Why on earth shouldn't you teach reading if you jolly well feel like it?

(244 Posts)
learnandsay Fri 01-Mar-13 09:53:07

Is it really all that bad?

Olgathebrickshed Fri 01-Mar-13 09:54:54

Who says it's bad?

I taught one of mind to read long before he started school. It wasn't a problem from any point of view. He wanted to learn; I taught him. School gave him plenty of extra stuff to do once he started. My others weren't interested, so I didn't push them.

I personally feel it is more important whether your child feels like it. If they do then great, crack on. If not I think you risk putting them iff before they are ready.

VinegarDrinker Fri 01-Mar-13 10:04:10

I can't see how you can stop them learning if they want to, even if there was any good reason!

My DS is only just 2 but has been fascinated by letters for a couple of months (with colours then numbers then shapes before that). He constantly asks "what that says?" And "what that letter?" so as a consequence now knows most of the alphabet phonetically and recognises a few common words. I would be surprised if he isn't reading before reception.

What's the alternative? Lying to him? Refusing to answer his questions? Trying to distract him with something inane?

You may as well say don't teach them numbers, or shapes, or how to walk or talk.

learnandsay Fri 01-Mar-13 10:04:40

I'm not sure what happens in most houses around the country, but the ones that I'm familiar with tend to have alphabetical fridge magnets and the children learn to read their names, possibly mummy and daddy and maybe cat and dog with varying degrees of reliability. It doesn't seem particularly geared towards teaching them to read as such but just a natural extension of what can be done with fridge magnets and a child who shows an interest.

I'm referring to the more formal approach of sitting down with reading books.

I can only use my own ds as on example. He hated reading with a passion but always loved books. He could recognise words like his name and words he saw often but really, that is merely shape recognition. He didn't know WHY that combination of letters made that word so itwasn't reading as such.

All through reception he got upset over reading. Thankfully his teacher was happy to go along with my attitude, which is basically that no 5year old needs to read as a life skill at that age. I felt it wasn't worth the upset and he finished the year still on ort 1.

He is now in year 2 and enjoys reading. He is on Ort 11 (lime) and doing really well. Trying to force the formal wnd of reading at 5 could have had the opposite result.

I think there's a big difference between the kind of things you list as "normal" - of course children see their name, and letters, and learn about them because they are little sponges who learn all the time - and "teaching a child to read".

Some parents go out of their way to teach their child, buying or borrowing reading scheme books, and taking them through an organised system of teaching, with a definite plan of having them able to read within a short space of time. We've had them on here from time to time, grumbling about how their child is on X level at home and only Y level at school, or desperate to know just exactly how the levels in ORT compare with "Janet & John" or whatever they have picked.

That can lead to a very confused child, who starts school partway through one reading scheme and then has to start to make sense of a completely different way of working.

seeker Fri 01-Mar-13 10:27:26

Who says you shouldn't?

VinegarDrinker Fri 01-Mar-13 10:28:04

Yes I absolutely agree re forcing anything (I am a "free range education"/learning through play fan) but equally it irritates me when people assume we must be some kind of crazy pushy parents just because of following what DS is interested in.

learnandsay Fri 01-Mar-13 10:29:17

Very interesting, fanoftheinvis. It would be nice to know how many other teachers are as relaxed. But such an approach could conceivably have gone the other way too.

With my daughter I carried on from the fridge magnets to writing things down on paper. I suppose you could say that even that was shape recognition too. In the end she could read Dr Seuss and Little Bear books in nursery. But she only started sounding words out a few months before she started school.

learnandsay Fri 01-Mar-13 10:31:42

There are people in the nearby thread about teaching a three year old who are advising against it. I promised to debate the issue separately.

betterwhenthesunshines Fri 01-Mar-13 10:53:29

I think the advice against it is not about refusing your child information if they are keen and interested. But 3 is very early and some children will simply not be ready at that age. So to set out to 'teach them to read' could do more harm than good and lead to a lot of stress and heartache.

I know your DD took to it like a duck to water learnandsay . So did my son - he seemed to just learn by osmosis. We read stories, rhymes etc and although I didn't ever 'teach' him he just progressed and was and still is a very competent and extremely fast reader. He read a 320 page book yesterday evening, he's 11. And no, he doesn't skip bits. We still often read together and he takes in everything he's read and has an extensive vocabulary etc

But not all children are the same; I did all the same things with my daughter but for her, reading has been a huge struggle. I have done an enormous amount at home with her, and recently it is really starting to pay off, she is now 8. But the time has to be right and there is no need for a child to be able to read before they start school.

It could havr taken longer to get to the same level as he is he would have got there is my point. If you walk into any GCSE class today I would impressed if you could look in their books and tell my which children were acomplished readers at infants and who weren't. The vast majority of children reach an age where they catch up and it no longer matters.

And I agree, we had a very special teacher. She told me (having checked over her shoulder first!) that she would rather 5 year olds have a great range of interests and improving social skills than any grip on academic results. I loved her, and told her in a card that both ds and I couldn't have wished for a better person to introduce us to schooling. I could tear up thinking about it! blush

Oh but also, please don't misundrstand me...I am not against teaching children to read early. I just think it depends on the child and you shoyld be led by them. smile

learnandsay Fri 01-Mar-13 11:04:48

No, true, if the seven year olds are all reading Goodnight, Mr Tom in a group then you can't tell who started reading at three and who started at six. But if one is reading Winston Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples and the other is reading the Beano then you've got a good chance of guessing.

seeker Fri 01-Mar-13 11:10:52

Well, if the 7 year olds are all reading Goodnight Mr Tom then they shouldn't be. Wildly unsuitable, and wasted on children that age.

RaisinBoys Fri 01-Mar-13 11:19:19

There are people in the nearby thread about teaching a three year old who are advising against it. I promised to debate the issue separately.

I was on that thread earlier learnandsay and I didn't see anyone advising against.

They were saying that not all children are the same and reading will come for different children at different times. If you want to bombard your child with flash cards, letter games and phonics at 3, then great. Go for your life. You can impart a love of books and reading long before the mechanics of decoding.

"Winston Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples"!!! Give me the Beano reading 7 year old any day.

learnandsay Fri 01-Mar-13 11:24:56

There are a couple (or three in there, honest!) But then some people are just "against it." It doesn't much matter what the it happens to be.

ReallyTired Fri 01-Mar-13 11:33:30


Can you give us a link to the thread in question.

People's views on reading vary dramatically. Some have a steiner point of view and think that reading should be left until seven. I worry more about neglectful kids who do nothing with their children than those who want to teach reading.

Personally I think that three or four years old is a good age to start reading instruction. Children find it easier to learn new language or phomone sounds at three or four than they do at seven. The only problem with a three year old is that they have the concentration of a gnat. Having the concentration of a gnat is less of an issue with teaching reading at home than it is at school. In the home environment you have one to one where as school you may have 30 children to one teacher and a TA.

There are people who believe that all small children have perfect pitch, but virtually everyone loses their perfect pitch as they get older. I feel there is a lot to be said for taking advantage of the period when children have outstanding auditory perception.

claraschu Fri 01-Mar-13 11:37:52

I think it can give children a real advantage if they learn to read early PROVIDED that they were eager to learn. They feel more confident and see themselves as good readers, and in my experience that does have long term benefits.

Also, if parents have lots of fun teaching / helping kids when they are young, learning to read becomes a cosy, delightful, exciting activity, as opposed to the chore of having to spend 10 minutes on a (possibly boring) school reading scheme book (when you are tired and fed up already). Of course this isn't true for everyone, and loads of kids who learn at school love to read.

I guess I just enjoyed choosing my favourite books and doing things my own way. It was so much fun. I also loved not being involved with the different levels and colours of reading books, which seemed to turn reading into a job, or something to be evaluated, instead of just pure entertainment.

learnandsay Fri 01-Mar-13 11:38:54
seeker Fri 01-Mar-13 11:43:45

It seems quite obvious from that thread that the desire to read is coming from the mother not the child.

So no, under those circumstances,you shouldn't teach your child to read. Read to your child, read in front of your child, point words out to your child- but not teach to read.

DeWe Fri 01-Mar-13 11:50:35

My children all started to read when very young, they were aged about 20-22 months when they started.
All of them asked and I never made them sit down and do it, it was a game they asked to play just as anything else they played with.

There's a big advantage to them learning to read early. The early stage readers are actually interesting to a 2yo. To a 5yo they're dead boring. But to the 2yo the fact that Jane Loves Peter; Peter loves Jane, and they both love the dog (or whatever) does end up with lots of excitement from them.

I don't think it does set them up as brilliant readers above the rest of the class for all their school days, and it's not meant to. What it does is teach them at their level, when they want to, and you, as a parent can make it so much more individual-ds's first words he could read included "Concorde" and "Sonic boom". I would say they've probably settled down into roughly their natural space in the class round about year 2, from what I've seen.

I did teach them whole word recognition, but they all picked up phonics without any difficulties when that became relevant. No school has had an issue with them reading.

And my brother learnt to read (and write) before he could properly speak, because he had a speech problem. So he would write what he wanted to say, age 3yo.

motherinferior Fri 01-Mar-13 11:52:51

I said I wouldn't bother at that age and I stand by it.

I speak as someone who considers reading the most primal pleasure going. I have two English degrees. I write for a living. I still don't see a lot of point in fretting over teaching three year olds.

teta Fri 01-Mar-13 11:53:26

I do think if children are ready and interested by all means start reading .I could read before i went to school[but i remember being utterly bored in the first year of school sitting through the alphabet and letters].None of my dc's were ready until 5/6 years.I was taught using word recognition [as was my eldest,by me-overseas international school -no phonics programme].My other 3 have been taught by a set phonics system which seems to me to be a much better way of teaching[for the vast majority of kids].Schools test phonics knowledge in year 1 [government test].So it makes sense to read about how to teach this particular method before hand.I do agree there is a window of learning with each child that you shouldn't miss,plus i also think that you shouldn't rely on schools to make learning fun[because they often don't].

motherinferior Fri 01-Mar-13 11:54:21

And also, in reality, this just becomes yet another thing for those of us less blessed with infant prodigies* to worry frantically about.

