To tell ds reception teacher he is NOT doing reading books at home.

(142 Posts)
Altinkum Wed 22-Jan-14 18:35:41

Ds2 is 4 years and 5 months he is the youngest in his year and is also developmentally behind in speech and ability (education) since sept he has only read 23 school books, he is supposed to read 3 a week we are averaging about 1 book per week if that.

He is really struggling reading at home but apparently is doing excellent in school hmm

He can sound the book out but he simply cannot blend the words toghther to make the word.

Yesterday we had 20 mins of tears and tampering - because he just couldn't blend the words, he just dosent understand blending them toghther even simple words like in, is, it etc... He knows mum and dad, because he has memorised those words.

Yesterday I a note in his parent comment book saying the above -

All I got was - "keep practising with sound out and blending words, so today we have and again sounding out is fine, blending is NOT. We have had tears to the point he has made himself sick, (we stopped 10 mins into the book but was still upset 20 mins later and was sick) I don't want to make him do this, and have him crying every night.

He is fab at math, and his writing is coming on, he can count to 100 no problem, lows the comets alphabet, draws no problem and knows all his shapes and colours... It is just reading he is struggling with massively.

AIBU to say I/him needs to take a break from his reading books (we read to him every night and he tells us what's going on in the picture by pointing and verbally telling us etc... I honesty think if we continue to do this he will loathe reading, he's also thrown his reading book across the table in huge frustration.

I just needs break and I think he does too.

Altinkum Wed 22-Jan-14 18:38:19

Oooo bloody hell... Sorry about the post.

Sirzy Wed 22-Jan-14 18:39:59

I would ask them to send home easier books, but I wouldn't not do it at all as that certainly won't help him especially not giving the impression that if your struggling with something you shouldn't have to do it.

He is in reception as long as he can tell you the story and have a go at the reading now and again school will bring him along fine, just let him sound the words out don't worry/do blending it takes time but will be fine

littleredsquirrel Wed 22-Jan-14 18:41:01

I'm no expert but I would focus on the blending rather than dropping reading altogether. I would do it with short words when you're speaking initially eg "can mummy have a k-i-s?" "can I have a h-u-g?"

can I have a biscuit mummy? "y-e-s"

makes sure you are using the phonics sounds though rather than the old 1970s pronunciation of the sounds otherwise is far harder for them to pick up. "Why is mummy asking for a ku-i-su??" If you're doing it properly it just sounds like you're saying the words really slowly.

JerseySpud Wed 22-Jan-14 18:41:09

How is he ever going to improve if you aren't supporting his learning at home? Or is he going to learn that if he finds something difficult in life then to just give up.

The mroe you persevere the more he will pick it up. Just ask if you can drop back to 1 book expected to be read per week rather than 3

OwlinaTree Wed 22-Jan-14 18:41:28

Poor little thing. I would read to him, modelling sounding out and blending. Or get him to sound out and you blend it together.

He'll get it soon.

manicinsomniac Wed 22-Jan-14 18:42:22

YABU - it is the schools responsibility to send home appropriate books (even if they start with ones that are just pictures and your child makes the story up to fit the pictures) but it is your responsibility to help him progress by hearing him read at home too. However hard it is.

wouldbemedic Wed 22-Jan-14 18:42:28

I wouldn't send a note. It might be difficult to get across the level of distress your son is going through. I would make an appointment to see the teacher and explain what's happening. It's not her fault.

Nanny0gg Wed 22-Jan-14 18:42:40

Do you mean blending the sounds to make words or linking the words to make sentences?

What you suggest you want to do sounds fine tbh.,but it would be worth meeting with the teacher so that she knows the situation.

WooWooOwl Wed 22-Jan-14 18:42:40

I think a short break is fine, but I wouldn't leave it more than a couple of weeks tops. He will fall behind otherwise.

Can you get him to sound out the words and then you do the blending but for him? Then you can read it more fluently for him so that he's hearing the words as he sees them. When you're blending, say the sounds and repeat it over and over getting quicker so that he can hear the sounds actually blending together, rather than just going straight from the individual sounds to the word. Sorry if I'm stating the obvious!

He will get it eventually, but only if you persevere.

manicinsomniac Wed 22-Jan-14 18:42:49

Reading it to him/with him is a good suggestion

bunchoffives Wed 22-Jan-14 18:43:13

He's FOUR for heaven's sake. Don't panic. Just get him to enjoy the stories at the moment and try and predict/talk about what is happening by looking at the pics.

And, importantly, if he gets upset stop straight away. Don't risk putting him off reading for years to come. The main thing is to get a positive attitude towards books at this age.

Diamondsareagirls Wed 22-Jan-14 18:43:46

I think you do need to continue the reading as giving up will send completely the wrong message. It sounds like he does need easier material and Owlina's suggestion about you modelling and then blending it together is a good one.

Nanny0gg Wed 22-Jan-14 18:44:03

Um, the OP is supporting his learning. She is reading and sharing and discussing stories with her DC.

Forcing him so he's extremely upset is not helping and it's not necessary.

etoo Wed 22-Jan-14 18:44:44

He can only learn as fast as he can learn, it's not fair to try to push him faster than he can go according to an artificial timetable set by by state education system. He will catch up eventually given the opportunity. Obviously this may mean you need to do more work at home so he doesn't get left behind. School treatment of summer-born kids does piss me off though.

Ifcatshadthumbs Wed 22-Jan-14 18:45:37

My ds also has some developmental delay so teaching him to understand blending was difficult so I asked his speech therapist for advice. A good way that helped him to learn blending was printing out some CVC words with pictures like Cat, dog, rat, bus etc and putting maybe six of the out in front of him and asking "can you find C. A. T." Then when he picked the right one say "oh great you found C. A. T, cat well done"

Once he knew them all I cut off the picture and just put out the word instead.

There's quite a lot of websites to print off CVC words with pictures if you google.

Perhaps have a break from the books but try this activity for a while instead.

Ifcatshadthumbs Wed 22-Jan-14 18:47:15

Also ds mostly had wordless picture books all through reception but in year one made a real leap forward once he understood the concept of blending.

YouTheCat Wed 22-Jan-14 18:47:22

You go through the book together, looking at the pictures so he can relay the story to you. Then you read the book to him, getting him to try the occasional word, blending or from memory to get his confidence up.

He will get there. School sounds stupid and obsessed with phonics to me, like many of them these days.

I managed to learn to read without ever blending or learning phonemes. Dd managed to be a free reader in year 1 in the same way. Phonics and blending does not suit all children.

JingleBrains Wed 22-Jan-14 18:48:51

You poor thing <hug>
My DS is the youngest in his class (born 27 August!) and while he was in Reception, I refused to make him do homework. If he wanted to read fine, I tried to encourage it as a routine and make it fun, but if he had a bad day or was tired, I just left him alone. Just like your DS, he did fine with everything else in school, so that was enough for me!
Now he's in Year 1, he struggled a bit with spelling some of the trickier phonics (I hate those bloody phonics) but otherwise he copes very well.
I had the best proof that giving him some space is the right thing to do, after the Christmas hols. I did not do one minute of reading or spelling with him during the break, and after the first week back at school, I got a note from the teacher saying what great progress he made with reading and spelling!

