Reading in reception

(20 Posts)
FluffyCubs Wed 13-May-15 07:16:16

Hi, just wondering where your reception child is in reading. My son is reluctant to read, and way behind where me and his dad were at the same age....I remember age five struggling to pronounce the word "suggest" where as he is stumbling on "this" "will" etc. this wouldn't matter, but he's very reluctant, pretends to be tired, tells me it's too much work etc.

To make things worse, our 2 yr old is desperate to read, plays books, "reads" them and is learning the alphabet through his own volition....I'm worried that this will sap my elder sons confidence. He is self possessed, but socially very shy and won't speak to teachers.

His teacher hasn't really said where he is in terms of ability but he's in the group with the children who are doing poorly. I'm not overly bothered by this as we moved here from scotland a few months ago, where he was still in nursery, so we knew he'd be behind, but we just don't seem to be catching up. He's on the red band of Oxford learning tree, is this where he should be?

I read to him for about forty minutes a night, he also practices his reading with me, and then normally we have a task to do, like writing a shopping list of a thank you letter. I split these activities uo between running about the garden and eating dinner. And sometimes we don't do much if he's obviously tired or has been at after school clubs.

So, at what point should I worry?

Sirzy Wed 13-May-15 07:19:10

As long as he is making progress even if slowly then I wouldn't worry at all. He is still only little. Chat to his teacher make sure she has no concerns over his progress and then just stick with encouraging reading for fun.

thejoysofboys Wed 13-May-15 07:23:29

Personally I wouldn't worry. The teacher would highlight if they thought there was a significant issue. My DS is a reasonable reader for his year (also reception) and has just gone on to yellow band (the next one on from red).
From what you say, he is doing a lot of reading practice at home. Don't push too hard if he's tired as he'll start to resent it. I supplement formal reading practice with casual stuff like reading street signs, simple bits of cafe menus etc so my DS doesn't feel like it's a chore.
It sounds like he's doing ok though.

FluffyCubs Wed 13-May-15 07:32:34

That's really good to hear, I had no idea he was probably only a band behind ....the teacher isn't really into competitive parenting, but she wouldn't even give us extra over Easter although he'd only been there a month which I thought was unfair.

And I was a very good reader as was my husband, so neither do I want to be forcing unrealistic expectations on him.

jopickles Wed 13-May-15 08:32:14

the red band is classed as achieving the early learning goal in reception so he is right where he needs to be so don't worry

addictedtosugar Wed 13-May-15 08:36:56

DS1 finished YR on red books.
About Christmas time in Y1, reading clicked, and he raced through the next few levels. I found him this morning reading a book he got for his 6th birthday earlier this week to his little brother. He hasn't heard it before and was doing a really good job. Its way above what school are sending home. If he's progressing, don't worry.

lexyloub Wed 13-May-15 08:58:53

Ds2 is in reception he gets 2 reading books 1 Oxford reading book and 1 phonies book, he picks it up really easily and enjoys it. Ds1 at this age could barely read his own name he really picked it up in yr1 and now in yr3 his reading is excellent and in 1 of the top reading groups in his class. They all learn at different paces at reception year I wouldn't worry to much 1 day it will click & he'll just get it until then the teachers and TAs will read with them probably every day until he does.

Mashabell Wed 13-May-15 09:33:04

Reading to him 40 mins a night seems a bit excessive to me.
Cut that in half and he might become more interested in reading himself.

MadAboutMathsMum Wed 13-May-15 09:36:37

Apologies if have the time line wrong, but am I right in thinking you moved just before Easter from a nursery setting. Did he do phonics in the nursery in Scotland? As certainly in our school by the Easter of reception they had covered loads of the basic phonics - they did about 4 a week from week 1 of September. That would be a lot of ground to make up in a couple of months if he hadn't done phonics before, and could explain why he is struggling with words like 'this' which aren't just simple one letter one sound correspondence (sorry don't know the technical terms) if he hasn't covered them securely yet . Are they using look and say reading books or ones linked into the phonic scheme?

Meita Wed 13-May-15 10:22:59

In DS' class 10 children are currently on pink, 10 on red, and 10 on yellow+. From that perspective there really is no reason to worry. Also due to the thing that children 'click' at different times, and may suddenly start racing through the levels. And given that your DS has only had about half a term of being taught to read, I think being on red is really quite good.

The one thing I would worry about (as in, make sure I knew what was actually happening): Is your DS actually being taught phonics, at the level where he is? I know that in DS' class there is little to no differentiation: All children are taught together. And unfortunately (as this is probably not really good practice) they have stopped teaching phonics at around January, after finishing with the main spellings for the 44 sounds. Since then they have been given 'tricky' words and HFW to learn, and have been taught the alphabet, and how to write capital letters; they have been taught about finger spaces and punctuation; but no more phonics. This leaves the strong readers in the lurch, relying on parents to tell them about other phoneme-grapheme correspondences, or working them out themselves. And it leaves the weaker readers - those who aren't solid on those basics yet - relying on the 1-1 sessions they have, to 'catch up' i.e. to gain confidence with the basics. So if my child were not yet confident with the basics, I would want to know exactly what school is doing to help him learn. I wouldn't just assume that he is being taught; he ought to be, but I would want to know for sure.