*my children learned to read at school. They are now both excellent readers, but couldn't do anything more than a few misshapen letters at three.

worldgonecrazy Fri 01-Mar-13 12:02:52

As a Steiner parent (as reallytired gave us a mention), my DD (3) loves being read to and can pick out words. We are not forcing the issue, it is just something she loves, and she will want at least 5-10 different books read to her every day on a quiet day. If she's in a reading mood then it might be every single book in her extensive collection. If she's not playing with her friends, she's looking at books. Her first toy was a book and the library is one of her favourite places to visit.

But if she didn't want to read or had no interest in books, we would not force her and would wait until the school starts formal education at the age of 7.

Some children at her school are early readers and others aren't. It's not really seen as a big deal by either the parents or the school. What is important is that there is no pressure on children to read earlier than they are ready, likewise there is no enforced delay in reading.

simpson Fri 01-Mar-13 12:08:20

DD taught herself to read (at a basic "a cat sat on a mat" level by herself -took me a while to realise blush) so of course I then helped to teach her SH, CH,Ow/OU sounds etc ( although some she worked out herself).

She could read before she started nursery and has progressed pretty quickly because she wants to. I have been very led by her really...

I would advise against unless the children are ready to learn. Obviously if they want to know you teach the, how can you not if they are asking question, but actively starting to teach a 3 yr old when they aren't ready is counterproductive imo.

Both my boys were completely disinterested in reading before they started school. It doesn't mean anything - it is no indicator of where they will be in 1, 2 or 5 years time so what is the hurry? We didn't do the fridge magnet thing and I am not even convinced that they would have recognised their names written down. DS1 was at the bottom of the class by the end of Yr R. At some point in year 1 he got it. It clicked and he finished the year in the top 25%. He loved books from the age of about 2. He would memorise them and 'read' to himself for ages and because he had memorised them, I think he just didn't need to decode the words to get the enjoyment from a book. I let him go at his own pace. He is 12 now and has a vocab and reading ability several years ahead of his age.

DS2 also started school unable to read a word. He wasn't even that bothered about books or being read to unlike DS1. I was actually slightly worried about his lack of interest! He is in Yr 4 now and one of the best in the class for reading and literacy and his teacher says he has the best vocabulary of any Yr 4 she has ever come across. He reads all the time now. If I had tried to make him read at 3, knowing him he would have fought me all the way and been completely turned off by the whole thing when he started school.

You have to be child-driven about it. It shouldn't be something you try to impose because you think it will give your child a head start because if they aren't interested it won't work.

I think the other argument against it is that teachers have expressed concerns about parents who try to teach their children to read because they will invariably use a different method to the teachers and some of them find that the children are having to unlearn one method before moving forward with the more formal school way of teaching. I think that is particularly the case if a parent has used a particular scheme.

GetOrf Fri 01-Mar-13 12:17:26

I think one of the things I really regret was pushing dd to read when she was very young. I remember feeling exasperated with her and I resaly should have been far more relaxed.

I have always read extensively and can't remember not reading, and I thought dd would be the same. I think I pushed her into viewing reading as a means to an end, and not as something to love. I believe that my trying to make her an early reader is the reason that she rarely reads for pleasure now - she would no more pick a book off the shelf on a dull afternoon than I would go out and play football in the park. She is 17 now and of course hindsight is wonderful, but I wish I could turn the clock back.

learnandsay Fri 01-Mar-13 12:17:49

The argument about the child/boy being disinterested in reading is a powerful one. I'm pretty sure it would be disastrous to try to force a child who didn't want to read/wanted not to read to read. Although I'm not sure how often I've come across parents asking how they can make their uninterested children read more or do it better. I don't know what teachers typically do if they have children/boys who show no interest in reading as they get older and progress from year to year.

You misunderstood my point about reading at the same level by a certain point. I referred to GCSE classes when it matters. It really doesn't matter if all 7 year olds in a class can read a book like Goodnight Mr Tom but the one who learnt to read at 3 can read something wildly more advanced. At the age of 7, they don't need to read anything so advance.

It will not add value to the life of a 7 year old to be able to read anything more advanced than roald dahl in my opinion. Children should be children. We campaign on Mumsnet not to make children old beyond their years with things such as 'Let girls be girls' but the same can be said of learning. My boy is 7 and bright. He is just as interested in memorising football facts as he is in learning about science. This is how is should be.

By the time things need to get really academic I still maintain that you will struggle to spot the early readers. Reading levels at 7 are still not the be all and end all.

betterwhenthesunshines Fri 01-Mar-13 18:08:00

I would also add that having a child who can read far beyond his age comes with its own issues... often they read books that are too advanced for their level of maturity / emotional development. I remember this being a particular problem when DS was about 8 and we had to vet books very carefully for themes / scenes that were too adult for him.

If you push things too far they can miss out on a whole chunk of childhood which is sad. I think waht GetOrf said is very brave, and true in a lot of cases.

Winston Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples ??? Seriously weird, I do hope this was a joke.

colditz Fri 01-Mar-13 18:16:31

Actually, I was an early reader. I could read and write at 2.9.

The upshot of this is that I used to scare myself shitless with Stephen King books when I was 7, and HP Lovecraft when I was eight or nine.

And nothing else. I never excelled in English. I passed my GCSE with a B. Science was my pet subject, despite all the early reading, I never stopped being fascinated by rock pools.

My father is disappointed with me, he thinks he had this genius daughter who inexplicably got thick and lazy, and he doesn't understand why that happened ..... What actually happened was, my peers caught up, and the more clever ones overtook me. They were more clever when I was five, the difference was that I could read.

If you knew me, with my turn if phrase and higher than average vocabulary, you would perhaps imagine that I am verbally intelligent because I learned to read early, but in fact I am very similar to my sister, who didn't read until she was seven and has read about twelve books in her entire life.

insanityscratching Fri 01-Mar-13 18:21:07

Of my five three of them taught themselves to read with no input from me other than reading to them often and having plenty of books around. It wasn't a problem to them or their teachers. I didn't mention it when they started, the teachers discovered it themselves and I didn't worry about the reading books they brought home (even when some were easy compared to what they were reading at home) because they read what they chose alongside.
So it wasn't a problem here, not sure it would have been the same had I gone into school the first week demanding more difficult reading books though as I think I'd most likely be labelled pushy.

sittinginthesun Fri 01-Mar-13 18:28:14

Some children read early. Some children walk early. It's just one of those things, IMO.

The important thing, surely, is to understand your child and encourage them to love learning. So, if you have a 3 year old who wants to read, you teach them to read. If you have a 3 year old who is not interested, then you read TO them, look at pictures...

I find this obsession with reading very strange (and I'm someone who was reading by 4 years, and has two boys with reading ages well in advance of their actual age). It is one skill, but others are as important.

Meglet Fri 01-Mar-13 18:31:38

I've taught mine the basics, and it did involve some stern 'we are sitting down and jolly well learning this!' moments. DS could read some key words, knew his phonics sounds and read easy peter + jane books before he started school.

He's Y1 now but reading at Y2 level, so no great leap ahead but I'm glad we made the effort at home and he'll be free reading soon.

DD is learning at home too. I've got DS's school phonics book to go from this time as well.

I really don't see the problem with teaching them at home as long as you use phonics and mainly modern methods.

storynanny Fri 01-Mar-13 18:37:46

Everyone's different, make this your mantra. All of my children could read pre school ( they just were interested so I showed them how to, I've been a teacher for 35 years) most of their friends could not. Fast forward 2 years, all friends could read equally as well. The best reader of my children could read anything at 4, his favourite book which he could often be seen reading as a teenager was The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton.
My children and their friends all got similar Gcse, A level and degree results.
Don't worry if they are not interested in letters , words before school, they will all even out eventually. Just keep reading to them though, that is so important.

ComeOnYouTwo Fri 01-Mar-13 18:55:17

dc1: in a 'pushy' nursery where they taught them to recognize letters from age 2yo and then read from 3yo. He loved it, learnt loads very quickly. Is now in Y4 and above average (but NOT reading book that aren't appropriate for his age group iyswim).
dc2: started going along side the 'normal' curriculum. Was behind for a while (middle of Y2) and now in Y3 is also above average.

seriously, I have always always thought that teaching children to read early would a great advantage. I remember being able to read books since I was 6~7yo and really really enjoying it. I though that if children could read asap they would then be able to learn all the rest so much more easily.
I was WRONG.
My dcs taught me that learning to read comes at different age for different children. Some of them aren't ready until they are 6yo. They have also taught me that it's not because a child is ready later than another, they can't learn the other stuff or that they will miss out on something. Because the way teaching is done, no one is expecting a child to read fluently until Y3~Y4 anyway. And there are lots of ways to learn that don't involve books.

if the seven year olds are all reading Goodnight, Mr Tom in a group then you can't tell who started reading at three and who started at six. But if one is reading Winston Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples and the other is reading the Beano then you've got a good chance of guessing.
but the age 20yo (or even at 15yo), whether you have learnt to read at 2yo or at 6yo won't make a big difference (I am talking from the pov of someone who DID learn to read at that sort of age)
And reading is much more than just reading words. It's about understanding. I am wondering how much a 7yo would understand from 'Winston Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples' hmm

ComeOnYouTwo Fri 01-Mar-13 18:59:54

I don't know what teachers typically do if they have children/boys who show no interest in reading

Why on earth some many people are absolutely convinced that it's BOYS who show no interest in reading????
That sort of attitude is the best way ever to put of a child from reading from an early age (And yes I am looking at you dc1 teacher angry).
If a child shows no interest in reading, you read to them. Lots, and lots, with books that interest them rather than the ones you think are good for them to read. Even if you think they are to simple/stupid etc...
You show them that you love reading yourself, you have books lying around in the house, you talk about books.

sittinginthesun Fri 01-Mar-13 19:19:48

Oh, and we love the Beano in this house. We all read it. smile

mrz Fri 01-Mar-13 19:35:10

"I don't know what teachers typically do if they have children/boys who show no interest in reading"

They teach the child to read (but they aren't just 3 years of age)
For what it's worth my best readers are often boys and they even enjoy fiction shock

mrz Fri 01-Mar-13 19:37:23

My mum bought my cousin the Beano annual every Christmas for 30+ years at his request

JollyYellowGiant Fri 01-Mar-13 19:50:33

Surely it just all depends on the child. If DS shows an interest in reading before he starts school then I'll help him along. If he gets fed up and wants to do something else we'll do something else.

