To think that reception children should be given reading books in september

(108 Posts)
ReallyTired Thu 05-Sep-13 18:21:23

Most reception children cannot read and do not know any strageries for decoding new words. My daughter has been given a reading book which is a lovely book, but way beyond her ablity at the moment. I feel strongly that I do not want her to randomly guessing at words.

Sharing books is important at the age of four. Surely its better to share a high quality story book than an Oxford Reading Tree book. I would prefer to help my daughter learn her letter sounds and how to blend before being set loose on the school reading scheme. I feel that children should learn phonics initally before attempting to learn any other strageries for reading. I like synthetic phonics because it starts off very simply and complicated words are introduced later when the child has developed confidence.

My son did Jolly phonics in reception and he loved it. Good phonics teaching is not boring. He got his first reading book after christmas and enjoyed the buzz of sucess. I feel angry that my daughter's teacher is not using the same method.

BoozyBear Thu 05-Sep-13 22:34:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ReallyTired Thu 05-Sep-13 22:39:35

This is the book my daughter has been sent home with.

www.theworks.co.uk/p/key-stage-1-books/phonics-level-2-cat-in-a-bag-oxford-reading/9780198486206?CAWELAID=720011340000002819&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CL_h47-btbkCFU3LtAod7AkAjQ

Its a really nice book, with lots of suggestions on how to improve comprehesion and letter sounds to practice. My only complaint is that it is too hard for dd. I would like to have the book again in about six weeks time.

Dancergirl Thu 05-Sep-13 22:45:45

Oh for goodness sake why do people get so het up about the 'school' reading book?!

You know it should be only a drop in the ocean of all the other books they're looking at/reading/having read to them over the course of a week?

OP, spend 10 mins on the book with your dd. If you think it's too hard write a note to that effect in her reading record. Carry on reading to her a wide variety of books as I'm sure you have been doing. You're way over-thinking this.

NiceTabard Thu 05-Sep-13 22:46:42

That's a level 2 book though.

Here is link to ORT here so you can see more.
If you click on the level 1 links they are just pictures no words.

I would be asking the school why they have skipped the beginning stage/s of the series?

DD1 started school at 4yr 2 months and they did ORT but with the picture books to start and did loads of phonics at school and it all worked out fine and she has just gone into year 2 and is reading well.

I would not have been happy with them giving her "reading books" straight off.

I don't understand why if they are using a program like ORT they are skipping out the early stages confused I think you should have a chat with them.

DropYourSword Thu 05-Sep-13 22:50:52

I distinctly remember bringing home my first reading book from school. My pride turned to horror pretty quickly! I was so so disappointed to discover it was just full of pictures and had 'Look' on every page. I wanted a reading book and felt really insulted that this was really just a picture book!! So I guess it's different for each person.

PatriciaHolm Thu 05-Sep-13 22:54:17

Problem is, if kids don't get a book ASAP many parents are up in arms saying where are the books! At this stage teachers have no idea of the relative levels children are at, that will take a few weeks, until then they will all get the same thing.

ClayDavis Thu 05-Sep-13 22:54:46

In that case OP, it's not a completely lost cause. I'd be tempted to stick a note in with it saying it was too difficult and she can't blend yet and asking if it would be OK just to share some stories with her each night until she knows the sounds in the book and can blend.

thegreylady Thu 05-Sep-13 23:13:28

My dgs started Reception on Tuesday. He brought home a book ( I am Sam) on Wednesday and he read it to me straight away. He began by sounding out the letters eg S-a-m Sam but only the first time he saw each word. I think there were only 10 words at most but he was very very proud.
You can't generalise YABU.

FredFredGeorge Fri 06-Sep-13 00:00:13

It's a book, read it, or don't, it doesn't really matter. It's obvious your DD can't read it herself, other kids might, other kids might enjoy giving it ago, other kids might enjoy looking at the pictures and making up their own stories, other kids might enjoy acting it out with their parents.

There are a million books, learning to read or a love of books comes from all of them, not one and not any particular day, and what needs to come first is a love of stories in any case - which is where you really need to be involved.

YABU to be so bothered and involved by the book. Read a different one, go to the library, make up your own stories, but moaning to a teacher about 5 minutes of your DD's education. Bonkers.

