My eight year old is a pretty good reader for his age, reports. He’s finished his third year of school and although he still has to sound out the longer words, he eventually figures them all out. His weakness might be a result of his limited vocabulary, not a lack of phonics skills. He can write too; he carries on long instant messaging chats with me while I’m away or he’s at his mother’s house (my ex and I share joint custody). Sure, there are lots of typos and misspellings, but also total comprehension; the conversation moves effortlessly...

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