How much do you 'push' your Reception child at home?

(60 Posts)
BoysRule Wed 20-Nov-13 20:30:28

My DS1 has just started in YR and was 4 a week before term started. I am a primary school teacher.

He is doing well at school and the teachers are happy. It is a very academic school and IMO they are teaching phonics at a very fast pace (a new sound every day). He is not keeping up with this at all and knows around 6 sounds - he can only write a couple of them.

I know if I was teaching him my advice to the parents would be to let him go at his own pace - there is no SEN and he is bright, articulate, confident and loves learning.

At the moment I do very little with him at home - he doesn't enjoy it and I can see that he is tired, not concentrating etc and I don't want to push him when, as a teacher, I can see he is not ready.

However, there is still a part of me that feels bad for not doing more with him at home. Even though this would be forcing him, I almost feel guilty for not helping the teachers by trying to teach him the sounds to 'keep up'.

How much do you 'push' your child at home? How much work do you do with them?

cottoncandy Wed 20-Nov-13 20:36:19

My DS is in reception and an April birthday so a little bit older. I find that he is very tired at home. His school are doing a similar thing with a sound every day. I do his reading books at the weekend and usually once during the week but nothing else really. He comes home with letters to do at the weekend and we do those but I think they have done all the sounds now. There are a lot of kids, especially the girls, who are ahead but I'm not pushing him as I don't think he would be happy :-)

LittleMissGreen Wed 20-Nov-13 20:37:29

DS is one of the oldest in the year. He is meant to do homework every day - reading with me, and also they learn a phoneme a day and he has to write it down, draw pictures of things containing that sound or cut them out magasines etc. If he doesn't want to do it, then he doesn't - it tends to be when he is really tired. Usually the next morning he is asking to do it. On the odd occasion he has overslept then I have written in a note that he will do it the next day.
As an aside, he wasn't interested in letters at all until fairly recently so very glad he wasn't an August birthday as he would have really struggled if he had started last year, I'm sure there would have been many more days of non-homeworks.

missorinoco Wed 20-Nov-13 20:38:14

At this stage I didn't push DS. We did a little reading most evenings, maybe five minutes. That was it. At that was mainly to get him in the habit of doing a little reading with us.

DD catches on quicker, so I let her read for longer, and will let her finish a book, as she is keen to, but maybe ten minutes at most.

They are just so tired, especially this early in the school year.

Galena Wed 20-Nov-13 20:39:10

DD is an April birthday. We do as much as she wants to - she always asks to do her book as soon as we are home and she has always been a 'sit-down-and-do' child, so this doesn't surprise me.

If he's not ready, don't push him. He'll do it when he's good and ready, and you will be there to assist.

PoppyWearer Wed 20-Nov-13 20:40:21

My DC1 was in Reception last year and I didn't push her at all. This time of year is exhausting for them with the run-up to Christmas.

My DD caught up in the end and is doing better-than-ok (as far as I can tell) in Year One.

PoppyWearer Wed 20-Nov-13 20:40:48

P.S. she is also a summer birthday.

pyrrah Wed 20-Nov-13 20:46:34

DD started the year recognising written numbers 1-5 although able to count out objects and say higher ones. She also recognised about 10 letters and could write her name. Couldn't read at all.

She has little cards with letters on and they have learnt actions and the sounds. They get another set to add to the ones they have every few weeks and a new reading book every week as well as a 'mummy' reading book.

It takes about 20 minutes on the bus to get to school so she likes to go through the cards and read me her reading book most mornings and most afternoons.

Otherwise I do nothing at all except the usual bedtime stories and fun "educational" things at the weekend.

The school was my first choice because of their academic achievements and reputation for stretching able children so I trust them on that score. I am not a teacher and have zero idea of how things should be taught - other than it not being how it was in my day. I leave school to get on with it and hope they will approach me if they see any issues or areas where she struggles. I'm a total control freak so it's quite a hard thing for me to relinquish everything to the school!

If she was at a school with poor attainment or that I didn't like the way they were teaching I would probably put in considerably more effort.

HoratiaDrelincourt Wed 20-Nov-13 20:47:33

I have a summer baby, now in Y1. This time last year he was not interested in reading or writing at all. He liked school - the playing, singing, dressing up, etc, but was completely unbothered about literacy.