Patilla Wed 22-Jan-14 18:49:22

We get told to do five minutes a day. DS is the oldest in his reception class but still finds it hard work to keep up the concentration so I just let him read a few pages and stop when he gets tired, which is usually close enough to the five minute mark. We would never manage twenty mins.

Why don't you get an egg timer/download it onto your phone and play a "let's see how far we can get today" and when the time runs out have a chilled drink and biscuit and praise him.

The next day you read what he did today, or you discuss it together then pick off from where you ended.

Given where he is I also wouldn't be expecting him to do every word, I'd read out at least half and maybe two thirds and just pick simple words for him to try. I'd make those similar words each time.

I'm no teacher but ds really lacks confidence and it gets knocked easily so we have had to take it more slowly than he actually could do it if he were more confident.

I hope this helps

wouldbemedic Wed 22-Jan-14 18:50:55

And I also wouldn't be afraid to step back from such a formal education at so young an age. In Germany your son would be skipping around with a ball until he's seven...and doing better in his academic career further down the line! You're right to have tried and right to feel there's a limit to the distress a child should be experiencing, especially at such a young age and being young in the year. Anyone who loves reading and has any intuition when it comes to learning will understand that this is not the way to learn. It may also have a detrimental impact on your son's self-image and identity as a student - this could be difficult to shift. My DH, at 35, is only now beginning to realise he's so much more than a 'dumb dyslexic kid'....that's what a what-size-fits-all education did for him. And don't let anyone tell you it's a moral issue. It's not. Any kid who will keep trying to the point that he's sick with trying isn't lacking in motivation. It's your job as a parent to empower your child by ensuring there is a reasonable chance that he will be able to reach the goals that are presented to him - with a fair amount of effort. If the goals are out of reach right now and it just isn't happening, what does it really matter? Try again, next month, next year. That's character.

foreverondiet Wed 22-Jan-14 18:52:02

Ridic - when my kids in reception first books not until jan and even then only for most able (eg my dd with October birthday) and only one or if you really wanted 2 a week. Go at your own pace.

Altinkum Wed 22-Jan-14 18:53:07

Please note, I am reading to him at home, we read together every night.

I do 20 mins work with him everyday, Monday to Sunday, he loves it. We are currently learning about the difference between small and large, lengths, heights etc... He's loving it.

Today's word in his book was Tim and dug... So we sound it out by clapping (teacher wants it done this way) and then sound it out without the claps... He still cannot blend them even if he's saying them.

I'm not saying I want to stop them completely, he gets homework everyday, today we have had to colour all the same shapes in one colour, he loved it.

Reading is becoming something it shouldn't be, hence why I think we need to take a break from reading books, he does all other work with no issue.

He is speech delayed and has what his specialist call "backing", so even with him sounding out the word, it sounds nothing like the word. Hence why I don't think he can do it.

JingleBrains Wed 22-Jan-14 18:53:16

I guess what I'm trying to say is, whatever you do, don't make him upset. There are ways of making reading and spelling fun - some good advice here of course, also I for example use magnetic letters on the fridge and foam letters in the bath and DS enjoys them most days

Altinkum Wed 22-Jan-14 18:56:12

I should have said we have previously had meetings with the teacher, hence why we clap to sound out the word, not the sentence, we both leave comments in his reading book, and also had meetings about it.

SparklingMuppet Wed 22-Jan-14 18:57:09

Ask for a one to one meeting with the teacher for 15 mins before or after school. Talk to her, it will be much more productive thsn shuttling notes back and forth. You can explain to her far more fully in a nuanced conversation, the difficulties he is having. If he's struggling that much it may be possible for them to do some individual or targetted small group work with him during school hours that will also be of benefit. But seriously, go and speak to her.

We had similar issues with ds1 in reception and he only really got blending towards the end of the easter term, yet by the start of year 1 he was reading some bits of the easier Roald Dahl's to himself! We chatted to his recpetion teacher fairly frequently because I was very woried he was falling behind, and she was wonderful in encouraging us to slow things down at home if needs be. Give your teacher a chance too.

BingoWingsBeGone Wed 22-Jan-14 18:57:22

Just write a note in his reading record - 'Read together and working on blending sounds although he is still finding this quite tricky at present'

You read it through, ask him to pick out letters he recognises and then try and get him to blend 2-3 words. That is all that is needed.

I'm with the 'he's very young' camp but Ds' teacher had a good tip to help with blending:
extra emphasis on the first sound, making it louder if necessary, seems to help them blend the rest more easily i.e. C-a-t

SparklingMuppet Wed 22-Jan-14 18:57:50

X posts then - ask for another meeting and outline your concerns, if you've already got a relationship going, use it to your advantage!

JingleBrains Wed 22-Jan-14 18:58:02

I assume the teacher is aware of the speech delay and familiar with specialists recommendations on how to best support children who have this problem?

cosmickitten Wed 22-Jan-14 18:59:24

Your poor little boy. Forcing him night after to 'read' will not help him learn. I say this as an early years teacher. Sharing books just like you described for now is just what he needs.

Meet with his teacher and ask for some phonics games you can play at home to help with blending. He should be doing these at school and his teacher will know which ones he enjoys. If not pm and I'll happily help you.

Alpha blocks on the computer is also a fun way of exploring phonics at home.

Madlizzy Wed 22-Jan-14 18:59:30

I'd agree to back right off on the reading and blending. You reading with him each night as you're doing will encourage and foster a love of reading when he's developmentally mature enough to do it. Forcing him will put him off completely. If he struggles with his speech, then sounding stuff out isn't going to be right for him just yet.

I was going to suggest reading to him, but I see you are doing that already. I think you are doing the right thing by backing off for a while - your ds has got plenty of time to learn to read - and that will be infinitely harder if he gets so stressed and upset reading at home that he develops a real dislike of reading.

Could you maybe find some word games that you could play with him instead? Perhaps write out some easy, short words he knows, two of each, and play the memory match game with them. Or make cards with individual letters and make words out of them - ie. 'can you find the letters for hug/cat/car?'.

Or get him to describe what's happening in the pictures in the books you read to him - just low-pressure, fun stuff that won't make him upset or stressed.

TheRealAmandaClarke Wed 22-Jan-14 19:02:32

He is only four. Learning to read shouldn't be unpleasant. Some of the best ed systems in the world don't start formal schooling until six yo. I think you are right to want to go at his pace and have him enjoy it.

Altinkum Wed 22-Jan-14 19:02:52

"My ds also has some developmental delay so teaching him to understand blending was difficult so I asked his speech therapist for advice. A good way that helped him to learn blending was printing out some CVC words with pictures like Cat, dog, rat, bus etc and putting maybe six of the out in front of him and asking "can you find C. A. T." Then when he picked the right one say "oh great you found C. A. T, cat well done"

That's is fab advice and one that I would never have thought off.

He gets speech and language activities to do at home, he currently has a set of letters and pictures and he has to say the picture and then find the letter it begins with, so that advice is fantastic for him and one I think he could do.

Altinkum Wed 22-Jan-14 19:09:36

STDG, also thankyou, he will love doing it that way too, right off to get my laminator any excuse and printer out grin

Me and his teacher have a fab relationship, he does have a IEP and has one to one with the senco teacher (cannot for the life remember her official name)

Penguin0fMadagascar Wed 22-Jan-14 19:13:43

At my DS's school they do the segmenting/blending thing by calling it "using robot voices" (complete with robotic arm movements) which the children seem to find a fun way of doing it.