It's just the same as teaching anything - colours, counting, types of bird, types of vehicle, types of dinosaur - we'll discuss it while he's relevant and enjoying it.

I was devouring reading Roald Dahl books before I started school and I did better than the average in my English Higher. But I did better than average in all my subjects so I'm not sure my early reading had anything to do with my results. I do read very quickly and wonder if that can be attributed to early reading, but it's not exactly a huge advantage.

JollyYellowGiant Fri 01-Mar-13 19:51:45

Sorry, that should read "we'll discuss it while it's relevant and he's enjoying it'.

simpson Fri 01-Mar-13 20:52:12

If a child is not ready/does not want to do it then no amount of lessons from the parent will help...

learnandsay Fri 01-Mar-13 22:46:57

So how do teachers get these "refuseniks" to learn any reading?

simpson Fri 01-Mar-13 22:52:56

I can only speak for DS when he was in reception (he is in yr3 now) which was they couldn't.

Although it was not helped by him having a shit teacher who made me cry at my first ever parents eve with himblush

He was a 31st Aug birthday and struggled with reading throughout reception (which the teacher made me feel really bad about) but he "clicked" when he was ready (about June time in reception) and finished as one of the strongest readers in his class, if not the strongest. It made me want to stick 2 fingers up at his teacher but I did restrain myself of course!!!

But reading in the school my DC go to, there are kids who are on pink level in yr1 and yr2 and they obviously cannot read and are making little progress sad

BooksandaCuppa Fri 01-Mar-13 22:54:33

ComeOn - I was about to pick up on that, too. LearnandSay does seem to think that it's only ever boys who don't want to read or learn or, indeed, behave well.

Thanks, mrz - also amongst my (unscientifically small) sample: the best children readers in my extended family are the boys; the most enthusiastic readers of my friends' children are the boys and the biggest proportion of keen readers and attendees of book group at my secondary school are also boys.

ReallyTired Fri 01-Mar-13 22:57:48

"So how do teachers get these "refuseniks" to learn any reading? "

Bribary and corruption or failing that: Pain and brutality. grin

Learning letter sounds, to blend and segment words requires short daily practice. Learning through games is better than death by worksheet or flash cards. Modelling blending (either looking at signs or blending orally) to chidlren helps. For example in the supermarket "can you find me some m-i-l-k" or "where is your f-oo-t"

Chidlren need to be praised for working hard, showing persistance rather than being clever.

Children become "refuseniks" if they are made to feel like failures or are negatively compared to other children or they sense their parents are disappointed in their progress. Children are turned off learning if they feel its a competition to get through the reading scheme as fast as possible, rather than to enjoy what they are reading.

BooksandaCuppa Fri 01-Mar-13 22:59:11

It did just occur to me that there might be a reason for some parents being concerned that they teach their child to read before they start school - because they started school being able to read?

But: we all (many moons ago) used to start school after we'd turned five and now they are starting at up to a year earlier. That extra year could make a huge difference in readiness to learn.

It's actually becoming even more mad now that many children now access a full year of nursery schooling attached to a primary school (rather than a local playgroup) as some parents as now even trying to pre-empt that with - how do I teach my child to read before they start nursery (so they're put on the g & t register grin) ?

simpson Fri 01-Mar-13 23:02:23

Missed the point about boys not wanting to read or learn to read blush

DS now at 7 loves to read he reads to himself with his special lamp which clicks onto his bunk bed and reads first thing in the morning too (fiction, finally!!)

He has always been into non fiction and from yr1 has been a strong reader (although not as strong as DD who is in reception).

My aim this that they develop a love of reading and it seems to be worki g smile

And actually thinking about it, the kids who struggle that I read with in DC school are mainly girls (but I have not read with every child yet).

simpson Fri 01-Mar-13 23:06:07

I did not realise how hard it is to teach a child to blend as DD just got it (and I don't remember with DS except he could not/refused to do it blush)

I go into a reception class once a week (not at my DC school) and all of them know their letter sounds but some will sound out C A T and they say pig iyswim as they don't hear the sounds to make the word yet.

BooksandaCuppa Fri 01-Mar-13 23:08:43

I have one (now 12) who walks everywhere reading, including the cliche of bumping into lamp posts with his nose in a book, simpson!

ReallyTired Fri 01-Mar-13 23:09:23

BooksandaCuppa I don't think that school nursery look at a child's ablity to read. Dd's state school nursery is more interested in language and fine motor skills. I don't think that decisions are made about the gifted and talented register at nursery or reception age.

Even then children can be put on the g & t register in later school years. I assume that children can be taken of the g & t register as well if they don't progress as hoped.

simpson Fri 01-Mar-13 23:11:25

Booksandacuppa - DD attempted (without me realising at first) to ride her scooter to school and read a book at the same time!! It did make me chuckle (which infuriated her more as she couldn't do it!!)

simpson Fri 01-Mar-13 23:15:09

Reallytired - when DD was in nursery last year they knew she could read (but not how well) and did give her (too easy) books.

This was fine by me as my main concern at the time was her physical development as she is hypermobile and was struggling a bit sad

DD has been put on the G&T (in reception) but obviously that does not mean much, she is 5!!

BooksandaCuppa Fri 01-Mar-13 23:16:53

Reallytired - I'm referring more to some parents' assumptions about what they should be doing with their dcs before nursery - not what the school/setting expects. And actually, on the g & t board, there is often mention of a g & t register at nursery/reception...bonkers, no?

learnandsay Fri 01-Mar-13 23:19:22

Is there a before nursery? Mine both started at six months. Even I'd be hard pressed to have them reading before that.

BooksandaCuppa Fri 01-Mar-13 23:20:42

Before the 'nursery' year, LandS...the first year of foundation stage - age 3-4.

ReallyTired Fri 01-Mar-13 23:24:00

Our school is very different. I have no clue how dd compares to other three year olds. She plays, draws and generally has a lovely time at nursery.

It came as real shock to me when ds was invited to a free gifted and talented science workshop in year 6. I seriously doult he would have been on the gifted and talented register lower down the school as he was on the special needs register due to hand writing and severe glue ear (requiring hearing aids).

BooksandaCuppa Fri 01-Mar-13 23:27:44

There are barely any nurseries attached to schools/state nurseries in our county, so things very different here, too, ReallyTired. But I've read about lots of dcs bringing books home from their nursery school on mn. (And I reiterate I'm mostly talking about 'pushy' parents - for want of a more subtle term - than pushy schools).

Disclaimer - I don't believe there's anything wrong in encouraging reading in interested dcs, just not with reluctant ones...

simpson Sat 02-Mar-13 00:15:46

DD brought books home from nursery (but think lift the flap type jolly phonics books ie read the word butterfly and lift the flap to reveal a pic of a butterfly type book).

They taught JP from the Easter term but this years nursery kids have been doing JP from Sept which I am a bit hmm about but I am sure they make it fun.

mrz Sat 02-Mar-13 06:05:23

It is extremely rare for a child to start in our reception class able to read (I count on one hand the number of children over 2 decades) and it is also rare for any child to leave us unable to read at an age appropriate (or NC) level.
We don't use reading scheme books in nursery, either in school or to send home but work on all the essential pre reading skills children need which sometimes get forgotten/neglected/missed out in the race to teach children to read early.

JollyYellowGiant Sat 02-Mar-13 07:03:11

I think probably being in Scotland makes a difference because of that later school start. DS will be 5.4 when he starts school. DC2 will be a little younger than I'd like at 5.0.

seeker Sat 02-Mar-13 07:42:10

Any teacher I've asked says the same, mrz- but I've met loads of parents who say their child was reading before starting school. Do you think it comes down to different definitions of "reading"?

lunar1 Sat 02-Mar-13 07:47:10

What's with the sexist rubbish about boys not wanting to learn to read? What a nasty, uneducated opinion.

DS1 loves to be read to and loves to read. He is 4 and in kindergarten, the blends and school reading book stay on the dining table and he brings them to me every day to practice.

School just work with the child's interests at this age. I get so fed up of all the negativity towards boys by some posters.

mrz Sat 02-Mar-13 07:52:12

I'm sure that's the difference seeker

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 08:33:30

It's probably the same rubbish about elephants living in circuses, lions jumping through rings of fire and dogs biting people. Anyone can incorrectly generalise about the particular.

mrz Sat 02-Mar-13 08:35:40

It is extremely rare for a child to start in our reception class able to read and by that I mean they will probably recognise the big golden m for Mcdonalds and perhaps their own name (on a good day). Some might manage a jumbled rendition of the Sesame St version of the alphabet song but couldn't match any letter shapes to sounds.

corblimeymadam Sat 02-Mar-13 09:15:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

corblimeymadam Sat 02-Mar-13 09:17:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

simpson Sat 02-Mar-13 09:24:09

Well DD definately could read at a basic level when she started nursery (let alone school) and there was another child in her class who could read starting reception and the school were not that shocked by it.

mrz Sat 02-Mar-13 09:26:48

We aren't shocked/surprised/amazed when a child starts reception reading simpson (more overjoyed than anything) but it is very rare in my area.
We are quite happy if a child starts nursery/reception able to talk

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 10:29:20

Four year olds in the North East can talk!

corblimeymadam Sat 02-Mar-13 10:34:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

motherinferior Sat 02-Mar-13 10:40:29

Another viewpoint: reading isn't rocket science. Rather than making it into this huge milestone that has to be laboured over intensively at home, you could just leave it till your kids have matured a bit (you know, the way you're supposed to with potty training) and let them learn it in due course. I do of course realise that in MN world everyone else's child is champing at the literacy bit aged three but I for one am not blessed with such paragons.

