When DO you start to worry about reading?

(32 Posts)
averywoomummy Mon 23-Dec-13 16:56:26

DD is fairly young in the year and struggled in reception with reading. I went in a couple of times to talk to the teacher but was always told "it's fine, just keep reading with her, talking to her about books etc" which I did. However she was still struggling at the end of reception and we found out she clearly wasn't doing fine as she ended up on bottom table at start of year 1.

Again spoke to teacher and got told it's fine, keep reading etc. Anyway now after first term of Year 1 she is still on red level and I am concerned that this is now really quite behind (especially from what mumsnetters children seem to be on!). I know she is still young but at this stage and if a child is on this level should I be worrying? Should the school be doing more? Due to xmas play/parties that last time her teacher heard her read was 20/11 so by the time she is back in jan will mean teacher hasn't heard her for nearly a month and a half which doesn't give me much faith that they are doing much to bring her along at school.

And I do read with her everyday, read to her, go to the library, do phonics workbooks etc but I have started to wonder if the school need to be doing more too? I believe she should be on blue level at the end of year 1 to be "on track" - and am worrying that she might not make this.

Would be interested in any opinions?

mydaftlass Mon 23-Dec-13 18:48:21

I wish I knew the answer to that! DD1 has been struggling along and is now in Y2. She hates reading but I have been trying every tactic to get her to read regularly. With every bit of possible parental input (and long stretches of backing off in R and Y1) she is hovering at the very bottom of average levels. Not enough to trigger remedial action and "okay" according to her teachers. But I dread to think where she'd be without all our support. I don't think they will test for dyslexia until Y3 so I'm trying not to be a pushy mum before then!

I hope someone more knowledgable comes along soon with an answer for you soon.

Campaspe Mon 23-Dec-13 18:53:32

I would be concerned, although I suspect many people will come along and tell you that children develop in their own time. This is true, but I think it sounds as if your DD needs some help to really get going. Have you considered any of the following:

* subscription to Reading Eggs (a website of games that teach phonics and basic word construction)
* take a look at a website called Teach Your Monster To Read. Fun, and free!
* Make an appt with her teacher to discuss your concerns next year. Ask if the school have a reading support/recovery teacher, and if you daughter can have an intervention with her reading. They may not do this, but they do then have to explain why not, and take your concerns seriously.

I think reading to your daughter and sharing books with her remains of paramount importance, and should be happening every single day, unless either of you are ill. Make it fun, feign huge enthusiasm for every book you share and praise every attempt to sound things out and have a go.

What scheme are the school using? Is it Jolly Phonics? Can you support at home by getting some of the material? Let us know how you get on.

Moln Mon 23-Dec-13 18:56:35

It really really depends on the child, honestly.

I was reading at 4, but DS1 was 7 before he started even decoding words, and DS2 is reading with help level four Oxford Reading Tree. DH tells me he was definitely in school before he could read.

You do need to keep them interested in books and not make reading a core while they get it. Sound like you're doing great on that part. I did panic somewhat with Ds1 I can deny but if you do keep it from your DD.

Audio book are great btw

BoundandRebound Mon 23-Dec-13 18:56:54

Not till year 3

My children were not fluent readers until year 3 - it was easy to get pulled into competitive parenting at the time and worry but they are avid readers now, one is year 5 and top levels as a reader, the others are secondary and top sets

Early reading is a trick and whilst it makes it easier to access new knowledge it is simply not the sign of intelligence people seem to always take it for

pixiepotter Mon 23-Dec-13 20:28:18

So what stage is she at?
does she know all of the letter sounds ?
Can she blend CVC words
does she recognise words she has come across a few times recently

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 23-Dec-13 20:38:06

Hard to say whether you should be concerned or not but go with what your gut instinct is. Yes all children develop at different rates but equally there will be some who struggle with reading at this stage who go on to be diagnosed with dyslexia.

If I was you then I would look for a set of proper phonics books. I don't know what she is bringing home from school but if it is Biff CHip and Kipper then this could be confusing her.

If you can get hold of something like Songbirds phonics and then work through the first level of them and then try the next level then you will start to see if she is actually struggling to get to grips with blending in the first place or if it is more a case of the school reading books containing words she can't decode yet. Some children take fine to those books and some don't.

I also think you need to go through all the phonics with her and see if she knows them. She needs to be secure with these on basically an instant recall so that when she sees them in a word she knows what the sounds are and can apply and blend them.

That isn't good a member of staff hasn't heard her read since November. My kids are R and Yr1 and both read this last week of term as normal with the exception of the Yr1 child who missed 1 reading session (normally 3 times a week).