Ifcatshadthumbs Wed 22-Jan-14 19:14:11

It really did seem to help the whole idea of blending click with ds. It was so hard trying to explain the concept of words and blending to him him because of his level of understanding language. Saying "blend the sounds together" meant nothing but this activity really helped him see how the sounds made the words that matched the pictures.

As he gets better at it you can speed up a little and leave less of a pause between each letter sound.

On a separate note 3 books a week sounds like a lot for any child!

Ifcatshadthumbs Wed 22-Jan-14 19:19:25

Also meant to say when he picks the card get him to point to each sound and say them out allowed too so he can hear himself sounding out and blending. He'll get there and as others have said phonics isn't for everyone!

ashamedoverthinker Wed 22-Jan-14 19:20:53

I would just have a couple of days off then do as little as he can manage ans that is all, gradually build him back up in his own time let him lead.

Sometimes I would be tempted to just enjoy the book by looking at pics, havig a chat and sounding out. It will click and then he wont be put off books.

I think puttig him off reading is far more damaging in the long run than slowing down for a term.

ashamedoverthinker Wed 22-Jan-14 19:21:09

Yes I think 3 books is a lot too.

scoobdoob Wed 22-Jan-14 19:23:19

My daughter was exactly the same down to making herself sick and poorly. It was so stressful for us all. I stopped reading and just read to her. Never mentioned it.

Now she is 8 and reads perfectly. No tantrums (well rarely) about reading. So I would say leave it and enjoy what he enjoys.

Good luck

LegoStillSavesMyLife Wed 22-Jan-14 19:23:32

We had this with ds1 in reception. We just scrapped the reading books (with his teachers blessing). Her and our view was that reading is supposed to be enjoyable and twenty minutes of "look at the book, the words are not on the ceiling/your brother/next doors cat (delete as applicable)" was doing nothing for anybody. We still read to him lots and did other things, but we just didn't make him read.

I seem to recall, we really focused on learning his key words and played lots of games with them.

His reading is fine now.

He's FOUR. In lots of countries (scandinavian countries for ex) children don't start reading until years later. I think this rush can be damaging to some children. I would let my ds take his time if I were you.

Sunshineonsea Wed 22-Jan-14 19:26:07

Could the clapping also be counter-productive...just thinking the noise of the clap may distract from the sound of the letter
Ds does it on his fingers like he's counting iykwim

Could you get him to read the letter sounds but then you do the blending?
Ds couldn't blend at first he kept getting the word backwards but after I did this for a while he got the hang of it

Lastly could you try having certain words to learn by sight rather than breaking them up, for example you, is, the, of...words that don't actually blend which may be confusing him more.

Good luck he will get the hang of it smile

poopadoop Wed 22-Jan-14 19:26:35

YANBU about not wanting to 'make' him do the homework to the level you think the teacher expects. However, a note as you worded it doesn't sound like a good idea, nor does the thread title. Work with the teacher, tell her how upset he is and tell her the strategy isn't working and advise you think it best if you sounded words out with him in a more informal way. IMO it is ridiculous to push reading at this age, as so many have said many countries with much better literacy levels than the UK don't start formal reading lessons until aged 6 or 7.

He is 4, really give it a rest for a few weeks, it wont hurt him at all.

redsquareyellowsquare Wed 22-Jan-14 19:28:48

I would stop making him read but not tell the school. They'll never know. You are his Mum and know what is best for him, but the school will be more concerned about their targets and what you/he "should" do.

I say this as a teacher btw. It is very difficult for me to say "don't worry about that homework/target" because it is my job, but I love it when a parent says it!

tobiasfunke Wed 22-Jan-14 19:28:52

This sounds awful for you. DS is in P1 (Scotland so no reception).He was 5 in August. He has picked up phonics and blending really easily and is one of the best readers in his class. At 4 years 5 months there was no chance he would've managed anything.
DS has 1 book a week- 3 sounds a lot. We do other reading with him because he wants to. He is so young- I am surprised the teacher is pushing this.
My mother was a P1 teacher (4-5) and she said teaching the kids reading and maths was mostly just going through the motions until they were ready to get it and sometimes it happened overnight.

You have a laminator? envy I have no laminator. sad

CecilyP Wed 22-Jan-14 19:29:50

YANBU. Most definitely not. If he can say the sounds but can't use what he has said to work out the actual words, any words - even the simplest, what on earth is the point of trying to read books? Absolutely no point! If he hasn't got the idea yet, he hasn't got the idea. And he is hardly likely to get idea if you are trying to force him to such an extent that it could almost become a phobia. Most definitely take a break, as this is doing way more harm than good.

I would write back and say, 'as he can't do it yet, I can hardly see how he is able to practice'.

I am quite angry on your behalf.

For those who have suggested easier books, how easy can a book be if he can't read, 'it' or 'in'? How can OP help him progress by hearing him read, if the child can't read. And as for supporting his learning at home, he hasn't learned at school, so what is there for OP to support?

Rhyming is the precursor to blending (apparently) so take the pressure off a bit, have a 'rhyming stone' and pass it to eachother trying to think of words that rhyme.
Ie start with cat, pass him the stone, tell him it has to rhyme with cat so the end sound has to be 'at' help him to begin with if he gets stuck but then encourage him to try himself.
You could then write cat, mat, pat, fat, hat etc and show him how the letters at the end are the same. Then model how to blend them for him.

Might help, might not but worth a try!

DS never wanted to read the reading scheme books when he was in Reception. He was one of the youngest in the year and was generally exhausted when he got home from school.

We kept on reading to him and have always had loads of books in the house.

He's now in 7yrs old and in Y3 and has a reading age well beyond 7yrs. He reads all sorts of books and it's one of his favourite things to do. He just wasn't ready when he was 4.

SugarPlumpFairy3 Wed 22-Jan-14 19:37:40

Tbh, before reading your op, I was going to say yabu. Now I have read the thread, I think yanbu.

The poor boy needs a short break from reading books. Him getting very upset over this will achieve absolutely nothing other than to stress him further and turn him off.

My advice would be to absolutely carry on reading and enjoying books together. Talk about the story, the characters, the setting. Can predict what might happen next? Can he make up a really silly ending to the story? Have fun with it!

I would also keep practising the blending but not in the context of a reading book. There have been some excellent suggestions of games to play, in particular the " find me the c-a-t" picture one.

Also have a look at, Phase 2. They have some free phonics games, some of which focus on blending.

I am a Reception/KS1 teacher btw smile.

MerryMarigold Wed 22-Jan-14 19:38:04

This really reminds me of my ds. In some ways it is good the school are pushing a bit. My ds was just left to fester and didn't bring home one reading book the whole of the reception year (although he did have a4 sheets of 'sentences'). He couldn't blend either and it has delayed him, although now in Y3 he is reading quite fluently (but still not with enjoyment) and mostly, I believe, from memory words. He still finds it difficult when he comes across new words. He has some developmental delays too, including auditory processing (how your brain processes sounds, nothing to do with hearing).

