Why on earth shouldn't you teach reading if you jolly well feel like it?

(244 Posts)
learnandsay Fri 01-Mar-13 09:53:07

Is it really all that bad?

corblimeymadam Sat 02-Mar-13 10:34:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

motherinferior Sat 02-Mar-13 10:40:29

Another viewpoint: reading isn't rocket science. Rather than making it into this huge milestone that has to be laboured over intensively at home, you could just leave it till your kids have matured a bit (you know, the way you're supposed to with potty training) and let them learn it in due course. I do of course realise that in MN world everyone else's child is champing at the literacy bit aged three but I for one am not blessed with such paragons.

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 10:47:53

Doesn't it look more like rocket science to the people who are struggling with it?

motherinferior Sat 02-Mar-13 10:51:39

Well, yes, if they're three.

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 10:53:58

I don't know how anybody can answer this, but what does it look like to the ones who are forty three and can't do it?

seeker Sat 02-Mar-13 10:55:35

My personal informed-by-anecdote opinion is that often children who struggle at things are being asked to try too soon. I know that I treated my own dd as a project-(not long out of a very high pressure job) - and was, in retrospect, far too proactive. My second child who, as my wise mother advised, was allowed to grow up automatically, had a much easier life and did everything at about the same time, and in some cases earlier than his "pet child" sister.

storynanny Sat 02-Mar-13 10:59:06

Please please please just have fun with your little ones, when they get to school it's all literacy literacy literacy, numeracy numeracy numeracy. If your children find learning to read fun then by all means do it with them, but it's not essential. Early years teachers are much more interested in their spoken language, self help skills etc.
As I said earlier, everyone is different and every child's idea of fun is different. They have such a long time ahead of them of formal learning, make the most of the freedom pre school years!
The most helpful pre reading skill to help with at home is to read, read, read and then read more stories to your children. They learn the difference between print and pictures, the layout of a book, hear the excitement in your voice as you tell the story, hear punctuation, sentences and the build up of anticipation.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 02-Mar-13 11:03:42

It was never ever important to me to try to teach my kids to learn to read before they went to school.

All I ever wanted to do was to help them to love books and stories.

Why do anything other than that??

storynanny Sat 02-Mar-13 11:15:59

Shipwrecked, you are so right.
Just to reiterate- early years teachers will have no problem at all with your child reading or not reading on their first day at school.

motherinferior Sat 02-Mar-13 11:20:37

I can assure you that illiteracy at four or five does not guarantee illiteracy at 43. You're jumping to conclusions.

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 11:24:54

Agreed it doesn't. But I was actually asking how much like rocket science does reading look to an illiterate 43 yr old? (And not anything else.)

Lifeisontheup Sat 02-Mar-13 12:01:09

My DD says one of the most important things that I taught her was that reading was fun, it was something that Mummy loved doing and so was automatically something she wanted to master.

We both still love books and have far too many for the size of house. We also both have kindles with 500+ books on them.

I learnt to read at about three, not because my Mother actively taught me but because we were read to and it was seen as a good thing to do. I read everything I could lay my hands on and still do. I read the newspaper at aged eight and got quite a lot of sex education from page 3 of the Telegraph. It was much more graphic 40 years ago. grin

I think it has stood me in good stead, I can read and take in information quickly so now I'm doing an OU degree, it isn't as hard for me as for people who don't enjoy reading.

storynanny Sat 02-Mar-13 16:55:16

Yes, the love of reading is something so valuable to instill.

mrz Sat 02-Mar-13 17:02:22

I have two very different children who both grew up in a house full of books with adults who were prolific readers. One loves reading and devours books (at least one a week) the other reads one or two books a year ...

maizieD Sat 02-Mar-13 17:19:00

But I was actually asking how much like rocket science does reading look to an illiterate 43 yr old? (And not anything else.)

I think it looks like rocket science to any person of any age who can't do it. But, of course, they won't be joining this conversation...

mrz Sat 02-Mar-13 17:32:11

learnandsay lots of our children arrive unable to "talk", for some point and grunt is their best means of communicating a need.

insanityscratching Sat 02-Mar-13 17:44:08

Ds started school unable to talk (didn't speak fluently until 7) but could read and spell independently he still managed 8 decent GCSEs.

Badvoc Sat 02-Mar-13 17:44:11

Hmm...ds2 is 4 and starts school in sept.
He knows
Numbers up to 20 and all his letter sounds.
He can also write his name, And most numbers up to 20.
He quite likes to copy random words he sees, so things like toshiba smile And his brothers name.
My eldest son is severely dyslexic, and didnt go through this developmental stage so I have no idea what I am doing!
He has learnt his letter sounds from watching Alphablocks and his numbers from numtums (cbeebies was a lifeline for me last year when I herniated a disc in my back and couldn't move much for 3 months) we watched a lot!
I have always read to him and still do.
He also likes the story apps on the iPad.
He learnt how to form letters from using the hairy letters app and numbers from a timmy time app!
I have no idea where he is compared to other kids his age, but I know he is far more advanced than ds1 was at the same age sad
His drawing is pretty good too smile

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 17:47:53

I've heard of delayed speech but I've never heard of "a lot" of normal 4yo children who can't speak.

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 17:51:58

Surely you can provide a wonderful, varied, rich (and lots of other adjectives) reading experience for your children, but you can't actually teach or instil a love of reading, can you? Your children either love it or they don't but at least they can do it.

Dromedary Sat 02-Mar-13 17:53:38

I think the key thing is that the child does not fall too far behind in class. Where my DC1 went to school there were several ability groups in the class (as is usual) and if you were less good than the others at reading you were in one of the bottom groups. That meant that you also got easier maths etc. Being in a bottom group really sapped her confidence. By teaching her to read myself she was able to go up through the groups, and became much happier and more confident.

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 17:55:13

I don't know if our school has groups but I think it might have the potential to mess kids up for life.

simpson Sat 02-Mar-13 18:08:26

My DC group them according to ability from reception.

But I don't think any of the reception kids have twigged, but they certainly do when they get to yr1.

FrameyMcFrame Sat 02-Mar-13 18:36:42

The problem is if the school tries to label the children in reception year these labels stick like glue and become self fulfilling prophecies.

I learned that the hard way with DD.

In her recep class there were about 6 obviously bright kids who could read at the start. The teachers singled out these bright sparks in the first term of reception and put the class into groups by ability and by year 5 those same children were still the ones who were on top table or top group. Because they had been asked to do the harder work right from the start so their skills then progressed faster than the others all the way through school.

I'm trying to teach DS to read before he starts reception because I don't want him to miss out like DD did. I eventually took her out of that school and in the right environment she has fulfilled her potential away from the labels at the other school. DS is not going to that school but I still worry after seeing it first hand.

mrz Sat 02-Mar-13 18:36:57

learnandsay you are assuming all parents talk to their children

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