Then suddenly he realised of his own accord that if you can read, you can read things. You can read labels, and signs, and books you've chosen for yourself, and and and...

Once he'd made that intellectual leap of his own accord he started to engage with reading and writing and leapt ahead of his classmates. He is now apparently in the top reading group in Y1.

I learned recently that some of his classmates had coaching and/or tutoring in Reception. That appals me. Reception is EYFS so IMHO that's just wrong. I think this is partly because I have many Scottish friends whose 5yo DC have started in P1 at a similar academic level to our Reception starters but are already producing similar written work to Y1 children of their own age.

Now, obviously I don't know whether he got it because of our feigned unconcern or despite it. We're reasonably academic so we would have been surprised to have a very unacademic child.

Certainly I firmly believe that Reception is about learning how to go to school, not about learning particular academic/literacy/numeracy skills. Giving your child a love for exploration and investigation, and a confidence in a formal enough setting, is what sets them up for their school career, not being on Stage Five book band by the start of Y1.

BoysRule Wed 20-Nov-13 20:53:46

Thank you for your replies - it is reassuring to know that not everyone is pushing their child to do lots at home. It is hard to talk to the other mums (even though they are good friends) as it does become a bit competitive and I know everyone else is anxious about it too!

I know that I am doing enough but I can't help that doubting voice in my head every so often.

Periwinkle007 Wed 20-Nov-13 21:03:12

we don't. reading every day, about 5 mins on a phonics homework exercise at weekends.

KittyOSullivanKrauss Wed 20-Nov-13 21:06:45

I have an August born DS too OP, quite an academic school. I agree its hard to get the balance right when they're so little.

DS is given new books twice a week (one ORT for him to read, one for us to read to him). At a minimum I aim to get him to look at these at least once before they get changed. If he's done it at least once, and refuses all other times I drop it. Often though, he'll willingly read the book a couple more times, and maybe a few other things if he's keen (he wanted to practise writing some letters today, his suggestion). It can be hard to pick a time when he's amenable due to tiredness. A couple of times a week we have a routine of home, snack and 5 minutes looking at the books then he can do whatever he likes. Mostly this works.

They were doing about 4 letter sounds a week up until last week, when they seem to be having a break and just asking us to go over the ones they've already learned which seems fair enough.

tweetytwat Wed 20-Nov-13 21:09:15

I don't. We do five to ten minutes reading each night and that's it.
But I talk to him and he asks me to read things he's found to him. And he's doing pretty well so far and enjoying school so it's all goodsmile

mrz Wed 20-Nov-13 21:12:04

I teach in a "non academic" bog standard primary school and teaching a sound a day is very normal procedure

starlight1234 Wed 20-Nov-13 21:14:09

My DS was not ready to write..It has taken till year 2 to get him out of the self belief he can't write simply because he wasn't ready...

My son in reception with reading..We did the jolly phonics as a game , he did watch the jolly phonics DVD before school he really enjoyed it.

We did reading words as a pair game everything should be fun and learning through play ...Find the bits he enjoys but I wouldn't be forcing at this age..far too easy to put them off learning altogether

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Wed 20-Nov-13 21:17:42

I don't push him. He reads his book and flashcards to me most nights, but if he's too tired we leave it. His teacher seemed happy with his progress at parents evening.

snowpo Wed 20-Nov-13 21:28:24

BoysRule can I ask if your DS is at state or private? My DS is in reception, August born. He gets simple reading books, letter writing worksheets and high frequency words to learn.
He likes the books. We can just about get him to do the letter worksheets but I have given up on the words.
He gets really upset and hates doing it. I feel that putting pressure on him will put him off completely and make him anti-homework from the beginning.
He is currently at a private school but is moving to state after Christmas. I am really hoping they will be a bit less heavy with the homework as I just don't think he's ready.

NaturalBaby Wed 20-Nov-13 21:32:01

I just about manage to get homework done. My ds was 4 in August and is in YR as well, but has a sibling in the year above so watched and listened to him going through all the phonics and letters last year so has had bit of a head start.
He really enjoys language and sounds so we just talk a lot! We mess around with sounds and rhymes and he like to tell me what his sound of the day is - they do read write inc so he does the sound in school then gets a sheet sent home to copy the letter out 3 times a week.

