Year 1 reading levels- feeling a bit freaked by other parents

(89 Posts)
ladyandthechocolate Sat 21-Sep-13 20:43:51

DD is very young for her year, late aug and has just gone into y1. She started reception with no reading ability and now is on a reading level which I think is magenta. She still has to sound out most words and can find the process quite frustrating. She is getting to grips with some of the tricky high frequency words (we, you, here, said) but they are not coming easily. She adores being read to and we've recently finished the magic faraway tree and charlotte's web so her understanding is there.
Anyway, I wasn't worried until I went to a party today and some of the mums were chatting about school and reading levels, one was moaning her ds is finding the yellow level too easy and needs to be challenged. God, I hate these comparisons but tbh I was a bit worried about dd's progress. It seemed all the others seem to be streets ahead.
We read every day but should I be doing more?

Bonsoir Sat 21-Sep-13 20:47:50

Please relax! Your DD is just 5. Lots of extremely able DC cannot read at this age.

My DD is in Y5 and there is very little correlation between those who were early readers and all the others. Carry on enjoying stories together and don 't stress.

LePetitPrince Sat 21-Sep-13 20:48:11

Seriously please just ignore them.. I have older DC but one around the same age as yours. This week I had to endure someone raving about how unchallenged her child is in reading. I always say the same - decoding isn't everything and there is a huge difference between reading and comprehension. Please do not worry unless the school say she is behind which doesn't sound likely.

Iamnotminterested Sat 21-Sep-13 20:50:40

Oh just ignore them. I've never been to a kids party where reading levels were discussed, how sad, that's what mumsnet is for ffs.

christinarossetti Sat 21-Sep-13 20:52:52

What does her teacher say about her progress?

Before anyone comes along and tells you that their Y1 child is free reading, I think it's worth saying that reading is a marathon rather than a Sprint and that your child's teacher is more helpful in this situation than other parents.

krisskross Sat 21-Sep-13 20:53:27

My son is also in yr 1 and a Sept baby, my daughter just started reception and is a July baby. In my experience the difference in them at that point is massive, the people you overheard my have dc a year older than your dd. Also, try not to's pretty horrible. And there are always smarty pants telling you how,amazing their child is....ignore:!!

Poppet1980 Sat 21-Sep-13 20:54:40

Reception teacher- please don't worry! If she enjoys reading and being read to that is half of the battle, don't put her off by putting extra pressure on her. Summer borns are virtually always 'behind' others in the class at this age but do catch up! It's normal! Speak to her teacher and if they are not worried you shouldn't be either. Don't worry about where the other children are.

nkf Sat 21-Sep-13 20:54:53

Relax. And tune out the other parents.

Periwinkle007 Sat 21-Sep-13 21:01:53

one school's yellow is another school's pink which is another school's orange and so on (well there are obviously some schools which follow the standard ones but many don't) so you don't know what level that yellow talked about was anyway.

Honestly the teacher would tell you if they were concerned. She is only recently 5 and some of the others will already be 6. It can make a huge difference at this age (not always but often)

ladyandthechocolate Sat 21-Sep-13 21:02:57

Thank you so much for your replies. I kept very quiet while this was discussed at the party as I really hate these comparisons. Her reception teacher never flagged up a problem and I've not spoken to her new teacher about it as I wasn't worried (until today!). I feel better now though!

Quangle Sat 21-Sep-13 21:14:32

Ignore. I have one Sept baby who could read at this age and one August baby who certainly can't. It happens at different ages for different children and being a whole year younger than some of the cohort just adds to the pointlessness of comparisons and the misery for parents of the younger ones!

It's totally fab that she loved those books - the language is quite complex and it's great that she loves being read to. Don't worry - you can join me in the "lalala I can't hear you" club. It takes a strong will to belong but you'll feel better if you stick your fingers in your ears and ignore the chatter and just carry on introducing lovely stories to your DD.

tiggyhop Sat 21-Sep-13 21:21:29

Ds1 didn't read at all till 6.5 (not in UK and in Montessori so less emphasis on early reading). Had read all Harry potters byt the time he turned 7.

ExitPursuedByADragon Sat 21-Sep-13 21:23:09

Don't worry. She will be fine.

ThisIsBULLSHIT Sat 21-Sep-13 21:35:38

If by magenta you mean red, that's fine!!! Most of my yr 1 class are still grasping the words you quoted and almost all still decode by sounding out each word.

I suggest you write out those key words on cards and plaster them all round the house, reading them to her, asking her what they are all the time. Play matching games with them, flash them at her whenever you can (without it being too pressured obv) and she will get them in no time.

Think of ways to remember them, eg Sally Ann Is Dancing for said, I always say 'there's a hat in what and there's a hen in when' to help too.

