Please tell me DS will just "get" reading

(190 Posts)
PeterParkerSays Thu 03-Apr-14 09:01:28

DS is in Reception and an August baby, so one of the youngest in the year.

I admit that this concern has been caused by the mother of DS' friend saying how she was surprised the her DS has just jumped up their reading scheme from level 9 to 16, having started on level 2 in September, but DS is just toddling along with level 2 books - he's only had books with words in since Christmas, has no interest in reading, says he doesn't know what words say, makes no attempt to read, and just doesn't "get it".

I think I naively thought that DS would jump at the chance to read because we've read to him loads from being a small baby, and he loves being read to, but he just has no interest in reading at all.

If you had a child who couldn't read when they started Reception, when did they start making notable progress? Also, if we try to push this with him, are we just going to put him off reading altogether? I don't know whether to just carry on with him as we are, and wait for it to click, or to try more intensively to get him to read.

I know that he's only 4, and won't get to 18 still on his level 2 books, but I'm just concerned that other children seem to be showing progress in their reading level and he's not.

littlemiss06 Thu 03-Apr-14 09:07:58

Your child is doing perfect for reception, hes actually at the stage my daughter ended year one on, there will be many children below your son and some above but stage 2 at this age is fantastic, be very wary of parents going on about their children being on really high levels, stage 16 by the sounds of it is a reading recovery level and is actually about stage 5 or 6 in the ort scheme, I might be wrong sure someone will correct me but all Im basically saying is your son sounds like hes exactly where he should be for reception.

maizieD Thu 03-Apr-14 09:12:44

How is he being taught? Do you know?

It is possible that he doesn't really understand how to read, finds it very perplexing and prefers not to try.

momb Thu 03-Apr-14 09:13:25

My youngest DD is actuially the eldest in her year, and didn't read a school reading book (or indeed anything) until Y2, when she decided that she needed to learn. She's now in Y4 and doing very well.
It may that he's noth bothered yet. It may be that there is some other issue that hasn't come to light yet. But either way, he has plenty of time before you need to worry. Enjoy the cuddle up and reading to him

namechanger1979 Thu 03-Apr-14 09:16:14

I have 4 boys. Ds1 got reading at the end of yr 2. He is now 10 and reading the hunger games for pleasure.
Ds2 was on red ort books at the start of year 2. Now at the end of yr 2 he is reading chapter books and predicted a level 3 in his sats.
Ds 3 is a few weeks younger than your son and starts school in swptember. He can recognise some common phonics but is well off reading! I am not worried.

Children dont read in a linear way. Keep sharing books and dont start worrying about being behind until the end of yr2 at least.

sbutt78 Thu 03-Apr-14 09:16:24

My daughter is in Yr1 and she can't read either. They teach them phonics, not sure what your school does. She is starting to learn the sounds now but she can't put them together to make words. School have said to me we'll review it again in the summer term and "hopefully" it'll be improving.

I have a DS in Yr 3 and he struggles academy so I'm praying that she isn't going down the same road. Fingers crossed.

I wouldn't worry about your DS sounds perfectly normal for a 4 year old. x

OwlCapone Thu 03-Apr-14 09:21:07

Relax smile

DS1 is a February birthday, he was not interested in reading In reception but 6 months into Y1 everything he'd been taught clicked into place and he was off. DS2 is a similar birthday and learnt to read mid way through reception. Neither is a better reader than the other.

Teach him to love books and be interested in them by reading to him lots and letting him see you reading for pleasure. That is just as important as learning the mechanics IMO.

proudmama72 Thu 03-Apr-14 09:35:49

It is amazing to me still how quickly children pick up reading. The difference between age 5 and 7 is outstanding. They go from being able to read a few easy sentences with expression to whole page from a children's novel.

I'd say he's still too young to worry.

sugarhoops Thu 03-Apr-14 09:39:56

My DS1 was a very slow starter with reading (April birthday). He didnt dislike it, just wasn't that interested. He finished reception on level 2 (red band) and at this same point (Easter) in yr1, he was on level 4/5 (blue / green), so still not particularly further ahead.

