Getting my 4 year old to read

(26 Posts)
sankz Tue 08-Jan-13 16:42:14

My August-born son is not remotely interested in reading. Since he's started in reception, we've been quite relaxed with him - reading regularly, enjoying books together, working on his ORT key words from school, but not pushing him. He is still on the level he started on in Sept, whilst all his peers keep moving up into new levels.

I'm not overly worried, but concerned that I'm not doing enough with him at home.

Can anyone recommend anything / offer words of wisdom?!

Thanks so much

carocaro Tue 08-Jan-13 18:04:14

leave him alone and keep doing what you are doing, all his peers are not moving up to the next level, law of averages, little and often at home is all you need to do. learning to read is not about moving up levels it is about your child learning in a secure comfortable way. I say that as a Mum of two boys who o took longer than average to read but are now avid great readers and one is dyslexic! And never ever use the term 'slow reader' it does not exist!

littlemiss06 Tue 08-Jan-13 18:49:14

Try not to worry, hes very young and its very early on in the school year. As for moving up levels my little girl as only moved up 1 level in two years, all children are different, all develop at different rates, just keep trying and make it fun

simpson Tue 08-Jan-13 20:13:01

You could try the Oxford owl website as it has free ebooks to read online (purely from a novelty point of view - reading on the computer, it might work!!)

Otherwise just keep doing what you are doing...

DS (now yr3) also Aug born did not get any reading books until Feb as the teacher did not think he was ready and he stayed on the easiest books until May as he just could not "get" it. It clicked when he was ready and he was off!!!

(He did not "click" until the May of reception BTW)...

Tgger Tue 08-Jan-13 21:04:41

Try to chill out if you can and remember how young he is. If you do anything at all get some sounds and letter fun into your normal everyday interaction.

learnandsay Tue 08-Jan-13 21:42:34

Teach him to read the word chocolate and then write it on a cardboard arrow. Do the same with a balloon and toys of various kinds. Reading doesn't need to be all about books. If you can draw then draw pictures with words in them.

HestonsFatCock Tue 08-Jan-13 21:45:44

Thanks all> I am watching this with interest as my DS (4) refused to read today, so anything to sneak it in. Good luck with yours OP.

ReallyTired Tue 08-Jan-13 21:50:06

I am shocked that your son is being given key words to learn. Ideally he should be practicing letter sounds and learning to blend simple words. Schools should be using synthetic phonics teaching methods.

I suggest you get the jolly phonics manual and some decodable books. The jolly phonics manual shows you how to teach tricky words and has lists of words to practice blending. Long term it will help your son if he learns to decode any phonologically regular word. Most tricky words can be read with a bit of tweeking.

I found it helped my son to get reading books that the school didn't use. jelly and bean books are really good.

Don't lose heart your son is only little and has had only one term of reception. My son didn't get reading books until February and now his reading comprehension is outstanding in year 6.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 08-Jan-13 21:55:47

My DS is July born and although he is making progress with reading he is quite stubborn and doesn't always want to read.

We make words on the fridge with magnetic letters, we read his reading book from school backwards. He helps me read stories to DS2.

We play games with words and letters so that he gets more familiar and comfortable with them without realising.

He will get there in his own time smile

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 08-Jan-13 21:59:20

ReallyTired - I think most schools use keywords? We have them, DS has just a couple each week to learn.

narmada Tue 08-Jan-13 22:02:45

My DD's school does not give keywords to learn - she is 4 and in reception. It's letter sounds and blending. I would ask the school what phonics reading prog they are using.

MrsBradleyJames Tue 08-Jan-13 22:04:12

This is why it is such a shame that our kids start school at 4. Can I just say that he is doing exactly as he should be. It matters not one bit what levels the other kids are doing. With reading, they get there exactly when they're ready. It's ont thing imo that just can't be forced. Having been where you are now, (my son is august born and now 10) I cant tell you how much i wish I had never given it any headspace at all! It comes anyway at the time when the child is ready.

ReallyTired Tue 08-Jan-13 22:06:22

Goodness, high frequency words went out with the ark. The present governant want all schools to use synthetic phonics, but some teachers are resistant at being told what to do. It is why the governant has a year 1 nonsense words test to try and force schools to teach phonics.

This website is interesting for learning about the various ways of teaching reading.

www.dyslexics.org.uk/index.htm

The only words that my son was given to learn were tricky words.

Startail Tue 08-Jan-13 22:06:56

DF had an August born son and she tore her hair out worry about him learning to read in reception.

She did far too much comparing him with his peers.

This really wasn't helpful as they were older and girls (who are distinctly more mature to start with).

He soon caught up and by the time I heard readers in Y2 he was nicely in the middle of the class.

As for my DD, well she learnt to read just in time for her SATs.

MrsBradleyJames Tue 08-Jan-13 22:10:18

I think it would be nice if our kids could be taught in the way that suits THEM rather than in the dogmatic national across the board way that governments always want. Inevitably the sweeping approach doesnt work for all. Heigh ho. That's eddycation!

popserinis Tue 08-Jan-13 22:11:45

My dd was August born and was caught up nicely by year two. There is such a difference between the youngest and oldest at that stage. The most important thing is that they are not scared off by putting too much pressure on them and learn to enjoy reading.