But frequent reading practice and encouragement will do wonders and she will be fine. Ignore everyone! There will be loads more children on red than there will on yellow. Also many parents think their children can decode texts with no problem but fail to grasp that their child has no scooby doo what the book is about or are unable to infer anything other than what is explicitly stated.

Your dd sounds like she will have a rich and varied vocabulary to use when she starts writing her own stories!

treadheavily Sat 21-Sep-13 21:45:09

Look I think you speak for a bazillion mothers who have endured the competitive mum thing at Y1.

Your dd sounds completely and utterly normal and I agree with the other posters about continuing what you are doing, and checking any doubts with her teacher.

Children will read in their own sweet time and not according to the timetable of someone else's mother.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 21-Sep-13 22:00:04

My Aug dd really struggled at the beginning of reception, just learning her letters seemed so hard.

When she moved I to y1 she seemed pretty much where your dd is now. Can remember helping out at school and overhearing some of the other children read and having to remind myself that they were nearly 12 months older.

She's a year 2 now. Yes there are better readers in the class but she loves reading and reads all if the time and you can't ask for much more than that for a just turned 6yo smile

xxwowxx Sun 22-Sep-13 11:20:50

I would be quite worried if my child couldn't read high frequency words in year 1, if your daughter is only on red books then perhaps you should talk with her teacher and help her a little bit more at home. People need to stop using age as an excuse (being born in August is certainly no excuse to be behind!).

Quangle Sun 22-Sep-13 11:35:04

"stop using age as an excuse".. what a silly thing to say. August children are a full year behind the oldest in the class and the oldest tend to set the pace. My son is not behind - but he is a full year younger than many of his peers (it just so happens that there are no other June, July or August children in his class).

You wouldn't say "Stop using age as an excuse" if your baby wasn't walking at the same time as all her peers - some do it at 8 months, some at 18 months.

xxwowxx Sun 22-Sep-13 11:38:01

Well my child was born in August and I don't use that as an excuse! Just because they were born in August does not mean they need to be behind, they are all in the same class, learning the same things, age is no excuse!

Pachacuti Sun 22-Sep-13 11:46:04

"People need to stop using age as an excuse (being born in August is certainly no excuse to be behind!)"

Of course it is; what a strange thing to say. A child born at the end of August starts Year 1 at just turned five (in fact, they don't have to have been in education at all until that point). A child in the same class but born at the start of September will be six on the first day of school, twenty percent older, and legally has to have had a whole year's full-time education.

DameFanny Sun 22-Sep-13 11:49:48

Don't be silly xx - of course age makes a difference. As does the fact that every child is different and reaches milestones at different times.

"getting" reading is as much of a milestone as walking, and it doesn't happen until the child is ready, no matter how much preparation the parents have done.

Pachacuti Sun 22-Sep-13 11:54:37

DS was born in January. When he turned 4 he wasn't drawing anything recognisable, had lousy pen control, certainly couldn't form letters, could recognise most letters but couldn't read even simple words and couldn't vaguely grasp the concept of blending.

If he'd been born in August that would have been the point at which he started school, alongside children virtually a whole year older.

In fact, of course, because he was born in January he didn't start until September when he was 4y 7mo (nearly 4y 8mo). At that point he was drawing detailed pictures, writing several words, and decoding cvc words.

Of course it makes a difference, on average, how old a child is when they start school. Plenty of studies on large groups of children have demonstrated that.

xxwowxx Sun 22-Sep-13 11:58:16

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

BlackMogul Sun 22-Sep-13 12:40:43

Studies do indicate that August birthdays can take several years to catch up but, some August birthday children can be very advanced. It just means that all children are different. In my DDs year group at primary school all the children who scored the maximum score at 11+ were all summer born. They, incidentally, were all pretty bright and this was fairly obvious at 5. However, others did take longer to show their intelligence and children mature at different rates. I would not worry and I would keep working at it. Ignore boastful parents. Also the school should use various reading schemes not just one! I never had a direct comparison with other children because they might be on one scheme for a month or two and my DD would be on another one. The school as very sensible to do this.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 22-Sep-13 12:48:16

Now the thing is, some parents are ok with their kids being a little behind, I wouldn't be....

So how have you ensured that your Aug born child isn't behind? Do you ensure your child isn't behind a certain number of children, and if so, how did you come to that number, or do you want them to be top in everything?

Pachacuti Sun 22-Sep-13 12:48:55

But you're still expecting that a child who starts reception at just 4, unable to write any letters or read even the simplest words, and a child who starts reception already aged 5, able to write phonetically plausible attempts at many words and decode simple sentences, should finish that school year at exactly the same level. Do you imagine that the 5yo is going to spend the whole academic year picking his nose, or something? Or is there some other reason that you expect a 4yo to make significantly more progress than a 5yo?

