Anxious about reading levels

(26 Posts)
Worrywart16 Thu 12-Sep-13 21:56:03

My dd, 5.5, has just gone into year 1. She's sitting somewhere between light blue & green on the book banding (stage 4-5). It feels as if lots of the other kids are much further ahead. DD has mentioned that one of her friends is on gold, for example, and another parent spoke about her dd being on purple. I'm starting to worry she's behind...

LostInWales Thu 12-Sep-13 22:00:31

The ones that let you know are showing off! She is only very little and by the time the ones who have been hothoused reading a lot with their parents get to year 3 will all average out with everyone else. Try and read with her every day but make it a treat, a lovely bit of time with her parents and a biscuit and let her see you reading lots of books too so she associates reading with pleasure. Don't feel it is a competition with other children, they all get there in the end, enjoyment is the key not the speed you push through the books.

Pozzled Thu 12-Sep-13 22:03:06

She's doing absolutely fine for the start of Yr 1. Of course there will be children who are ahead- there will also be some children still on pink/red. It's best to ignore what other children are doing. So long as you can see your DD making progress, you don't need to worry too much. She may just suddenly 'get it' and speed through the levels.

ihearttc Thu 12-Sep-13 22:05:47

I completely agree. DS1 was way up the book levels at the start of Y1 purely because it was his "thing" at the time...he loved reading.

Fast forward to him now starting Y4 most of the class are at the same level as him.

Never again am I going to worry about reading levels when I have to do it all again with DS2 in a couple of years...although I may need reminding of that!

Periwinkle007 Thu 12-Sep-13 22:14:18

I don't quite agree with Lost in Wales as I don't think it is true that good early readers are hothoused, some children just happen to get reading earlier than others.

however I do agree that she is doing very well for her age and what other children are doing shouldn't be any issue to you or her. As i said to a friend last week, Just because they aren't 4 years ahead for their age doesn't make them behind. Yes there will be some children (a small minority) who will be on high bands and yes there will be some who are still just starting to get cvc words but for a 5.5 year old I think the hoped for reading band is blue to green so she is exactly where the school would hope she would be at this age. It is better she is working through at her own pace than rushing.

my advice would be to do the school books but also start getting her to share reading books with you. Just simple ones but let her read the words she can, help her to break down words she doesn't know and encourage her to enjoy reading REAL books herself. Once she realises that what she has already learnt can be translated into gorgeous picture story books she will get even more keen and enjoy it more. Reading scheme books can become very dull and you want her to have fun with reading.

She is doing very well, don't worry.

Periwinkle007 Thu 12-Sep-13 22:18:37

try her with these ones (although they won't all be decodable but these are rough levels for them) Not Now Bernard and Where's My Teddy are absolute favourites in our house

Book Band 4 – Blue

Dear Zoo – Rod Campbell

I wish I were a Dog – Lydia Monks

Rosie’s Walk – Pat Hutchins

Spot Can Count – Eric Hill

Book Band 5 – Green

Chocolate Mousse for Greedy Goose – Julia Donaldson

I’m Not Cute – Jonathan Allen

Not Now Bernard – David McKee

Where’s My Teddy – Jez Alborough

hopingforbest Thu 12-Sep-13 22:19:55

I'd say most of my childrens' class finished on Level 4 or 5 at end of Reception. Some were probably around Level 10 and some were still struggling with recognising 'the'. After Level 5 kids seem to get the hang of it, and take off.

Worrywart16 Thu 12-Sep-13 22:24:44

Thanks all for your reassurance. I love to read and dh and I both make time for reading to dd every day, both to her (bedtime stories etc) and with her (for example school reading books). We both work f/t though and I think I have fallen victim to being worried we haven't done enough.

Worrywart16 Thu 12-Sep-13 22:25:34

periwinkle thank you-great suggestions. I remember Not Now Bernard well

ThisIsMummyPig Thu 12-Sep-13 22:32:31

My DD is reading red books. She is in the middle group at her school. She can do better than that at home though.

Pinkpinot Thu 12-Sep-13 22:33:07

I really don't get how this works
How do they move up a band?
Ds's class all seem to be at the same level, it's like they all read the exact same book at the same pace
It feels like they can only go up a band when they have read every book in the previous band
And ds seems really bored with it all

Periwinkle007 Thu 12-Sep-13 22:34:03

Not Now Bernard is such a cool book. It takes the pressure off the whole learning to read thing if they realise they can also read some of their favourite books at bedtime.