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 10:47:53

Doesn't it look more like rocket science to the people who are struggling with it?

motherinferior Sat 02-Mar-13 10:51:39

Well, yes, if they're three.

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 10:53:58

I don't know how anybody can answer this, but what does it look like to the ones who are forty three and can't do it?

seeker Sat 02-Mar-13 10:55:35

My personal informed-by-anecdote opinion is that often children who struggle at things are being asked to try too soon. I know that I treated my own dd as a project-(not long out of a very high pressure job) - and was, in retrospect, far too proactive. My second child who, as my wise mother advised, was allowed to grow up automatically, had a much easier life and did everything at about the same time, and in some cases earlier than his "pet child" sister.

storynanny Sat 02-Mar-13 10:59:06

Please please please just have fun with your little ones, when they get to school it's all literacy literacy literacy, numeracy numeracy numeracy. If your children find learning to read fun then by all means do it with them, but it's not essential. Early years teachers are much more interested in their spoken language, self help skills etc.
As I said earlier, everyone is different and every child's idea of fun is different. They have such a long time ahead of them of formal learning, make the most of the freedom pre school years!
The most helpful pre reading skill to help with at home is to read, read, read and then read more stories to your children. They learn the difference between print and pictures, the layout of a book, hear the excitement in your voice as you tell the story, hear punctuation, sentences and the build up of anticipation.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 02-Mar-13 11:03:42

It was never ever important to me to try to teach my kids to learn to read before they went to school.

All I ever wanted to do was to help them to love books and stories.

Why do anything other than that??

storynanny Sat 02-Mar-13 11:15:59

Shipwrecked, you are so right.
Just to reiterate- early years teachers will have no problem at all with your child reading or not reading on their first day at school.

motherinferior Sat 02-Mar-13 11:20:37

I can assure you that illiteracy at four or five does not guarantee illiteracy at 43. You're jumping to conclusions.

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 11:24:54

Agreed it doesn't. But I was actually asking how much like rocket science does reading look to an illiterate 43 yr old? (And not anything else.)

Lifeisontheup Sat 02-Mar-13 12:01:09

My DD says one of the most important things that I taught her was that reading was fun, it was something that Mummy loved doing and so was automatically something she wanted to master.

We both still love books and have far too many for the size of house. We also both have kindles with 500+ books on them.

I learnt to read at about three, not because my Mother actively taught me but because we were read to and it was seen as a good thing to do. I read everything I could lay my hands on and still do. I read the newspaper at aged eight and got quite a lot of sex education from page 3 of the Telegraph. It was much more graphic 40 years ago. grin

I think it has stood me in good stead, I can read and take in information quickly so now I'm doing an OU degree, it isn't as hard for me as for people who don't enjoy reading.

storynanny Sat 02-Mar-13 16:55:16

Yes, the love of reading is something so valuable to instill.

mrz Sat 02-Mar-13 17:02:22

I have two very different children who both grew up in a house full of books with adults who were prolific readers. One loves reading and devours books (at least one a week) the other reads one or two books a year ...

maizieD Sat 02-Mar-13 17:19:00

But I was actually asking how much like rocket science does reading look to an illiterate 43 yr old? (And not anything else.)

I think it looks like rocket science to any person of any age who can't do it. But, of course, they won't be joining this conversation...

mrz Sat 02-Mar-13 17:32:11

learnandsay lots of our children arrive unable to "talk", for some point and grunt is their best means of communicating a need.

insanityscratching Sat 02-Mar-13 17:44:08

Ds started school unable to talk (didn't speak fluently until 7) but could read and spell independently he still managed 8 decent GCSEs.

Badvoc Sat 02-Mar-13 17:44:11

Hmm...ds2 is 4 and starts school in sept.
He knows
Numbers up to 20 and all his letter sounds.
He can also write his name, And most numbers up to 20.
He quite likes to copy random words he sees, so things like toshiba smile And his brothers name.
My eldest son is severely dyslexic, and didnt go through this developmental stage so I have no idea what I am doing!
He has learnt his letter sounds from watching Alphablocks and his numbers from numtums (cbeebies was a lifeline for me last year when I herniated a disc in my back and couldn't move much for 3 months) we watched a lot!
I have always read to him and still do.
He also likes the story apps on the iPad.
He learnt how to form letters from using the hairy letters app and numbers from a timmy time app!
I have no idea where he is compared to other kids his age, but I know he is far more advanced than ds1 was at the same age sad
His drawing is pretty good too smile

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 17:47:53

I've heard of delayed speech but I've never heard of "a lot" of normal 4yo children who can't speak.

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 17:51:58

Surely you can provide a wonderful, varied, rich (and lots of other adjectives) reading experience for your children, but you can't actually teach or instil a love of reading, can you? Your children either love it or they don't but at least they can do it.

Dromedary Sat 02-Mar-13 17:53:38

I think the key thing is that the child does not fall too far behind in class. Where my DC1 went to school there were several ability groups in the class (as is usual) and if you were less good than the others at reading you were in one of the bottom groups. That meant that you also got easier maths etc. Being in a bottom group really sapped her confidence. By teaching her to read myself she was able to go up through the groups, and became much happier and more confident.

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 17:55:13

I don't know if our school has groups but I think it might have the potential to mess kids up for life.

simpson Sat 02-Mar-13 18:08:26

My DC group them according to ability from reception.

But I don't think any of the reception kids have twigged, but they certainly do when they get to yr1.

FrameyMcFrame Sat 02-Mar-13 18:36:42

The problem is if the school tries to label the children in reception year these labels stick like glue and become self fulfilling prophecies.

I learned that the hard way with DD.

In her recep class there were about 6 obviously bright kids who could read at the start. The teachers singled out these bright sparks in the first term of reception and put the class into groups by ability and by year 5 those same children were still the ones who were on top table or top group. Because they had been asked to do the harder work right from the start so their skills then progressed faster than the others all the way through school.

I'm trying to teach DS to read before he starts reception because I don't want him to miss out like DD did. I eventually took her out of that school and in the right environment she has fulfilled her potential away from the labels at the other school. DS is not going to that school but I still worry after seeing it first hand.

mrz Sat 02-Mar-13 18:36:57

learnandsay you are assuming all parents talk to their children

ReallyTired Sat 02-Mar-13 19:19:19

Groups are attainment groups in reception and key stage 1. Children are regularly moved between groups and just because a child is bottom group in reception doesn't mean that they are damned.

A September born girl is miles ahead of an August born boy at the start of reception and it would be silly for both of them to do be doing the same work.
Reception is mostly learning through play so being in the bottom group does not damn a child.

A good school allows for flexiblity between groups well into key stage 2.

Badvoc Sat 02-Mar-13 19:29:02

But not all schools are good, are they?
Ds1 was branded by his old school...very similar to frames experience.

insanityscratching Sat 02-Mar-13 19:36:14

Dd had a positive experience she entered a foundation unit with a statement and was quite rightly in the least able group as her development was at least a year behind at three. She went through the ranks so to speak even if she did only ever attend part time and left foundation stage firmly at the top with an EYFS score of 113.
There is lots of movement between sets at dd's school dd has mostly been top set but did go into second set (an all girl group) for a couple of terms when her confidence was low which seemed to work wonders.

Dromedary Sat 02-Mar-13 19:54:37

Yes, my DC1 was basically labelled as thick by her (totally newly qualified) R teacher, who passed that judgement on to the Y1 teacher. It made a big difference to DC1 that I taught her to read over the summer holiday before Y1, which immediately signalled to the Y1 teacher that the R teacher had got her assessment wrong (the Y1 teacher said as much to me). If a child thinks that they are thick, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and a teacher who is not particularly good or experienced may just take the easy option of treating the child as thick. My niece had a "difficult" teacher in Y1 she was scared of, and my DSis thinks that this played an important part in her literally never becoming a keen or even fluent reader.

exoticfruits Sat 02-Mar-13 20:10:59

You can't stop them if they want to. DH just picked it up by himself aged 3yrs. Go with them, some are ready and some are not. - there is no point forcing it.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 02-Mar-13 20:25:06

Surely you can provide a wonderful, varied, rich (and lots of other adjectives) reading experience for your children, but you can't actually teach or instil a love of reading, can you? Your children either love it or they don't but at least they can do it.

I think instilling a love of stories and story telling is what we are talking about here and I think almost all children can love that. It goes right through our culture in tv, film, computer games, gossip...and right back through history.

I think that by developing this interest through books you will encourage readers. that seems to me to be a priority at preschool.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 02-Mar-13 20:28:27

My experience of primary school teachers is very different from the image painted here by some posters. I am beginning to think that I have been very lucky. All nurturing and no damaging judgmental teaching.

My children feel very confident about their learning even though, for my dd, learning to read was a bit of a struggle through reception and year 1

teacherwith2kids Sat 02-Mar-13 20:35:01

L&S, you would be surprised by how many 4 years olds are not 'conversed with' by their parents. Stuck in frnt of the tv, yes. Given one word orders, yes. Witness to conversation between adults, yes. But talked to and listened to directly for long periods on a daily basis - not as universal as you might think.

IME, btw, the children who are most sucessful at reading in the longer term are those who have long associated books and reading with pleasure. Those who have always been read to, from books rich in language and imagination and pictures. Those who have a store of rich vocabulary in their heads through being talked to / sung to / read to. Those who have had lots of chance for imaginative play, including wordplay. Those who have been able to develop their spoken language with adults and with children who want to listen to them and talk to them. Those who have developed a habit of enquiry and questioning etc etc

If instead of some - or even all - of these things, a child has an experience of being sat down with phonics or letter cards or flash cards, or with boring 'learn to read' books without proper stories, then they may seem to make better 'initial' prgress with reading because they have been exposed to the mechanics, but that 'advantage' is built in very shaky foundations.

teacherwith2kids Sat 02-Mar-13 20:42:15

As an overall response to the OP, I would say:

If the CHILD wants to learn to read, no parent should stand in their way, and are very welcome to facilitate this in any way they choose IN ADDITION TO continuing to give their child a rich diet of being read to.