My twins are now in YR and phonics is being taught in a much better way. They do a lot of alphablock books and phonics bug books online. They are taught 'robot' speak which is sounding out and then blending. Ds2 has now moved to sounding out in head and saying the word, which I am completely amazed by and loves reading. I don't know if it is him - kids are different - or better teaching. Probably a bit of both.

I think what I wished I had done with my ds1 was to 'sound out' words to him (instead of worrying about reading per se which is a visual thing) and then get him to say what I was saying. Like, "Would you like a d-r-i-nk?" You do need to know how they segment the sounds (eg. nk is a digraph - 2 letters, 1 sound, igh is a trigraph - 3 letters one sound) but they should be able to give you a sheet with all the sounds on. This way he can get used to hearing how words break up and then come together again. I think it is really training the brain to segment sounds and put them back together again which doesn't come naturally to every child.

youarewinning Wed 22-Jan-14 19:42:34

Had this trouble with my DS. I made a game.

So had every letter of the alphabet. Then chose just one blended ending - eg a-t. Then printed pictures for every letter of the alphabet that proceeded it that actually was a word.
So: bat, cat, fat, hat, etc

Then made a ladder with just 30 rungs and on top of the ladder was a book he wanted to read me.

So he choses a picture card from the pile face down. Eg bat. Then he finds the initial sound card to make the at into bat. When he gets it right he rolls the dice. When he gets to the top you read to him the book he chose.

DS soon figured out the letters actually mattered in blending and affected the sounds and therefore final word. Took a long time tho.

He's seeing salt next week and I'm waiting for their comments on the fact he still says blowed etc instead of blew. (Even tho he's 9 now!)

SugarPlumpFairy3 Wed 22-Jan-14 19:43:31

Also, check that he (and you!) are saying the sounds correctly. Have a look at and there is a video of how to say each sound. Saying the sounds incorrectly can be a real hindrance when learning to blend.

RunningOutOfIdeas Wed 22-Jan-14 19:49:12

DD became very frustrated with reading in reception. We had half a term with very little progress. So I stopped with the school books and bought her an alphablocks magazine. It had 3 letter cvc words and she was so pleased when she managed some. I also discovered the Hairy Letters app. This got all the alphabet sounds sorted for her and also blending some cvc words. Once she had her confidence back we returned to the school books.

ProfessorSkullyMental Wed 22-Jan-14 19:57:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProfessorSkullyMental Wed 22-Jan-14 19:57:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

missymayhemsmum Wed 22-Jan-14 20:01:53

He's not ready yet, and reading will come when he is, but the current orthodoxy doesn't seem to allow teachers to admit that! Rather than tears, or not reaching the three-book 'target' have you tried reading the book to him, and then asking him "can you see the word that says 'dog'" etc? Or he reads a page, you read a page, whatever it takes to keep him engaged and feeling successful?
I bet not every child in the class is reading 3 books a week, fgs!

CrohnicallyFarting Wed 22-Jan-14 20:12:42

I would back off from the books- get some nice picture ones from the library if school won't give them to you- and concentrate on making a story from the pictures, or read to him.

For the phonics, I would play games that encourage him to tune in to sounds- first sounds in the environment (I hear with my little ear, something that goes bzzzz) then experimenting with vocal sounds (like animal noises, shouting 'weeee' as you go down a slide, saying 'squelch squelch splash' as you jump in muddy puddles, that sort of thing).

Then games to practice blending sounds- collect some objects that have the same initial sound and just play with them with him, emphasising the initial sound as you talk about what you're doing (oh, look, ssssstinky sssssssocks in the sssssssandpit). As a previous poster mentioned, breakdown some words as you talk (give mummy a k-i-s, kiss) though if you do that, it should always be the last word in the sentence, and always give the word straight after.

If you google "letters and sounds phase 1" you should be able to get loads more ideas for games and activities that will help him hear the sounds in words, they are all oral/listening activities so you can fit them into everyday activities without sitting him down and getting upset.

It might also help if, when he does try to read words, you repeat the sounds back to him clearly, and speed up till he can hear the word (so if he says c---a---t, you repeat c--a--t, c-a-t, cat). I use this technique with a child with SEN that I work with, for some reason she can hear the word if I say the sounds but not if she says it! And with your child's speech, he will definitely hear words better if you say them. And when you say the sounds/words, really emphasise the sounds and the shape your mouth makes.

Pipbin Wed 22-Jan-14 20:33:07

I will confess to having skim read this thread.

I am a reception teacher and I have to say that I think that 3 books a week is far too many. My class has one book a week as a rule, two if I know that parents read a lot at home and the child is enjoying it.
I question if the teacher ever hears him read in the class. I don't see how they can have the time in the week to hear the whole class three times over.
At this age being able to tell the story, even by looking at the pictures, and, more importantly, recall the story, is key. Being able to blend is important to read but if he can't do it yet there is no point in forcing it. There are a couple of children in my class who still have wordless books.

I agree with a suggestion at the beginning of the thread of splitting up words you use every day. One thing I used to do with my class early on was to say 'can you j-u-m-p', 'can you h-o-p'? Try it when you are out and about 'can you see the c-a-t?' and at home, 'would you like some 'c-ay-k?' (cake), time for 'b-e-d'. Don't worry about the clapping, that helps for segmenting (spelling) but I find it gets in the way with reading.

I suggest you go and talk to the teacher and tell her/him how you feel. It might be worth talking to the nursery teacher too, if there is one at the school. Given that if he was a few moths younger he would be in nursery they might have some ideas suitable for him.

Feel free to message me if you want to.

Pipbin Wed 22-Jan-14 20:35:04

Oh, and if you have an iPad then Twinkl do a lovely phonics app.

And take comfort that I didn't learn to read until I was 8.

MiniSoksMakeHardWork Wed 22-Jan-14 20:38:05

Is it 3 books or reading 3 times a week? Our school ask that dc read at home at least 3 times a week. Even for dd as an average reader it'd be pushing it for her to get through 3 books.

I'd pop in and speak to the teacher, explain that your ds is finding it distressing and do they have any recommendations to help make it a less worrying task for him.

Don't say he's not going to do it but meet the teacher half way and tell them ds is struggling.

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Wed 22-Jan-14 20:40:35

Sounds to me like he's not ready to read. Other countries realise some children aren't ready which is why they wait till age 6 or so. I would lay off it completely for a few months. Poor little kid.

Madmartigan Wed 22-Jan-14 20:43:32

My DS is one of the oldest in reception and no further ahead than yours, and has donefewer books. It's frustrating but I generally call it a day if one of us is getting frazzled.

We had a breakthrough today when I held up his word book and started bragging about being the expert, then got the words ridiculously wrong. Like "Octonauts" for "to". He laughed at me then yelled out the correct word.

A mum told me at the weekend it didn't click for her DD until year 1 and then she was off and running.

GinSoakedMisery Wed 22-Jan-14 20:43:57

I'd tell the teacher you're just doing the one book at home as it is stressing him out. He is only little, and with the delay, the school should be going at his pace rather than their own.

I have a DS with autism, he couldn't blend until he was in y3, he is in Y4 now and reads quite well. His TA focused mainly on letter recognition and understanding the story with pictures first. If you want I will ask her the two programmes she followed with him in y3 which lead to his now reading.

