Which comes first, reading or writing?

(23 Posts)
SahmOldSameOld Fri 07-Dec-12 22:15:14

DD is 4.2 and has been asking how to write letters with much enthusiasm. I assume she'll be enthusiastic about learning to read at some point too, but I was just wondering if that's the usual way round. For some reason I thought reading comes first.

There's no rush as she doesn't start reception until next Sep and I'd like her to take the lead when she is ready. We read books together nightly which she really enjoys but she hasn't really shown any signs of wanting to decode words (if that's even how an interest develops, am a bit clueless about this sort of thing...)

noisytoys Fri 07-Dec-12 22:20:03

DD could read for a few years before she could write but if your DD wants to write then I would encourage that smile

simpson Fri 07-Dec-12 22:32:19

DD also read first and tbh has struggled to write (although has improved recently) as she is hyper mobile and has OT/physio etc etc

TBH at this age I would go with what they want....

ELC do a pack of reusable cards with each letter on that they follow the dots to get the shape of each letter iyswim. It comes with a dry wipe pen and you just wipe it clean to use it again. DD loved it!!!

learnandsay Fri 07-Dec-12 22:34:38

I suppose it depends on what she wants to write. If she wants to copy out the letters that she sees in front of her then there is no reason why she shouldn't. But if she wants to write a sentence, then being able to read might be seen as advantageous but not essential (as job adverts say these days) depending on how much parental support she has.

mrz Fri 07-Dec-12 22:38:09

Usually reading comes before writing because of the physical skills/development required for writing.

suebfg Fri 07-Dec-12 22:38:48

Reading first in our case

ReallyTired Fri 07-Dec-12 22:39:18

Ds could read before he could write because he had issues with his fine motor control.

DD at the age of three is desperate to write.

A lot depends on your definition of writing. There is a difference between drawing letters and the ablity to communiate by writing.

RubbishCrackerPuller Fri 07-Dec-12 22:46:04

Guess my DS is doing it arse about face then. He loves copying letters and makes a fair cop at it too, but knows very few of them by name/sound. Funnily enough though he identifies a few of them by their shape, for example a lower case 'r' is called a 'hook' (I do tell him the letter sounds but he is a bit sceptical). He can write his own name and his sisters besides doing the copying. He does have very good fine motor skills - can dismantle just about anything and tends to hide screwdrivers in order to do so better hmm

He is 3y2m. I hope this isn't going to impact his ability to read (when he's ready)

mrz Fri 07-Dec-12 22:50:12

Lots of children "draw" letters, copying what they see grown ups and older brothers and sisters and will even ascribe meaning to what they write (that doesn't match what they have copied)

RubbishCrackerPuller Fri 07-Dec-12 23:05:12

True mrz he is really only drawing, though he just seems so fascinated by letters and numbers above pictures. I can't see how you could actually 'write' before learning to read because you must have to ascribe sounds to the letters, which is part of the whole learning to read process (one would hope!).

I posted mostly because he seems such an 'odd' child in many ways, really peculiarly observant and obsessed with fine detail that would pass most people by. I think it has been playing on my mind and this thread triggered my thoughts blush

mrz Fri 07-Dec-12 23:07:43

Often young children will make "squiggles" and say that says ...... it's emergent writing and a definite stage of development

Tgger Sat 08-Dec-12 00:08:27

Follow child grin. DD similar age and showing informal interest in both.

BertieBotts Sat 08-Dec-12 00:24:06

DS could write letters before he started reading, but he's been sounding out letters for a while now (well before writing them, because he kept asking "What number is this?") and has only just started to read simple words like "dog" "cat" etc. He can write his name and "Mummy" but only because he has been told and now remembers which letters are in them and what order they go in if that makes sense - he wouldn't have been able to work out how to write those words from the knowledge that he has.

Although he did write "bum" and showed me very proudly the other day grin so for him it's looking like about the same kind of time?

Saracen Sat 08-Dec-12 04:03:20

Many of the home ed kids I know, including both of my own, have been interested in writing (or typing) before they are very interested in reading.

I can see several reasons why this might be so. For one thing, with writing there is more latitude when it comes to "correctness". Even the earliest illegible squiggles which mrz describes, which are meant to say "Dear Grandma, I love you" is met by great joy from grandma. Unless she is Pushy Insensitive Grandma from Hell she won't say "No, it doesn't say that. It's just squiggles." Instead she will say how delighted she was to get the child's letter. As the child progresses, one would hope that the odd backwards letter and early misspellings phonetic spellings will not attract too much unwanted attention because everyone is pleased that the child is progressing toward being able to write. Contrast that with learning to read. A child who misreads the word "cat" may get some praise for effort but at the end of the day she has read it incorrectly and someone is likely to tell her so.

For another thing, the desire to write is based on the child having something to communicate. Most children do have something they want to say, and they know what it is. They want to send a letter to grandma, or add chocolate biscuits to the shopping list, or tell their 3yo brother to "Keep Out" of their bedroom. On the other hand, the desire to read is based on the child wanting to know what someone else is trying to communicate to her. In many cases she may not actually care much. Even if she does care, she may not have many clues as to what the other person is trying to say to her, so it may be hard going.

learnandsay Sat 08-Dec-12 08:26:02

Pushy grandma from hell reminds me of a story that my brother tells. I don't know whether it's true or not.
He was volunteering as a helper in a Montessori nursery when a toddler approached him proudly with the written word sox. That doesn't spell socks, my brother explained. The toddler looked at him puzzled and replied, what does it say then?

maizieD Sat 08-Dec-12 10:47:06

Talking of Montessori; if you read her writings you will find that she started with letter formation and writing.

As she taught children the 'lettter sounds' as they were learning the lettter formation, and as Italian has a transparent orthography, many of her children learned to read at the same time.

SingSung Sat 08-Dec-12 10:52:59

Reading here x 3... not sure why though... child led I guess. Any enthusiasm on either front is great!

frillynat81 Sat 08-Dec-12 12:17:30

It was reading here. I suppose you just follow their lead! I used dots and my DS joined them up to make letters. You can also get lots of different pre-school workbook type things in The Works and Poundland...my DS loved these.

HaphazardTophat Sat 08-Dec-12 18:55:53

DS1 reading first but was weird with it, he couldn't stand being read to at all as a toddler, it would make him cry! He 'taught' himself to read by using the subtitles on the tv as the word was being said (wouldn't recommend this as a method tho' because he then got a little confused when he started foundation stage and started to do phonics).

DS2 was writing first. Started when he was 2.4 he could write the alphabet upper and lower case in sequential order. When nursery saw this they started teaching him the letter sounds and he progressed onto writing simple words like cat, dog etc. But he showed no interest in reading at all.

DS1 is now 6 and reads at around 8yo level, but is reluctant to write, even tho' he has a great vocabulary and his spelling is good, he is a messy writer and tends to rush through it.

DS2 is now 4 and reads at around 5-6yo level, but he reuses to write anymore in his homework book and refuses to use lower case!

I think as long as there is any amount of interest in reading or writing it's a good thing and doesn't matter which comes first as it comes in fits and starts.

Cat98 Sun 09-Dec-12 17:19:35

About the same time here! His reading is possibly more advanced than his writing now, but he could write all his letters before he could read a word, and as he learned to read 'cat' etc he'd always want to have a go at writing it!

Mashabell Sun 09-Dec-12 19:01:53

Reading generally.

Most children find learning to read much easier than to write, because recognising a sequence of letters as making a word is much easier than remembering them for writing.

mrz Sun 09-Dec-12 19:10:46

confused

learnandsay Sun 09-Dec-12 19:50:01

No, Masha. No, not really.

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