Pushing a reception aged child?(23 Posts)
My DC has just turned 5. Very bright child and one of the eldest in reception. Not just academically bright but socially very out there has made some lovely friends. The school has asked me to stop reading the Oxford reading tree at home and only read the ones they send back with DC. So for example we were hitting level 2 over the summer and they've got DC on 1+ It takes literally 30 seconds to read. I try to make it longer by discussing pictures. Even reading words not in order so I know DC actually knows the words. DC knows all the words in the word pack. Should I ask for the teacher to push DC further? I'm concious DC has only just started reception. Numeracy levels are excellent too and practicising cursive writing. I just feel DC isn't hitting potential and I'm worried that moving forward school just won't be a challenge. So ideas of what I can do at home? What can I ask the school to do if anything or leave them to it?
I think you need to relax a little - he's been at school for a month !
My son sounded very like yours (although he is a very late summer born so one of the youngest) but we let school go at their pace so we didn't spoil his love of going in every day and wanting to learn. He finished reception reading level 5 books and got exceeding expectations in 10/17 categories - am super proud of him. Now just started yr 1 and already moved up to level 6 as we did lots of reading with him over the summer.
The school know how to deal with reception age children of all abilities' leave them to it and don't be 'that parent'.
I mean this kindly, but leave the school to it. I mean if your YR boy was reading Enid Blyton at home then perhaps you ought to say something, but it sounds like he is at a level at school which is only a shade or two below what you did over the summer. The usual thing is for the school level to be a bit below what they could do at home, that's certainly been my experience with my two.
Who is to say that discussion of pictures is less "good" than reading say a level 3 book anyway? In literacy they assess all sorts of things, not only whether they can read the words on the page. The 1+ reading and discussion will help your son develop skills that are assessed.
I agree that you should relax a little - however I would take exception to being told what to read at home. My DD is doing well in reading (she reads to us every night) and we still read the books they send home which are easy for her - we just read both each night. Her teachers have commented on her 'superstar and continent's reading so seem supportive rather than stopping her going ahead at her own pace. I think as long as your dc is reading the school books, you can supplement with whatever you want at home to extend your child's reading pleasure.
In a few weeks ask for a reading assessment to check book level is appropriate at school.
At home, read what you want - you're at home!
Your best bet is to foster a love of reading in your child. Forget pushing ahead with Oxford Reading Tree (mine are much older now but I still shudder at the thought of Biff and Chip). Get some interesting books - fiction, nature, space exploration etc with lots of pictures and read them to your DS. He will get far more from that than he will pushing ahead with formulaic reading books. Leave the school to teach him to read.
My DD is exactly the same age as yours and I think you need to unclench.
You won't be holding back her development if you revisit the level one books. If it only takes 30 seconds, great!
My DD has been sent home with phonics sheets and I haven't been doing them with her because she knows them already, not asking the class teacher for more advanced sounds. We're not even at the first half term yet
A lot of the reception focus is about the basic skill of reading, and it is a basic skill, the vast majority of kids will acquire the skill. Acquiring it early is irrelevant, so there's no reason to push for it. Because of that my view was very much invest the time outside school well away from these basic skills and in to more interesting stuff.
Lots of that interesting stuff will drive learning too, indeed most will have more benefit, as ORT books certainly won't enrich the vocabulary or world knowledge of a 5 year old.
We read 1 school reading book a week on average with summer born DD, worked well, plenty of time for other stuff which actually contributed to her learning.
Could it be that you are using old ORT books which don't match the phonetic approach the school are using? Songbirds and similar books are better because they are more phonetic. There isn't much difference between 1+ and 2.
Using new books. Yes I'll take a step back for a bit and wait until November. DC is happy and seems keen to go to school every day but has said the learning is boring. Just want to make sure DC is meeting potential. I know DC is capable of much more. I also know no one pushed for me at school so I was a incredibly bright but disruptive child. I found the work too easy would
Often mentor the less able children and help them with their work. This in itself isn't a bad thing but I want my DC to hit potential and not get bored early on at school
I think that's understandable moonstar, but don't get hung up on reading levels as an indicator of 'hitting potential'.
I would speak to the teacher in due course if your ds continues to say that the learning is 'boring', as children can mean a lot of things by this.
Also, given the pressure that schools are under to 'show progress', have no fears that your child will be 'stretched', 'pushed',' 'extended' and 'broadened' over the next few years!