Try and remember that your DS is pretty much a year younger than some in his class - at that age it makes such a difference IMO. My DS is a November baby, so he is one of the oldest. He wasn't moved on from Stage 1 until Jan or Feb the following year. Just relax, read what he wants to read at home and don't worry too much about the levels, you'll just get stressed. It's all about comprehension anyway, and you will most likely find that some of the children a little further on than your DS will find themselves held back on a level or so purely because they don't understand or remember what they've read.
My advice is, just enjoy reading with your son, it goes by so very quickly.

Startail Tue 08-Jan-13 22:16:45

As MrsBradleyjames says the UK school starting age is too young.

Summer born boys find it particularly hard, they don't want to sit down and concentrate. Why should they they are small children.

DD1 hated play time, she wasn't great at making friends she desperately wanted bikes and things to do.

This at least the EYF has tackled and school now has a nursery like reception play ground.

The ridiculous pressure to climb the reading book bands still persists.

Elibean Tue 08-Jan-13 22:41:07

Re high frequency words: our school uses them for a while, alongside Jolly Phonics (which they've been using for years) and masses of phonics work. It means that even the beginners are quickly able to read simple sentences - then their phonics knowledge takes over.

Doesn't seem to cause any problems, and the kids enjoy playing games with them!

ReallyTired Tue 08-Jan-13 22:59:34

MrsBradleyJames our children don't have the luxury of one to one tutition. Children are in generally in classes of 30 and phonics is the best method for most children. Many children find a garbled mess of mixed methods confusing.

Frankly I think its too early in the year for most children to have reading books. My son's school does not let children take home a book until they can blend and simple segment words and know some tricky words. As a result my son did not take home a reading book until the middle of reception. The children skipped the stupid wordless books and went straight to stage 2 books.

The first half of reception gave the children a chance to improve language skills so they know what they are reading and skills so they had some chance of managing the book.

"Re high frequency words: our school uses them for a while, alongside Jolly Phonics (which they've been using for years) and masses of phonics work. It means that even the beginners are quickly able to read simple sentences - then their phonics knowledge takes over."

Depedns which words they are using. I imagine such game used selectively would be effective. Ie. words like "the", "go", "because", "want"

However I would be horrified if a child was being taught a phonically regular word like "cat", "had" as a sight word.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 08-Jan-13 23:01:55

ReallyTired - clearly not, many schools use them.

I don't see HFWs as a problem. They are doing lots of phonics, learning to blend - the HFWs mean that they can read proper sentences rather than just early phonics. Which if you have a child with good comprehension who likes a proper story is a good thing IMO.

I don't understand why people get so uptight about phonics. It is another tool to use to help children learn to read, it doesn't have to be an exclusive method.

5madthings Tue 08-Jan-13 23:05:16

I really wouldnt worry at all! He us very young and he will get there.

Just read to him everyday, play games with letters/phonic sounds etc keep it fun and simple and no pressure.

Fwiw my ds4 is in reception, he will be five in march, he knows well his letters and phonic sounds (three big brothers helped with that) but he isn't really interested in reading yet tbh. Tho he cash sound out simple words.

My elder three boys were the same, not interested at age four, but once they were it clicked and now at 13, 10 and 8 they are ferocious readers.

ReallyTired Tue 08-Jan-13 23:25:41

"I don't understand why people get so uptight about phonics. It is another tool to use to help children learn to read, it doesn't have to be an exclusive method. "

I have chosen a primary school which does not do mixed methods in reception. the children learn one method first and then are introduced to other methods further up the school. An advanced reader may well do a mixture of methods to comprehend text, but children in the first term of reception are mostly beginners at learning to read.

"
I don't see HFWs as a problem. They are doing lots of phonics, learning to blend - the HFWs mean that they can read proper sentences rather than just early phonics. Which if you have a child with good comprehension who likes a proper story is a good thing IMO. !"

Trust me, early Oxford reading tree books are not exciting. I hardly think you can describe the early books as a proper story. Reading scheme books in general are pretty dire, although my son did enjoy the magic key books.

My children's school provide libary books for parents and children to enjoy together instead of "reading" books. They do language rich activites to enjoy real books.

"
Fwiw my ds4 is in reception, he will be five in march, he knows well his letters and phonic sounds (three big brothers helped with that) but he isn't really interested in reading yet tbh. Tho he cash sound out simple words."

It takes patience to make a child into a good reader. That level sounds great for a child who has only had ONE TERM in reception. Trying to rush through reading levels and taking short cuts like learning regular high frequency words causes problems later on.

No one cares at what a child becomes a "free reader" in year 6.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 09-Jan-13 00:24:00

I agree ORT are hardly exciting. But learning a handful of HFW alongside phonics makes all kinds of things accessible and helps to keep it interesting.

arista Wed 09-Jan-13 11:43:16

Hi my daughter is in year 1 was born end of August the more you read to them the more they are interested in reading I think you are doing fine reading everyday to them is all they need and also making the story interesting. I have always had additional library books that we read to mine when she was younger and we still read another 1 or 2 stories to her every night along with the 2 books she has from school. She is in the top reading group in her class and is the youngest one. This year she has catched up on a lot of this so I am sure yours by next year will be doing the same.

sankz Wed 09-Jan-13 13:14:39

Thanks everyone - some really helpful tips and advice. I know i need to stop worrying. My daughter is in year 2, summer born, and quite keen on reading, so the difference was even more noticeable. We'll just keep doing what we're doing, but I think the ebooks suggested by simpson is great as he loves the computer.... smile

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