If the PARENT wants to teach the child to read but the child is not fussed either way, then don't.

teacherwith2kids Sat 02-Mar-13 20:44:36

(To clarify, I mean a pre-school child, not a child already embarked on learning to read through a appropriate teaching in school. I am all in favour of all parents supporting a child who has started to learn to read in school, though it helps if - as most schools do - some kind of information is provided about what the school is doing and how to support it.

BooksandaCuppa Sat 02-Mar-13 20:52:33

teacher's post of 20.35 is one of the best I have ever read on mn.

RaisinBoys Sat 02-Mar-13 21:08:53

Well said teacherwith2kids

sittinginthesun Sat 02-Mar-13 21:10:30

I agree. Says it all, really.

storynanny Sat 02-Mar-13 21:13:42

Me too, I totally agree with teachers post.

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 21:16:30

Congrats, teacher on an illuminating revelation that's partly saddening and depressing.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sat 02-Mar-13 21:16:48

And me too!

AbbyR1973 Sat 02-Mar-13 21:53:27

I agree with teacherwith2kids in the first paragraph. There are many children who basically ignored by their parents and experience substitute parenting from a small (or large) square box. I would also agree that forcing a child to do flash cards etc and being coercive about reading before they are ready could end in a reading aversion. Every word of the second paragraph is true about valuing conversation with your children, (family mealtimes at the table become more important in busy families) and sharing a love of all forms of literature are invaluable but...

The problem is the end of the post which sort of seems to suggest (I imagine Unintentionally) that children who come to school having been taught some reading by their parents have been subjected to the third paragraph without the 2nd paragraph. The 2 things are not mutually exclusive and the whole lot can happen at once. I don't happen to believe in flash cards but since my sons showed an interest in what words on the page meant and the building blocks of reading are letter sounds and phonics we started with some of that. "Reading Books" can be useful in the early stages because of the limited/ graded language alongside other books/ reading signs etc
The child's desire to read undoubtedly has come from being read to at bedtime because it is a special time together. Just because they can read now doesn't mean that bedtime story has to end either. IMO learning to read (as in child reading to parent) is separate from the bedtime story and in our house we do reading either before or after tea before we get ready for bed downstairs and bedtime story upstairs in their beds. Actually DS2 3 years 9 months would without doubt make his feelings very clear if he wasn't allowed to do reading in the same way his old brother at school is.
Early reading with a child that is interested and ready is not about coercion or being a pushy parent it's a natural development of sharing that love of all things literary.

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 22:03:11

It's not all that problematical because the third paragraph begins with (if) if it's not the case then it isn't.

AbbyR1973 Sat 02-Mar-13 22:07:35

Yes learnandsay I read it back and then the posts teacher had made above it clarifying exactly that point after I had posted. There does however always seem to be the idea that if you have a child that can read early it is only because you have spent hours drilling them. Sorry for misinterpreting a bit :-)

exoticfruits Sat 02-Mar-13 22:25:15

I agree with teacherwith2kids - nothing more to add.

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 22:29:41

Repetitive and bad aren't the same thing.

Old MacDonald and the Seseme St ABC song are repetitive. I'm not sure when repetition becomes drilling but I'd imagine it's when it stops being fun.

simpson Sat 02-Mar-13 22:37:06

I get the impression that a couple of (competitive) mums who have DC in my DD's class think that I strap her to a chair and make/force her to do flash cards.

This is obviously not the case and if a child is ready to read before school (or nursery) then they are ready iyswim and they pick things up very quickly.

I do agree with the poster who said that reading to your child is just as important as listening to your child read to you. It's about making books fun.

I taught myself to read (at a basic level) even earlier than my DD did (I was not yet 3) but I did not progress as quickly as she did and I remember being very bored/frustrated at school with how slow other kids read (we used to all read a chapter quietly then discuss it, I guess I was in the equivalent of yr3/4 then).

learnandsay Sat 02-Mar-13 22:43:03

I don't think what other mums think is all that big a deal. Plus there could be a healthy dose of the green eyed monster mixed in, anyway. I'm always being made aware of what I think of as normal might be really abnormal! (But in L&S world) it's all about what's best for the child. If she's a clever kid who has figured out that the squiggles in these books mean something, as my one year old has, and if she responds to letters then go for it.

mrz Sun 03-Mar-13 08:40:13

I think it's pretty normal for young children who share books with an adult to quickly work out that those squiggles mean something and to imitate the adult by turning pages and "reading" the book to siblings/friends/toys/available adults.
We have a Five a Day policy (we try to share five books with the children) and even those children who live in homes without books pick up the idea in next to no time.

Badvoc Sun 03-Mar-13 08:43:11

My 4 year old can read simple cvc words like mat and cat, but he can "read" books from memory that I have read to him.
Last night he "read" duck in the truck.
It's amazing what young children can remember.
He "reads" it pretty much word for word, and even uses the same tones as I do!
Although my dyslexic ds did that too, so I know it doesn't mean he will be a good reader...

motherinferior Sun 03-Mar-13 09:26:11

I've been chortling about the 'my ONE year old is virtually reading' post since yesterday. While obviously feeling parental inadequacy on the part of my own children.

And this, my friends, demonstrates exactly why I feel an emphasis on precocious reading backfires, in so many ways.

Badvoc Sun 03-Mar-13 09:44:27

Is that a real thread?

mrz Sun 03-Mar-13 09:49:56

i think motherinferior is referring to a post on the when did your child start reading for pleasure thread

motherinferior Sun 03-Mar-13 09:51:53

I meant L&S' assertion upthread. Look, sweetie, we get it: your child is clever and you are damn well going to teach her to read whatever anyone says. Whereas I stand by my point that not bothering won't make any damn difference in the quite medium let alone long term.

harryhausen Sun 03-Mar-13 10:03:15

I totally agree with MotherInferior.

I live, eat and breathe books. It's my career and my passion. I don't think I ever picked up a book before school - let alone read at 12 months oldgrin

I played on my own. Made up stories in my head. My parents read to me.

Both my dcs are great readers, but I didn't teach them to read before school. Dd took to it quicker then ds, both at 8 yrs is only just beginning to like reading for pleasure. Surely this is the key? In fact, I got so worried about her not 'joyfully picking up Tolkien' (or whatever particular example I read on here) that I pressured her too much to enjoy it. It's only since I completely backed off that she found what she likes.

I do find myself raising an eyebrow when people say their 2 yr old is reading Roald Dahl completely independently. It's just another underhand level of parental competitiveness. This is why I never discuss reading ability with anyone except the teacher.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 03-Mar-13 10:05:38

grin at motherinferior!

VinegarDrinker Sun 03-Mar-13 10:09:09

Your two assertions are not mutually exclusive, though motherinferior. Do you do everything you do now because of
potential future benefit? Presumably you do some things with your kids just because they love them? Is it really so far from the realms of possibility that while one child finds dinosaurs or animals or diggers or cars fascinating, another loves letters? Or letters and diggers? Is buying a 2 year old a book about diggers also pushy parenting?

I'm surprised my just-2 year old knowing his phonic alphabet hasn't been subjected to the eye rolling L&S has got. He is currently putting his fridge magnet letters onto a puzzle of a farm and saying them out loud: the c on the cow, the p on the pig and the b on the barn etc ENTIRELY of his own volition. Then he might tip them all on the floor and enjoy rolling in them and whooping. Because he's 2.

I have no illusions about this being predictive of future genius, but it makes him happy, keeps him out of my hair for a while, so what's not to encourage?

VinegarDrinker Sun 03-Mar-13 10:16:09

I have never mentioned DS knowing his colours/shapes/numbers/letters or whatever it is that week to any of my RL parent friends. Why would I? I only know it's unusual to know your alphabet by 2 because he started a new nursery the day after his birthday and they were a bit surprised.

It just winds me up that being able at something is something that has to be downplayed or negated even from toddlerhood (and "blamed" away by laughing at the parents as being pushy). Is that not just the first step on the road to teaching kids (and especially boys) that being clever or picking things up easily is something "uncool" or to be embarrassed by and hidden?

motherinferior Sun 03-Mar-13 10:21:35

Nobody said anything about overall ability. If your child is fascinated by letters, fine and lovely. I just stand by my original points.

I am also finding this all profoundly ironic given my fundamentalist conviction that narrative and words are the only things of importance in this world.

motherinferior Sun 03-Mar-13 10:22:52

(I did mean fundamentalist not fundamental btw. I am unreasonable and bigoted about narrative.)

mrz Sun 03-Mar-13 10:32:36

I agree with much you have said but I think we would be naive to believe that all children will learn to read when they are ready, no matter how language and book rich their lives have been.

teacherwith2kids Sun 03-Mar-13 10:44:00

I would agree, mrz.

My post above was about 'delivering children to school in the best position to enjoy long term reading success'. With high-quality phonics teaching in school, those children can then fly.

mrz Sun 03-Mar-13 10:47:56

and nursery needs to be about sharing books and developing the imagination NOT about flashcards and reading schemes.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 03-Mar-13 11:22:51


teacherwith2kids Sun 03-Mar-13 11:25:46

Absolutely, mrz. Because although we would love to think that all parents are able and willing to provide a language and book rich environment, nursery classes, pre-schools, day nurseries, childminders etc must do so too to ensure that as many children as possible have that critical foundation of 'book / story lovingness'.

learnandsay Sun 03-Mar-13 13:07:13

I'm sure most parents can get to the library.