Helspopje Wed 20-Nov-13 21:33:05

just a quick q - what do all you other summer-born DC mums make of the DfE guidance about delaying reception year?
As a Scot, I was horrified to hear how robust the LEAs are in England about the age-cutoff so was pleasantly surprised by the recent apparent change of heart.

HoratiaDrelincourt Wed 20-Nov-13 21:39:39

DH, DS1 and I are all summer babies, and were all very very ready for school at only-just-four. That colours my opinion enormously - to the extent that I can't fathom how I'll keep DS3, a November baby, entertained until he can start Big School.

PoppyWearer Wed 20-Nov-13 21:45:53

Helspopje I have mixed feelings about the delayed entry. I have two summer-borns, DC2 is too young for me to judge yet. A friend is thinking if doing this for her summer-born in the US so I've thought about it quite a lot.

DC1 was definitely not 100% ready for school when she started, I would say maybe 60%, and that was after a good 3 years of nursery beforehand. By about February/March she was fine. It doesn't help that this term is so long, full-on with Christmas at the end.

I think my ideal scenario with her would have been half-days for the first term, like schools used to do. BUT my DMum did that with me back in the early 80's and my abiding memory was returning to school the next day and feeling like I had missed out on stuff.

<sits on fence>

Zappo Wed 20-Nov-13 21:46:33

I didn't do anything during the reception year in terms of reading. My DD was one of the older ones but was so tired and miserable after school, particularly during the Autumn term.

At weekends, we did watch Jolly Phonics on You tube and sang along together.

Now she is in year one we are trying to practice reading but just to confuse matters they have now dropped phonics in favour of KRM.

JustOneMoreBite Wed 20-Nov-13 22:05:23

DD is in reception and has just started getting reading books home this last week - so far she's not keen on sitting with me and looking at them. I think she finds them a bit daunting (doesn't help that the two we've had so far have had loads of 'tricky' words and very little that she can decode), so I think I'll back off from it a bit rather than put her off altogether.

Other than that she's been getting a sheet each day to add to her 'sound book'. She colours in the picture and copies out some words which contain the sound. She chooses to do that and I wouldn't make her do it if she didn't want to.

She's made loads of progress since she started, her teacher is happy with her, and I don't see any reason to push her along any faster.

thegreylady Wed 20-Nov-13 22:14:09

Do any other dc in Reception have spellings to learn and a weekly test? My dgs has just started to bring lists of 2 and 3 letter words and has a week to learn them then they have a test.He reads all the words easily but finds writing them very difficult in the time given.
He is reading quite well now but writing/spelling are beginning to worry him a bit despite lots of reassurance.

Iris445 Thu 21-Nov-13 07:12:29

Gels pope, I can't find what your alluding to on the website...can anyone help?

Do you mean differing the whole year or starting later?

noblegiraffe Thu 21-Nov-13 07:46:22

My DS (August born) gets reading sent home, and sometimes some letter formation. He isn't very good at writing and can barely write his name yet. If they sent home spellings to be written, he'd be put off writing completely. I think they don't concentrate on writing till next year.

We just wrote his letter to Santa, I did dotted letters and he went over them, which seemed to work better.

richmal Thu 21-Nov-13 08:27:45

My parents were told to just leave it to the school. I changed schools when I was 7 and at my new school I remember amazing the teachers at my lack of ability to sound out simple words.

I never really caught up and was placed in the wrong stream at secondary for a year thanks to my lack of ability to read. Even now reading is a chore.

I taught my own daughter to read before she started school and now at 10 she loves reading.

nilbyname Thu 21-Nov-13 08:41:36

I do push a bit. I'm educational consultant.

We read at home everyday, but he is avid reader, school books and story books
We write names and tricky words on the blackboard in the kitchen or in his room most days, but again he is into it, so don't want to miss it.

As soon as he says he doesn't want to do it, we stop, most of the time is play based anyway.

We look at signs, door numbers out and about try spelling them, looking at which is less/more odd/even. He reads over my should, and helps me write shopping lists etc.

I would try more play based activities-
Write the quantities you need for a baking recipe( just single digits)
Count items out for cooking
Notice and sort things that are bigger/smaller when playing
Sand pr water play are great for weighing and measuring as well as finding out about properties
We have magnetic letters that we play with
Cvc word spinners
Hairy letters app, kids love it.

