School and home reading schemes incompatible.

(70 Posts)

Ds needs to start work on ccvc words and be able to read 5 by the end of term according to school. At home he has been able to read ccvc's for 2 years. In fact he STARTED on ccvc's.

School not heard of reading scheme we are using at home but have pointed to a couple of ccvc's he has struggled on (well they have not been covered by home scheme), as evidence he is way below the 'general' level at home.

Shoukd I just shrug and ignore and expect him to be a free reader by the end of the year one way or another, or shoukd I video him for school?

Cinammonandcaramel Sat 16-Feb-13 20:53:51

Being able to read CCVC words means being able to decode any (regular) CCVC words - not just ones he's already learnt.

He should also be able to decode nonsense CCVC words.

These will be in the Y1 phonics check.

can he decode words and sound out unfamiliar words? Even if he hasnt seen a word before phonics should help him to be able to decode and work out what the word is.

He can decode all the ccvc's that include the sounds knows, including nonsense ones. That means a LOT more than 5.

They might mean 5 particular ones of course but given how quickly he is learning at home I can't see it taking him more than a day, let alone a term confused

Yes. He can read unfamiliar words provided he has learned the component sounds.

Cinammonandcaramel Sat 16-Feb-13 21:02:27

There's only 26 possible sounds in CCVC words. Surely he's learnt them all by now?

Cinammonandcaramel Sat 16-Feb-13 21:03:52

Is your scheme doing blends (like 'bl','br','gr' etc) instead of phonics?

OddBoots Sat 16-Feb-13 21:04:16

Can you teach him the sounds for the words the school are targeting?

I know it is frustrating when you want to do things a different way from the school but they aren't going to change the way they do things for the whole class because you do it a different way. I found it easier as a parent (who did home ed for a while) is to do things the school's way for the main subjects but to be creative with other stuff.

simpson Sat 16-Feb-13 21:04:45

What has the teacher said then, that he is not doing it at school??

Why could he not read the ones that the teacher asked him?

Surely it is up to the school to teach him the sounds before asking him to read a word with that sound in it.

It doesn't do things in the same order, so after a couple he moves onto sight words and things like 'ime' come before other cc's.

Cinammonandcaramel Sat 16-Feb-13 21:08:13

A phonics scheme doesn't teach CC (blends). You don't need to. If you know 'g' and 'r' you don't need to learn 'gr' as a sound, because you can blend it yourself.

Sounds like his scheme is not up to date with how phonics is now taught.

Odd boots. School don't tell me anything besides his targets are to be able to read 5 ccvc's by the end of the year. I don't know I they are specific ones that they have chosen, or just that they have never heard him read any.

I know reading isn't his favourite thing and he may well just not do it.

It is impossible to do it the school way as he is too far along in his home way that I started 2 schools ago when they told me he would never learn phonics and the teacher advised to teach him to sight read which was advice she ignored and just didn't teach him at all.

No scheme isn't phonics. But it IS sound based.

Cinammonandcaramel Sat 16-Feb-13 21:10:47

A reading scheme that teaches 'ime' (as in time?) sounds very odd.

It should just be teaching i-e then he'd be able to read ime, ike, ive, ile......

Silly teaching each CC and VCV separately. Take forever to learn to read that way.

Tbh, I can't figure out quite what is going on at school. I just see the target and get confused.

They did say at the beginning of the year that they have been noble to assess his reading level due to his reluctance.

Cinammonandcaramel Sat 16-Feb-13 21:13:16

Why can't you continue with your scheme and let school continue with their scheme?

They won't have 5 specific words in mind. They'll mean they want to see him read any CCVC word on 5 occasions.

The scheme we use is very highly embedded in research and continues to develop through feedback from attainment.

It teaches 'Ime' and 'im' at the same time. It just doesn't waffle on about it iyswim.

Well I can. Perhaps I should. That's what I was asking really. How much of a big deal is it?

Comprehension however, is a whole other issue!!!

Cinammonandcaramel Sat 16-Feb-13 21:18:29

The trouble with non phonics learn to read schemes is they normally don't teach you how to read any word. Which is what the school will be trying to do.

So I'd let school get on with teaching him how to read every CCVC word. And you continue with what you're happy with.

PandaNot Sat 16-Feb-13 21:20:22

Which scheme are you using?


It's designed to give the skills to read any word.

Cinammonandcaramel Sat 16-Feb-13 21:25:36

Well, it clearly hasn't so far.

If you're going to teach each CC and each CVC seperately, that's a lot of lessons......

