How much do you 'push' your Reception child at home?

(60 Posts)
BoysRule Wed 20-Nov-13 20:30:28

My DS1 has just started in YR and was 4 a week before term started. I am a primary school teacher.

He is doing well at school and the teachers are happy. It is a very academic school and IMO they are teaching phonics at a very fast pace (a new sound every day). He is not keeping up with this at all and knows around 6 sounds - he can only write a couple of them.

I know if I was teaching him my advice to the parents would be to let him go at his own pace - there is no SEN and he is bright, articulate, confident and loves learning.

At the moment I do very little with him at home - he doesn't enjoy it and I can see that he is tired, not concentrating etc and I don't want to push him when, as a teacher, I can see he is not ready.

However, there is still a part of me that feels bad for not doing more with him at home. Even though this would be forcing him, I almost feel guilty for not helping the teachers by trying to teach him the sounds to 'keep up'.

How much do you 'push' your child at home? How much work do you do with them?

cottoncandy Wed 20-Nov-13 20:36:19

My DS is in reception and an April birthday so a little bit older. I find that he is very tired at home. His school are doing a similar thing with a sound every day. I do his reading books at the weekend and usually once during the week but nothing else really. He comes home with letters to do at the weekend and we do those but I think they have done all the sounds now. There are a lot of kids, especially the girls, who are ahead but I'm not pushing him as I don't think he would be happy :-)

LittleMissGreen Wed 20-Nov-13 20:37:29

DS is one of the oldest in the year. He is meant to do homework every day - reading with me, and also they learn a phoneme a day and he has to write it down, draw pictures of things containing that sound or cut them out magasines etc. If he doesn't want to do it, then he doesn't - it tends to be when he is really tired. Usually the next morning he is asking to do it. On the odd occasion he has overslept then I have written in a note that he will do it the next day.
As an aside, he wasn't interested in letters at all until fairly recently so very glad he wasn't an August birthday as he would have really struggled if he had started last year, I'm sure there would have been many more days of non-homeworks.

missorinoco Wed 20-Nov-13 20:38:14

At this stage I didn't push DS. We did a little reading most evenings, maybe five minutes. That was it. At that was mainly to get him in the habit of doing a little reading with us.

DD catches on quicker, so I let her read for longer, and will let her finish a book, as she is keen to, but maybe ten minutes at most.

They are just so tired, especially this early in the school year.

Galena Wed 20-Nov-13 20:39:10

DD is an April birthday. We do as much as she wants to - she always asks to do her book as soon as we are home and she has always been a 'sit-down-and-do' child, so this doesn't surprise me.

If he's not ready, don't push him. He'll do it when he's good and ready, and you will be there to assist.

PoppyWearer Wed 20-Nov-13 20:40:21

My DC1 was in Reception last year and I didn't push her at all. This time of year is exhausting for them with the run-up to Christmas.

My DD caught up in the end and is doing better-than-ok (as far as I can tell) in Year One.

PoppyWearer Wed 20-Nov-13 20:40:48

P.S. she is also a summer birthday.

pyrrah Wed 20-Nov-13 20:46:34

DD started the year recognising written numbers 1-5 although able to count out objects and say higher ones. She also recognised about 10 letters and could write her name. Couldn't read at all.

She has little cards with letters on and they have learnt actions and the sounds. They get another set to add to the ones they have every few weeks and a new reading book every week as well as a 'mummy' reading book.

It takes about 20 minutes on the bus to get to school so she likes to go through the cards and read me her reading book most mornings and most afternoons.

Otherwise I do nothing at all except the usual bedtime stories and fun "educational" things at the weekend.

The school was my first choice because of their academic achievements and reputation for stretching able children so I trust them on that score. I am not a teacher and have zero idea of how things should be taught - other than it not being how it was in my day. I leave school to get on with it and hope they will approach me if they see any issues or areas where she struggles. I'm a total control freak so it's quite a hard thing for me to relinquish everything to the school!

If she was at a school with poor attainment or that I didn't like the way they were teaching I would probably put in considerably more effort.

HoratiaDrelincourt Wed 20-Nov-13 20:47:33

I have a summer baby, now in Y1. This time last year he was not interested in reading or writing at all. He liked school - the playing, singing, dressing up, etc, but was completely unbothered about literacy.

Then suddenly he realised of his own accord that if you can read, you can read things. You can read labels, and signs, and books you've chosen for yourself, and and and...

Once he'd made that intellectual leap of his own accord he started to engage with reading and writing and leapt ahead of his classmates. He is now apparently in the top reading group in Y1.

I learned recently that some of his classmates had coaching and/or tutoring in Reception. That appals me. Reception is EYFS so IMHO that's just wrong. I think this is partly because I have many Scottish friends whose 5yo DC have started in P1 at a similar academic level to our Reception starters but are already producing similar written work to Y1 children of their own age.

Now, obviously I don't know whether he got it because of our feigned unconcern or despite it. We're reasonably academic so we would have been surprised to have a very unacademic child.

Certainly I firmly believe that Reception is about learning how to go to school, not about learning particular academic/literacy/numeracy skills. Giving your child a love for exploration and investigation, and a confidence in a formal enough setting, is what sets them up for their school career, not being on Stage Five book band by the start of Y1.

BoysRule Wed 20-Nov-13 20:53:46

Thank you for your replies - it is reassuring to know that not everyone is pushing their child to do lots at home. It is hard to talk to the other mums (even though they are good friends) as it does become a bit competitive and I know everyone else is anxious about it too!

I know that I am doing enough but I can't help that doubting voice in my head every so often.

