I know this sounds odd but I'm worried that DS is reading too well!

(75 Posts)
DoubleDoubleTwigletTrouble Sat 17-Nov-12 10:43:15

DS (Reception) has always been good at reading for his age and could read simple decodeable words fairly easily and knew a few letter blends such as sh and th. But he seems to have suddenly learned to read almost in a fortnight. He can easily read an ORT stage 4 book (a sentence like "I went to the park and I liked playing on the swings, they went very high") and I'm wondering how he's done this so quickly! Obviously the old OR style books follow a certain style and you can guess words to a certain extent but it's not just ORT he can do this with. I may be worrying over nothing (after all, the goal is for them to read and he can) but I'm concerned that he's just got the 'look' of a word and isn't reading it phonetically. I guess I'm worried that he's missed out on some basics? If he came across a word he didn't know then he would try to work it out phonetically so he can do it - he just doesn't seem to need to.

His teacher said not to worry and that kids learn to read in all sorts of different ways but it just seems really odd that he's gone from c-a-t to advanced reading in just 2 weeks or so....

Cat98 Sat 17-Nov-12 10:46:04

My ds is the same (see the large thread on phonics below..) and I would be interested in the replies as my gut reaction is not to worry as whatever he's doing is obviously working for him (maybe he's in the lucky 5% or whatever it is who just 'get' it)?

Phineyj Sat 17-Nov-12 10:46:06

Sounds like a nice teacher! I acquired fluent reading in a similar way when I was about your son's age and well remember having to smuggle books into school and sit on them because the teacher didn't believe I could read and kept trying to force me back to the c-a-t stuff! If you like reading and your son has grown up surrounded by books he was probably absorbing a lot more than you realised.

Hulababy Sat 17-Nov-12 10:49:24

How is his spelling of phonetically decodable words?
Can he read words out of context?

My DD learnt to read quickly and I do think she did it by sight reading and being able to memorise words. I didn't realise at the time though and it did mask other things - by Y2 we had realised, along with school - mainly due to the mismatch in her reading and her spelling/written work. Whilst some difference is normal there was a very big gap.

With DS1 reading just clicked after a few weeks. Is he capable of sounding and blending if you give him an unfamiliar word? Also for me, the big thing is that they understand what they're reading in context.

It's lovely having a good reader although nothing that is written is sacred grin.

Cat98 Sat 17-Nov-12 10:51:46

Hula baby - I know your questions were for the op but for my ds the answer to both qs are yes.

cutegorilla Sat 17-Nov-12 10:53:23

I think it's quite common for kids to suddenly get reading like that (not generally so early in reception to be fair). School will still take him through all the phonics stuff. I had similar concerns with ds1 because I knew he was recognising words rather than reading them phonically but he's now in yr1 and has covered all the phonics stuff.

SarkyWench Sat 17-Nov-12 10:55:34

Phonics isn't an all or none thing.
Just because he isn't obviously sounding words out in a deliberate ways does not mean that he isn't using phonics type info when he is reading. IMO the 'eureka' moment in learning to read is when kids' knowledge of spelling-to-sound regulartities becomes something that they can use rapidly and automatically without realising that is what they are doing.

Try him on some books with nonsense words (dr Seuss etc) to check that he can still read unfamiliar words. My bet is that he'll be fine smile

I remember ds1 getting really upset in reception because he thought he was doing something wrong because he was finding it hard to sound out words that he "just knew".

EBDTeacher Sat 17-Nov-12 10:56:18

I wouldn't worry TBH.

I googled hyperlexia and freaked myself out when my 18mo picked up the sound of all 44 graphemes from a Letters and Sounds DVD! He's totally fine, just really good at recognising patterns.

I think your DS was just 'ready' so he flew. He possibly could have read a while earlier.

I think mrz's son had hyperlexia, you could PM her if you are worried.

DoubleDoubleTwigletTrouble Sat 17-Nov-12 12:05:27

Thanks for the replies, all. I'd never heard of hyperlexia but having just Googled it, I don't think he has that as his speech is pretty advanced and his teachers say how articulate/eloquent he is. To answer a few things...

Yes, he can recognise words out of context - this was the first thing that I noticed, actually. He read the word "some" (written as a stand-alone word) instantly and a few weeks earlier he would have said it was "so-meh".

DrSeuss for nonsense words is a great idea!

I think his spelling is ok but not sure. He can't really write any letters yet - he will say "c..a..t" when you ask him how to spell a word but he can't write it. He can type though - he wanted to Google a Super Mario Bros game and I saw him type into the search box "soopa mareeo bros gam" smile So basic spelling is ok but although he could recognise a 'magic e' word when reading, he wouldn't put the magic e in his spelling yet.

He definitely understands what he's reading - his comprehension is good.

Thanks for the advice, all - good to know that other children have been like this too!

mrz Sat 17-Nov-12 13:15:16

It doesn't sound like hyperlexia (my son talked like an adult from the age of 12 months so being articulate doesn't rule out the possibility) just a lovely little boy for whom reading has clicked and is making great progress ...well done to him.