MerryCouthyMows Sat 16-Feb-13 21:26:42

Star - head sprout was the only way my DD eventually learnt to read, at 8.5yo.

She has always been behind her chronological age, due to the late start with reading (phonics went over her head for various reasons, APD, partial deafness, and ASD, sight reading didn't work either).

This year, Y10, age 14y11m, her reading age has FINALLY caught up to her chronological age.

Yet I fully believe that without Headsprout, she STILL wouldn't be reading!

No, because Ds hasn't completed the scheme. He can read all the sounds he has learned and any word made up of those sounds.

He can't read words that include sounds he hasn't learned. Which may or may not be words the school have tested him on. confused

Iirc some of them are taught separately and some are taught together depending on their frequency in those combinations in the English language (I think).

Thanks Merry. That sounds hopeful.

I was faced with a child that was being refused an education that woukd enable him to 'work out' words. Learning to sight read ALL words woukd have been an incredible number of lessons.

So I chose Headsprout on the basis of the research behind it. It's been so good that I started dd (nursery) on it too and she's flying.

But Ds doesn't seem to be showing his skills in school. Or the school are asking him to display specific skills he doesn't have and making general assumptions about his 'level'.

numbum Sat 16-Feb-13 22:40:40

'I know reading isn't his favourite thing and he may well just not do it.'

Maybe that's because you're forcing him to do things that don't come naturally or making him do something he doesn't want to do!

Maybe school are asking him to read in a different way to you?

numbum Sat 16-Feb-13 22:41:54

And if school are asking him to display skills he doesn't have then obviously they can't say he's achieving the level they're expecting him to.

TBH if you're happy with what he's doing with you then I imagine it will all catch up eventually at school and you shouldn't worry too much about it

Ds for the most part loves Headsprout. When I started it it was because it was looking like his only chance at being taught to read.

He has anxieties about failure and I woukd guess that his inability to perform at school is more to do with THEM trying to get him to do something he is worried about.

My concern is probably more that they have given him a term and a half to learn 5 words and what that says about their understanding of his ability and capacity to learn.

MerryCouthyMows Sun 17-Feb-13 00:20:47

Star - don't worry about the school thinking he can't learn as quick as YOU know he can. As long as he's ACTUALLY learning, the school will catch their expectations up to his ACTUAL abilities in the end. Probably at the point where his reading ability suddenly converges with his chronological age. Which it WILL do, sooner or later. And probably not as late as my DD's did - she had MULTIPLE issues causing her reading delay.

Keep strong!

Cinammonandcaramel Sun 17-Feb-13 06:41:54

They don't expect him to learn 5 words. They expect him to be able to read any CCVC word.

And when he's done that they'll change his target - even if it's not IEP review time. They won't keep him on a target he's already achieved.

I think the only problem is that they have created a SMART target and shared it with you.

mrz Sun 17-Feb-13 07:47:48

As I've said before Headsprout is an American programme and uses methods no longer used in the UK (IMHO for a good reason). It can be confusing for children to swap between methods and this is perhaps causing the mismatch between home and school.

teacherwith2kids Sun 17-Feb-13 09:37:31

Does school teach 'proper' phonics? If so, I'd just leave them to it. He will sort out the confusion that you have deliberately created for him in time, with good teaching in school.

Teacher, until very recently Ds had received nothing that could pass for good teaching. He was largely ignored and babysat which is why I got him started at home. I don't feel a teacher can say they are 'teaching' anything if the learner hasn't learnt.

I haven't deliberately caused confusion. I simply recognised that average teacher too untrained, uninterested or under resourced to teach Ds and was not prepared to agree with them that he could never learn to decode.

He is in his 4th school now (independent) at age 6 and even there they seem to be having trouble engaging him long enough for him to demonstrate his skills, though they are the best school so far.

Mrz, I believe that a number of schools in the UK DO use Headsprout.

mrz Sun 17-Feb-13 11:43:22

I can't comment on whether individual schools are using this method Starlight I can only say whether it is compatible with the methods they should be using (which it isn't) and whether it might confuse children (which it may)
As a school we subscribed to a similar (very expensive) American programme about 5 years ago ...we have it but don't use the parts that are incompatible and confusing

mrz Sun 17-Feb-13 11:48:04

I just noticed you are paying a school to not teach your child to read hmm

maizieD Sun 17-Feb-13 11:54:42

He is in his 4th school now (independent) at age 6


You don't think that might have something to do with his problems with learning to read?

trinity0097 Sun 17-Feb-13 11:55:01

If he is on his 4th school by that age then he is probably missing key things because of being moved around so much, schools will do things slightly differently. Keep him in the same school and support them in what they are trying to do with him.

