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Not knowing the alphabet at 7 years old?!?

(25 Posts)
Hedgehog80 Mon 16-Jun-14 18:36:36

Ds1 asked me today could I get out the alphabet puzzle so he could do join the dots letters for dd2 (4) but he didnt know the alphabet so needed to copy them, I thought he was joking as we always did the puzzle and the alphabet song when he was little (he never joined in but always listened).

I can't believe he doesn't know it and I feel bad I hadn't realised till now. He does struggle with writing quite a lot and reading too. How can I help him?

schmee Mon 16-Jun-14 18:38:58

I don't think they teach the alphabet in school until about year 3 now, so I wouldn't worry. Phonics means they learn sounds in a different way and order.

Hedgehog80 Mon 16-Jun-14 18:42:00

That's reassuring, I felt really bad!

Lexie1970 Mon 16-Jun-14 18:53:34

My son is 7 and knows the alphabet. I don't mean to be harsh but you should be concerned if does not have a SEN. DS has been very slow to pick up reading and is starting to click over the past 6 months.

You need to be asking what on earth he has been doing at school for nearly 3 years if he doesn't recognise all of the alphabet. What about his phonics screening - my DS is having to do it apgain this week and he is in Y2....

Please be concerned that this hasn't been picked up if he enters KS2 in September.

Hedgehog80 Mon 16-Jun-14 19:06:39

I was appalled at his school books and the fact the teacher clearly hasn't picked up on other issues, his writing and letter formation are terrible, so much so I could not make out entire sentences.
He's a clever boy but does struggle with reading and writing, proffering maths as it comes easily to him. He hates school though.

Hedgehog80 Mon 16-Jun-14 19:07:59

Phonics screening was very difficult for ds due to speech problems and I think they found it hard to assess him as he couldn't make a lot of the sounds correctly/at all.

kim147 Mon 16-Jun-14 19:09:44

When you say he doesn't know the alphabet, what do you mean?

Does he recognise all the letters?
Does he know the sounds they make?
Can he put them in alphabetical order?

We do lots of work on alphabetical order in KS2 - using a dictionary, putting things in order. There's still children who have to think about where each letter goes.

Piratejones Mon 16-Jun-14 19:10:53

I would say this is a concern at 7, it should have been noticed by the teacher. They no longer do the alphabet in reception (they do the phonics instead) / but by year one i think they learn the order of the letters in the alphabet so they know the names of the letters..
My 6 year old knows the sounds and the names of all the letters.

Maybe you should have a talk with his teacher?

ReallyFuckingFedUp Mon 16-Jun-14 19:13:03

So you are saying he doesn't recognize them by sight? I don't think that is right for a 7 year old

GobbolinoCat Mon 16-Jun-14 19:17:01

yes i would be concerned. go and request a chat. what have they said to you at parents evenings

Im a TA in reception.

We do sing the alphabet song and some of my gang do use it to help them figure out their phonemes. Most are fluent in the recital and know what's what.

By 7, I'd be concerned if they were struggling.

Hedgehog80 Mon 16-Jun-14 19:17:43

He recognises the letters but does not know their order
Some sounds he can do, others not due to not being able to pronounce them which causes a few issues with reading eg he says the 'z' sound instead of 'v' so will read words wrong then gets muddled and frustrated.

Hedgehog80 Mon 16-Jun-14 19:18:59

At parents eve the teacher seed most concerned that ds still cannot do cursive writing and is reluctant to read out loud.

Hurr1cane Mon 16-Jun-14 19:20:12

Yes I would be concerned. My DS (7) with severe learning difficulties and the mental age of a 3 year old can sing the alphabet and knows the sounds of most of the letters (can't write them or read any words)

Hopefully it'll just be a little gap in his knowledge though.

Piratejones Mon 16-Jun-14 19:20:31

I'd go in and ask to speak to the school nurse, they will arrange a meeting and you can get advice from her / him.

SolomanDaisy Mon 16-Jun-14 19:23:11

No wonder he's reluctant to read out loud, if he doesn't know what sounds the letters make and also has speech difficulties! It sounds like the teacher barely knows him. I'm surprised you hadn't noticed earlier though, are his speech problems disguising it?

ouryve Mon 16-Jun-14 19:24:44

You probably need to set aside some of the summer holidays to sit down and work with him in a structured way. Mimio Headsprout (online) is supposed to be good for kids with SN who struggle with reading. In the meantime, I'd invest in some alphablocks DVDs for reinforcement - DS2 loves these and despite having very limited speech has learnt his letter sounds and can now confidently read and spell a lot of words.

And do have a chat with his teacher.

Delphiniumsblue Mon 16-Jun-14 19:26:03

I would be very concerned and follow up. At his age he will be expected to use a dictionary and should certainly know the alphabet.

Piratejones Mon 16-Jun-14 19:29:05

OP, i couldn't read until i was 9, luckily for me we moved house and i moved schools and my new school caught the problem. They took me right back to basics with the "fuzzbuzz" series of books.
I caught up to above my reading age once things clicked.

Schools miss things, you really should push for a meeting with the school nurse.

Hedgehog80 Mon 16-Jun-14 19:32:26

He has had speech therapy since age 3 and we have done a lot of work on that with him. I feel dreadful I didn't realise about the alphabet till now. He's reluctant to do his reading and gets frustrated and angry but I had no idea at all things were this bad.

ReallyFuckingFedUp Mon 16-Jun-14 19:35:51

Are you in a position that you can afford a bit of private tuition?

Hedgehog80 Mon 16-Jun-14 20:09:32

Probably not but I will look into the cost. I might just start doing some work with him at home. He's sensitive and as he had started the game today of being a teacher for dd2 I may use that, get some very basic workbooks for both of them to do but say he is the teacher and he can do it too to show her? I'm ery aware that he gets embarrassed so need to be careful.

defineme Mon 16-Jun-14 20:14:37

If you post on the sn board people will recommend reading programmes-I have heard headsprout which is online is really good.

schmee Tue 17-Jun-14 14:21:00

I think there are two separate issues. I know my 7 year olds in year 2 haven't done the alphabet or any work with dictionaries at school. They happen to know the alphabet as we did a couple of verbal reasoning papers for the 7+ and they needed to know if for that. So don't worry about the ordering.

On the issue of not being able to say the sounds (so struggling with phonics) I would expect the school to have approached you about support in school (and at home) for this. There should be some sort of agreed plan in place.

It sounds like the teacher is barking up the wrong tree - cursive handwriting isn't a must in Year Two (at my boys' school none of the children do this although they have been learning the joins this year), but support for a child who is not achieving what they should in phonics is an absolute priority.

School first, then private/home help next if school can't deliver a programme or you are uncomfortable with the school's competence, I think.

Hurr1cane Tue 17-Jun-14 14:49:57

When u was teaching year 1, not very long ago, dictionary work was in the curriculum as something that must be taught

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