Periwinkle007 Wed 20-Nov-13 21:03:12

we don't. reading every day, about 5 mins on a phonics homework exercise at weekends.

KittyOSullivanKrauss Wed 20-Nov-13 21:06:45

I have an August born DS too OP, quite an academic school. I agree its hard to get the balance right when they're so little.

DS is given new books twice a week (one ORT for him to read, one for us to read to him). At a minimum I aim to get him to look at these at least once before they get changed. If he's done it at least once, and refuses all other times I drop it. Often though, he'll willingly read the book a couple more times, and maybe a few other things if he's keen (he wanted to practise writing some letters today, his suggestion). It can be hard to pick a time when he's amenable due to tiredness. A couple of times a week we have a routine of home, snack and 5 minutes looking at the books then he can do whatever he likes. Mostly this works.

They were doing about 4 letter sounds a week up until last week, when they seem to be having a break and just asking us to go over the ones they've already learned which seems fair enough.

tweetytwat Wed 20-Nov-13 21:09:15

I don't. We do five to ten minutes reading each night and that's it.
But I talk to him and he asks me to read things he's found to him. And he's doing pretty well so far and enjoying school so it's all goodsmile

mrz Wed 20-Nov-13 21:12:04

I teach in a "non academic" bog standard primary school and teaching a sound a day is very normal procedure

starlight1234 Wed 20-Nov-13 21:14:09

My DS was not ready to write..It has taken till year 2 to get him out of the self belief he can't write simply because he wasn't ready...

My son in reception with reading..We did the jolly phonics as a game , he did watch the jolly phonics DVD before school he really enjoyed it.

We did reading words as a pair game everything should be fun and learning through play ...Find the bits he enjoys but I wouldn't be forcing at this age..far too easy to put them off learning altogether

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Wed 20-Nov-13 21:17:42

I don't push him. He reads his book and flashcards to me most nights, but if he's too tired we leave it. His teacher seemed happy with his progress at parents evening.

snowpo Wed 20-Nov-13 21:28:24

BoysRule can I ask if your DS is at state or private? My DS is in reception, August born. He gets simple reading books, letter writing worksheets and high frequency words to learn.
He likes the books. We can just about get him to do the letter worksheets but I have given up on the words.
He gets really upset and hates doing it. I feel that putting pressure on him will put him off completely and make him anti-homework from the beginning.
He is currently at a private school but is moving to state after Christmas. I am really hoping they will be a bit less heavy with the homework as I just don't think he's ready.

NaturalBaby Wed 20-Nov-13 21:32:01

I just about manage to get homework done. My ds was 4 in August and is in YR as well, but has a sibling in the year above so watched and listened to him going through all the phonics and letters last year so has had bit of a head start.
He really enjoys language and sounds so we just talk a lot! We mess around with sounds and rhymes and he like to tell me what his sound of the day is - they do read write inc so he does the sound in school then gets a sheet sent home to copy the letter out 3 times a week.

Helspopje Wed 20-Nov-13 21:33:05

just a quick q - what do all you other summer-born DC mums make of the DfE guidance about delaying reception year?
As a Scot, I was horrified to hear how robust the LEAs are in England about the age-cutoff so was pleasantly surprised by the recent apparent change of heart.

HoratiaDrelincourt Wed 20-Nov-13 21:39:39

DH, DS1 and I are all summer babies, and were all very very ready for school at only-just-four. That colours my opinion enormously - to the extent that I can't fathom how I'll keep DS3, a November baby, entertained until he can start Big School.

PoppyWearer Wed 20-Nov-13 21:45:53

Helspopje I have mixed feelings about the delayed entry. I have two summer-borns, DC2 is too young for me to judge yet. A friend is thinking if doing this for her summer-born in the US so I've thought about it quite a lot.

DC1 was definitely not 100% ready for school when she started, I would say maybe 60%, and that was after a good 3 years of nursery beforehand. By about February/March she was fine. It doesn't help that this term is so long, full-on with Christmas at the end.

I think my ideal scenario with her would have been half-days for the first term, like schools used to do. BUT my DMum did that with me back in the early 80's and my abiding memory was returning to school the next day and feeling like I had missed out on stuff.

<sits on fence>

Zappo Wed 20-Nov-13 21:46:33

I didn't do anything during the reception year in terms of reading. My DD was one of the older ones but was so tired and miserable after school, particularly during the Autumn term.

At weekends, we did watch Jolly Phonics on You tube and sang along together.

Now she is in year one we are trying to practice reading but just to confuse matters they have now dropped phonics in favour of KRM.

JustOneMoreBite Wed 20-Nov-13 22:05:23

DD is in reception and has just started getting reading books home this last week - so far she's not keen on sitting with me and looking at them. I think she finds them a bit daunting (doesn't help that the two we've had so far have had loads of 'tricky' words and very little that she can decode), so I think I'll back off from it a bit rather than put her off altogether.

Other than that she's been getting a sheet each day to add to her 'sound book'. She colours in the picture and copies out some words which contain the sound. She chooses to do that and I wouldn't make her do it if she didn't want to.

She's made loads of progress since she started, her teacher is happy with her, and I don't see any reason to push her along any faster.

thegreylady Wed 20-Nov-13 22:14:09

Do any other dc in Reception have spellings to learn and a weekly test? My dgs has just started to bring lists of 2 and 3 letter words and has a week to learn them then they have a test.He reads all the words easily but finds writing them very difficult in the time given.
He is reading quite well now but writing/spelling are beginning to worry him a bit despite lots of reassurance.

Iris445 Thu 21-Nov-13 07:12:29

Gels pope, I can't find what your alluding to on the website...can anyone help?

Do you mean differing the whole year or starting later?

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