Reception reading levels - should I be concerned DS is still not getting books with words?

(43 Posts)
Living Sun 08-Dec-13 09:50:34

DS (4) comes home with an ORT book a week but so far they've all been the ones without words. Is this normal for this point in reception or should I be getting worried?

I've been taking the attitude that 'he'll get there when he get's there' and DS is young for the year (he won't be 5 until September). Just wondering whether I should be doing more with him at home to encourage the reading. We read loads of picture books together but I'm not doing any work with his actual reading / phonics. He seems to know all the phonics sounds though.

I don't actually know whether he's ready for the next level up or not as I don't have any way of testing. I'm finding myself trying to get a sneaky peak at the books coming home with other children to see whether its just him and I really do not want to be THAT mother! I'm concerned the teacher will think I'm being pushy if I suggest it to her (particularly if she thinks he's not ready).

Not in the UK so can't just go an borrow a book from the library and see how he gets on or I'd do that.

somersethouse Sun 08-Dec-13 09:57:51

I'm not in the UK either.

DD is in third year of reception and was 5 in April. I read to her all summer and taught her phonics etc, she could only read simple words at this stage, so 5 and a few months, then suddenly she can read, in the last 2 months and she reads very well.

Therefore, I would not worry at all, a few months makes a HUGE difference, it all happens at once. Also, if he is bilingual like my DD I think that makes a difference as well, obviously.

Just start reading books with words with him and make him follow with you. I am sure school know what they are doing but there is no harm in asking is there, it does not make you pushy! As I said though, my DD, who is very bright (teacher says so!) was not bringing home Reading books at that age and she is now top of the class in reading and on primary Reading books in both languages.

somersethouse Sun 08-Dec-13 09:59:55

Meant to add, I order bundles of books off ebay as have the same problema with you re library. At only 4 he is still very Young!

mrz Sun 08-Dec-13 10:05:28

No it is quite normal for some children not to have books at this stage in reception.
I would be more concerned they are sending home ORT

Rhinopotamus Sun 08-Dec-13 10:15:25

My DS is in reception and hasn't had a reading book at all yet. I saw the teacher at parents evening this week and she said that he is doing well and working ahead of expectations. They follow jolly phonics and it says no reading books until they have learnt a certain number of sounds. He brings home a wallet of words to read instead.
So I wouldn't worry about not reading words in books yet as I don't think it means he is struggling.

Living Sun 08-Dec-13 10:20:02

Thanks everyone. Seems like I should just relax. At parent's evening I was told he was doing well and was in the right class. This has always been my concern as he's been pushed a year ahead and I was worryed that he would struggle.

Is the concern the ORT 'no words' books or ORT in general? I'm never that certain what to do with the book schools sends home - DS doesn't really seem to engage with them.

Living Sun 08-Dec-13 10:24:00

Oh and this is where the class is with Jolly Phonics:

"Children have learnt the following sounds so far- s a t i p n c k e h r m d, g, o and u. Next week we will be revising all the above sounds and focus on blending and reading small words."

Is this about on track for reception? I'm mainly curious about whether they're adjusting the pace given that quite a few children started with no (or minimal) English. Not concerned either way, just curious.

harryhausen Sun 08-Dec-13 10:26:04

Relax. He's fine. You're doing totally the right thing by reading picture books with him at home.

I think my ds (now in y2) didn't have his first reading book until after Christmas. He was also young in his year and has only just seemed to start doing well with reading now. He just bumped along doing barely the 'average' in that time.

I know the anxiety. I've been anxious too. But he'll be fine. Don't force it. Just enjoy reading books.

EvilRingahBitch Sun 08-Dec-13 10:29:21

If I were you I'd drop a tiny bit of reading into your bedtime stories - maybe the title of the book, maybe sound effects or speech bubbles, just pick out a couple of phonically decodable words at each session and talk him through them (or let him read them out himself if he can). Little (and I mean 30 seconds at a time) and often practice during the Christmas hols will send him back to school ready to fly.