I am not sure if the school should be doing something more or not. In a way it shows they aren't worried if they aren't in which case you probably shouldn't be worried either so that is a good thing BUT I think you should be able to ask the teacher for some ideas of what to do at home with regards to specific exercises or games you could play (phonic sound bingo or word bingo with words she can sound out using the phonics she knows) and it may turn out that they are doing these at school with her. Also some schools are much slower with giving out reading books in reception and make the children take longer moving up the levels whereas some others are much quicker with it all so you can't compare her to others on here. I would make an appointment to speak to the teacher at the start of term but in the meantime do practice and fun games and as I say get hold of some phonic books. She may surprise you with a different style of book.

lljkk Mon 23-Dec-13 20:43:02

I don't know if OP's red level is same as ours; anyway, y1 DS only just left red level for gold (or is it yellow?) and anyway, I think he should be on red still, yellow is too challenging!

He's my 4th DC so I should know what I'm talking about: he's fine imho.

As a child I was told that most people learn to read with basic fluidity at ~ 6.5yo. So that is my target for DS. He should be able to read most easy words without having to sound out almost each & every one out by age 7yo. 7yo is when I'll worry a little. 8yo is when I'll worry a lot.

I bet if OP helped out in class you'd get a feel for how huge the ability range still is.

biryani Mon 23-Dec-13 21:43:48

I'd listen to the teacher. If she says she's fine, then she's fine. Just ask her to keep you posted for peace of mind.

SwimmingMom Mon 23-Dec-13 22:03:18

You could try flash cards for sight reading of frequently used words(only). This helped us immensely to step up the speed & progress through bands in Y1. Once the child is able to read a bit quicker (even a few words) it feels rewarding & encourages them to keep at it. It's a cycle of read more <> improve after that.

columngollum Tue 24-Dec-13 07:18:42

I would be searching for my own solutions. The teacher is going to carry on with her method regardless of what you do. So, if you were me, or I was you, I'd be off doing my own thing.

mrz Tue 24-Dec-13 08:23:04

You shouldn't be worrying based on the fact that she is reading red level books or on the bottom table ... ask yourself if she is struggling at this level, is she improving no matter how slowly, does she enjoy books, is she willing to read, does she know how to tackle new words ... and most importantly ignore MN children's levels.

Erbotine Tue 24-Dec-13 10:19:31

Red level is not low for term 1 of year 1, especially for summer- born children. More important is the progress she is making. Has she made much progress this term? If she has just moved to red level and is still there at the end of next half term, I would be concerned about what is happening in the classroom or if there were any other barriers to her progress. However, children do not make linear progress. It often comes in bursts, especially at Y1. I had a Y1 pupil move from blue to turquoise level in one month last term. That is 4 book bands colour levels. He basically became fluent overnight as it just clicked. I have taught this age group for the past 17 years and children really do suddenly just get it. In other European countries children do not even start to learn to read until age 7. Labelling children as failures at age 5 really is very unfair. Try not to compare your daughter with others but appreciate the progress she is making.

ReallyTired Tue 24-Dec-13 10:28:39

When is your daughter's birthday. An august born child could be below average because they are so young in their year. However if your child has a winter birthday then you are quite right be to be concerned. As a mother I think your gut instinct tells you if your child has a learning difficulty or not.

It might help your child to get some reading books that are completely different to the schools books. jelly and bean books are very easily decodable and starting off with the simple books would build your child's confidence. Often schools have old reading stock from the days that the "look say" method was popular and some children feel disheartened when a word is not easily decodable.

Erbotine recognising that child is struggling and might need extra help is not labelling them as a failure. Surely its better to give the help early before the child falls any further behind.

In answer to the OP question. If a child cannot read by year 3 then they really start to seriously suffer as they cannot access the curriculum.

columngollum Tue 24-Dec-13 10:33:02

I can't see how people can be saying red level isn't low. How low does it have to be?

scrappydappydoo Tue 24-Dec-13 10:47:31

OP - my dd2 is in yr 1 she's a Feb birthday and is on ORT red level books. I'm not worried as she knows her sounds and can sound out but it just hasn't clicked for her yet. She does however love books, stories and reading and I'm just encouraging that. What does frustrate me is that dd's teachers have also said she is 'fine'. Well that's ok but what does she need to work on? How can we help her? So mine is more an issue of communication.

