Phonics disrupting DS's (4.11) reading and spelling - WWYD

(18 Posts)
mrsvilliers Mon 29-Feb-16 18:45:22

DS (4.11) is bright. We haven't really been pushing him at all, more going with his interests. I'm not sure how long he's been able to read for, but since he started reception in January it's been pretty hard to ignore. He reads / decodes everything he sees. My problem (and I am happy to be told if it is my problem smile) is that the new phonics knowledge he is acquiring at school seems to be forcing errors in both spelling and pronunciation. He'll do it correctly and then go back and recorrect himself with the phonics version. I haven't said anything to school or him, mainly due to him not even being 5 yet, but it's driving me slightly nuts. Should I ignore it on the assumption that he is bright and this is a phase?

mrsvilliers Mon 29-Feb-16 18:48:32

As an example while reading his new storybook earlier he pronounced 'give' correctly, then went back and corrected himself to 'gaive'.

irvine101 Mon 29-Feb-16 19:17:25

My ds learned to read without phonics, but when he started school and started learning phonics, he didn't have any problem at all. He started to sound out words like other children for little while, and that was it.
My ds sounds similar to your ds, he used to decode everything.
When he started school, teacher asked me to bring in the books he read at home(they knew he can read because he attended attached nursery), and checked his reading level. Does teachers know he can read?

irvine101 Mon 29-Feb-16 20:21:01

He didn't have any problem with spelling either. He learned words mostly from watching TV with sub and reading books, so he always got 10/10 for spelling test from start of reception. Didn't get disrupted by phonics learning at all.

mrsvilliers Mon 29-Feb-16 20:53:48

Thanks irvine101 I will leave it and see how he goes, I'm clearly still traumatised by 'unyun' grin

I would say that school knows he is bright, he has been consistently significantly ahead when they test high frequency words and the books he is sent home with have got progressively more difficult (although easily readable by DS) but I am not sure if they know how good he is. Plus I guess from their point of view they have no idea what had happened pre January, I could have been madly cramming him in preparation. I am torn between talking to them and just leaving it. Part of me thinks he is only four / five and there is a lot else going on at school in terms of routines and social structures, (not that that seems to particularly trouble him) and there is plenty of time for pushing later on. But then I feel neglectful and perhaps I should be doing more!

irvine101 Mon 29-Feb-16 21:05:41

If he started in January, the teacher might be just getting to know him at the moment. I don't think nothing wrong to mention what he can do to the teacher. I think it's quite difficult to know each child when she/he has lots of children to look after.

Jesabel Mon 29-Feb-16 21:08:06

If he already knows how to spell/read a word correctly you should be encouraging him to use that knowledge. Phonics is a strategy for reading and spelling words he does not already know.

mrsvilliers Mon 29-Feb-16 21:14:35

Well general consensus on RL and here seems to be to mention something! Thanks for your comment Jesabel that's what DH says too, I didn't know if phonics might be a good skill for when he's older.

mrsvilliers Mon 29-Feb-16 21:16:44

He's also quite an obedient child so I know he'll be doing it because that's what they're being told. He was very regretful when he listened to his friend and ended up spelling Coventry 'Coventree' (fan of writing out train lines)

irvine101 Mon 29-Feb-16 21:17:12

When my ds(YR3) encounters unknown words, he now uses phonic knowledge. So, it's worth learning, I think.

Jesabel Mon 29-Feb-16 21:17:25

All children learn phonics - it isn't possible to memorise every word. Either you are taught what sound 'igh' makes explicitly or you work it out for yourself.

irvine101 Mon 29-Feb-16 22:12:34

One thing I forgot to mention!
Although my ds had really high decoding ability, his comprehension didn't match. We weren't aware until he started to read long chapter books(end of reception), since those banded books from school was really easy to understand. So, make sure he comprehend, not just able to decode.

var123 Tue 01-Mar-16 07:06:44

I taught my children to read at home when they were 5. I didn't know about phonics, so i didn't show them it. I'd learned with the old Janet and John series, so that's what i used after teachign them the alphabet.