Living Sun 08-Dec-13 13:29:57

Thanks everyone - you've put my mind at rest.

mydaftlass Sun 08-Dec-13 17:45:10

They don't give books out until after Christmas at our school, once they've worked through the first phonics.

Euphemia Sun 08-Dec-13 21:45:46

They don't seem to have covered very many sounds. How many are they doing per week?

Living Mon 09-Dec-13 03:32:24

Two. Sounds like they are moving slowly. Not surprising as there are only four native English speakers in the class!

Just tried him on some of the online oxford books and he can blend fine (when he can be bothered!) but doesn't know any of the more complex sounds. Not sure it's worth pushing him ahead of the class though. At the end of the day, if we ever coke 'home" he'll have to go down a year anyway.

This is IB not English curriculum btw. Out of interest where is the average reception class in numeracy at the moment? DS is doing basic addition.

Living Mon 09-Dec-13 03:34:44

Move not coke!

Living Mon 09-Dec-13 04:40:12

Ok (talking to myself here grin ) spoke to the teacher who says even two sounds a week is a push for a lot of the children because they're doing the blending at the same time. One sound a week isn't unusual out here. She recommends not pushing him ahead of the class though and I'm not sure there's much point.

They're speeding ahead with the maths because that's easier.

mrz Mon 09-Dec-13 06:49:08

Jolly Phonics recommends six sounds per week but I found one a day more manageable

Aeroaddict Mon 09-Dec-13 09:31:17

Did I read that right, that he is only just 4, and wouldn't start school until next September if you were in the UK? In that case I would look at anything he is doing this year as a bonus, and definitely not worry about progress or lack of it.

noblegiraffe Mon 09-Dec-13 09:36:04

My 4 year old is getting books with words (easy ones), although I think some in his class still aren't. In maths they seem to be doing counting past 10 and recognising big numbers, no formal addition yet.

Living Mon 09-Dec-13 10:42:26

Yep he'd be in preschool still in England so I'm not really worrying about his future education being hindered grin . I suppose I was more concerned he might be behind the rest of the class which it seems he isn't so I just need to chill I guess.

MummyPig24 Mon 09-Dec-13 16:06:54

Ds reception class didn't get any reading books till after Christmas, and they were very simple. Ds didn't move up a level until I asked about it in June. But since starting year one he has moved up 3 levels!

My grandma talks about them "going through the magic door", and she is right, it just suddenly clicks and your ds is still young. Maybe you could ask the teacher if you are worried?

columngollum Mon 09-Dec-13 20:21:14

Our school doesn't send books home until after Christmas in Reception and even then they're the ones without words in.

simpson Mon 09-Dec-13 20:41:16

I think books with no words are pointless (school ORT ones).

However DS (now yr4) did not get books with words in till Easter of reception as his teacher deemed him not ready (she was correct).

DD got books with words straight away. IMO its about whether each individual child is ready.

columngollum Mon 09-Dec-13 20:45:58

I think the wordless books just come with the set. So, might as well find some kids to give them to.

mrz Mon 09-Dec-13 20:49:09

No they don't "just come with the set" schools have to specifically order them

columngollum Mon 09-Dec-13 20:51:49

You're joking. Why would anyone do that?

ClayDavis Mon 09-Dec-13 20:54:01

Because the publishers have convinced them that thy are a necessary step in learning to read.

mrz Mon 09-Dec-13 20:56:55
simpson Mon 09-Dec-13 20:57:49

All about making money hmm

Can I ask a related question, please?
How do I show DS how to blend?
We have been sent home 45 cards with words to memorise on, and have been getting books (with words) since September, but if I ask him what letters are in a word, and what word it makes he will (for example) say "W-A-S" "of". So he really hasn't got the idea, in my opinion.
He has obviously been taught some letters go together to make a sound, but how do I know where to break a word? Personally I have to say the word in my head to know what sounds are in there (I'm dyslexic, DH has English as a second language, we're both struggling!). i can't see how to dismantle the word without knowing what the word is (so how do I read????)

