (answer /do/)
  4. Point to third sound and ask, "Sound?’ (answer /g/)
    5.Draw line under d-o-g and say ‘Blend?’ (answer /do-g/)
  5. Draw a line under d-o-g and ask, “Word?” (answer /dog/)

I know this seems kind of tedious, but it really helps especially when they start decoding longer words. (dipthongs are taught as one sound i.e. fried is taught as /f/ - /r/ - /i/ - /d/ and other phenomenon such as ‘the silent e’ is taught ‘a_e’ says /a/ and ‘i_e’ says /i/ ) in Houghton Mifflin.

I suggest you set aside some time to just decode words everyday. Not all literacy programs teaches phonemes (sounds) the same way (e.g. the above program teaches ‘igh’ says /i/, but others might say /i/ and the ‘g’ and ‘h’ are silent). You can go back to the program you used or find a new list of phonemes and just practice segmenting and blending sounds/words,

To make it interesting and not the same old same old, you can use themed words in a high-interest subject, make it a game, make a score board and see how many points (words) he can get, etc.

Some links I found may or may not be helpful (target words to search for: phonics, decoding, phonemic awareness) has lesson videos
•Activitiy ideas:
• Whole chapter including explanation, list, and games

I will keep looking to see if I can find actual templates, if you are interested. I hope this is helpful.