Why do you think he is 'pretending' to be tired? My DS is a good reader but at times he struggles with the simplest CVC words. Reading is no fun when you are so tired that you can't focus your eyes on the letters properly. And that can really destroy any emerging confidence.

I personally would take a different approach to the one suggested by Masha. If he is struggling, and/or tired, I would read to him more, not less. So that he keeps his enjoyment of books and stories, and encounters much more interesting stories than the ones he is able to read himself; and so that stories/books/reading doesn't become a chore.

FluffyCubs Wed 13-May-15 12:04:38

Ok, thanks, everybody for your input. I'm seeing his teacher today to ask if he's getting any extra support, whereas he was doing phonics at nursery, I think they hadn't done much so he's missed out on some.

Re the forty minutes a night.....it's what they both ask for and my youngest son could be read to all day...inevitably we all end up sitting around in a big pile reading books which the boys choose. It's not forced on them.

I get the impression that while his reading level shouldn't be a concern, maybe I should be helping him more with the basic sounds.

Mopmay Wed 13-May-15 14:04:00

Across our 3 form reception roughly a third are in pink red and yellow each.
Ask the teacher if you need to do some basic phonics with him that the others did last term.

Justusemyname Wed 13-May-15 14:12:43

Similar here. Ds was 4 and learning to read. Two year old dd picked it up straight away and was reading properly very quickly. He wasn't affected by her so try not to worry about that. Keep an eye. Help and support. There are numerous reading opportunities other than just reading a school book.

I help with reading in school and there is a big age of ability. I've also seen quick and impressive improvements. Just support and encourage. He'll be fine. star

SomethingFunny Wed 13-May-15 18:17:27

Please don't worry or try and force it. My DS1 really struggled with reading in reception. It was agony trying to get through a book. He was very reluctant too and kept making excuses. In the end, I had to bribe him with a chocolate coin if he read one of his reading books (he's little brother then insisted on having his own "homework" so he could have a bribe too!). This went on under about christmas in year 1 (when he was about 5 1/2), suddenly it seemed to click and he went from struggling through to being fluent. He is now in yr 3 and "better than average" at reading.

He still doesn't really read for fun much, but occasionally when something grabs him he will, ie Harry Potter.

Hang in there and let him get to the stage in his own time. To force him is going to make him hate reading and see it as a chore.

louisejxxx Wed 13-May-15 18:47:45

It may sound like an obvious thing to say but from what I know children do seem to peak and plateau when it comes to reading. Just as I was beginning to question whether my ds was making any progress he suddenly started picking it up from nowhere - he had his first blue banded book come home on Monday. Things can change very quickly!

Imperialleather2 Wed 13-May-15 19:42:31

My ds is in reception and It has been such hard work to get him.to read. Bribing with chocolate stickers in his chart etc.
Something has just clicked though in like the last 2 weeks and he now enjoys it enjoys It. His teacher has also commented how much he's improved.

I think it's really hard at first and such a,hard slog uphill but keep going and you'll get there

Ferguson Thu 14-May-15 23:10:28

As a primary TA for twenty years, I worked with hundreds of beginner- readers. But during this time methods changed and Phonics was introduced. Phonics can have a higher success rate for many children, than older methods. To support your children, this is probably one of the best resources:-

An inexpensive and easy to use book, that can encourage children with reading, spelling and writing, and really help them to understand Phonics, is reviewed in the MN Book Reviews section. Just search ‘Phonics’.

JemimaPuddlePop Sat 16-May-15 12:35:52

Ds2 is in reception and on level 5 ORT - no idea what colour that is though.

It doesn't really make much difference though IMO. Ds 2 is in year 2, and it seems to have levelled out - there were a couple in his class that were on level 2 in year 1 and then blazed through 3-8 in year 2 so caught right up.

And there was one girl in ds1's class that was on level 7 ORT in Reception which her mum talked about constantly when the rest of our kids were muddling along on 2/3...but now in year 2, she's on a pretty average stage 9, the same as ds1...which is a decent enough reader but not advanced by any stretch of the imagination.

FluffyCubs Sat 16-May-15 19:52:30

I wouldn't care so much if he was more confident, but he's also horribly shy and both issues together could really threaten his happiness and ability to achieve at primary school....which long term will matter as we are in grammar school area.

He notices everything, inclding when people are better than him at certain things....His HT says he's a perfectionist and is convinced he doesn't talk out of fear of getting it wrong, and she thinks he's the same about reading. anyway, I've ordered a rake of Scooby Doo phonics books, hopefully they will pique his interest.

FinnJuhl Sat 16-May-15 20:45:39

Sounds like we have quite a similar family dynamic OP. We were early readers and I just assumed DS1 would also be. But then he wasn't...

I was determined to hold my nerve and not push things, or make him feel that something was 'wrong'. I carried on reading books to him, but did not make him do any reading to me, as he just couldn't and wouldn't without getting anxious or upset.

Fortunately, a few weeks into Y1, things suddenly seemed to click for him, and he's now a confident reader.

So if you can bear to hold back for a while, then I would advise doing so. It's still early days.

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