Over the holidays going from yr1 into yr2, he did just suddenly 'get' reading - he went crazy for it! We visited the library every week, we read to him loads, and he got interested. He's now yr 2, almost free reading and one of the highest boy readers in his class.

Don't worry - just keep reading to your son, if he's not bothered about reading himself then just get him to read literally one page (so 5 words or so) per day. He's much more likely to get into reading if you let him go his own pace (with some gentle parental encouragement) instead of getting worried and stressed about it.

Good luck - i'm sure he'll be completely fine.

sugarhoops Thu 03-Apr-14 09:44:19

ps and don't worry about what other kids are doing in your sons class - my son was waaaaay behind loads of kids in reception and yr1 with regards reading....like I say, he's now overtaken all those kids that seemed to be so far ahead of him and is one of highest in class (ahem.....stealth boast, but just trying to reassure!!)

I (sort of) liken reading to potty training - some kids are out of nappies by 18months, some not until 3yrs, but they (mostly) all get there in the end. Unless your DS's teacher has picked up on any other issues that might be causing issues with reading, level 2 at end of reception seems fine to me.

columngollum Thu 03-Apr-14 09:45:51

There are obviously various ages when everybody can't read anything! And depending on who fiddles with what, and exactly how long they fiddle with it, the length of those periods changes. Some people think that knowing your abcs is a damn good start. Personally I think that alphabetic fridge magnets were invented by God and distributed directly to the People. And then there are some books you can get for 50p in charity shops with pictures of things like cat, dog, hat and so on with the word printed underneath.

Some of the books have pictures of handkerchief, bicycle, defibrillator and oscilloscope with the corresponding picture. (I tend to leave those ones in the shop.)

exexpat Thu 03-Apr-14 09:47:33

DS started school at age 5 (not in UK), seemed to have little interest in learning to read (I think the incredibly boring school books didn't help) but then just after he turned 6 something clicked and he went from reading Dr Seuss to reading Harry Potter in the space of a couple of months.

At age 4 you really shouldn't be worrying - in most countries he wouldn't even be starting proper school yet for another year or three. I think learning to read is like potty training - when they are ready, it can go really fast, but if you start pushing it before they are ready, it will seem to take forever.

columngollum Thu 03-Apr-14 09:49:52

Sort of, but children can poo and wee already, they can't read already.

sandyballs Thu 03-Apr-14 09:50:48

I could have written your post when DD was in reception, she wasn't a bit interested in reading, and I couldn't help but compare her to her twin who loved it and found it very easy. DD didn't really click with reading until year 2 and the horrid henry books grabbed her interested.

She's now 13 in year 8 and is in the top stream for English. Her twin isn't.

Don't worry.

Floggingmolly Thu 03-Apr-14 09:51:54

Beware of school gate braggarts competitive parents. I'd have been surprised to find my child on level 16 as well, doesn't the ORT scheme end on stage 12/13?
Stage 2 is very firmly in the age 4 to 5 bracket; he's doing fine.

exexpat Thu 03-Apr-14 09:53:28

Potting training isn't about learning to poo or wee - it's about learning to understand when you need to go, and developing some control over when you do it.

Likewise, reading is not about being able to see the words on the page - all children without visual impairment can do that already - it's about understanding that the symbols have meaning and then working out how you extract that meaning.

exexpat Thu 03-Apr-14 09:53:58

(that was to columngollum by the way)

GinSoakedMisery Thu 03-Apr-14 09:56:55

Try not to focus on what level your DS is on and just go with the flow. He will get it, it just takes some children a while before it clicks.