To teach the alphabet, we did it first as A, Bee, Cee, Dee... mainly because I had a "Learn your ABC's with Winnie the Pooh" American DVD. Then I wrote out the letters as a,b,c,d and taught them aa, bi, Ki, di etc
Then I did cut out cards of each of the letters in capitals and lower case and asked DS to match them so that he could learn that D and d are the same thing.

After that we started straight into the books which are based around memorising the 100 most used words and then sounding out the rest. It just fell easily into place. DS1 learned to read in two months from a standing start to a point that most children reach at the end of year 1. A month or so later, and I think he'd have been a level 2a at school (I learned about the levels and what they entailed a couple of years later).

Basically I didn't make a big song and dance about phonics and it worked for my two. I think if I had, they'd have been quickly bored and disengaged because they weren't making enough progress to see the point of it.

I can see phonics works for many, and its clearly the favoured method applied in schools these days but I don't think its a panacea for all children.

mrsvilliers Tue 01-Mar-16 16:18:52

Thanks everyone, I spoke to his teacher this morning and they've checked his reading again and bumped him up a few levels so I'll see how we go from there. Thanks for the tip re chapters irvine101 I don't think ds is at that point either, plus he is a sensitive child so not sure where to go when we reach that point but I guess I don't have to worry about that now!

var123 am I right in guessing you home schooled? I also don't think phonics is the be all and end all despite the studies. DS is lucky in that he has taught himself to read but my nephew could not get the hang of phonics at all and was basically ignored at his infant school and left being unable to read. Put into remedial class at junior school, given some attention and taught how to read without phonics and he started to fly reading wise. It seems like everything education wise, if it works for the masses then it's the 'best' way.

var123 Tue 01-Mar-16 16:26:25

I home educated Ds1 until he was 7, so he missed KS1 and Ds2 was home educated for what would've been reception. It wasn't by choice though.

We lived abroad where the school starting age is considerably later, but we knew we were moving back to England so that's why i was trying to make sure the children wouldn't be behind their classes when they eventually started.

I thought my children were disadvantaged at the time. It was only when I got them into school that I realised that they were miles ahead. Ds1 had missed 3 years and we'd only done 30 mins here and there for about six months, yet he was ahead! He's very able but he's not a genius so I can only think children spend very little time actually learning in the early years at school.

irvine101 Tue 01-Mar-16 16:48:07

I hope it goes well for your DS at school. And you can always come to MN for advice, which I find really reassuring. I only found MN when ds was end of yr1, I wish I've found it earlier. smile

mrsvilliers Wed 02-Mar-16 16:41:43

Thanks irvine101 they seem pretty good so far, his teacher told me this morning that she'd discussed going to the year above to do phonics with them but he wanted to stay with his friends. So she'll ask again in a couple of weeks. Such a fine line to walk as there are obviously massive differences with ages at this point!

var123 we kept ds at his amazing preschool for an extra term, I was really concerned he'd be behind but about halfway through it became apparent that wasn't the case from what his peers were saying! I think infant school teachers have their work cut out for them, it must be so tricky trying to manage class size, different abilities and backgrounds.

Ginmummy1 Fri 04-Mar-16 08:34:20

Sounds like his school are pretty good, if they're willing to make a special effort (eg up a year for phonics) but listen to the child too.

My daughter is similar in that she's ahead with reading (chooses reading books from the year three boxes), but has stayed in Reception for phonics (due to her writing not being quite up to Y1 pace - her school do quite a lot of writing in the phonics sessions it seems).

I don't think there is any harm having your confident reader learning phonics slowly and methodically in class, while continuing to progress with reading at their own pace. Sometimes my daughter writes words with phonetic spelling that she used to spell correctly, but we just gently mention that, while people can understand the phonetic spelling, the correct way going forward is different. We then sometimes have fun thinking up lots of different, phonetically plausible, ways to spell a word!

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