DembaBa Thu 21-Nov-13 08:47:54

I wouldnt push at all at this age, if he is obviously tired and not interested. If you are worried about his progress (doesnt sound like you are, or should be) I would pick the moments when he is energetic and in a good mood at weekends and inject a bit of phonics stuff in to a game or smething? He is very little!

My DD is in reception and is a very keen learner at the moment and loves doing her homework. However, DS (a very bright Year 4 boy, now) although an early reader, had no interest in writing or any kind of 'sit down learning' until well in to Year 2. He just wasnt ready.

If your boy is happy and confident that is the main thing.

richmal Thu 21-Nov-13 08:53:42

The ability of children who are given extra teaching at home will increase more rapidly than those who are not.

HoratiaDrelincourt Thu 21-Nov-13 09:02:34

"Additional teaching" doesn't equate to "pushing" though. In Reception it means parents ostentatiously reading for pleasure, or counting things, or providing craft/markmaking materials, or wondering aloud why the trees' leaves are falling, and a hundred other play-based learning opportunities.

It does not mean worksheets and tutors and similar over-formal strategies that are as likely to turn them off school or give them unnecessary and damaging pressure to attain rigid targets.

nilbyname Thu 21-Nov-13 09:16:17

horatia said it much better than me!

richmal I didn't understand your point! did you mean there is an increase on pushy ness in general or that pushed children do better?

Bumblequeen Thu 21-Nov-13 09:28:00

Dd is winter born so one of the eldest in her class.

We read to her every evening and do any activities set by her teachers.

On starting reception dd could;
Write and spell her full name
Count to 30
Count to 20 in French
Say the alphabet from A-Z

Although we want dd to excel, we are trying not to add unnecessary pressure. It is important that she enjoys school.

jgjgjg Thu 21-Nov-13 09:30:33

Those children doing a new sound every day in school, surely they must have already covered all the basic Jolly Phonics sounds (is it 44, something like that) or be just about to?

What happens then? Presumably they go back and revise all of those? Or do they just keep going, on to the alternative vowel sounds etc which I thought were mainly Year 1 material?

Just interested in how it works in other schools. My daughter's school has done sounds a bit more slowly, around 3 sounds per week, so they're on 'ee' and 'or' right now.

Wisteria36 Thu 21-Nov-13 09:33:45

I have a July birthday ds and though he's always liked books he wouldn't go near a pencil or pen until September when he suddenly started enjoying colouring, letter tracing and so on. He did the sound a day thing with writing/drawing and now they've done that he gets easy reading books home which he loves (seems to learn aurally so enjoys sounding out and all the phonics songs etc). We do five- ten mins a day simply because I don't think he could concentrate for longer if we tried to do it in catch up blocks. Normally we don't do much at the weekends unless he chooses library books to read occasionally (but keep to easy levels). No way could he do any of it if he wasn't ready and didn't want to though.

We love the hairy letters app too, ds finds it hilarious!

PastSellByDate Thu 21-Nov-13 09:40:21

Hi Boysrule:

mrz has posted elsewhere that she teaches at least a sound a day - so your son's teacher isn't alone in doing this.

We rather missed the boat for DD1 who ended up really struggling with reading but for DD2 we found two low work-level things to do that seemed to really help.

We watched shows/ played games on CBEEBIES alphablocks website - - didn't feel like work for DD2 but really made a difference (DD1 who was a struggling reader would watch as well, ostensibly because DD2 was watching 'her show' but clearly it helped her too).

We got a set of Jolly Phonics workbooks (this was the system our school were teaching with as well) - they were more like colouring books, but taught us the sounds and gave a lot of writing practice. DD2 would do a page or two every few days and loved practicing the writing (she still adores workbooks - she's weird that way) & then lots of time colouring in the pictures.

We felt both helped reinforce what was going on at school without seeming too much like work or being terribly demanding. We never 'pushed' DD2 doing this - just would suggest it every now and then.


lougle Thu 21-Nov-13 09:40:22

In DD3's school they use Read, Write, Inc. and they stream phonics across KS1. She didn't start phonics until after half-term, when all the children were full-time, and she learns a sound per day, including how to write it.