Cahoots Sat 17-Nov-12 13:35:50

2 of my 3 did the same thing and seemed to go from not reading to reading overnight when they were 4/5 . It is so adorable when they first start writing with their own version of spelling. I let them get on with it and didn't correct them very much. If they can see the purpose (ie looking up Super Mario grin ) then nothing will stop them.
I swear one of mine only learnt to read because he was desperate to read the on screen instructions for SuperMario.

learnandsay Sat 17-Nov-12 19:38:34

I wouldn't say reading phonics readers, the early ones in the scheme at any rate,) is the same thing as reading real books. Dr Seuss and Elsie Marinarik's Little Bear aren't real books either. They all have a reduced vocabulary designed for teaching children to read. Personally I love all of them, (except the phonics readers.) But I get my daughter to read real books with real sentences in them. As far as I can tell all that you can tell from reading phonics readers is how good a child is at reading phonics readers.

mrz Sat 17-Nov-12 20:08:03

biscuit

simpson Sat 17-Nov-12 20:13:36

The thing I have found with DD (in reception) is that she can read a chapter book at home fine (not a really hard one!!) and reads ORT 5 (with the reading chest - just thinking of putting her to 6) the books she gets from school are shorter (jolly phonics ones - but they pack quite a punch in them ie the word tortoise etc) and as long as they want to read and are doing well,be proud of them!!!

All you can do to help is to provide other books ( as well as school ones) read to them as well as hear them read which I am sure you are doing and enjoy them learning to read...I am truly loving it with my DD grin

Lougle Sat 17-Nov-12 20:14:29

"As far as I can tell all that you can tell from reading phonics readers is how good a child is at reading phonics readers."

Which is fantatic, because all books are phonics readers, just some more complicated than others wink

simpson Sat 17-Nov-12 20:15:03

LandS - out of interest, what is your definition of a "real book??"

learnandsay Sat 17-Nov-12 20:22:06

Well, no. Wittgenstein's Tractatus is a real book but I wouldn't describe it as a phonics reader. Or if it is perhaps I'll ask her teacher to go over it with her next week.

Nagoo Sat 17-Nov-12 20:23:02

My niece could do this in reception.

She was very very good at sight reading smile It was really hard trying not to compare DS to her!

DS took a lot longer, he's now in Y1, but I have noticed that in the last month it's just gone 'ping' and he can do it as opposed to sounding things out, he's reading really fluently. The change was drastic, like it all just clicked smile

sittinginthesun Sat 17-Nov-12 20:30:44

OP, I think reading just clicks for your son. My youngest (year 1) was like that. He learned the basic phonics, and then suddenly started to read. School move him up a level, the first couple of books stretch him, then he just reads them. No idea how.

I'm sure he is reading phonetically, as he sounds out words he doesn't know, but he kind of does it under his breath.

Mind you, his scheme book had the word "maniacally" last week. That stumped me! I had to google to check the pronunciation blush.

mrz Sat 17-Nov-12 20:45:46

I'm not sure that many reception children would have the stamina for Ludwig hmm it's a real book just as any of the books children read in school are real books and it's also a phonic book because our orthography represents spoken sounds (and there aren't any picture clues to guess from wink )

sausagesandwich34 Sat 17-Nov-12 20:58:16

never heard of hyperlexia before??

both my DDs could just read, never taught them, they just could

one just before the age of 3, the other one at 3.6 -went from being able to pick out their names to reading magic faraway tree in less than a month

no language issues -I just thought it was because they just liked words??

anyway, back to the original post...

they do a lot of group work around phonics which every child will be involved in (certainly in DD's school anyway) so all children will cover the full range of phonics even if they are a higher reading level
the amount of phonic work can clearly be seen in their writing which is very cute to read smile

mrz Sat 17-Nov-12 21:05:06

sausagesandwich when my son started nursery he was reading the Financial Times to his grandpa (insisted on checking his shares each lunchtime) and his favourite "bedtime book" was the NATO Air Force magazine which he would read aloud to me or his dad until we fell asleep hmm

learnandsay Sat 17-Nov-12 21:05:25

Phonics readers are designed to teach children to read, just as automobile manuals are designed to teach people how to fix or maintain their cars. I'm not going to ask my daughter's teacher to run through the 600 page manual of my Citroen either. Just because something is phonic that doesn't mean it's a phonics reader. The works of the Marquis De Sade are phonic, but I'd be a little bit concerned if my daughter's school was using them to teach the children to read.

Wafflenose Sat 17-Nov-12 21:08:50

My DD2 has been rather slow - reading for nearly 18 months now and at a solid yellow level, but she had a 'eureka' moment too, when she simply stopped sounding anything out. One day, she just looked at words like "chopped" and "carrots", which she had never seen before, and said them straight off. That's not the same as reading a sight, 'tricky' word - it's blending an unfamiliar word automatically in her head, like an adult would do. It sounds like your son has got to this stage, OP - just faster than some (and much faster than DD2!)

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