if a child can already read when they start school, is it a problem?

(9 Posts)
madmomma Fri 27-Sep-13 20:25:03

not a stealth boast, honestly, I'm just wondering whether reception teachers would see it as a problem if there is a child or children in her class who are reading fluently and then they're teaching phonics - does it cause an issue at all? Is the child bored or un-catered-for or do they just go in the top ability group and it's fine?

TIA for any advice about this. It's not about my children in particular as they're babies - it's just something a group of us were discussing today and it left me wondering.

DD is about to turn 5 and has been reading independently for over a year. She is a total bookworm and reads Mr Gum, Roald Dahl and Geronimo Stilton fully and comprehensively on her own only stopping to ask me or DP the pronunciation or definition of an occasional word. She has never done phonics. She just started reading confused

She's just started reception and the teachers have noticed and spoken to me very positively about how they'll meet her needs. I was worried about the phonics issue but they are confident she'll be fine. They had a mini assessment this week and she did great.

I am loath to be the "pushy mum" so I'm just letting them get on with it grin

HumphreyCobbler Fri 27-Sep-13 20:32:22

There are normally one or two children reading fluently upon entry to Reception. The teachers will be used to working with them.

PurpleGirly Fri 27-Sep-13 20:32:41

The biggest issue is that children may read the words but don't understand them, or the themes of the book if they are reading too advanced material. It is hard to keep a child interested in reading if they are not enjoying what they read.

frogspoon Fri 27-Sep-13 20:41:32

I'm sure things have improved since I was at school (I'm 24), but having taught myself to read aged 2, I had to endure phonics lessons aged 5, which was pretty pointless. The school did however permit me to go to the upper school (KS2) library, because it was the only place that provided books that were challenging enough.

A good teacher should be able to provide appropriate differentiated work. In the case of a child who can read fluently. If there are not enough children working at this level to have a group, perhaps the child could read a more advanced book and write a review on it, or do a reading based comprehension. It shouldn't be a problem.

teacherwith2kids Fri 27-Sep-13 20:44:44

DS was reading fluently on entry to reception - I didn't teach him, he worked out the phonic code for himself.

His Reception teacher assessed him, found that in his knowledge of phonics for decoding (though self-taught and never made 'explicit' before) was very good. He was, even in a mixed R-Y1 class, in an ability group of 1, so she simply taught him phonics or encoding (spelling) while teaching the rest of the class phonics or decoding (reading).

DD, who joined school as a total non-reader, learned to read very quickly and reached the level DS was at within her Reception year - so Reception teachers are absolutely used to having fluent readers in their classes as some children in their classes will become fluent readers every year.

DS's maths was, oddly, more of an issue. Harder to differentiate for addding and subtracting negative / 3 digit numbers when the rest of the class is counting to 20, and less scope for 'self taught extension' as maths tasks are typically more 'closed' than reading / writing ones.

madmomma Fri 27-Sep-13 21:11:06

thanks guys. Actually my first child is 15 now and was reading the teacher's lesson plans on the 1st day of reception. The rest of her abilities were average and she didn't understand what she was reading -she was just brilliant at decoding. She can't remember if she was bored in phonics lessons and I don't think I asked her at the time. Oddly enough her number understanding was and still is, awful. Dunno if the two are linked.

My younger 2 are 1 and 2 and I'm wondering if history will repeat itself (different Dad so different genes from 1st child)

When mine started school (2001) they started learning to read straight away so any that could read already would just be given appropriate work.
Reception now is much less structured and more play. Proper reading and maths is introduced much more slowly. I suspect a fluent reader would be bored.
It puzzles me that they want to get children in education younger and younger but shy away from actually teaching them the three rs until later. I know that children learn at different speeds but I recall both my DC being fluent readers by 5, along with most of their class.
[old fogey]

crazilybusy Sat 28-Sep-13 16:16:01

I started school able to read Beatrix potter type books. My mum had taught me using Ladybird books. They made me read through the reading scheme (Billy Blue Hat?) so we read one a night on top of my books at home. Then I got to go to the library to choose my books.

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