She is taught in the whole class right now, but after Christmas they will slot the Yr R children into the appropriate 'stream' according to how well they've picked up the sounds.

A very fast learning Yr R child could be learning phonics with Yr 2 children after Christmas, just as a child who is very behind in Yr 2 could be learning with Yr R children.

They mix the teachers around too, so no one associates a particular teacher with being in a 'low' or 'high' group.

TheBitchesOfWeestick Thu 21-Nov-13 09:42:12

My DS is the oldest in his year and we don't push him at all. He gets a reading book that is changed twice a week, letter writing worksheets, the occasional bit of maths homework. We listen to him read through each book once or twice before it gets changed, and he likes practicing his letter writing so will often choose to do that. He likes singing us his sound songs too.

Otherwise we just do what we've always done, which is talk lots and be silly, read bedtime stories etc. I totally agree with whoever said up thread that YR is for learning how to go to school. If he finishes this year feeling happy and confident about going to school and learning in the classroom, I will be very pleased. He's making brilliant progress and I think it's because he doesn't feel pressured.

He was very ready to start school this year but wouldn't have been last year ( September birthday so right on the cusp). He knew all his letters and sounds but didn't get the concept of sounding out words at all. I didn't push him and within two weeks of starting school it had clicked.

He is also exhausted from school! So keeping things laid back at home is important.

PastSellByDate Thu 21-Nov-13 09:42:21

Oh - forgot to say that we really made a point of ensuring nightly reading. It became part of the bath time/ bedtime ritual.

If the book was too hard - we'd select words (and later will skills were better whole sentences - fairly easy ones) for DD1 to read. [also used this method with DD2 who was a struggling reader until about late Y4]


lougle Thu 21-Nov-13 09:43:15

DD3's school are only sending home wordless books at the moment. They will also only change them twice per week. They say that there are so many things you can do with a book apart from simply reading it cover to cover, that if you want to change more frequently than that you haven't got all you could have out of the book.

For instance, letter detectives - how many m's can you see in this page; can you find page 10; who's written the story; who is the illustrator; how many apples can you see, etc.

Iwaswatchingthat Thu 21-Nov-13 09:46:13

Developing hand strength is a very underrated skill in reception age children. Play dough, small world play, using tea bag squeezers to pick up and sort objects, bread making will all develop this skill.

If you do stuff like this then when he does feel ready to write more then his fine motor skills and strength will be great.

MrsFlorrick Thu 21-Nov-13 09:50:56

If he doesn't enjoy it, don't push too hard. You will only make him hate it and then homework will be a fight.

My DD is a late summer baby and started R this year. On the advice of her teacher, we have deliberately kept it easy going at home so she thinks its fun and enjoyable.

Teacher said that she will learn just as much from picking out random letters and sounds when you are out and about ie supermarket or in the car. "Can you find a or s". That sort of thing.

To be fair DD is quite keen on learning and finds it easy to sit still in class. I know that one of her friends, another summer baby, struggles with this and just wants to play rather than learn.

Perhaps your DS still needs time to get used to the idea of a class room setting? And rather than force too much phonics on him could you try one of the phonics CDs with songs?? DD loves those. I bought some from ELC. It's also a hit with my 2yo DS who sings along with all the sounds.

ShoeWhore Thu 21-Nov-13 09:52:09

I don't think I push my children at all - they do enough work at school, especially in reception. We did reading if they weren't too tired (found mornings better for this if we had time).

My youngest has hearing issues and found phonics a bit of a struggle so last year (year 1) school put a list of sounds they were covering in his book bag and we did spend a few mins in the evening (at reading time) practising them to make sure he had heard them properly. This seemed to help but I wouldn't classify it as pushing.

Covering a sound a day is pretty standard, isn't it?

I'd have thought the most important thing at this age is to keep reading books to them and making it fun. If they are up to reading a bit to you then great.