ReallyTired Fri 06-Sep-13 09:39:54

Prehaps my biggest concern is whether my daughter is going to have high quality phonics teaching. The particular book is designed to link in with high quality phonics teaching and the authors expect the child to practice their phonics knowledge. The book is not designed to be high quality literature, it is designed to practice blending. However a child cannot practice blending if they have no phonics knowledge.

I feel the that the waxing lyrical approach that a child will learn to read if they "love books" is naive. I want my daughter to have a solid grounding in synthetic phonics with no other teaching methods to start with. (Just like the government wants schools to do!) My son's reception teacher used jolly phonics and his class did not have any books until Christmas. I feel it was much better.

My son had a sounds book which he practiced with every night at this stage. The parents were quite happy with this as they knew what was expected of them.

It looks like I will be teaching my daughter to read as I feel I cannot trust the school.

Thepowerof3 Fri 06-Sep-13 09:42:21

I agree too, my DD was 4 late August and she has 2 books, she was also given 1 in nursery

Mrsdoasyouwouldbedoneby Fri 06-Sep-13 09:53:47

Schools do hand out books ours were mainly story books to share. BUT. The point here is that we are a week into the first term. So the baseline assessments will not have been completed yet. Give the school till half term at least to get a measure of what level book the children need! That's really for the parents of children who can read...

That said... My yr 5 son (who when assessed before reads above his age), had a long chapter book (magician's nephew) before the holidays and didn't finish it, but as we were only started at the school about 4 weeks before the end of term I wasn't terribly bothered. He struggled a bit because the language is archaic and while he can read reasonably fluently his comprehension is not at the same level. Anyway. He came home with an ORT level 7 yesterday (banded pale blue)... To say I was shocked is an understatement. I made him work on the comprehension and do voices etc to help his expression but really he could have read it with one eye closed. His yr 3 sister also read it without any difficulty (not a surprise. It was very very easy to read). Am hoping it was just an error of communication to my son (who has mild ASD)... But if he comes home with a smile reader today I will speak to his teacher!

So you are not being unreasonable, but maybe a bit too quick off the mark, don't expect proper order to reign just yet.

Debs75 Fri 06-Sep-13 09:59:59

"It looks like I will be teaching my daughter to read as I feel I cannot trust the school"
Surely OP that is what is expected of parents. I taught DD1 the basics and alongside school we taught her together. I will do the same with DD2 and DD3. One-to-one teaching is better for most children but our children are at a school with 30 pupils in a class so one-to-one isn't feasible. Parents need to build on what is taught in school and tailor it to their childs individual needs.

Oh and if you don't trust the school on reading what are you going to do with maths and science?

Mrsdoasyouwouldbedoneby Fri 06-Sep-13 10:05:08

Also sythetic phonics is not the be all and end all. That is a bit unreasonable. My friend's son with verbal dyspraxia was unable to learn to read this way and it has stalled his reading. My daughter is terrible at sounding out because she quickly (in her head) moved to whole word recognition. Blending is important in the early stages, but recognising units comes quickly after as we don't want our children attempting to sound out (individual sounds) long words! My daughter passed the phonics test and could read the random words they give, but as I said. She uses whole word strategies.
It is foolhardy to think any one method works for all children. 'Phonics' was good for my son but no one told him to 'stop' sounding out. So he carried on doing it for ages after he could actually read the words... But less so for several of their class mates who either had hearing problems or other speech issues. I would much rather children be given a tool box for decoding words and get to the stage where you can make 'sense' of pretty much any jumble of letters.

noblegiraffe Fri 06-Sep-13 10:10:56

You sound a bit hysterical, OP. How long has your DD actually been at school to be writing them off with regards to teaching your DD to read? It's one book. My DS was given a book just so that he had something to put in his book bag, I'm certainly not worried about the contents of it yet, more concerned that he know where the toilets are and has a good time.

Dancergirl Fri 06-Sep-13 10:26:05

Agreed noblegiraffe

Was this your first choice school OP? If you're getting so wound up by one reading book in the first week of reception, you're in for a rough ride.

Important things about reception - that dc settle in well, make friends, manage to dress themselves, use the toilet, eat their lunch, follow school rules. MUCH more important than a flaming book.

YANBU ReallyTired.

I suspect you're more concerned than many parents would be as you've had experience of really good phonics teaching and now expect no less than that for every child. I agree that it's much too early to be sending scheme books home with children who can't read yet. Also agree with those who say sending home books designed for reading to the child would be much better.

