to not be teaching my 2 year old phonics?

(128 Posts)
nancerama Mon 11-Nov-13 14:39:10

It seems that competitive parenting is creeping into my social circle of what were, up until now, laid back lovely parents of toddlers.

DS is 2.5 and his friends are all of a similar age, give or take a few months. Of late, everyone seems to be dashing out and purchasing Jolly Phonics packs or similar, because, apparently, their DCs really, really want to read.

DS loves books and we read together for around 1 hour a day, but I just can't bring myself to start formal education. My heart says we should have lots of fun reading together and understanding books, but my head (and my fellow parents) tell me that it's important to give him a head start before he starts school.

Please, fellow mumsnetters. Reassure me that they are all bonkers.

coppertop Mon 11-Nov-13 14:41:41

They are all bonkers.

They could let the DCs watch Alphablocks on CBeebies instead. Much cheaper! wink

frazzeled Mon 11-Nov-13 14:44:21

You are totally right -my dd has just started phonics at school at age 4 and that is the right age. Just enjoy!!

Crowler Mon 11-Nov-13 14:45:51

God, OP, I feel for you. I wish that everyone could just chill the fuck out in the parenting department.

My social circle is dominated by my kids' friends' parents because I moved to the UK as a 31 year old. So I have to listen to a lot of this crap. I need to branch out.

EdithWeston Mon 11-Nov-13 14:46:34

I thought my DC were interested in reading early, but that was at about 3.5, not 2.5!

Yes, they are bonkers. Reading with your DC is by far the better thing to be doing. If you want something 'improving' try Doctor Seuss - don't try and teach from it, rather just enjoy the word play.

I taught my DD the alphabet at around 18 months....she was totally obsessed with letters and numbers and knew all the names and sounds very quickly...

She's nearly 3 and has forgotten most of them now grin

Do what you like, if they take an interest then encourage it, if they don't then it doesn't matter at this age.

LittleMissGreen Mon 11-Nov-13 14:48:06

My (autistic) DS1 truly wanted to read by age 2. He would throw a tantrum if anyone suggested he could "read a book" rather than "look at a book" as he couldn't read. He couldn't walk past signs without needing to know what they said, couldn't eat a yogurt without knowing what ALL the writing on the pot said.
He knew all his single letter phonics by 2 and worked out himself how to blend them by age 3.

However, DS2 and 3 had no interest in letters at all until the term before they started school (and they are September birthdays so were nearly 5 at the time). DS2 was considered gifted in literacy by the October of his reception year - without any 'early' phonics input. Waiting until he was interested was really not a problem, pushing him when he was a toddler definitely would have been.

ReallyTired Mon 11-Nov-13 14:50:22

Jolly phonics is brilliant, but if you introduce at two years old then they will be bored of it before they are ready. Most four year olds learn to read really quickly with jolly phonics when they are ready. This is why school starts at the age of four and not two years old.

rockybalboa Mon 11-Nov-13 14:51:57

Utter bonkers. Ignore the pushy parents and have fun playing Happyland (or whatever) instead!!

YouTheCat Mon 11-Nov-13 14:53:46

OP, you are doing everything right.

My kids loved their Phonics Bus - more ds (who has severe autism) than dd but I got it because they loved pressing buttons and getting sounds back. I didn't love it so much but my own fault for buying it.

Pushing books on children and making it like work will only serve to put most kids off.

CecilyP Mon 11-Nov-13 14:54:08

They are all bonkers! Of course their DCs don't really want to read - it is just parental one-upmanship. Continue talking to and reading to your DS. Sing songs and play counting games. Why does he need to learn what he will be learning at school before he actually goes to school? Would you feed him with a big nosh before he goes to a party? Your head should be where your heart is. It seems to be just a fad, similar in its faddishness to the old 'Teach your Baby to Read' flashcards (currently very much frowned upon now phonics is de rigueur).

ben5 Mon 11-Nov-13 14:54:21

Let her be a 2 year old. Relax and enjoy . She'll learn by playing

nancerama Mon 11-Nov-13 14:54:44

Phew! I was starting to feel like an island of laziness, particularly since DS refuses to potty train either.

I'm getting the pitying looks from them when I say I'm concentrating on allowing him to explore and understand books. I'm being treated like a mad hippy.

DS is (and will always be) an only child. It's so important for me to develop at his own pace. I don't want to baby him, but I'm in no rush to make him grow up.

Crowler Mon 11-Nov-13 14:56:13

It will get worse before it gets better, I'm afraid.

YANBU. Keep reading to him, and encourage him in anything that he takes an interest in, but phonics at 2? I don't even do phonics with my 3.8yo; she recognises most letters probably thanks to CBeebies and can sound out simple words but I don't push it. She'll learn it when she starts school.

EdithWeston Mon 11-Nov-13 14:57:07

Nothing wrong with being a mad hippy!

NewBlueShoesToo Mon 11-Nov-13 14:58:09

They will be fed up with phonics by the time they reach school, the teacher will soon work out they are not all child geniuses and your child will have a wide range if skills and experiences from doing other things ( which are much more fun!).
Yes they are bonkers.

HaroldTheGoat Mon 11-Nov-13 14:58:12

I've never even HEARD of jolly phonics. DS is 2.5.

You could say ah, don't need that, he's been reading a while now. grin

pumpkinkitty Mon 11-Nov-13 14:58:40

I read the title at year 2 child. I was going to say YABABU not teaching a 6 to phonics when they learn it at school.

However, a 2 yo child learning phonics! Bonkers!

My mum had a friend who started flash cards and phonics when his DS was 2. He is now 20something and learnt no quicker than any other children!

CreamyCooler Mon 11-Nov-13 15:00:45

LittleMissGreen my 2 younger DS's sound like your DS1. DS2 was 2 and a half and DS3 was just 18 months when they knew their letters and all the sounds. I know it sounds crazy. They were ahead with their English and reading until about age 12 and then things evened out.

pianodoodle Mon 11-Nov-13 15:01:35

DD is 2 and a bit. She frequently tells me "I'm reading my book!"

She isn't btw grin

But she'll happily sit with one for ages and point out all the stuff/colours etc...

It doesn't make me want to rush out and get a tutor in just yet smile

I feel a bit mad now though....is it really unusual for a pre-18 month old to be interested in letters? She used to make us tell her what they were and once she knew them all we had to use her magna doodle to write each letter and she'd name it, say the phonic sound and then the animal beginning with that letter. I'm not stealth boasting or anything, but reading the responses here it sounds really unusual (she's an only, I have little experience of young children). She first showed interest at 14 months and knew them all by 18 months. Around 2.3 she could do the "Cuh-ah-t....CAT" thing, and could recognise "th...sh...ch". She's lost interest totally now, but I'm hoping she'll pick it up again quickly when she starts school.

Again, not boasting, I was always gentley encouraging rather than pushy, but is that really unusual?

pianodoodle Mon 11-Nov-13 15:04:00

I'm not even very keen on phonics, but I suppose that's how she'll be taught when she goes to school.

givemeaclue Mon 11-Nov-13 15:05:03

I wouldn't join in with this behaviour

jacks365 Mon 11-Nov-13 15:05:19

I'm using flashcards with dd who is just 2 but nothing to do with phonics I'm trying to encourage her speech. Could not imagine even trying to teach phonics anytime soon. .

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