I'd expect the gap to narrow over the course of Reception, and then further over the course of Y1, and then further over the course of Y2, but to think that it's going to be eliminated entirely in just one year is unrealistic. Many very academic schools (who are not generally in the basis of making excuses) factor birth month into admissions assessment at 7+, 8+ or even 11+.

missinglalaland Sun 22-Sep-13 12:51:10

If it makes you feel better, my daughter, a Spring baby (so in right in the middle age wise), seemed very far behind. I kept reading with her as per the school reading scheme, and reading her a story at bedtime. Somewhere in year 3, reading just clicked. It became a pleasure rather than a chore. She is nine now and the best reader in her year group.

I think there were three main things that turned the situation around:
1. She simply needed to develop mental/physically to the point that she was ready to read. (Lots of studies show that you need certain fine motor coordination to move your eyes across the page etc.) So mainly, it was just waiting for her to be ready and keeping faith.
2. We kept supplying her with books she liked. I've never worried if the books are the right level, or advanced enough, or worthy or whatever. Anything she will happily read is just fine by me. We've bought used, library and Amazon to keep the books she likes coming.
3. We've never moved her bedtime back from 8pm. If she isn't tired she can read. This just sort of happened by accident, but it has meant that she spends thirty minutes reading before bed, rather than watching junky tv.

So really, just agreeing with DameFanny that reading is a milestone that doesn't indicate a child's potential or ability anymore than when they started walking.

wow may be off about the age thing but I do think she has a point with regard to worrying a bit if the kid is still on red at beginning of yr 1. Red are what are given out at the beginning of reception so to still be struggling with oneir two words in the page would worry me too. Regardless of what other kids were on.

I do think you need to talk to teacher. Even yellow is quite far behind a lot of kids so they are in no place to be fragging either. I'd have concerns that something was amiss in class for these kids to be on the Lower levels.

Bragging - damn iPhone

xxwowxx Sun 22-Sep-13 13:01:03

JiltedJohnsJulie - teacher told me my child is in the top group for all subjects, I was also told NC level in year 1. It is quite a worrying question though, are you not aware whether your child is behind or not?

thegreylady Sun 22-Sep-13 13:01:19

Surely pink is the first ORT colour? Mydgs is in reception and has a series of cvc readers. He started on I think 1b and is now on 4b which is called The Fib. The others were all about Sam, Pam and Pat so very simple phonics but very confidence boosting. Dhs was 4 in February.

The pink ones are the wordless ones weren't they?

thegreylady Sun 22-Sep-13 13:06:09

They are called dandelion books I think.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 22-Sep-13 13:06:15

Haha wow you're hilarious. Any more gems before I have to toddle off?

DameFanny Sun 22-Sep-13 13:08:15

Xxwow - do you mean to sound like a Goady Fucker?

Forget about whether she's being goady. You might not agree with what she says but can you honestly not say that you wouldn't be concerned about a kid leaving reception virtually unable to read? Yes occasionally it happens but if other parents are stating concerns about progress does that not show that perhaps there is a problem in the class.?

It will probably all be fine, but telling the op there's nothing to worry about isn't that helpful tbh. She really does need to speak to the teachers and maybe even the parents because there Well could be something not right here.

TheBuskersDog Sun 22-Sep-13 13:18:34

Of course even if wow's child had turned out to have SEN she'd have made sure they weren't behind other children.

I believe the correct response is "oh do fuck off".

And in not trying to be mean and worry the op but her concerns are valid and could be indicative of a problem re the teaching of phonics etc.

xxwowxx Sun 22-Sep-13 13:27:57

Wheresmycaffeinedrip - exactly, telling op that there is nothing to worry about is just wrong!
TheBuskersDog - No one mentioned SEN, that is a completely different story! If you want to be rude go ahead!

Mumof3xx Sun 22-Sep-13 13:30:25

My ds is 5.7 and has just gone into year one

He is just going onto stage 3 of ORT books but I do know some children in his class are already on stage 6 or higher

This did worry me for a bit but the way I look at it now is as long as he is progressing however slowly it's not a problem

HumphreyCobbler Sun 22-Sep-13 13:35:18

People are saying not to worry because it sounds within the range of normal achievement for the age of the child concerned. August born children ARE a year younger than some of their peers. It is just a statement of fact. Some of them will not be as fluent at reading as their older contemporaries. Some of them will be ahead, this is normal variation.

Having said all that, if you are worried about your child's reading I would always recommend a proper eye test with a behavioural optometrist or opthamologist as this can pick up a problem that the very basic school screening or ordinary eye test would not spot.

But in conjunction with what other parents have said about their children not being challenged enough it is not worth the risk of saying nothing. Hiding behind age and other parents bragging is not going to help her dd.

She may well be struggling due to she or she may well just not been heard enough or taught enough. You can accept she's one of the younger ones and that it may take longer but you CANNOT SAFELY attribute a complete lack of progress to her age.