No. EP report told Teachers he woukd not learn to decode. He was always removed from phonics lessons by the TA to teach him to sight read. TAs untrained and unequiped to get Ds to even sit down, let alone qualified to teach Ds anything, so he didn't learn to sight read either. Repeat for 3 schools, during which time we started Headsprout and found a placement with smaller class sizes and higher expectations. Ds is no longer babysat by a clueless but well-meaning TA.

I Expect Ds to be a free reader in less than a term on Headsprout.

But, just wondering how to reconcile with the school as they aren't seeing what we see as isn't a motivating subject for Ds. Or whether to just leave it as when Ds is free reading he is likely to read spontaneously things of high interest.

It's been so helpful that we started dd (nursery) on Headsprout, but I am wondering now if this is actually a good idea given some of the posts about confusion. Unlike Ds, she is likely to be taught to read by her school.

mrz Sun 17-Feb-13 12:11:36

Was it a private EP report?

No LA.

I did then get a private EP report to dispute this, which it did, but was ignored by the school.

mrz Sun 17-Feb-13 12:20:00

Do you know how he is being taught at his current school?

Not really. I 'think' phonics, but differentiated for the needs of the class. It's a SALT school for children with average IQ.

mrz Sun 17-Feb-13 12:32:12

I think you need to ask the school how they teach ccvc words and what his target actually means then you will be able to support him more effectively. It isn't easy when you see your child let down by the system

Yes. I probably do. I suppose I was wondering how important an issue it really was because this school (perhaps because fee-paying?!) doesn't seem to be used to communicating much detail with parents, so there are other pressing issues to try and encourage them to communicate on iyswim. I get an impression (though might be unfair) that lots of parents feel they are 'paying' for their child to be fixed and see that as job done.

It's why I'm upset about comments suggesting I have deliberately confused Ds by introducing an incompatible scheme. I don't think Ds' difficulties and education are purely the responsibility of teachers.

I wish 'good' teachers would act a bit more as consultants/experts to advise parents, instead of acting in a defensive 'we're professionals, don't question us' kind of way that has been my experience.

mrz Sun 17-Feb-13 12:48:52

I don't think anyone was suggesting you deliberately introduced your son to an incompatible programme (it's often recommended on MN and unless you've looked at it closely you are unlikely to know) but it could explain why the school have set this target.

learnandsay Sun 17-Feb-13 13:55:58

No, someone did say upthread that the OP had deliberately confused her child. But to be fair to whoever said that, the OP hadn't clearly explained why she had introduced Headsprout. I've just had to read the whole thread to find out.

learnandsay Sun 17-Feb-13 14:01:19

OP, why can't you home-ed?

Because shortly I need to return to work. Plus DS needs a peer group.

learnandsay Sun 17-Feb-13 14:09:04

If you need to go to work then you need to go to work. But there are home-ed networking groups available.

teacherwith2kids Sun 17-Feb-13 14:10:26

Apologies, it was me who mentioned deliberate confusion - because the 'back story' only came out later in the thread.

Does the current school teach phonics well? Could you support them rather than doing something different? It sounds from the history as if your DS has not, up until now, had good phonics teaching, due to - perhaps misguided - advice from an EP. Can that now be rectified?

MareeyaDolores Mon 18-Feb-13 20:23:59

Sounds to me like you're being a bit premature, expecting him to generalise 'home' reading methods and use them in school, where he's (correctly) figured out they want something subtly different and is trying to give it to them. A bit like a dc learning to read Arabic at home, and English at school.

I suspect he could continue 'learning to read' in the two methods for now... and one day the penny will drop and he'll realise they're actualy the same grin

MareeyaDolores Mon 18-Feb-13 20:24:43

actually blush... but then I learned via look-and-say

MareeyaDolores Mon 18-Feb-13 20:25:31

so, in answer, shrug and ignore wink

ShipwreckedAndComatose Mon 18-Feb-13 20:43:54

I am a bit hmm that you expect a free reader by be end of year 1.

Why the rush?

Or is this based on your observations at home?

Because he only has 1 eighth of the programme left to do. And once finished you can expect to be a free reader, at least from a decoding point of view.

There's no rush. In fact we've taken it VERY slowly.

Having said that, my Ds has language problems and IMO the sooner he has visual supports (aka words and sentences) the sooner he can practise correct speaking.