I'm not sure that we have a word for the preparation which comes before reading, but Sesame St have got it about right I think by calling it getting ready to read. My daughter had a journey between what they call getting ready and what I'd call useful reading. You could even say that by singing the alphabet song and playing with fridge magnets the children are getting ready to get ready.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 03-Mar-13 13:51:48

I'm sure most parents can get to the library.

Yes, but do they want to?? I'm thinking you would be quite shocked at what some family backgrounds are actually like.

Badvoc Sun 03-Mar-13 13:53:15

Don't get me started on decking reading schemes....
<gets the rage>
I am honestly worried I am turning into one of "those" parents, you know?
Ds is reading a fairly simple 4.7 level book - no idea what that means btw - at school. They do accelerated reader.
At at home he is reading how to train your dragon by Cressida cowell!!
Do I say something at parents evening?
It seems a big difference to me....

Badvoc Sun 03-Mar-13 13:54:56

Learnandsay...at my children's school I can assure you that 90% of the children have never set foot in the local library!
They run a reading comp between schools in the summer.
Out of over 500 children about 50 kids took part.

RaisinBoys Sun 03-Mar-13 13:56:44

Is there nothing parents won't compete about?

Reading should be a pleasure. Pre-school reading should be about nurturing a love of books, a love of story, a love of narrative, a love of rhyme, a fascination with the world.

The mechanics of reading will come for most children when they are ready.

Some children may need some extra help - Skilled teachers make all the difference but no-one is saying that parents cannot do whatever they want to aid their child's journey to reading.

teacherwith2kids Sun 03-Mar-13 13:57:25

Hmm, L&S - well, if the library is in the town 5 miles away, and you don't drive, have 3 children under the age of 5 and there is a bus in each direction at maximum twice a day (though it turns straight round so you either have 5 minutes or 4 hours in town between buses), how accessible is the library physically?

And if you have a chaotic lifestyle, or have literacy problems yourself, then registering at the library (requiring, as it does, documents as proof of address and the filling in of a form), how accessible is the library practically?

And if you don't value reading or education, how accessible is the library psychologically?

I appreciate that you are talking about your own social circle and wider acquintance, and I am talking about a particular subset of parents who I have encountered as a teacher, but I find your glib comments about 'most parents' really quite irritating.

Yes, most literate parents, who have jobs that allow time to visit the library during its opening hours (the latter of course are being reduced in many places) and transport that makes the library physically accessible to them, with money for that transport and some belief that 'reading is good' can get to the library.

That does not mean that there is a substantial minority - perhaps those whose children are most in need of access to books - who have actual or psychological barriers to library access that will make it a very rare event if it is possible at all.

teacherwith2kids Sun 03-Mar-13 14:01:08

At my children's very MC primary, in a town with an excellent children's library within walking distance, well over 50% of children do the summer reading challenge.

At the school in which I taught, very far from being MC, 5 miles from a small branch library with limited opening hours, the equivalent figure was <10%.

mrz Sun 03-Mar-13 14:32:54

I'm sure most parents can get to the library.

Then you don't rely on public transport or live in a small village.

Imagine you have 6 children and need to change buses twice to travel to the nearest library.

seeker Sun 03-Mar-13 14:38:58

You can ret to the library- if you have the time the energy the money the inclination and the confidence.

Badvoc Sun 03-Mar-13 15:28:11

Parents may have literacy issues themselves, or perhaps English isn't their first language?
A library on every street corner wing help solve those issues.

learnandsay Sun 03-Mar-13 15:35:06

I've heard of parents travelling double that distance pulling their children on a sledge through the snow. I'm sorry, I wouldn't be impressed with a parent who told me that her child couldn't didn't read very much because the library was five miles away.

mrz Sun 03-Mar-13 15:40:17

I've heard of parents travelling double that distance pulling their children on a sledge through the snow. With 6 young children riding on the sledge?

I wouldn't be impressed with a parent who told me that her child couldn't didn't read very much because the library was five miles away.

and who says the children can't read?

teacherwith2kids Sun 03-Mar-13 15:48:55


Hmmm, so a parent not only has to not be at work when the library is open but ALSO needs to have the time to walk 10 miles in order to access the library??

Surely even you can see that yes, some motivated parents would do that, but to be 'not impressed' by a parent who is not in a position - healthwise, timewise, needs of other children wise - to make that 'over and above' commitment is unreasonable.

exoticfruits Sun 03-Mar-13 15:50:47

I can't think how DCs manage without belonging to a library-it is the only way that you get a completely free choice of books. Even if it is difficult you have 3 weeks, can have a lot of books and can renew on line or by phone. You can even order on line. It isn't as if you have to get there every week if difficult.

exoticfruits Sun 03-Mar-13 15:51:51

Ours is also open in the evening a couple of nights a week.

exoticfruits Sun 03-Mar-13 15:52:57

I would have been lost without it as a child and it means that you have to rely on either school or what your mother provides-you can't make your own discoveries.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 03-Mar-13 15:53:32

I wouldn't be impressed with a parent who told me that her child couldn't didn't read very much because the library was five miles away.

I really don't think there would be many parents who would care what you thought tbh.

love the image of a dedicated mum battling it through snow because we have overdue library books dammit!!

seeker Sun 03-Mar-13 15:56:42

Some people have no bloody idea!

teacherwith2kids Sun 03-Mar-13 15:59:44

Exotic, just looked up a typical small town branch library local to the school I taught in.

Open 3 days a week. Two days 9.30 - 4.30, 1 day 9.30 - 5. Every other Saturday 9.30 - 11. So a parent working a 'normal' 9-5 job would only be able to access the library every other Saturday morning, supposing that they had the transport to do so (first bus from village to small town does not arrive until 10.50)

Badvoc Sun 03-Mar-13 16:01:02

Very true seeker

BooksandaCuppa Sun 03-Mar-13 16:03:52

Absolutely - not only about what kind of lives other people might lead (financially, socially, psychologically) but also about what life might be like, even for a willing and able person, living in a rural area.

Some of our local libraries are spaced over 20 miles apart (or maybe more) and only then open twice a week. The buses might only run twice a day and even if the timings coincide, it can cost up to £12 return for some journeys - per person.

The libraries are almost solely utilised by m/c parents (in a broader definition of the 'class'). I would like to see a lot more investment in providing better resources into each and every school - and in rural areas that primary schools are open and available as a community resource for the wider community. In an ideal world.

exoticfruits Sun 03-Mar-13 16:09:49

Some people will have problems but there are those who don't use them when they could. I live in a small rural town and opening is :
Opening times
Monday 10.00am to 7.00pm,Tuesday 9.30am to 5.00pm,Wednesday,9.30am to 12.30pm
Thursday9.30am to 7.00pm,Friday 9.30am to 5.00pmSaturday 9.30am to 4.00pm
Sunday Closed
City libraries, having looked, tend to be longer and open to 8pm is common.

Many people have libraries that they could use, but don't.

mrz Sun 03-Mar-13 16:10:04

The nearest library to my school is closed Monday and Tuesday open Wednesday and Thursday 9.30 -12.30 and Friday 10.00 -6.00

ShipwreckedAndComatose Sun 03-Mar-13 16:12:19

I love my local library but I certainly wouldn't judge others for not using it!!

exoticfruits Sun 03-Mar-13 16:12:28

We seem to go backwards -when I was at primary school the library service used to send a huge box of fiction books which were changed regularly. Now I have only seen this done for set topics.

exoticfruits Sun 03-Mar-13 16:13:04

It was very exciting when the new box arrived!

mrz Sun 03-Mar-13 16:14:03

The nearest to my home is open Monday 10.30-5.00 closed Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and open Saturday 10.30-12.30.

motherinferior Sun 03-Mar-13 16:39:17

O god this is turning into the equivalent of 'why can't the feckless working classes live on kale and lentils'* threads. I know loads of posh types who don't use the local library either, dammit.

*I quite like kale and lentils. You can make an excellent garlicky cumin-flavoured soup with them.

seeker Sun 03-Mar-13 16:45:17

Nobody likes kale. Except guinea pigs.

seeker Sun 03-Mar-13 16:55:18

"I've heard of parents travelling double that distance pulling their children on a sledge through the snow. I'm sorry, I wouldn't be impressed with a parent who told me that her child couldn't didn't read very much because the library was five miles away"

Yes, no wonder poor children don't do as well as better off ones at school. Their parents just aren't prepared to ^make the effort!^hmm

insanityscratching Sun 03-Mar-13 17:18:45

The library is 8 miles from dd's school, we go regularly because we have a car. To travel from dd's school by bus (we live nearer to the library than the school) would mean two buses and fares of £6 plus for an adult and £4 for a child. Dd's best friend's mum is a lone parent with four children. I doubt that she has £22 to spare to take her children to the library tbh but dd's school is very aware of the pressures parents face and has a really well stocked library that children can borrow as many books from as they choose.

simpson Sun 03-Mar-13 17:22:44

If I worked full time I would not be able to go to the library as my DC have activities on a Saturday.

I go in the week and choose books I think they would like to read but they don't have a chance to choose any themselves.

Their school does not have a library but DS's yr3 teacher has started a class library with some books her DC have out grown which is proving a big hit.

LandS - one child I read with told me that they are not listened to at home (yr2) and they get their school reading book out and "read" it to themselves but since the child can barely read the word cat obviously finds it hard. But can tell you what has happened in the book as they have looked at the pictures sad

teacherwith2kids Sun 03-Mar-13 17:25:19

Exactly. Rather than berating parents (or 'not being impressed by' parents hmm) for 'not supporting their children by taking them to the library', it's much better for the school to focus on delivering to ALL children what ALL children need to make progress in reading - so stories and talk and imagination and books to lose yourself in as well as phonics and scheme books and careful teaching.

teacherwith2kids Sun 03-Mar-13 17:29:12

(And for pre-schools and nursery classes and dayt nurseries to focus on all the foundation stones for reading, not 'pushing formal learning even further back' while missing out the essential sharing of stories and books and make-believe play.)