I don't think wow meant that it couldn't be a factor either. I believe she meant it isn't an excuse for parents or teachers to write off potential problems and struggles as being down to her age. If they think like that they may miss important signs which won't help her at all.

xxwowxx Sun 22-Sep-13 13:47:38

exactly Wheresmycaffeinedrip, at least someone understands my point!

hatsybatsy Sun 22-Sep-13 13:47:57

xx - you're unbelievable.

The age difference is so massive in reception and year one (where 12 months is a huge portion of the child's life) that it is completely normal for there to be generally a lower level of achievement at this amongst the younger children. My dd (July born) was not even on the scale at the start of reception as she hadn't even mastered all the sounds.

Here she is in year 3, comfortably up with the rest of the class.

There is no need to worry about achievement levels with things like reading and spelling early on in primary school - kids find their own levels soon enough.

If someone came on here and said that teachers missed dyslexia in their kid as a result of struggles being put down to their age then the parent would be really hacked off.

yES it's a factor.
yES it could explain everything BUT would you really really want to take that chance when a chat with the teacher could get something Put in place.

What's to loose by asking?

Periwinkle007 Sun 22-Sep-13 13:54:45

Magenta isn't necessarily the pink of level 1. for all we know OPs school could have blue books labelled as Magenta. We don't know what level her child is reading at but I do believe that if there was a problem then the school would have mentioned it if they were concerned.

I do also agree to some degree that the younger children have been exposed to the same amount of teaching as the older ones but equally some of them aren't ready for it yet so I do think age can play a part.

Glittertwins Sun 22-Sep-13 13:56:46

I wouldn't worry and try not to compare. We have twins and although they are both pretty good, she is miles better. It is hard not to compare them to eachother as well. Our school doesn't do reading level books so I couldn't tell you where they are.

TheBuskersDog Sun 22-Sep-13 13:57:15

wow your posts came across as condescending and not helpful at all to the OP.
I mentioned SEN because many children who do have additional learning needs would not have been identified at 5 years 1 month, however you would have been able to make sure they were not behind apparently.

xxwowxx Sun 22-Sep-13 14:03:45

TheBuskersDog - Children with SEN it's different as I said before! Don't know why you are going on about "making sure they were not behind". If your child does not have any problems (SEN etc) then it is your job to make sure your child is not behind, speak to the teacher, see what can be done, how you can help her/him more.

Well let's just see what the op comes back and says. If by magenta she meant red then that's one thing.

But if the school bands differently then we need to know the stage rather than band really.

If it is stage 1/2 red band then I stand by what I said in that it would IMO Warrent a chat with the teacher as August born or not it could be an early indication of bad teaching or whatever. Nothing to loose by asking.

If it's stage 3/4 or beyond then all this discussion is over nothing really as that's about average.

But arguing about what a poster did or didn't say is t helping any one.

LaundryLegoLunch Sun 22-Sep-13 14:09:47

Ah wow I have one v v able child (Feb born). Did everything with little input from either us or his teacher. He's a natural learner

My second child (May born) finds everything a struggle despite loads more input from us and his teacher. He is the opposite of a natural learner.

You are naive in the extreme if you think your child being capable despite her August birthday is nothing other than bloody luck.

xxwowxx Sun 22-Sep-13 14:12:20


Pachacuti Sun 22-Sep-13 14:12:52

So when you said "being born in August is certainly no excuse to be behind!" you actually meant "being born in August may be a factor in where you are at the start of Year 1 and could account for being behind your older classmates, but it could also be masking a genuine problem and parents and teachers should be alert to that possibility"?

xxwowxx Sun 22-Sep-13 14:17:29

what I mean is, a lot of parents go on how their child is behind "but that's normal" (and ok) because they are younger than most of their peers! I'm sorry but I do not agree and some people do use this as an excuse! if your child has no problems when it comes to learning then there is no excuse!

If OP is concerned she should speak to the teacher!

I didn't really bother with all of that school stuff till my kids were into year 2. I worked on their social skills and they caught up with the academic stuff. DS is above average and dd is G&T but they are both incredibly grown up, bright and sociable in any situation.

3 of the competitive mums have super bright kids (really) who they constantly brag about yet the kids are IMO lacking in social skills and can't even hold a conversation with an adult and find looking you in the eye a problem.

So don't sweat the academic stuff, don't pressure your child, concentrate on making them a well rounded individual and the rest will come with very little effort in my experience.

CecilyP Sun 22-Sep-13 14:52:09


Yes luck. DS was in the fortunate position that if he read a word once, he would know it next time. It was something inate and no virtue was involved on his or mine. OP's DD is not in that fortunate
position; it sounds like she really has to work on her reading and OP is doing her absolute best to help her.