Altinkum Wed 22-Jan-14 20:51:23

no definitely 3 books per week, ds who is nearly 8 reads 2 books per week, however he is a excellent reader, and enjoys books such as harry potters, David Williams hard back books, how to train my dragon etc... ds1's books are 500+ pages, and he reads every night for half a hour before bed (his own books, he,s currently making his way through Enid Blyton faraway tree and wishing chair books.

so I've made simple CVC words such as is, it, if, of, cat, bat, etc... however browsing ebay I came across this DVD and I am thinking of buying it, as then all I have to do is click and print.... with this I was thinking I could make loads of games, words etc... without having to colour and resize etc...what do you think?

ebay DVD

Viviennemary Wed 22-Jan-14 20:51:30

I agree a child should not be put through this stress at the age of 4. It is total madness. I would have a word with his teacher and ask for easier books or words on a card. Or whatever but do go on with reading under some form and hopefully with the teacher's agreement. YANBU.

NearTheWindmill Wed 22-Jan-14 20:53:08

Just read with him. To him, talk about the book and make it fun. You want hom to enjoy reading, not to make himself sick over it which will have lasting reercussions.

Just write in the book "we read the book together and xx really enjoyed the story.

He's 4 - it should be fun not a chore; if the teacher thinks otherwise make an apt to see the head. If the head agrees with the teacher, find another school.

Remember, he's FOUR. FFS - my DS is going to oxford in the autumn and got 43 IB points at one of the most selective schools in the UK. DD not far behind. Their reception/state primary teachers didn't behave like this - it sounds ever so slightly "sick" imo.

Stand your grouind and make sure learning remains fun or he will want to stop learning.

nennypops Wed 22-Jan-14 20:54:10

When I started reading I thought expecting a 4 year old to read three books a week was optimistic, but when I got to the bit about the IEP and SENCO involvement I was quite shock. I think you're absolutely right, trying to persevere is just going to put him off reading altogether, he needs to get back to enjoying books with you reading to him. Learning to read was a major struggle with DS2 and he was ultimately diagnosed as mildly dyslexic; but fortunately his school didn't put too much pressure on him and it didn't become a major issue.

manechanger Wed 22-Jan-14 20:58:30

I wouldn't even tell the teacher. My oldest daughter (now 11) hated reading school books in reception, the school took a very relaxed attitude but we were supposed to read with them. She was really busy as she did gym 3 times a week at 4 and half and swimming and was exhausted from physical exercise. Trying to read with her was tricky and I decided that physical exercise was part of the round of experience she needed at that age as much as learning to read or maths.

I used to look at the books and get her to tell the story from the pictures once or twice a week. we also read our home books every night (i read to her). She couldn't read until either end of y1 or y2 (i forget). When she got it, she got it really well - she still has a problem with spelling and has been tested for dyslexia (borderline ish). We also talked about letters - looking at road signs etc but not school books as it put her off.

She demolishes a book a night at the moment, I have to take them off her at the table when we are eating. She's recently read ann frank and has read most morpogos. She constantly talks about books and is really really interested, she's also school librarian. The reception teacher said to me that they learn to read at their own pace, like with walking, when they are ready they will do it.

Tell the teacher if he asks or just don't always hand the book in, say you are going to do less as you don't want to traumatise him. Maybe get him put down to a simpler reading level. I agree that if you want to tell the teacher, meet with him, or maybe at parents evening.

harticus Wed 22-Jan-14 21:00:02

I hate this pressure on young children. angry

YANBU - Ease up on the books - the last thing you want is for him to associate books with stress and fear.
Keep reading books to him and with him so they are all about enjoyment but focus on the phonics blending separately with games/apps etc.

Mim78 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:02:37

23 school books? That he has to read to you (rather than the other way round?). That sounds mad in reception, especially at 4. We have had about 6!

sittingbythepoolwithenzo Wed 22-Jan-14 21:06:28

Watching my dcs and their classmates, I think that blending seems to be something that just clicks, rather like walking. You can encourage and support, but the child has to be ready.

Ds1 is an autumn birthday, and I can actually remember the week that it suddenly fell into place - he was 5 years and 3 weeks.

The week before, he couldn't tell the difference between "it" or "in", then he just got it.

Throughout reception, he classmates just started to get it - now in year 5, it is honestly hard to remember who read first.

In your case, I would read the books with him, sound out the words to him, tell the story, look at the pictures, play spot the words beginning with "s" etc, just keep him playing with them, and wait for it to click.

bassingtonffrench Wed 22-Jan-14 21:08:08


I had this in reception. DS is now year 1.

no matter how many times I said "he can't read these books", "they are too difficult", and "he is developing a phobia of reading", the books kept on coming at a relentless rate and I was expected to comment on his 'progress' everyday (there was no progress)

I went in various times to speak to the teacher, and although she was very kind, she just seemed very literal and unimaginative.

in the end I just ended up pretending we were reading the books.

When DS started year 1, his new teacher said we didn't need to make him read at home, we were to just help him enjoy books again by reading to him.

I was so grateful to her I nearly cried.

Needless to say he is making much more progress under her guidance.

Hulababy Wed 22-Jan-14 21:12:02

For some free resources to print, have a look at some of the free teaching resource sites such as Twinkl:

Hulababy Wed 22-Jan-14 21:13:27

You say he does some initital sounds work, looking for the first letter sound of a word. Maybe move onto looking at final letter sounds next - so cat - look for the t. Later can add middle sounds.

I Spy type games can be a fun way in the car or out and about.

HandragsNGladbags Wed 22-Jan-14 21:14:09

DD1 is same age as your DS and is on her second book.

I would recommend Alphablocks from Cbeebies, both the programme and the App are excellent for blending.

bassingtonffrench Wed 22-Jan-14 21:14:19
Hulababy Wed 22-Jan-14 21:15:15

As for reading record book...does it need to be the specific school books or can it be anything? At my school it is the latter.

So, writing things like...

* Tonight we read the book .... together
* Today we read 10 CVC words and looked at initial sounds.
* Tonight we matched words and pictures in a pairs game


potterpaint Wed 22-Jan-14 21:16:51

How ridiculous. Try this technique: tell him you are going to do the nudge game. He starts reading then nudges you when he wants to stop. When he does, you read. Slowly and pointing to each word. When he wants to read again he nudges you. And so on. . And it doesn't matter if he doesn't do any reading.

Takes the pressure and totally unnecessary stress away.

Julietee Wed 22-Jan-14 21:17:39

I was also in reception at 4 and I still remember the frustration of being sat down for reading sessions at home. I just wasn't ready at that stage. Ridiculous as it sounds, I'm pretty sure the frustration and 'forced' feeling of that very early experience significantly affected my feelings about learning as a whole, and shaped my response to things not coming easily (I tend to feel hopeless, overwhelmed and want to give up).

I've loved reading since I could do it properly (and was always ahead of my age group after that initial struggle), but I often wonder if my ability to 'study' would have been different had I been allowed to follow a more continental model and learn later, thus avoiding those first horrible experiences with academic learning.

FWIW, I ended up repeating reception because I wasn't mature enough to move on (shrug). Probably been a good thing in the long run.