Dromedary Sun 03-Mar-13 19:21:14

If you try to teach your child to read when they are not ready you will find it very hard work. If the child is pre-school you may find it impossible.
I had to work very hard to help my about to move into Y1 DC to get up to a very basic level of reading, so as not to fall too far behind. But my DC2 at age 3 was totally ready to read and caught on very easily, and was very soon reading little books to herself with no input from me. The nursery used to give the ready to read children a little pot of 3 letter words to take home once a week. They clearly disapproved when my DC2 and I didn't stop there, and moved onto little books. They presumably thought that I was standing over her with a whip. The reality was that she would read the little pot of words in one minute, and then wanted to do more the rest of the week. There's no harm in that.
But it's interesting that at age 7 my DC1 read the first few Harry Potter books, whereas at age 8 my DC2 is not reading anything at that level, and reads less than her sister. She is very bright but does not have the same enthusiasm for reading yet.

simpson Sun 03-Mar-13 19:57:53

Dromedary - I could not agree more re teaching a child before they are ready. This is why I believe DS struggled so much in reception sad

Primafacie Sun 03-Mar-13 22:27:28

Learnandsay, I can be a tiger mother with the best of them, but seriously you come across as a cartoon of a pushy mum! Are you for real?

This has got nothing to do with teaching your child to read by the way - I am with motherinferior in thinking it is not that important, but if your child wants to, then go ahead. But your attitude in general, and in particular the idea that parents who won't go 10 miles on foot in the snow for library books deserve to be judged as uncommitted, is laughable.

Children are not all the same, much like adults are not.

Some children are talented and want to learn to read early.
Some children are talented and don't.
Some children are not that bright but will pick up reading early.
Some children are not that bright, and won't.
Some children may want to learn but do not receive the right support.
Some children get lots of support but would rather do finger painting.
You see a pattern emerging?
Different people, different circumstances. Do what you think is best for your child.

learnandsay Sun 03-Mar-13 22:33:17

If you want to argue with what I've said then argue with what I've said not with some version of what I've said that you've made up. I'm sure I've mentioned cabbages before but I haven't said that pregnant mothers should swim ten miles through the snow to get a cabbage, either. You can argue with that too, if you like.

Primafacie Sun 03-Mar-13 22:58:07

I've heard of parents travelling double that distance pulling their children on a sledge through the snow. I'm sorry, I wouldn't be impressed with a parent who told me that her child couldn't didn't read very much because the library was five miles away.

As others have pointed out, I doubt your disapproval will keep these parents up at night.

Primafacie Sun 03-Mar-13 23:03:46

And I stand by what I wrote. It was an accurate rendering of your post.

Haberdashery Sun 03-Mar-13 23:18:11

Oh, FGS. Or even FFS. I am an involved, supportive and helpful middle class parent and there is NO WAY ON THIS EARTH that I would pull my child (I just have one and she's quite light) on a sledge through the snow for five miles (or twice that, given that there's a return journey to be factored in) to get books. I'm a bit weedy but it's not even that. It's just not worth it...

Because, as you have often pointed out, LandS, books are a movable feast. For tiny children, you could write stories on bits of paper. For older children, you could write them together. If an involved, supportive, intelligent parent hasn't got access to a library, they'll find a way around it. If a parent who couldn't care less has got access to a library, they won't use it anyway. There are tons of parents in my v leafy suburb whose kids don't even know what a library is.

The thing that's bad is people not caring if their children have appropriate reading/learning material or not. This is not actually something that can be solved with an accessible library (though if there is one and if the children want to go to it and if the parents will take them that can only be a good thing). I wholly support libraries and consider them an essential part of a civilised society but quite honestly if the benchmark of good parenting is taking your kids five miles to the library on foot if there's no other way to get there then at least 80% of the world won't be arsed to do it.

simpson Sun 03-Mar-13 23:28:31

My DD's reception class have a school trip to the local library later on in the year.

Many/most of the kids have not been before.

It is easier for me to provide books for my DC to read at home (through eBay/amazon/2nd hand shops than it is to go to the library.

Primafacie Sun 03-Mar-13 23:37:01

Haberdashery, and you dare call yourself helpful and supportive? Quick! Get that sledge out, wake your DD up and Start Walking Now! The library books won't read themselves you know ;)

Haberdashery Sun 03-Mar-13 23:54:50

I know. Those books will be FOREVER UNREAD. And I will probably go to hell.

Primafacie Sun 03-Mar-13 23:59:41

To hell in a sledge, oh yeah.

Paddlinglikehell Mon 04-Mar-13 00:17:03

Having taught DD who is a September baby, the basics, I wouldn't do it again.

DD was desperate to learn to read and we did some basic letter sounds. Nursery also did some of this with her, as they started all their preschool group on Jolly Phonics.

Before she started in the September, she knew most of the simple letter sounds and could read simple phonetic words i.e Cat, Pig, at, big etc.

However, when she started school, she didn't really progress and by the end of Reception I was actually worried about her progress, by Year 1, she was put on the Reading Recovery scheme, which she flew and there were no obvious problems with her reading, she just hadn't progressed.

I personally think that because she knew some sounds and words, she switched off in the class and then never really got it back. The teacher wasn't the best to be honest, but her Year 1 teacher spotted the problem immediately and rectified it.

If she hadn't known anything, would she have been more interested?

LittlePushka Mon 04-Mar-13 00:30:20

No library= uncivilised society? hmm If you are like me and living as a heathen, try poundland - really great books,( great "workbooks" if you like that sort of thing) all a quid each and you never have to take 'em back!. You may have to leave your sledge outside though.

But do go, even if you dont buy the books, seven bags of mini cheddars for a bin lid is surely a good deal for the uncivilized masses!

Primafacie Mon 04-Mar-13 00:55:33

Great, now I'm craving mini cheddars.

learnandsay Mon 04-Mar-13 07:33:38

I'm beginning to see why we have a comprehension problem in this country. The woman pulling the sledge was going to the doctor.

christinarossetti Mon 04-Mar-13 08:15:47

paddling that's interesting, and good that your dd is now flying with reading.

My dd was pretty much the same before starting school. although not that bothered about learning to read tbh. She did though and left reception as a fluent reader - she had very good teachers who she adored, which I think was a key factor.

Ds will be 4 in the summer and is much keener to try to read and I'm wondering whether to do anything about 'teaching' him. He knows his sounds and I'm inclined to leave it at that until September in terms of 'teaching' - I'd rather continue to share books and make up stories and look at the pictures if he'll let me.

seeker Mon 04-Mar-13 08:19:43

"I'm beginning to see why we have a comprehension problem in this country. The woman pulling the sledge was going to the doctor."

So why was she relevant to the discussion?

Primafacie Mon 04-Mar-13 08:46:32

So you are the root cause of the "comprehension problem in this country"?

I didn't even know we had a CPITC.

mintyneb Mon 04-Mar-13 09:28:24

Wow, lands, you take the meaning of comprehension to a whole new level. I appreciate comprehension involves reading between the lines but usually you know the context in which the lines fall.

Everyone is talking about getting to a library and then you through in some information (incomplete at that) about getting to the doctor. Not sure why you are so surprised that people are responding to you in the way they are?

mintyneb Mon 04-Mar-13 09:31:39

'Throw' not through

learnandsay Mon 04-Mar-13 09:34:24

We're not talking about reading between the lines here we're talking about reading the lines. (Or not reading them properly in these cases.)

mintyneb Mon 04-Mar-13 09:38:23

But where in your post when you talk about a woman pulling a sledge twice the distance do you mention the words 'to the doctor'. Or did my version of MN delete that line?

seeker Mon 04-Mar-13 09:38:28

"I've heard of parents travelling double that distance pulling their children on a sledge through the snow. I'm sorry, I wouldn't be impressed with a parent who told me that her child couldn't didn't read very much because the library was five miles away."

Where exactly do you say that the sledge trip is to the doctor's? The conversation was about getting to the library. You refer to the library in the next sentence.......

learnandsay Mon 04-Mar-13 09:41:42

Can you not walk five miles?

mintyneb Mon 04-Mar-13 09:44:01


Badvoc Mon 04-Mar-13 09:44:41

I genuinely don't know what this thread is about anymore...
It's turned into a who can walk the furthest brag it seems!?

seeker Mon 04-Mar-13 09:45:05

Learnandsay- please could you make your point again. I really don't understand it.

Badvoc Mon 04-Mar-13 09:45:32

But to answer your question L&S yes I can walk 5 miles easily. But my 4 year old can't.

learnandsay Mon 04-Mar-13 09:49:35

It was suggested that a library being five miles away was a good reason not to borrow books from it. I don't believe that is true. I used to borrow books from a library further way than that and walk to it. And even if a mum can't drive she's likely to know somebody who can. If the library was fifty miles away that would be different.

seeker Mon 04-Mar-13 09:53:35

Oh, learnandsay - that really is a bit silly. You're seriously expecting a parent to take their children on a ten mile walk in the evening after school to the library- and if they don't they are in some way failing in their responsibility.

This sort of attitude really, really pisses me off. "Poor people should just get of their arses and stop being poor." Yeah, right.

VinegarDrinker Mon 04-Mar-13 09:55:02

I love libraries, we go at least once a week, my DH reads about 4-5 books/week minimum so it's essential to avoid bankruptcy! However, we have 3 excellent libraries within a couple of miles, and bikes and excellent public transport.

If it involved walking 10 miles, then fuck that, frankly.

VinegarDrinker Mon 04-Mar-13 09:55:34

It is a shame mobile libraries have disappeared though.

learnandsay Mon 04-Mar-13 09:56:00

Lots of people who have perfectly adequate incomes choose not to have a car.

seeker Mon 04-Mar-13 09:57:47

But they can therefore afford bus fares and books.

Heifer Mon 04-Mar-13 09:58:26

Am completely lost on this thread now, but have to admit I wouldn't walk 5 miles for chocolate let alone books!

Haberdashery Mon 04-Mar-13 10:00:40

>> No library= uncivilised society?

