I am going to work with one of my daughters over the summer. She is in the 4th grade but on a 1st grade level. Do you have any ideas on something I can work on with her?

You posted your question in response to a post I had on learning sight words so I am going to assume you want tips to help her with reading. If you’re also going to work on other subject areas please write back and tell us a little more about your daughter so I can give more specific advice.

Your daughter has an advantage in that she is a child with academic experience. She has probably been exposed to all the skills she will need. A disadvantage is that she knows that reading is difficult for her and probably avoids it. Self-esteem may be low at this point. She needs to feel successful. You should talk to her teacher and get results of as much testing as possible. After reviewing the school testing do your own evaluation to determine exactly at what level she is reading.

Grade one students are reading at many different levels. Talk to her and find out her interests. Make sure that the books you use do not look too young. There are many choices with high interest at lower reading levels. Part of each lesson should be word work. She may not have understood how words work when she was at the age that it was being presented. Check other posts under reading here at classroomtalk for more about word work.

Reread at home everything that she works on in class. Multiple rereads help children to notice something new in the text each time they see it. Schools have some great reading programs online now. Check with her teacher to see if there are programs that the school uses and if you can access them at home.

Talking books (books on cd or cassette) encourage independent reading. Games such as BINGO EASY SIGHT WORDS GR K-2  and Versatiles are available online or at teacher supply stores and make learning fun. A strong foundation in phonics is essential and I’d suggest buying a phonics book such as (Price/EA)Phonics For First Grade Home Workbook Gr 1 and working in it daily. Simple learning games like "hangman" are helpful too.

I’d also recommend some of the great educational free web sites that are available like pbskids.com and starfall.com

This is a lot of general advice. Knowing your child’s learning disability, IQ and areas of need would be helpful. I hope this gives you a place to start!