HumphreyCobbler Sun 22-Sep-13 14:52:37

the term 'using as an excuse' is really loaded though, and is the reason that people are finding your posts hard to take.

Being up to a year younger than the other children is often a reason children are behind their peers rather than an excuse.

If you, as a parent, feel there is a difference in your child's level of achievement in school versus their ability level then there is every reason to speak to the school. The op did not give that impression.

The reading level thing is a red herring, we have no idea what level the child is actually on.

MissStrawberry Sun 22-Sep-13 15:00:49

Arguing over age being an excuse is pointless as it isn't 100% fact. Some August born children will be "behind" someone born in November and some won't. Same as everything related to development, you shouldn't generalise.

My DD is August born and is actually top of the class doing some work 1-2 years ahead. She is top of the class because she has parents who are very bright and has been very keen on learning since she was two. Another child we know born in August struggles a lot more due to many reasons. Being born in September does not automatically make you top of the class just as being born in August does not make you behind. There is so much more to ability than the month you were born!

OP, if you believe you are doing everything you can to help your child progress, along with the teacher, then I would try not to worry. If you feel your child is capable of more and needs more input then try and find the time.

Pachacuti Sun 22-Sep-13 15:07:29

"what I mean is, a lot of parents go on how their child is behind "but that's normal" (and ok) because they are younger than most of their peers! I'm sorry but I do not agree"

That's fascinating, but experts who've actually done extensive research on this do agree that, on average, children who are youngest in the year will be behind children who are the eldest in the year. Obviously it doesn't apply to each indivudual child because that's not how statistics work.

It's not even particularly counter-intuitive; if Child X (with a September birthday) starts Reception at a level well ahead of the much younger Child Y (with an August birthday) then why would he finish Reception at exactly the same level? You appear to be arguing that if Child Y doesn't make much more progress than Child X "there is no excuse" - so what's the excuse for Child X making much less progress than Child Y (which is the necessary consequence of that)?

op if you are still reading please try and see past all the arguing that's going on re agust vs September babies and go by your own dd.

If indeed you mean stage 1/2 red books then I do suggest that whilst it's ok to take comfort in other peoples stories of their kid being at similar stages at yr 1 and being ahead by yr 3, I do believe that it is not worth risking leaving it.

After all it can only go one of two ways, the teacher agrees that she needs extra support, or she tells you not to worry and they will revisit the situation in a month or two.

There is a chance that she hasn't been heard enough or hasn't had extra support that she needed. Or the reception teacher wasn't making her classes accessible to everyone. Alerting the teacher to this can't be a bad thing as it will help others in reception and maybe get your dd some extra phonics tuition.

Whilst her age is a factor it is imperative that you do not take that as a repeated excuse if you feel that she is being left behind. Just ask the teachers.

ladyandthechocolate Sun 22-Sep-13 20:17:06

I'm back! Was working today and I just thought I'd log on to see if the thread had been continued and it certainly has.
So, I thought I should give you a few details about the exact books DD is reading. We had home from school this weekend a snapdragons book stage 1+ 'hello grandma'. I'll give you an extract " we went to sleep on the plane, too". She managed ok with this book but it wasn't that interesting.
We are also reading the Songbirds collection at home and she is bridging level 2/3.

She started school with no pen control, doing very simple drawings and is now drawing very well. Ditto reading ability, she had none and now she has some. I just don't think you can compare children at this age despite the fact they have all been taught the same things. She is very mature in other ways, talks well to adults and is confident and has very good understanding.
I will speak to her teacher this week and see what she thinks.

It's not about comparing them. It's about keeping on top of the situation to ensure that there aren't problems and that support is given where needed. There may well be nothing to worry about but as with anything better safe than sorry. I apologise if I have worried you or upset you that was never my aim. I just think that it's best to find out. smile

pozzled Sun 22-Sep-13 20:44:57

What method are they teaching in her school? I agree with some of the other posters that while it is perfectly normal that she hasn't got to grips with reading yet, I would personally want to look into it. I would have a chat with the teacher about which aspects of reading she finds hard and where they are with learning different sounds etc. Keep practising the sounds she has learned and check that the books she is being given match what she has been taught. For instance, has she covered 'ee' 'oo' and the long 'a_e' in plane? If not, or she's not yet confident with those sounds, then I'd question whether she's on a suitable type/level of books.

FWIW, I have a DD same age as yours- August born- and she has picked up reading very quickly and confidently, using a phonics approach. However, although her understanding is good, she is not yet able to access chapter books- even when read to her. There's no way in the world I could get her to read and enjoy Charlotte's Web yet! She's still very happy with picture books. They all have their own particular strenths.

ladyandthechocolate Sun 22-Sep-13 21:14:21

wheres I do agree it is best to find out, that's why I posted to begin with,to get some general feedback on other people's DC at a similar stage.