RandomMess Wed 22-Jan-14 21:19:53


I didn't read with mine at home until the teacher had taught them to actually read confused

I wanted my dc to love books not see it as a thing of torture, some brains just aren't ready to learn to read until nearer 6. My late readers all caught up (and one massively overtook) early on in year 2.

yonisareforever Wed 22-Jan-14 21:22:37

I totally agree with giving it a break I would say the worst out come here is that you make and force him to read and he will simply dread and hate it.
I do not believe at all he will fall behind, I don't believe at this age group falling back in reading is possible because they are all coming to it at different levels and times.

In year 2 dc are still leaning to read the very first books.

my DD was just about to turn 6 before it finally clicked and she is flying along now, I fully belive when they are ready they will ready and I think most sensible teachers would agree with you to give it a rest.

Pipbin Wed 22-Jan-14 21:30:17

I do feel I need to add my tuppence worth here about other countries learning later. The English language is more complicated than many others, there are something like 60 sounds in the language and 90 ways to write them.
Look at the vowel sounds for example: igh, ie, i-e and y all make the sound i in English. And what about the mess that is ough?
You cannot compare learning English with other languages.

Euphemia Wed 22-Jan-14 21:53:54

"Only" 23 books?!

I teach P1, which is more formal than Reception, and of 20 children only half of them have had books with words in them home at all! The rest, who are not yet able to blend, have only had books with pictures.

I fail to see the point in giving reading books to children who can't blend yet, far less three per week!

Alifelivedforwards Wed 22-Jan-14 21:59:13

Definitely something that just clicks imo - no way should you push him. Let him enjoy reading with you.

Both my dc were slow to read (5.5) and they are now prolific readers, extremely academic and both at the top of their classes (not that I'm showing off or nuffink wink).

JohnCusacksWife Wed 22-Jan-14 22:03:00

So he started school at 4yrs old give or take?? Poor wee soul...surely that's way too young for formal education. No wonder he's struggling. If it was me I'd keep giving it a go but stop if he's getting upset. You don't want to put him off.

MrsRuffdiamond Wed 22-Jan-14 22:07:04

How ridiculous! If it's this upsetting for him, he's probably not ready to learn to read yet. I don't think it can be said often enough (so I'm going to say it again!) that many other countries wouldn't entertain this kind of intensive formality for such young children. Honestly, if he starts to associate reading with being upset, it will turn him off it for life.

He's your child, and you have a right to ease off the reading, if you think that would be a more constructive approach, whatever the school say.

I would just keep on reading to him, maybe getting him to describe what's in the pictures. Anything book-related which he enjoys or is relaxed about. I'm sure he'll learn to read in his own good time. Unfortunately possibly not the same time scale that Ofsted is requiring the school to pursue. But that's for them to worry about, not you and your ds.

littleolewinedrinkerme Wed 22-Jan-14 22:35:40

Let him try lots of ways and find his own way to learn. I agree that phonics doesn't suit everyone. I taught my eldest to read using ladybird peter and jane and she just took off reading herself for fun. She only did phonics in school and hated it so we didn't focus on it at home at all. She just did not get on with blending but loved the ladybird series. She's 7 now and is way ahead on reading levels and reading is one of her favourite things. Let the phonics take a back seat and do whatever works to make reading fun. He's only 4.

IrisWildthyme Wed 22-Jan-14 22:56:46

like sittingbythepool said, this is something that just clicks one day like walking. You can't force it and it's counterproductive to try. sounds like he's doing great with recognising letters and sounding-out - play fun games with that and don't attempt to make him read any bookwith more than one CVC word per page till that click happens.

We played mini "treasure hunt" games at this stage. Six CVC word clues, six desinations e.g upturned cups or bowls labled with the pictures of those words. The child is clearly just guessing and will eventually get the right answer only by process of elimination. But the important thing is having fun doing it.

Mim78 Wed 22-Jan-14 23:16:17

My friend wasn't given a reading book for summer born dd in reception until after Easter (different school to my dd). She did ask for one by then but it seems to have done her dd no harm to wait - she is good at reading and writing now and in yr 1.

Poor little boy. You're definitely right not to push it. He's not ready. My ds is in year 1 and an ok but reluctant reader and we do other things instead. I really don't want him to have negative feelings about reading and he's got ages to learn.
That number of books is ridiculous. We have one a week in year 1. I'm sure your ds is not the only one struggling btw!

zipzap Wed 22-Jan-14 23:49:14

My aunt is a retired primary teacher and she reckons the most successful thing she used to do, particularly with kids that were having problems reading, was to make a really easy to read book with them, that was interesting to them, with lots of photos in.

So, she would round up some photos that included the child and their family and do a very simple book with them of their photos that they loved to look at over and over.

For example, say you have some nice photos from christmas, you could make a My Christmas book with one line and one picture per page - This is Bob (I don't know what your dc is called!). This is Mum. This is Dad. This is [sibling]. It's Christmas Day! We opened our stockings. Santa left presents under the tree. I had lots of presents. I loved my [favourite present]. We had turkey for lunch. We watched a film. We went to bed. Night Night!

Or do something together and photo it as you go to make into a book - say making jam tarts (make it something easy to do and read about!).

Or even his family and favourite toys - Happy ds, happy mum did a sum, happy dad was not sad, happy [sibling], red car, blue monkey, green robot, black and white football, yellow book.

You get the idea - just keep it really simple and something that you know he will like to look at lots. It might get a bit repetitive for you but try reading it through with him every day and see if it is easier to read when you are doing the same thing. Probably an anathema to phonics based stuff - but you've given that a good go and it's not working at the moment. Having a book that he can 'read' and looks at lots will at least hopefully give him some control back over looking at books and doing something nice with them himself (as well as you reading to him), and will take lots of the stress of reading lots of new books away from him. But repeatedly looking at the same words every day if you can do it with simple words, especially as he has managed to memorise mum and dad, he might start to see them written down and blend them once he isn't panic-ing with new stuff all the time...

I don't know - might be worth a shot. Especially as my aunt used to reckon on laminating the booklets she made, another laminator project! I think that the OU has an app that you can now do this on - I'll try to dig out the details if you are interested?

NigellasDealer Wed 22-Jan-14 23:52:36

just do not do it if it is upsetting him but i would not say that to the teacher, it will get her back up. just be a bit creative with his 'reading record' and spend the time reading stories to him while you point at the words and talk about the pictures. do silly voices, make it fun.
poor little boy is only 4!

Thatisall Thu 23-Jan-14 00:01:13

Don't stop reading at home. Try reading the book to him with his finger pointing at each word. Then read again but this time ds 'imagines' what the story will be based in the picture on each page or tells you what he can from memory. Next he reads the words.

Hearing it read by you and then considering himself what words may be on each page might help him to make the connection between sounds and word. If he knows that the dog wants the ball and he can see the dog on the picture looking at a ball then d-o-g might look a little more like dog to him.

In any case never stop reading with him. Just maybe change the way you do it. Perhaps younger books or books that you read to him.
Good luck

fairylightsatchristmas Thu 23-Jan-14 06:52:26

It makes me quite stabby when I hear of 20 mins a night hwk for this age. DS is also a summer born 4, the youngest in his class. His reading is coming along very well (as in, he can sound out and blend but that's it so far) but he can barely hold a pencil let alone draw anything recognisabe. If he was three weeks younger he'd be in nursery still. I agree with all those who say ease up, do what you can while making it fun. On a slightly unrelated point though, we COULDN'T do 20 mins a night - we get in from work at 6.30. I don't expect the CM do hwk with him so when could he do it? (and we leave v early in the morning - DS does 5 mins while eating his breakfast). 20 mins is an entirely unrealistic expectation on many levels.