You might be right Maree, he might not have married them up in his mind. Also I don't think he give a fig about kipper and joe and their bikes or whatever.

Often I write him stories about things he s interested in. We make books together. I write a couple of sentences and he copies and then draws a picture of that bit of the story. It is usually relevant to his life, experiences or interests. I inherited a whole wardrobe full of paper do this seems a good use.

teacherwith2kids Mon 18-Feb-13 21:19:30

Free reader, in my experience, is a child able to pick up a substantial children's chapter book (e.g. the longer Michael Morpurgos) and to read it with understanding not only of the words but also some appreciation of inference, subtext etc.

Even in my DS's first school, where free readers followed on from c. Level 13 of the 'old numbering' of the ORT, a free reader would be able to pick up any reasonably age-appropriate children's chapter book of 80-150 pages (so for DS at 5 it was perhaps Mr Majeika or a Rob Childs football book) and read it fluently with full understanding.

Perhaps we mean something different?

thesecretmusicteacher Mon 18-Feb-13 21:20:05

I don't know what ccvc is but I do know the answer to your question: make the video but don't force them to watch it...

mrz Mon 18-Feb-13 21:24:28

ccvc - stop, start, train, trap, plop, slap, snip , black, - consonant consonant vowel consonant words

In that case he'll probably never be a free reader by that definition.

What I meant was that he could ready any word and guess the strange ones by context IF he understood the context.

I've never heard of those books you mentioned. But he can pretty much read and follow a recipe for example, and instructions where the meaning is important to him (unlike magic keys or whatever he seems to be expected to read about).

teacherwith2kids Mon 18-Feb-13 21:35:05

'Free reader' is definitely variable from school to school, but it normally signals the end of 'levelled' or 'banded' book schemes.

In many schools this would happen around a reading NC level of 3a or 4c, so the level 'expected' for a Year 4, maybe Year 5 child.

Some schools - I think mrz's does - band books all the way up through, so there will be very substantial, detailed books banded as suitable for high ability Year 6 readers.

It depends how seriously different schools take 'progression in all reading skills' and how they put that into practice through books on which to rehearse such skills - but I do not know of any in which a 'free reader' would merely be able to sound out most words and guess others in context

OddBoots Mon 18-Feb-13 21:38:37

There are some sample materials for the Y1 check here which if you haven't seen them before might let you know the direction the school are going in.

It is all rather by the by though, his phonics check isn't going to be what future employers look at so you are much better off doing whatever works for him long-term.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Mon 18-Feb-13 21:39:33

Ahh, ok. I understand.

In my school, free reader means something different and few would be there by year 1.

But I get that you mean by the end of your scheme

MareeyaDolores Tue 19-Feb-13 00:19:55

Old style ORT with Magic key, Biff and Chip etc isn't really a phonics scheme. He must be on level 5+ if he's got to the ones with the key (?) so not bad for year 1.

They're a bit abstract for dc who prefer more contextual clues, in my experience. The magic key DVD can made it easier for ds1. We also supplemented with some eBay stuff Topsy and Tim, usbourne first experiences etc are quite good: the right level, nice pictures, and very obvious storylines.

MareeyaDolores Tue 19-Feb-13 00:25:40

Learning to read boring stuff just cos teacher said so is a skill worth having, but if it's putting him off, perhaps they'd consider using books he likes that are the same book band, as his current ORT reading level

Honestly, I think you're overthinking this (made sane mistake myself which is why I recognise it plus know all this useless info grin)

MerryCouthyMows Tue 19-Feb-13 07:53:48

Like Star, for various reasons, my DD ended up at 4 schools by the time she was 6. It wasn't that the moves CAUSED her reading issues, but that her reading issues (and the general lack of support in the first school for SEN) that caused the moves, that and forced house moves.

School one told me in front of DD that she was 'too stupid to learn her letters'. Would you send your DD to a school where her class teacher was calling her stupid to her face, in front of the whole class?!

I moved her to a school an hour's bus journey away, as it was the only school with spaces that would take a DC with SEN.

I had two younger DC's, and the 4 hrs a day on the bus was impinging on THEIR development. So when a place came up at a local school, I moved her.

A term and a half later, I was moved to a new house by the Council, as my flat was condemned.

So DD HAD to change school again, as the other one was I reachable by public transport due to my job at the time. (I was working FT nights, getting in, then leaving straight away for the school run as my partner at the time had to leave for work as soon as I got in the door!)

It was a shame, but she already HAD the reading issues BEFORE the first move.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now