I feel she should be better at reading than she is as I am very academically qualified and while DH hasn't got great academic qualifications for other reasons, he's certainly not daft. We've read lots and lots to her since she was a baby. I think she finds the whole decoding aspect quite frustrating and I sometimes feel uncomfortable reading with her as her irritation shows through and ruins her concentration. Maybe it's a maturity thing or is it a sign of an underlying problem?
She's done oo/ee/ch/sh and understands those.
We do reading eggs but not regularly. We do some reading pretty much every day but sometimes it's really really hard to find lots of time for extra work for reasons I can't go into without giving myself away. That should improve with time though.
Feeling a bit sad and worried now. Not particularly with what others have said but just the realisation that there could be a problem and how I'm going to fix it.

skyeskyeskye Sun 22-Sep-13 21:18:00

Don't worry about it. Its just her age and she will catch up at some point.

Our school identifies the younger ones who need more help and they get one to one assistance called Reading Recovery.

There could be any number of factors here. She's only jut gone into yr 1 so there is plenty of time to help her and get her where she needs to be. ORT has to be one of the most boring schemes ever. My dd thrived on library books and rainbow fairies way before she was moved up on the damn things.interest is key , she will do better reading books she enjoys.

In all honesty the teaching may or may not have been that great it might not be your dd who has the problem if that makes sense. Hopefully her new teacher will be able to pin point where her strengths and weaknesses lie. Once you know that you can begin to know what to work on. Better now than in yr 2 or three. If it does turn out that this is how it is and she naturally is slower to pick it up , it will sink in, she won't be on red forever but of she's getting annoyed with herself then obviously it's best to act sooner rather than later before it puts her off for good.

Don't be hard on yourself it is very hard to know, if it was easy you wouldn't need to post. I hope your dds new teacher can she's some light. smile


PeanutButterOnly Sun 22-Sep-13 21:55:34

Hi - if it's any reassurance my DD was in year 1 last year and is a Nov birthday. She was struggling to blend simple words this time last year and I was probably even more worried than you because she's an Autumn birthday. She did come on a lot in a year. We bought an Usborne set of readers (yellow box set called Very First Reading) which helped a bit and I did a lot of extra practice with her that I hadn't had to do with my first born child who was June Birthday

Have a word with the teacher, that's all you can do really! It is a worry and a shock if for whatever reason they don't develop in something as you think they might. But they are all different. Year one can be an anxious year for reading from a parent's point of view - from what I've seen there can typically be a large range in that year from those free reading chapter books to those still working on the basics.

Anja1Cam Sun 22-Sep-13 22:03:42

A bit late to this thread - and all the reassuring words have been said. Progress and interest are great, and she'll get there. For some kids, at some point it 'clicks' and they speed ahead, others need to apply themselves more.

I have seen in my DDs how different they can be, and for the record both had the same reception teacher. neither could really do more than recognise the letters in their own first names at the time they started reception:
DD1, late July baby third youngest in her class, took to reading effortlessly and I never had to make much effort practising with her - we do and did read every day at home. She enjoyed it and was a 'natural', holding her own with the best readers in her class from day one.
Three years later
DD2 , early Sept baby, oldest in her class, took much longer. by Christmas we were still working on blending 3 letter words. I had to muster all my patience not to show my frustration at the lack of progress and the endess need for repetition. She did make progress. She is reading fine, enjoying it too - but at a very different pace. She enjoys writing enormously too, but again the 'quality' of her handwriting is nowhere near where DD1 was at the start of Y1. On the other hand she's a natural in mathematical reasoning, something I had noticed already when she was a toddler...

So: don't worry, don't get sucked into competitiveness, and be guided by the teacher (who in my case had some suggestions on how to support DD2 even though she was not worried in any shape or form by the slower rate of progress)

treadheavily Mon 23-Sep-13 02:49:03

ladyandthechocolate my dd's reading level in Y1 was only just above average. I was a bit surprised because I, like you, expected her to be like me (I read before going to school.)

I was even more surprised that she was singled out of her year for 2 extension groups and sent to the local high school for them. I couldn't understand given her very average-ness at reading & writing.

However, her teacher assured me that she was indeed very clever and that the reading & writing would happen.

And it did. By the end of Y2 she had finished all reading levels and assessed to have a reading age of 11.

So my point is, try to trust the teacher and to be patient with your child. The learning may not happen the way that you or I wish or imagine, but it will happen. It would be really interesting to know where your daughter is at in a year's time.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 23-Sep-13 11:00:12

I'd say that is almost exactly where my dd was at the beginning of year 1. I didn't question it but knew she was in the hands of a very capable teacher. They also do read write Inc. as said before she has made really good progress.