LiegeAndLief Thu 23-Jan-14 07:27:00

That sounds like a phenomenal amount of homework for reception.

I don't think a child should be forced into this kind of thing when they're not ready. My ds is an August birthday, didn't bring home a book at all until the summer term of reception and that was a one word per page book. Had first reading scheme book in Y1. Was a free reader by the end of Y2. His Y3 teacher commented on his excellent reading at his first parents evening. I am very grateful he wasn't pushed n reception, he just wasn't ready!

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Thu 23-Jan-14 07:44:40


Expecting a YR child to read 3 books a week is excessive. I think you are doing the right thing by enriching his home learning, by working on the other areas of his learning, and by backing off on the stressful aspects.

He is only 4!. In many countries he would not even be beginning to learn to read for another two years. I imagine that the developmental delay is showing up in other ways, but if he is on-track academically in other subjects, then struggling with literacy at this age is not really a serious delay.

Back off on the reading. Try a bit, of course, but focus on the story-telling, predicting what is going to happen, why it is happening, etc. Sign off every reading session in his reading record, whether or not he has actually read every word.

DoctorDonnaNoble Thu 23-Jan-14 07:46:07

In the countries where the students start school later, I believe it is common practice for the student to be taught to read and write at home before starting school.

jgjgjg Thu 23-Jan-14 13:27:19

Whilst it's clearly not right in this case, I don't think we should dismiss 3 books a week as madness for all Reception children. It entirely depends on the child.

My 5 year old (who has just moved up to yellow level) has her book changed pretty much every day by school as long as she's read it and reads one from home whilst waiting for her older brother to finish a club on Saturday. It takes about 10-15 minutes maximum a day, which I don't think is at all unreasonable or traumatising for her.

Scholes34 Thu 23-Jan-14 14:06:53

At that age DS1 and DS2 were at state nursery (first year of the Foundation Stage) where they absolutely did not teach them to read. They had lots of words and numbers and pictures on the walls, but there was absolutely no compulsion to read. The laminated names of the children were laid out every morning for them to pick up their own and put it in a designated pocket. The teacher said by the end of the year, they'd be able to "read" all their friends' names, purely because the recognised the shape of them, and recognising the shapes of words is part of the way we learn to read. In Reception (second year of the Foundation Stage) we started with books with no words, with the clear instruction to get your child to make the story up, because pictures in reading books are there to give clues.

Don't persist with what the school's demanding, but do keep on with reading books to him/together. Don't put him off reading.

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Thu 23-Jan-14 14:32:48

It's the expectation that is wrong. Making the parent or child feel bad be ause 'only' 23 books have been read since September.

Sorry, need to read the rest of the thread so this may already have been mentioned.

Did the school start with hearing the sounds in words? When DD was in nursery class they started phonics work by taking simple words and working on the sounds in them. So, say you see a dog, you say, 'there's a dog, do you know the sounds in the word dog' and he can hear the sounds from the word, so he is saying d - o - g to you. I think the idea is that they break the words down so that they get their heads around the idea of words being connected sounds and presumably it is then easier for them to do it the other way round when they come to learn to read. Perhaps if the school has skipped this stage he needs to do that first before he can do what is expected of him in terms of blending.

Onesie Thu 23-Jan-14 16:34:54

I wouldn't push it. Ask for easier books or stop for a couple of months.

summertimeandthelivingiseasy Thu 23-Jan-14 16:37:01

DTDs, reluctant readers, saw the light with The Cat in the Hat, around about Y2

DS, extremely fast learner, learned to read 'Tesco' everwhere and 'Fish and Chips', long before school.

Definitely give it a break. Read something he likes with him, talk about the pictures, point out words he likes in the supermarket. Far less stressy. Just write something in the book if you have to to keep the teacher happy!

mistlethrush Thu 23-Jan-14 16:47:51

We had the set of the 'Apple Tree Farm' books at home - not connected with school. These have the same characters in - and start with the same text in each book on the first page. I used to read these to DS at bedtime, with him sitting on my lap, and I would have my finger following the words as I went. The first thing I did with them was to get DS to decide who said the comment out of the two children (Poppy and Sam) - I think he probably looked at the first letter to start with and worked it out as they are so different - which is fine. Then gradually other easy words were added - 'dog', 'cat', 'cow' etc - so that he was reading perhaps one word each page - then two, then three etc - although the flow of the story was kept going by me. I think that this helped him connect the act of actually looking at the word and coming up with the right sound and speaking it more easily than having a whole line that he had to do all of.

Oblomov Thu 23-Jan-14 16:53:17

I am in an almost identical situation. Severe tears. Put note in diary. Spoke to teacher. She suggested having a break. We haven't done any over the weekend, or this week.
But , am off to do done now.

Whereisegg Thu 23-Jan-14 17:46:36

My dss really struggled with reading at that age, hearing him worry and stutter his way through a book with dp broke my heart.

So, one week I said that I would read his book to him.
Well, I got my sounds wrong, and blended badly-if at all, and dss found it hilarious.

He started helping me to get my sounds right, then helped me put them together, without realising it he had read a page all by himself and pretty quickly too smile

Could something like this help your ds if school are so insistent that he can do it?

bodygoingsouth Thu 23-Jan-14 17:54:52

good grief op he's 4!! he's a baby. he wouldn't be anywhere near a school in most other developed countries.

I work in a reception and year 1 class and books are for fun not angst.

you often find that the children who read early don't necessarily understand the story or make comments in the characters. reading the words is not always understanding them.

you need to relax, he's normal. he's a baby. keep books fun and it will come.

bodygoingsouth Thu 23-Jan-14 17:58:41

to add why is he supposed to read 3 a week? our kids don't at all. sounds like the teacher is a bit of a tit to be honest.

go at his pace and have fun..

personally I could have shoved the magic key up floppys arse after hearing the same crap stories by dc4 and now again at school. grin

spiderlight Thu 23-Jan-14 18:17:11

Whereisegg That's a genius approach! grin

Whereisegg Thu 23-Jan-14 18:37:32

Spider - thanks!

dss's teacher was writing in his booking how well he had done at school but he just went to pieces for us and his dm.
I wondered if the one to one aspect was piling the pressure on, seemed it was.

It might just be worth a try for the op too.

Whereisegg Thu 23-Jan-14 18:42:45

Totally meant to put a smile in that post, it looks a little big headed.
Sorry if I gave that impression...

junkfoodaddict Thu 23-Jan-14 19:47:26

Sounds like he needs Lilac colour band books. Most (if not all) are just pictures and he can tell the story using those as cues. Give flash cards for practise. He shouldn't be taking home 'istructional' level books home. it should be the level/colour band below his teaching level in school.
It is unusual that he can segment for spelling (assuming this as you say his writing is 'coming on') if he cannot blend for reading. Usually reading comes before writing.
Sorry, haven't had time to read all replies - just OP's first one.

junkfoodaddict Thu 23-Jan-14 19:49:01

I also agree that 3 books a week is excessive. My Y2s aren't expected to read that many. Two at the most. There is more to reading than reading words!