I can see why they don't want you reading the exact same books they're about to use next term/next year - means your DC will be bored of them when they get there.
Why don't you read books at home which are not on the Oxford reading tree?
If he is bored at school then the solution is not for you to be teaching him a higher level at home - that could make it worse if it means he ends up repeating stuff at school. The solution is for the teachers to find something else (i.e. extension work) to challenge him at school. For example when I was 5 I was ahead and when I'd finished my work I was allowed to read or do "puzzle books" (wordsearches, sudoku type stuff). Can you ask the teachers if they have any ideas for this?
He doesn't need to be "pushed" to preserve his intelligence or fulfil his potential - intelligence doesn't work like that. He just needs to be not bored.
I also know no one pushed for me at school so I was a incredibly bright but disruptive child.
It's really hard, seeing the same wrongs done to your child as were done to you, and I've found this kind of thing really hard for the same reasons.
At this stage - and I say this as a veteran of these wars - the best thing you can do is extend at home with different stuff. Read beautiful picture books and talk about them; do something that isn't about school work at all but is just what your child wants to learn (I could tell you what we did but I'll get flamed). That will help feed their wish to learn.
When you get to Yr1 and there's lots of boring learning, that's when you need to go in and talk to the teacher. In reception, a child who wants to do more can find the space to do it; in Yr1 there's no such room.
I wouldn't use the school books at home. There are so many fun books to read at home that why you'd pick the school ones is totally beyond me.
Slightly reminds me when I was in school. One of my classmates parents told everyone proudly that she'd been told to "stop reading the school books as they were running out of books". This was in year 2 in a primary. She thought that meant she was reading books above year 6.
She went rushing into the teacher to ask what was happening when she found that there were other pupils on a higher reading scheme.
Turned out what the teacher had meant was that they were running out of books on that level for her and she wasn't ready to move up the level yet.
Sometimes reading books that are below the level of reading words can be helpful to help the comprehension. Dd2 entered reception reading Famous Five, but was on ORT 5/6 . She did understand the FF, but having the easier books to answer questions on gave her good practice at really picking a story apart to find the subtle parts of it. She's now excellent at comprehension.
I am assuming other books at home would be OK. We used the reading chest when my daughter was in infants - essentially an on-line library you subscribe to which you can move book bands but they have a really wide selection of books, fiction and non-fiction.
We do read lots of other books. I guess it's more the I'm bored bit but I've told DC to find other things to do at school. So we've had mention of headphones today and also making puppets
No wonder he's bored if you're doing it all at home!
We subscribed to the reading chest and got non fiction books for ds so we had stuff to read with him when he didn't get books every night from school.
My dd was reading at preschool and has just started reception. We've done nothing beyond what the school have told us because I know she's bright so there's no need to push her at home.
For me, doing extra academic stuff at home is of more benefit when your DC is struggling. If they're bright, I'd be doing other more interesting stuff with them eg talking about the world, doing experiments etc.
I suspect the school has asked you to stop reading ORT because they require strategies that conflict with teaching methods used in the school
Just a word of warning - you don't know how things will pan out. My DC was old in year and advanced. Flew through ORT with apparent ease. Finished reception on level 10. Then ground to a halt in yr 1. Finished year 1 on level 11 and never progressed from there, lost all confidence and enthusiasm for learning. Turns out they are dyslexic but very bright and used lots of other skills including exceptional language skills to wing it very successfully with reading till it got too complex and it all fell apart. We are now picking up the pieces. Maybe had we gone slower we might have seen things sooner. I am sure this isn't a problem with your child but really there is no rush, let them enjoy it and stimulate all their interests at home.
Thanks for the advice everyone! We have parents evening in November so will take it from there. They've started mixing the ORT with Collins books so are challenging DC a bit more it seems
My DS loved biff , chip and kipper, He would read them before he got home..Yes I would avoid what they are reading in school..Take him to the library..loads of books there.
I really wouldn't worry. My 11 yo dd has been advanced since pre school. It was at least November before her reception teacher found me to say she knew all her letter sounds (er yes for at least a year!), and that was quite an academic primary school. We moved to an area with a non academic primary school in y3. The school subsequently pushed her in sport which she hadn't previously been particularly focussed on. Turns out she is a fantastic all rounder which is great to know she has also easily passed 11 plus for a super selective and got a great scholarship to a private school. I would say academically she barely learned anything from year 3 but she is super fit, and still more than ahead academically!
If you are generally encouraging at home I really don't think you need to worry about reading levels.
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