ShoeWhore Thu 21-Nov-13 09:53:39

PS he sounds like he's doing really well smile

rockybalboa Thu 21-Nov-13 09:54:00

My DS1 is in Reception and is a September born so has been ready for school for a while and is very keen to learn. He is being taught a new sound a day and is keeping up with them well but I follow his lead about how much or little he wants to do. We have the little Jolly Phonics pictures for each letter that school send home stuck up on one of the kitchen cupboards and last night I saw him pointing at each sound with a light sabre and instructing his 2.5yo brother to say each sound... I read his book with him every night but he's happy (and very keen) to do so. So
I'm not pushing him at all but I don't need to because of the way he is. I would do as much as your son can tolerate even if it's only a few minutes. You probably know more about this than me being a teacher yourself! I'd just use your instinct tbh and do what feels right for your son and you.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 21-Nov-13 10:00:32

First term of reception, not at all. DS1 only had his 4th birthday a few weeks before term started.

This term - first term in Y1 - there is a little bit of pushing going on. We read every night, as we did all through YR, and he has french and spellings once a week.

Most of the 'help' we give is in terms of helping him to think about the routines of the day and concentrate at the right moments. He is very bright (school's words) but prone to day dreaming and if something doesn't catch his interest then he finds it hard to concentrate in class.

umbrellasinthesun Thu 21-Nov-13 10:21:09

Boysrule I think that you should do what you would suggest as a teacher (as per your e mail).
I have 2 summer born boys and am frustrated with the system as I think they start school unnecessarily young and it is unfair on them as even 6 months extra development at that age makes so much difference.

My 1st DS did reception last year. I am not a teacher but now know loads about phonics as I spent ages reading about it and learning how to say the sounds correctly and how to blend etc so that I could help at home.

He had no problems but I suspect that my 2nd son (also summer born ) will not be ready for phonics at all when he starts next sept. I feel really empowered now that I have that phonics knowledge - I am not going to push him at all in reception until I think he is ready, even if that is summer holidays at end of reception or even later. Then because I know the phonics sounds etc I will teach them to him myself (if class in general has moved on to other things). And I am sure he will learn much quicker when he is ready.

So if I were you I would sit back and not push phonics until he is keen and then have a concerted effort helping him catch up with the majority when he is ready. You have the skills to do so and you will avoid putting him off by pressurising him before he is ready.

CecilyP Thu 21-Nov-13 10:26:27

I don't think you are doing anything wrong - so no need to feel guilty. If the school are rushing through the syllabus at a pace that a bright 4-year-old can't keep up, then they need to know. If the parents are doing extra coaching in the evening just so their DCs can keep up, the school will think everything is fine.

I wouldn't worry. In the fullness of time he will learn to read and write. No need for all this angst - most of us weren't even in school when we were his age!

KuppiKahvia Thu 21-Nov-13 10:53:51

My dd's school does a sound a day - I think it is normal. They then revisit them all for the rest of the year within streamed groups.

DD2 is 5 at the start of March.
We read her school reading book every morning - this is non negotiable and I do this with her 7 year old sister too. She is good at blending but reluctant to sound out so we currently have a deal that I will sound out the majority and she will blend them, she sounds out 10 or so words in each book. This has kept her keen to read with me. I also read to her - several books at bedtime and a couple during the rest of the day if she asks.

She has a short piece of homework each week (5 minutes max)
Otherwise I ensure that varied opportunities to explore and build on the learning she is doing at school and follow her lead. She has various letter formation workbooks, access to phonics apps, a mountain of numeracy workbooks (numbers are her "thing") I think it helps that she had a very keen older sister and tends to follow her lead in choosing to look at workbooks etc. We also play games in the car - eye spy, what does the word start/end with, counting games etc.

Basically I don't think I push but I do make time ask her about her day. What was the best thing about school today? etc and if she asks me to do things with her I try to be available to support her.

I agree with those who have said that the most important thing at this age is that they enjoy school and enjoy learning.

richmal Thu 21-Nov-13 12:35:03

nilbyname I did not use the word pushed, so I cannot answer a point I did not make.

If a child were constantly tired or disliked doing extra work then that would be pushing. I found with my dd there were times when she was tired and times when she was not, so I picked the times when she was not. Also, I enjoyed teaching and she enjoyed learning.

The point I was trying to make is that teaching something to a child increases their ability in that subject, whether the education is at school or at home or both. It is up to each parent whether or not they want to do any teaching at home. However, the children getting extra tuition at home will be further ahead.

juniper9 Thu 21-Nov-13 12:43:49

Why don't you ask one of the reception teachers in your school? I frequently get asked by colleagues about what's expected in my year group so they know where their children are at. Their kids aren't in the school so it's not a parents' evening type situation.