Altinkum Fri 24-Jan-14 18:46:47

he is reading the oxford tree books. stage 1

tonight he brought home the hedgehog. so I took 3 simple words from the book and printed pictures and made CVC words with the pictures, he got them straight away doing the task on the table, but when doing the book he couldn't get them, which is fine, as at least it truly tells me he's simply not ready for reading.

Ifcatshadthumbs Fri 24-Jan-14 21:34:14

That's fine that he couldn't get them in the book DS didn't at first. I found with the books ds was distracted by the pictures and the other words in the sentence (I used to have to cover up the other words but now I just make sure ds points to each word as he reads) Keep on with the CVC cards to help him gain the concept of blending, he will get there.

CrohnicallyFarting Fri 24-Jan-14 22:10:11

Did the hedgehog have words? Could have sworn it was just pictures! Thought the Oxford stage 1 books were lilac colour band with no or very few words (I know some have the character names, thought that was it).

Ifcatshadthumbs Fri 24-Jan-14 22:13:33

Perhaps next time do the words on the cards and then see if he can find them in the book and match them up?

CrohnicallyFarting Fri 24-Jan-14 22:15:27

I've checked, and it is indeed a wordless story.

Pipbin Sat 25-Jan-14 21:46:28

The Hedgehog is just pictures.

I teach reception, I have read that book so many sodding times!

paperlantern Sat 25-Jan-14 22:25:07

meh he's 4!

Dd hated reading at home, so we didn't. Reading just clicked mid way through year 1 by year 2 she tested one of the top in her year. Reading at home is still like pulling teethgrin

(dons flame proof suit)

whispers.... you could always try look and say books. They were recommended by ed psych for ds with sn because he has difficulty processing phonetic information. DS has gone from not reading to reading in literally a couple of weeks thanks to Peter and Jane. it wont be long until he is reading most of the words on the reception level lists. the confidence it has given him is tremendous.

CrohnicallyFarting Sat 25-Jan-14 22:31:32

Paper lantern- the book OP says she was given has no words in at all. Still trying to work out how she could have copied some of the words out of it for her DS...

brettgirl2 Sat 25-Jan-14 22:35:03

Maybe she's read so many wordless stories she is having hallucinations (as they are truly truly awful). We only had about 3 but one was about rabbits shagging. Just read with him as you see fit op with books that you choose.

paperlantern Sat 25-Jan-14 22:40:05

meh... advice still stands

keep trying but only when you feel it's right.... There are other approaches that might work.

ImagineJL Sat 25-Jan-14 22:45:53

DS1 is the youngest in his class, born end of August. I deferred his school start until the January of reception as he was so young. So reading was a total mystery to him when he started. I'd get these books and he was meant to read them, when in fact the only letter he knew was the first letter of his name. It was a joke. I'd just show him the books and read them to him. (I always stared to him loads anyway).

At some point in year 1 it just clicked. Now in year 4 he is top of the class for reading. He has a real aptitude for literacy, he just wasn't ready for it when he was 4.

starlight1234 Sat 25-Jan-14 22:51:54

just for reassurance my DS started year 1 on red ( the lowest level) and before the end of the year was getting books from year 2 as they only had a few his level in the classroom...

We have always read and I do think the love of books is the most important thing...My DS didn't like his word cards he was sent home to learn so we made a game of pairs with them...It worked a treat now he is a real bookworm...

curlew Sat 25-Jan-14 22:55:26

Just read to him. Don't ask him to read at all. If you need to write anything in his book, write "We read together- he liked <> bit of the story"

Don't put any pressure on your poor DS. As others have said, in most of the rest of the world they don't start children with reading until they're 6.

Do as much as you and your DS are happy and comfortable with - there's nothing the school can do about it. Keep reading to him, maybe pointing out some easy words and letting him "help" you read them. Do word matching/spotting games with his school books etc (there have been loads of ideas for word-based games/activities on this thread), he'll get there in his own time.

My DD1 was slow to "click" with reading - she just didn't get blending etc for ages (also a late summer baby). But one day (in Y1) it all just fell into place, now she's in the top group for reading and blasts her way through several books a week with no prompting from us.

nailslikeknives Sat 25-Jan-14 22:58:22

I'm another recommending the alphablocks on cbeebies. We have the DVDs. The programmes match the 'letters and sounds' phonics your son/teacher will be using at school.
They have a big focus on blending, my son is learning to blend just from repeatedly watching these programmes.

Maybe an episode of this after reading a book together would give your ds something to look forward to after the hard work?

Altinkum Sat 25-Jan-14 23:00:06

Sorry I should have said, the teacher asked us to get him to spot any writing in the books so he can sound it out, because it didn't have any, we made our own from the pictures in the book.

How do I post pics on here from my iPhone? I took a photo of his reading books where it shows exactly this.
He's currently been given bob bug.

Altinkum Sat 25-Jan-14 23:04:43

So far he has read...

Getting up
The haircut
Look out
The library
The swing ball
At school
The street fair
The lost teddy
The big box
The hedgehog
Who is it
Get on
Get dad
Is it
Floppy did this
Is it again (he really struggled with this book)
Floppy floppy
Fun at the beach
A sad trick
Top cat
SAMs pat
Dig dig dig
The haircut
Bob bug

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Sat 25-Jan-14 23:08:33

Blimey, you're good!

I don't know what dd has read but there's no way I'd bother making a 4yr old bother with something so boring/ upsetting.

The idea is to cultivate a love of books, so I'd just read to him all his favourites for a while.

CrohnicallyFarting Sat 25-Jan-14 23:10:41

Bob bug is a different stage I think (1+/purple) whereas the hedgehog is 1/grey. I'd ask for just stage 1 books with no words or just the family members' names (hint: the names always appear in the same order as in the pictures) and just concentrate on enjoying the story with him, no picking out writing or doing flash cards or anything.

And at another time do sound games to help his awareness, but without the stress he associates with 'reading' at the moment.

Charley50 Sat 25-Jan-14 23:19:12

He might not really be ready to read when he is only 4. My son was just given one reading book per week until about year 2. When he was ready he suddenly started sounding out then he could read. If your son turns out to be dyslexic it may be more difficult but you are right that if it's distressing it will put him off. My advice would be 1 book per week max with him., but reading to him a good picture book (e.g. Not a boring story based on phonics) to instill a love of reading in him. It doesn't matter if you are the one doing the reading.

Charley50 Sat 25-Jan-14 23:29:03

Sorry what I meant was 1 book from school per week and a nice picture / story book every night at bedtime. Listening to you read proper story books eg. Snail and the whale, Charlie and Lola, etc create the love of reading.

SayMyNameSayIt Sat 25-Jan-14 23:42:02

Quick reply as it's late and I've had a lot of wine
I'm tired.

Have a look at this website
(Might be, can't remember. But it's easy to find)

Sorry I don't know how to link.
It's a website from the Oxford University, has great advice and tips on it. Plus loads of ebooks which read aloud to you. It's brilliant. I've used it a lot in class with reluctant readers as well as very competent ones.

Will try n post more tomorrow when I'm not so relaxed

delilahlilah Sun 26-Jan-14 08:30:55

I haven't had a chance to read the whole thread, just first and last for a minute. I just wanted to say that I also recommend the ladybird Peter and Jane books. I had the same as you with Ds1, bought Peter and Jane and never looked back. Hope this helps

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