So yes, have a word with the teacher about your concerns but please ignore silly comments about ensuring your child is in the top group. There is just so much more to life! smile

lljkk Mon 23-Sep-13 11:38:20

Do other people have these levels up on a big poster by the classroom door? Else, how in the world do you know what is above or below colour wise? I'd be nodding politely & happily cluelessly at "yellow", "red" or "magenta" levels.

my2bundles Mon 23-Sep-13 12:44:00

Dont worry, my son is one of the older children in yr 1 and he sounds to be at the same level as your daughter. I flagged my concerns with his teacher and she reassured me that he is doing fine, he is making progress at his pace and is average in the class. They are s5till woring on blending, phonics etc and they expect a reading leap in most of the children at some point during the year, each child will differ as to when this happens. Dont worry your dd is where she should be, please ignore xxwowxx@s clap trap.

ixqic Mon 23-Sep-13 14:24:50

fwiw, my now 8yo was not interested in reading at all till the middle of yr 1 when she was about to turn 6.

By the middle of yr 2 (nearly 7) she was reading independently including the Roald Dahl books, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. (recommended for 9 -11 yr olds)

I'd say that as long as you read to her and she's understanding well and has a decent working vocabulary then she will be fine. I wouldn't start to worry till she turns 7 which is when they start formal teaching in Scandinavian countries.

The Oxford Reading Tree is slow crucifixion for parents. I stopped reading it by the end of the autumn term in yr 2 (when she was 6.5yo and she was had a good uptake of high frequency non-phonetic words) and we read whatever we liked in bed. She'd read for 5 mins and I read the rest till lights out. Round the middle of the Summer term I listed the books we/she had read in her reading log and I was pleasantly surprised.

LegoWidow Mon 23-Sep-13 14:48:19

Try not to worry - easier said that done I know. My son is in Year 2. He spent most of reception on red level and was on red up until about autumn half term of year 1, so less than a year ago - just after he turned 6. It then really "clicked" for him and he's raced through the levels and is on white level now. He was moving up levels every few weeks at one stage. He loves reading now and sits in bed reading his encyclopaedia or chapter books most nights. They all develop at a different speeds.

NewBlueShoesToo Mon 23-Sep-13 14:57:26

Ignore it, some parents love competitive book colours (I think it's because the only thing left that so obviously graded).
Keep reading to your daughter and with her. A love of books is much more important.
You could try reading picture books which are easier so that as you read your daughter will begin to see and identify some of the words, repetitive books are really good for this.
If she is making progress and is happy to read and beginning to write then stick with what you are doing and let her enjoy reading.
Good luck.

kilmuir Mon 23-Sep-13 18:30:15

I help out listening to pupils read in a year 1 class, huge variation in reading abilities, ignore those parents who go on and on about levels

BlackeyedSusan Mon 23-Sep-13 19:31:35

children vary. your dd could just be going into reception instead of being in year one. ds is 2 months older. 2 months ago he was not interested in reading books. ideally i would like him to be a little further head, but as yet I m not panicking. he is beginning to read more aand has improved over the laast 2 months quite a lot.

This has been said lots but just to add that my DD is another one who was a slow starter with reading but who is fine now. She wasn't interested in books at home and she was one of the slower readers in Reception. But fast forward to Y6 and she's one of the best readers in the class, LOVES reading and is getting very good SATs levels for literacy/reading/writing/whatever they call it these days! Assuming no particular problems (which your teacher can alert you to) they'll all come out more or less the same at the end...

morethanmama Tue 24-Sep-13 11:02:08

Actually, and I'm probably going to get flamed for this, but as the mother of an August born I have always thought that I need to help my dd to ensure that she didn't fall behind her peers in her class. I might not like the fact that she is the youngest but I don't want her self esteem damaged by being less able than her classmates. She is just in year 1 and nearing the end of blue band btw. She couldn't read at all when she started reception but finished on yellow - but I have read a lot with her at home. Her comprehension is spot on too.

Likewise I do lots of maths with her but also role play to help her socially and we have lots of play dates out of school activities.

I would do all of this with a September born too - but really I think you need to ask yourself if you are doing enough at home, - and only you know the answer to that.

ladyandthechocolate Tue 24-Sep-13 21:37:01

Thanks for the later replies. I put a note in her reading book for her teacher today and got a reply which said along the lines of "make it fun, practice writing words on a steamy mirror, lots of repetition etc.". She didn't say she thought there was a problem but I guess we'll talk more at parents evening after half term.
Are we doing enough at home? Well, I can't feasibly think we can do more. We come home, bit if tv as the DC are all pretty tetchy at this time. Then tea time, baths and homework. Usually the reading book, some maths, a game or something similar. Some nights we don't get much done as she is so grumpy. So in essence I think I've answered my own question! I still am a bit concerned, reassured by some of the replies though so we just need to continue doing what we're doing and hope that her progress continues.

christinarossetti Tue 24-Sep-13 22:04:04

It sounds like you're doing absolutely plenty with her at home, and it's great that her teacher responded so positively and promptly to your note.