Our DCs' school also does Jolly Phonics but they started off with pre-reading tasks. They had only started this scheme when my son started reception, which meant that they missed the preparation work in nursery so they didn't get any scheme books until after Christmas. However, because my DD started three years later the programme was also in place for the nursery class so she did a lot of the pre-reading stuff in that class so as her reception class were a bit further on than DS's they were given books after October half term.

FWIW, when my DS started the only phonics books the school had were a set of the ORT Songbirds and a handful of Jelly and Bean, but by the time my DD was in reception the school had invested in some fantastic Dandelion phonics books, so I too now have very high expectations of phonics teaching as I've seen what is possible.

Debs75 Fri 06-Sep-13 09:59:59

>>>> "It looks like I will be teaching my daughter to read as I feel I cannot trust the school"
Surely OP that is what is expected of parents. <<<<

Er, only if you're home edding. Surely the school is supposed to teach them and the parents should be supporting the school, and supporting the children in what the school is teaching. hmm

WowOoo Fri 06-Sep-13 11:10:14

I've been reading slowly and sounding out the words and letting ds2 follow the words. I've also repeated the sentence at normal ish speed after.

We've looked at the pictures closely too and had a laugh.

He could recognise and sound out a few easy CVC words after this. But I doubt he'll recall them by next week.

So, I disagree with you on this ReallyTired.

ReallyTired Fri 06-Sep-13 11:40:10

"Was this your first choice school OP? If you're getting so wound up by one reading book in the first week of reception, you're in for a rough ride."

Well, my children's school is in special measures. I have the choice of school in special measures or school two miles away that is also in special measures. I have opted for sh!t school on doorstep and I am praying the superhead who has been brought in will turn things around.

My daughter is not a precious first born. My son had excellent phonics teaching in reception and I don't understand why my daughter is not getting the same.

>>>> "It looks like I will be teaching my daughter to read as I feel I cannot trust the school"
Surely OP that is what is expected of parents. <<<<

What if parents can't read themselves. Without the help of the reception teacher my son had in reception most of wouldn't had had a clue where to start with teaching a child to read.

Parents support the teacher and a good teacher gives guidence in what to do. Seven years ago my son's teacher ran a session on how to help your child with their reading and made a little leaflet that she gave to the parents. I feel that the new reception teacher should be doing something similar.

SATs results at my children's school are terribe and there has been a huge turnover of children. Only half of my son's reception class stayed until year 6 and the majority of children could read. The children in the parallel reception class who did not have the high quality phonics teaching struggled more with reading. I believe that the lack of high quality phonics teaching across the school is why the school is failing.

PatriciaHolm Fri 06-Sep-13 12:24:09

Your child has been at school what, two, three days? Give them time! Even my children's fabulous, supportive school hasn't sent out the letters about parent's sessions for learning about reading, maths, this year's lessons yet. It's way too early to be writing the school off, though you clearly have a big problem with it even before your DD started.

SheRaHasTheAnswer Fri 06-Sep-13 12:28:55

Op I've sent you a PM, I designed a product that might help your daughter and I'd be delighted to send you a pack.

SHarri13 Fri 06-Sep-13 12:43:22

When my son first started we got normal non scheme books to read at home, i.e me reading him listening and helping. Then after a month it was OLT wordless books plus a book to share and then they adjusted that to their reading level after Christmas.

arethereanyleftatall Fri 06-Sep-13 12:56:40

Fgs this thread is ridiculous. Its 2 or 3 days in to the school year. The teacher doesn't magically know which stage each child is at.
There will bepossibly about 20% of children who have already done phonics and are on the next stage.
The rest will probably start phonics in a week or so.
The teacher is just sorting them out.
Chill out.

ReallyTired Fri 06-Sep-13 13:00:36

"It's way too early to be writing the school off, though you clearly have a big problem with it even before your DD started."

I know the school as my son was there was seven years. My son has started secondary and it has really brought home to me quite how crap the standard of teaching was at his primary school was.

Clearly there are big problems otherwise it would not have been taken over by the local authority and a new head and deputy installed. School choice is myth when there are not enough places for every child who needs one.

It is better to give a child a particular type of book when they are ready. The particular book in question is really phonics based book. I would like her to have the book when she is READY for it otherwise she will get nothing out of it. If I read through it then she will learn it off by heart and not be able to use the book for decoding practice later on.

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