LostInWales Thu 12-Sep-13 22:49:17

Sorry periwinkle I may have been exaggerating slightly for comic effect. We are in Wales (in a Welsh medium school) and they start to read much later (and in Welsh) so it is only the children who have had parents reading with them that are anywhere near English levels, I meant to say they all get there in the end and a love of reading is the most important thing. I have no idea of levels/colours because of our late start. They all catch up though, mind you when they don't start English books until year three the ORT makes me panic a bit for a while!

BrigitBigKnickers Thu 12-Sep-13 22:54:47

DD1 was one of those always ahead with the reading levels.

DD2 was quite a way behind at the same point in her education (and she was a September birthday whereas DD1 was June, so young in her year.)

By the end of year 3 DD2 had caught up with where DD1 had been and is currently at a grammar school year 10 already at GCSE A* level for English.

She sounds like she is doing fine (am a teacher so should know!) Read loads with her, take her to the library, enjoy books and try not to compare her with others.

Periwinkle007 Fri 13-Sep-13 10:00:09

sorry LostinWales - bit overdefensive here. having had one read very very early I get a bit cross when people on MN always seem to say 'those who can read early are lying or don't have lives because they are beaten with a stick until they can read war and peace at 5' etc

LostInWales Fri 13-Sep-13 10:52:39

S'ok, it's a weirdly emotive subject. I have had a mix of everything with my boys and now have a very keen Y2 reader because he isn't allowed his computer time until he has read to me, not sure what type of parent that makes me grin.

redskyatnight Fri 13-Sep-13 10:55:45

Blue/Green is great for the start of Y1. I suspect you are in a high achieving school if lots of the children are ahead of her - both my DC were at this level at this stage and both were in top reading groups (in infants school that got average results at end of KS1).

forehead Fri 13-Sep-13 11:02:24

OP, please don't stress. I regret all the energy I used up worrying about the reading levels of my dcs. As others have said, by the time they are in year 3, it usually all evens out.
Just make sure that you spend some time reading with your dd and avoid discussing reading levels with other parents.

Periwinkle007 Fri 13-Sep-13 11:05:39

yes they are all so different aren't they LostinWales. My second daughter isn't in the same position as DD1 but I think she is more interested so she probably (HOPEFULLY) will happily plod along at her own pace without half the hysterionics of the elder one about 'I hate reading' then 30 seconds later 'I want to read now' and so on.

LostInWales Fri 13-Sep-13 11:13:06

It's like potty training, when they are 2 you think 'they are never going to be trained, I will be laughed at for having a 7 year old in nappies' then you realise that barring illness no one is still in nappies by 7 and they will sort themselves out in time. Parenthood seems to me to be just one long panic after another smile. Not helped by the parents who just can't help sharing with you that their child was potty trained by 9 months or is reading the gold books (I didn't even know there was a gold level, is this a major parenting fail or proof that they all learn to read with or without the Oxford Reading Tree or Coeden Ddarllen Rhydychen which is the helpfully impossible to pronounce words for it in Welsh!)

Periwinkle007 Fri 13-Sep-13 11:19:44

yes I think a lot of reading schemes have a lot to answer for!

My mum was brought up Welsh speaking but can't remember any now since she left Wales and Welsh relatives died off. beautiful language but erm not very straightforward. I can at least pronounce it - I just don't understand it.

LostInWales Fri 13-Sep-13 11:31:26

It's my husbands first language and my children are doing all their schooling in it, even the local secondary school is Welsh language but DS1 and 2 have chosen to do maths and science in English. I am learning, slowly, slowly learning. DS3 was delighted with me the other day because I could tell him what a word he didn't know meant in his book. Normally when I read with him I have to have a Welsh/English dictionary to hand. The pronunciation is so straigtforward which is lovely for when they are learning to read but the way they say some stuff makes my brain turn inside out, 'don't worry' in Welsh is (loose translation) don't put your fiddle on the roof'! grin.

SmallTorch Fri 13-Sep-13 11:34:30

Mine finished year one on light blue! I didn't even realise I ought to have been worrying!

Periwinkle007 Fri 13-Sep-13 11:38:39

don't put your fiddle on the roof is fantastic - I like that.

Smalltorch - thats just it though you shouldn't be worrying. the school should tell you if they think you should.

LostInWales Fri 13-Sep-13 11:40:46

I can't even remember what colour we were on last term blush. I would like to point out that even with lax parenting like that all my children can now read, honest.

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