My dd is now in Y2 and it was really noticeable in Y1 how some children absolutely took off.

PrincessScrumpy Tue 24-Sep-13 23:38:04

We've just had a parents meeting with the teacher for dd (everyone in the hall type occasion) and the key thing they said was to make sure dc have down time as they are working so hard at school they need time to just relax and watch tv or play. Please don't up the homework, she will get it. One day it will just click and she'll be able to read everything.

dd1 has always loved books and due to her rushing to show me her latest reading books others in the playground (competitive mums) have commented that dd's reading level is high for her age (although not high compared to mn levels). I've always played it down and said they all get to the same level in the end so doesn't matter how quickly they get there as long as they enjoy learning. Once it's a chore you will really struggle. Dh and I are both writers so it's not really surprising a love of words has been passed on to dd but people love to compare.

You don't have to wait until parents evening you know - I would email the school and ask to speak to the teacher, not because I think there is a problem but I think the reassurance would really help you to relax.

thegamesafoot Wed 25-Sep-13 07:52:12

Are you able to do the reading in the morning? My dd is also a summer baby although not as young as yours. I discovered that reading over breakfast was way better for her - it's easy to take a breather and although it meant building a bit more time into the morning routine for us it was definately worth it.

I mean when I read my own book at night my eyes quickly droop, I can barely manage a page or two, if I only read last thing before bed it would take me half a year to finish a book.

I've also noticed how poorly both my husband and I are at reading out loud to dd if we've suffered a bad nights sleep and are therefore already tired at her bed time - loads of mistakes, leaving out words etc.

Depending on how tired your dd is when she reads it might be significantly contributing to her frustration levels.

My Yr 1 son is a very able reader (sorry) but there is no way I could sit down and read him proper chapters books like you do with your daughter. I've tried him with Roald Dahl, Dinosaur Cove etc but he really doesn't like them yet. She sounds wonderful. smile

I was with my niece, who is a couple of months older than DS, a couple of months ago at my sisters house. (with DS) She had in her hand one of the ORT read at home stories. She couldn't read it (DS did straight after) but looked at the pictures and made up a wonderful story relating to the pictures. There is also no way that DS could do that, and I know who will do better at story writing in the future.

Learning to read is not a race. DS was one of the early readers in his class, but the rest of them are slowing or quickly catching up. (Not that they are/were behind) DS has also started to slow down and plateaux with his reading.

BeaLola Wed 25-Sep-13 23:09:06

I have a 5 year old DS.

Yes its bloody hard to do the la la la and block out the other parents doing the competitive bit OP. Theres some good advice on here and some that makes me feel more a failure than I sometimes do. But when I have occasionally posted on here worried there have been some kind Mnetters with sage advice that have made me feel better - I hope you have felt that too in between the not so helpful comments.

At my sons primary school they do not give books out until Year 1. In reception they bring back story books of their choice for the parents to read.

My son started school last year only being able to write 1 letter and no idea re phonics, counting above 10. In his class were children who could already read very well, write sentences , count to 100 and various other bits that he couldn't.
Tonight we sat there as he read to me the book he has chosen - he has started reading -fantastic - in the last 3 weeks his progress is measurable- his reception teacher and new teacher assure me when I raised concerns that he was fine - he would get there in his own time and speed and not to compare and that being interested in reading and enjoying being read to would all help.

In an ideal world he may have been able to do more before he started school than he actually could but in his 5 years he has coped with a lot more than I ever have had to including getting us as his new parents at 4.5 . Thats not an excuse but he is happy and settled and that is as important or even more so than what level books he is on.

OP do have a word with yr childs teacher as im sure it will make you feel better and keep on reading to her like you are and la la those competetive mums !

Wuldric Wed 25-Sep-13 23:16:30

Honestly and truthfully please do not worry.

I was always worried about DS and reading - he was slow to it and behind his peer group. This carried on and carried on. I worried myself silly, really. Posted on MN a few times about trying to find books that interested him.

But DS surprised me. He often does. After literally years of worrying with him being the last on all the reading schemes and what have you, they did a reading age test with him and he was 3 years ahead of his chronological age. Which isn't stunning or anything but at least he wasn't behind.

It turned out that he was a maths/music type. They find their own ranges and interests. Seriously, you have to promise me not to worry.

ladyandthechocolate Thu 26-Sep-13 22:01:19

Feeling a bit better this week. We've had a couple of truly dull books from school and we've plodded through them. I know it must be hard to write books like this but seriously!? Then we had some spellings and she whizzed through those with no problem.
Am taking great reassurance from the posters who have shared similar stories. Thank you smile

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