BoysRule Thu 21-Nov-13 13:10:47

Really interesting and useful replies - thanks everyone. He is at a state primary. I have only taught in very deprived areas where children come into Reception with very low literacy levels, but it sounds like it is normal to teach a sound a day.

Since birth I have done all of the fun and play based 'teaching' which he absorbs really well. Of his own accord he is always pointing out letters he knows in signs and is extremely inquisitive about the world.

I just don't do any formal, sit down teaching as I know he is not ready. Apart from 5 minutes reading his ORT book every night (I read - he points to the words) and his weekly homework (which is play based) we don't do any actual sitting down and writing or reading. I do all of the other wonderful things that parents do to help with literacy and numeracy and have always done.

I feel reassured that I don't need to do anymore.

Our school has morning family reading sessions twice a week at 9am for ten minutes, so I sit with mine in the library. Eldest reads, Reception youngest looks at pictures and counts the page numbers.

At home, he listens as I read his chosen book most evenings.

Reception is mostly learning through play, so I keep reading, so I'm certainly not pushing him academically at (summer born) 4 years old.
Fortunately his bossy older sister a couple of years above him likes to play teacher at home and sits and reads to him too !

PaperMover Thu 21-Nov-13 13:42:04

We don't do anything that she would think of as "work", we play with magnetic words, look at words that have been written down, we make up rhymes and she has just started to write stories for me. I tend to leave books, pencils etc around so she can do whatever she wants. Sometimes she plays with her bear and sometimes she does making.

I have bought some reading books and will read those with her as I don't like the school reading books. My aim is to do that daily for 5 mins or so but at the moment we are doing a word every now and again. If we don't do reading every day that wont be the end of the world.

I think they have a long day and they should chill out and have fun at home.

Thank goodness our "homework" is sensible, so reading to your child and finding things in the home that begin with the sounds they have learnt. I probably wouldn't do it if it was a chore.

Plymwife2011 Sat 23-Nov-13 22:10:45

I am a reception teacher and my advice to all parents is not to push anything and make it like a chore. I say I would rather they read a well loved story at this point in the year and instilled that love of reading, than read Kipper & Chip and make the child frustrated! I am also horrified to hear that thegreylady's child has spellings!! This is totally against the ethos of EYFS and this comes from someone working in a fairly formal EYFS setting!

freetrait Sat 23-Nov-13 23:26:15

No, we don't do anything at home really.

Well, DD has a reading book that we listen to twice a week, but it is very easy for her, so that takes less than 5 minutes. It's always one she's read at school already, then we hear it at home, then it gets changed. Normally pleasant, short activity. They have just started getting "home learning" as well, but this is also a fun activity and DD was so excited that she had some like her older brother (Y2).

Tbh I am more concerned that my 7 year old is very slow on his number bonds, so we are going to practice those!! I told him he has to get as quick as me (only the easy ones..).

YellowDahlias Sun 24-Nov-13 16:48:22

Not very much. We practice with the reading books that get sent home a couple of times a week - maybe 4-5 days out of 7. But that's no more than 5-10 minutes at a time.

She'll play with the Reading Eggs programme on the computer when she asks for it. We never suggest.

She's got free access to markers, pencils, paper, etc so will draw or practice her writing when she's in the mood.

We read to her every night at bedtime.

columngollum Sun 24-Nov-13 17:38:58

I suppose it depends on what you call work. My children were all reading fluently in kindergarten. We don't do any worksheets or repetitive exercises but we do talk about things quite a lot. So, apart from reading, which I don't consider to be work, we either do lots or none, depending on your definition.

AnotherStitchInTime Sun 24-Nov-13 17:50:35

My dd is summer born, but knew all her letter sounds and could read some cvc and high frequency words before starting Reception.

I practise her high frequency words with her and read everyday. On the weekend we do that plus whatever homework the school has set. Generally maths based, practising numbers, writing numbers, hours on the clock, measuring. If she wants to do more I do it with her, but she learns through daily activities too like shopping.

I agree that if your child is too tired pushing him may be counter productive at this stage. He will get there at his own pace.

posheroo Tue 26-Nov-13 11:59:06

How much you push depends on the child not the teacher

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