Euphemia Mon 09-Dec-13 21:08:35

Wordless books are useful in many parts of the Early Level Scottish Literacy curriculum:

I enjoy exploring events and characters in stories and other texts, sharing my thoughts in different ways.
LIT 0-01c

To help me understand stories and other texts, I ask questions and link what I am learning with what I already know.
LIT 0-07a / LIT 0-16a

Within real and imaginary situations, I share experiences and feelings, ideas and information in a way that communicates my message.
LIT 0-09a

I enjoy exploring events and characters in stories and other texts and I use what I learn to invent my own, sharing these with others in imaginative ways.
LIT 0-09b / LIT 0-31a

I enjoy exploring and choosing stories and other texts to watch, read or listen to, and can share my likes and dislikes.
LIT 0-01b / LIT 0-11b

Euphemia Mon 09-Dec-13 21:09:34

45 words to memorise?! Why?!

I asked the same thing, as at the start of the year, he didn't even know his alphabet.....
Apparently its just the way they do it at that school.
I suspect we are one of the schools who Mrz will not be overly impressed with as they do a mixture of everything. I've been lurking on the what reception kids can do, and have been getting more and more worried about what others seem to be doing, and then thinking hes 4 and a half. don't stress, hes just young.
I'm considering buying the books on how to teach him myself, but not sure I'll be able to do it blush - as in be able to read the sounds, not show him.

Oh, and I suspect he could do everything is your first post, Euphemia, with the possible exception of the making up stories, but suspect I just have too great an idea of what that entails, and he does do it to some extent.

simpson Mon 09-Dec-13 21:30:57

But you don't need wordless books to do that Euphemia you could use any book (parent reading to the child).

mrz Mon 09-Dec-13 21:32:43

and there are lots of lovely wordless books without buying sets of ORT

Euphemia Mon 09-Dec-13 21:51:29

Of course, simpson - I didn't say that only wordless books can fulfill those outcomes.

simpson Mon 09-Dec-13 22:56:56

I think to me its a way that ORT can make money by adding a level of no word books that a child has to do before they can progress to actual words iyswim.

Euphemia Mon 09-Dec-13 23:09:34

Well that's up to schools, Simpson - we don't have to buy/use those books if we don't think they're useful.

OUP are not philanthropists: of course they want to make money.

columngollum Tue 10-Dec-13 10:38:36

For tens of thousands of years in pre-history Early Man used to sit around camp fires saying I wish ORT would invent wordless books and then we can tell each other stories.

KateAdiesEarrings Tue 10-Dec-13 12:08:52

addictedtosugar 'W-A-S' 'of' made me grin as it's so familiar! ds would do that too but it just suddenly clicked so try not to worry about it.
I know with my friend's ds, having cards with the letters helped him to make the connection between sounding out letters and the word sound iyswim. Placing the letter cards beside each other seemed to help him to translate the letter sounds to word sounds.

Euphemia Tue 10-Dec-13 18:59:28

Perhaps they did, column. Perhaps they also sat around wishing someone would invent the car so that they didn't have to walk from A to B, or the pencil so that they didn't have to use chunks of rock to make marks with.

Whatever, we use the best tools and resources available to us.

Living Tue 10-Dec-13 20:40:32

Addicted DS is getting there with blending but I was similarly confused. Looked up various videos on you tube but ended up more confused. I pretty much have up and DS seems to have gotten there on his own (when he can be bothered) well I say 'on his own' - I'm guessing the teacher helped a tad!

It will probably just click for your DS one day.

We're going away this weekend with friends who have a DS in a more academic school (much higher percentage of native English speakers) so I might investigate how fast they're going.

Living Tue 10-Dec-13 20:41:26

This is just because I'm nosy btw. Doesn't actually matter!

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