Just to clarify, Pushka, I didn't mean that not going to a library means you're uncivilised in some way! I meant that the existence of libraries seems to me a thing that is a marker for a healthy and functional society. I am also fond of Poundland.

mintyneb Mon 04-Mar-13 10:12:44

Lands you are just taking the thread backwards as people have already said why a lot of parents can't and even won't take a child to a library.

You might really struggle to understand it, you might not agree with it but everyone has different priorities in life.

For example some parents may happily drive a 60 mile round trip 3,4 or 5 times a week before school to get their child to ice skating lessons but would never drive 1 mile to the local library. It doesn't make them heathens or lesser people. They may be perfectly happy with the books their child is bringing home from school.

You won't like this next comment but I'm going to day it. Some people like their children to be make to feed themselves

mintyneb Mon 04-Mar-13 10:14:48

Sorry hit post by mistake. Some people like their children to be able to feed themselves but I remember you saying several times last summer that you were still spoonfeeding your 4 yo. Isn't that a bit odd too?

poozlepants Mon 04-Mar-13 10:23:03

My mother taught P1 for 40 years and I have been discussing it with her recently as Ds is set for school in August. She always says that no child will read until they are ready be that 3 or 6. That early reading doesn't seem to be indicitive of super intelligence later on. That number intelligence often comes much later than reading but those that are very good at numbers when they arrived in P1 tended to be very good at maths later on. That often she could spend a year trying to teach a kid to read but it was pretty pointless because something had to develop in their brain and as soon as it happened they usually were flying.That you had to bear in mind that some kids are a whole year older than others and that at that age it makes a huge difference. Nearly always the boys are behind the girls to start with but they catch up and even out about P3. Hardly any child is brilliant at everything at that age- if they are good readers they may struggle more with maths or writing. She says if after a year she could get all the kids to read a bit, write a bit and sit on their bums quietly she thought she'd done well.

seeker Mon 04-Mar-13 10:35:39

Don't understand the spoonfeeding thing- but if it's from another thread then I don't think that's on, really , is it?

learnandsay Mon 04-Mar-13 10:44:24

Some people might not think it's very good thread-iquette, but the way I see it it doesn't matter where the knowledge comes from as long as the point is a valid one. I think the point here is that it's better to feed yourself at four than to read at four. Maybe, but most children will learn to feed themselves eventually they may never learn to read. In the case of my daughter she can feed herself incredibly quickly if she thinks that she's going to be the winner. If she's just eating supper she's still be there chatting, fiddling, singing the alphabet song long after the rest of the family is tucked up in bed.

mintyneb Mon 04-Mar-13 10:47:55

Seeker, maybe not but I get so weary of lands with her views on education and hers is the only way and that how I or many others may be dealing with it is almost beneath contempt.

I'm just saying everyone has different 'normals' in everything they do

seeker Mon 04-Mar-13 10:49:44

OK. I now officially have no idea what this thread's about.

All I know is that the is an unpleasant overtone of "pull yourselves together , poor people- what do you mean, the library's 5 miles away? Can't you walk? If your children don't perform well at school that's their fault for not being committed enough" and I don't like it.

learnandsay Mon 04-Mar-13 10:55:37

There aren't any overtones in this thread, although I really liked their song, For The Longest Time.

Badvoc Mon 04-Mar-13 12:22:23

Minty..I think you will find - as on this thread - that most people do not agree with L&S and infact are rather bemused by her posts.

learnandsay Mon 04-Mar-13 12:36:17

badvoc, I think you'll find that many people are making up their own versions of my opinions and then disagreeing with them! We can all do that! This thread has got nothing to do with poor people (or cabbages.)

simpson Mon 04-Mar-13 12:41:59

Or sledges grin

Primafacie Mon 04-Mar-13 12:59:45

Learnandsay, I translated your opinion upthread as "parents who won't go 10 miles on foot in the snow for library books deserve to be judged as uncommitted". You then accused me of making up stuff.

You later restated your opinion as: "It was suggested that a library being five miles away was a good reason not to borrow books from it. I don't believe that is true. I used to borrow books from a library further way than that and walk to it. And even if a mum can't drive she's likely to know somebody who can. If the library was fifty miles away that would be different."

Can I therefore reiterate that (a) I wasn't making stuff up and (b) I don't agree with your opinion, as expressed by yourself here.

I think if you judge people for not walking 5 miles to a library, just so their young children improve their reading, then you are being incredibly narrow minded, naive and intolerant. I am, quite simply, amazed at the suggestion that anyone would actually do that.

You may be the best parent in the world, but you are coming across as very difficult to deal with on this thread. You seem to be more interested in baiting people than actually having a debate, and incapable of seeing the view point of others. If your children pick this trait off from you, then no matter how gifted they are, they are likely to have a lifetime of difficulty in handling social interaction.

wordfactory Mon 04-Mar-13 13:00:51

Well all I can say OP, is that I didn't teach my DC to read early.
They went to school unable to read or write a word.

However, I ensured that they were fully subnerged in the world of words and story. I actually felt that early teaching of the mechanics might spoil that, and I wasn't prepared to risk it...too important.

In hindsight it seems to have been the right thing to do.

Badvoc Mon 04-Mar-13 13:01:08

What prima said!

learnandsay Mon 04-Mar-13 13:23:44

The point is that there are a number of ways of covering those five miles which don't require the library user to spend more money such as using a bicycle, walking, getting a lift, getting somebody else to pick the books up and using a mobile library service if one is available. I hadn't actually spoken about commitment and the lack of it. But I will now if you like. I wouldn't regard a parent who didn't use any particular one of these methods (or perhaps others, like borrowing books/or library books from friends) to cover those five miles. There may be a good reason. But if a parent used no method, and didn't explore the possibility of using the library service at all, but would rather their child wanted for books then yes. I would consider that neglectful.

sittinginthesun Mon 04-Mar-13 14:29:10

Oh, Lands, I don't know whether to laugh, cry, or snort when I read some of your posts.

I think that teaching your daughter to read has become so important to you, that you are missing the point. Do you worry about it this much in RL?

RaisinBoys Mon 04-Mar-13 14:48:54

Learnandsay - Have you really been 'talking' about reading, sledging women and cabbages (??) for almost 4 days?

Think of all that valuable reading time wasted.

Primafacie Mon 04-Mar-13 15:35:21

Good grief, Learnandsay, "neglectful"?

You were right after all, there is a comprehension problem in this country. Maybe that's because some people keep talking out of their arses about stuff they clearly know nothing about.

I suggest you read this to gain a modicum of understanding of what neglect actually is, instead of spouting nonsense.

learnandsay Mon 04-Mar-13 16:16:23

prima, have you got an argument or is it just random rants from you, now? I'm not going to read pointless links to more of your ranting. If you've got something to say then say it.

Primafacie Mon 04-Mar-13 16:39:39

Come to think of it, I don't.

Good luck with your thread.

Learnandsay what on earth makes you think that it is learn to read early or don't learn at all? If a child is struggling at 7 then I cannot imagine that trying to teach them at 2 will help at all. Does it not occur to you that there are a small percentage who will struggle anyway and probably be demoralised to boot if forced long before they are ready.

Tbh I don't know why you posted and why we are replying. You clearly think children should be hothoused as the only option and want everyone else to validate it for you.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Mon 04-Mar-13 18:38:45

Blimey! This is still going??

I agree with Raisinboys!!

learnandsay Mon 04-Mar-13 19:03:05

I don't think that. Who said that I do?

exoticfruits Mon 04-Mar-13 19:05:47

It seems a very weird thread!
1. If they are ready to learn you can't really stop them and if they are not ready it won't work.
2. Teachers do not want you to hold a child back-if they all start at the same place they will learn at different rates, teachers differentiate-that is their job.
3. When you are a fluent reader no one knows, or cares, if you learnt at 2 yrs, 5yrs , 8yrs or even 10yrs.
4. A library ticket is a good idea if you can get to the library easily.

Haberdashery Mon 04-Mar-13 19:29:36

Most threads that learnandsay contributes much to seem to end up like this at some level. I assume that she quite enjoys annoying people, tbh.

learnandsay Mon 04-Mar-13 19:44:25

Not really, but if people want to argue with me that's their right.

'I think the point here is that it is better to feed yourself at four than to read at four. Maybe, but most children will learn to feed themselves eventually but may never learn to read.'

Most children will be just as likely to read eventually too.

LittlePushka Mon 04-Mar-13 21:13:19

But perhaps most importantly, you can't get multipacks of cheddars in a library...just sayin'.wink

morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Mar-13 22:54:01

My dd struggles with many aspects of learning and finds decoding difficult. She just doesn't get it and neither did I. I know I'm dyslexic and pretty sure she is too.

I am really pleased she has found a love of reading and is actively seeking her own secret stash grin.

I stopped telling her she had to read to me, now she asks to read to me. As we don't have teachers and a system to answer to, she did it by herself. She is 9.

learnandsay Mon 04-Mar-13 22:59:10

morethan, that's the best thing that I've heard, yet. Congrats to you and little morethan.


morethanpotatoprints Mon 04-Mar-13 23:42:54

Thanks learnandsay

She is loving it, we are lucky to have a good library. grin
It was" Pippy Longstocking" that caught her imagination, I think it was you that recommended it

mrz Tue 05-Mar-13 19:10:20
morethanpotatoprints Wed 06-Mar-13 13:22:27


That is very interesting, my dd must regularly hear consonants wrongly to say ak least rather than at. If she was reading it though she would definitely say at. There are other examples but I can't think of ant atm. It will be interesting to see what the results are when completed. I have made a note to check back.

bumbez Wed 06-Mar-13 16:57:38

I haven't read the whole thread but this is what happened with dd1, she taught herself the alphabet aged 2 from a phonics bus, there was absolutely no input from me.

I asked at the library if I should attempt to teach her to read but was advised not to.

6 months before reception I took the bus away. She pretty much forgot every thing but it didn't take her long to be reading fluently. By the end of year 1 I stopped needing to hear her read.

I naturally assumed dd 2 would be the same but now in year 3 she is still a very reluctant reader.

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