I have three DC (inc one reception child) and couldn't tell you what level they are on for reading, that has never bothered me.

cakeymccakington Thu 03-Apr-14 09:59:01

My eldest refused to read or write through reception and did it with great reluctance in year one.
Suddenly somewhere between year one and two something clicked and he did just get it.
I think children have different learning styles. Some learn gradually and some have kind of sudden "leaps" because I've noticed this a lot with ds1. You can see something just suddenly fall into place and that's that!

my2bundles Thu 03-Apr-14 10:02:55

Dont worry, he is exactly where he should be. My son is in yr 1, one of the eldest but it is only just starting to click now. Ive been assured that this is ok. Ive found that its the children who take longer initially that then steam ahead and past earlier readers once they reach yr 3 and 4. I just ignore those parents who boast about their 5 and 6 year olds reading chapter books, in the long run it makes no difference what age they start to read.

steppemum Thu 03-Apr-14 10:07:28

I used to teach year 3, and it was very striking that certain boys arrived in year 3 as the 'failing' boys. Struggling with reading, and had struggled for 3 years through school, and self esteem was low.

For many of those boys something happening at around age 7, the penny seemed to drop, they seemed to suddenly get what reading is for and why reading is a good thing. They blossomed and by the end of the year were confident readers and doing well.

It is obviously a stereotype and isn't true for all, but there are some kids, especially boys who just need to be older.
When my son started school, he was one of these boys, I worried my way through reception, year 1 and year 2, not helped by the fact we were overseas and I home schooled him through year 1, so it was my fault! He hit year 3 and the penny dropped and by the end he was devouring Famous Five books as fast as I could get them. He is now year 6 and on track for high level 5/level 6, and has a place at grammar school. It was only in retrospect that I realise he was one of those boys who needed to be older.

Of course it is possible that there is a problem, that he is struggling for a reason, but it is likely that he is just a normal kid who is struggling with out education system that teaches reading so young.

QuiteQuietly Thu 03-Apr-14 10:11:15

When DS is ready make the great leap, no doubt he will make the great leap. By year 6, any advantage made by earlier reading will be invisible, just as by reception there is no sign of who grew their teeth or ate solid food first.

In the meantime, practise your "oh how lovely, DS is enjoying school too" for the school gate.

Poledra Thu 03-Apr-14 10:14:38

My DD3 is a July baby, so also one of the youngest in her year (she's Yr 1). Up until February of this year, I was rather concerned about her reading - her two older siblings had romped through the reading stages, and were both avid readers (but both winter babies). Her teacher happens to be a friend of mine, and told me that, while DD3 was doing OK, she was very easily distracted when reading and not really interested - yes indeed, I had seen the same behaviours myself smile

She went back to school after the February half-term this year and my friend said to me 'My God, what have you done with her reading over half-term? She's a different child!' We hadn't done anything differently, she'd just got it, and was enjoying being able to read to herself. And now she's steaming ahead with her books.

My mother is a retired primary school teacher, with 40 years teaching experience. She always says that children do not follow a linear path to learning - they will often plateau for a while, then suddenly it falls into place and they take a jump forward. Keep reading to him, let him see you reading for your own pleasure and it'll come.

dottyaboutstripes Thu 03-Apr-14 10:19:31

My ds is an August baby - he just didn't have a clue when it came to reading(nor was he interested!) and it was a bit of a shock after 3 dds who had taken to reading very easily. But like so many others, something just clicked after a few weeks in year 1 and now he's flying in year 5.

I now have another son in reception and he is making very slow progress but I'm not at all worried (YET!) and we just enjoy stories together for now

maizieD Thu 03-Apr-14 10:21:10

Of course it is possible that there is a problem, that he is struggling for a reason,

Which is why I asked the questions about teaching method.

but it is likely that he is just a normal kid who is struggling with out education system that teaches reading so young.

It could equally be that, but you need to be satisfied that there isn't any other problem; otherwise, before you know it, your child could be 17 and still have 'not got it'.

It would be interesting to know how all these other 'late bloomers' were taught, though I know that it is not possible to find out. Children soak up all sorts of 'learning' without any bother at that age and it seems very curious that reading should be something which they find hard, unpleasant or pointless when they learn other things without any bother.

(And. FGS marsha, do not tell me it's all the fault of the spelling systemangry)

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