Also (and this is purely anecdotal) I have always found with both my dc that they tend to develop in spurts and in different things - so they would have a physical growth spurt but their 'intellectual' growth would plateau and then they would have a brain spurt but stay the same shoe size for 6mths iyswim

tricot39 Tue 24-Dec-13 13:49:07

mrz - that all sounds sensible but what should a parent do if the dc is not progressing, doesnt seem to enjoy reading/books and throws books around if they get the chance? a friend's dc is like this with a very new/inexperienced teacher (y1) and she doesnt know what she can do.

mrz Tue 24-Dec-13 14:22:10

It's difficult to enjoy anything you find too difficult. As a parent I would go right back to basics. Start with what the child can do (easily) and build up confidence. i would look at the books being sent home and ask if they are suitable to help my child learn to read or do they encorage guessing. I would share stories at bedtime and make it a fun time.
As a teacher I would start by assessing what the child knows ... do they know letter/sound relationships, can they blend sound to read the word, can they read cvc words (cat, dog, mum, dad, top, pin, Sam, mat, mat type words) can they read words with 2 consonants at the beginning or end (stop - hand).

tricot39 Tue 24-Dec-13 18:36:05

thanks. i will let her know. i think that neither of them find the school phonics books too interesting so probably need to try something else.

EndoplasmicReticulum Tue 24-Dec-13 18:40:42

My son was born end of August. He struggled to read all through reception and year 1, and failed the phonics test at the end of year 1.

He came on a lot during year 2, now he is year 3 and has caught up.

He was too young before, he got there in the end.

EndoplasmicReticulum Tue 24-Dec-13 18:41:39

Oh and another recommendation for Reading Eggs - because it was a game on the computer he really enjoyed working through it, and I think it helped.

mrz Tue 24-Dec-13 19:13:12

I know lots of MN parents swear by Reading Eggs but I would advice caution as it follows US teaching methods which don't correspond to how children are taught here

littlemiss06 Wed 25-Dec-13 21:28:13

I agree that at this stage of year one red isn't really a problem, my daughter was on red till half way through year 2, now year three shes on orange which is still quite behind for her age however she is progressing just taking a little more time but certainly for year one I wouldnt be worried about red band

Frikadellen Thu 26-Dec-13 22:17:14

I started to get concerned in year 1 but it was not until year 3 that the school finally took it seriously. Result is I now have a Year 5 girl who is a 2A in reading and a 4A in math.. it is hugely frustrating for both her and I as she can cope with her math so easily but is being held back by her inability to read.

The amount of hoops we have to jump through is hugely frustrating as well.

Eyes testing x 2
ears x 2
dyspraxia testing (this from the girl who learnt to balance on a bike in 30 mins)
and now the latest Autism

imo she is so blooming fed up with them blasting phonics at her and making her read baby books they have disengaged her. but why would they listen to me I am after all just her mother.

OP if you have concerns go in and make sure they are documented that you have stated them I wish I had.

mrz Fri 27-Dec-13 14:16:40

Rather than focus on book band look at how she is progressing.

Frikadellen being able to ride a bike doesn't rule out dyspraxia just as the inability to ride one doesn't mean that the child is dyspraxic much more to it.

Frikadellen Fri 27-Dec-13 15:11:01

No Mrz it doesn't however it would be a good idea to actually ask the parents if they feel there is a problem would you not agree?

When she went to the doctor for the test he actually stated Well Dyspraxia is definitely no a problem here. My point is there can be a LOT of jumping through hoops to get the right boxes checked and it is hugely frustrating both for the parents and for the schools.

mrz Fri 27-Dec-13 15:32:39

The fact that she has a problem with reading and writing can indicate dyspraxia even though gross motor development such as riding a bike isn't an issue. How was she screened for dyspraxia if you weren't consulted?

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Fri 27-Dec-13 15:54:27

Hello OP, I know this is difficult as your child is at school but I found that with my dd if I left her and didn't expect her to read that eventually she did it because it was important to her.
She has gone from reluctant reader to devouring books for pleasure.
Also from average for her age to well beyond her years in conversation/vocabulary too.
It is hard to trust that it will work, but it does.
Perhaps let her read at school when they have to, but leave off her at home. Leave some age appropriate material lying around and she'll soon pick it up and read.
Once her confidence grows they'll probably be no stopping her, especially if you can find a series of books/author she enjoys.

Frikadellen Fri 27-Dec-13 16:12:07

Mrz I don't wish to take over the thread with my dd's issues.

If you check my post what I am saying is that if OP is concerned to make sure she voices this concern. No where am I trying to make it about my child. I gave my experience and it was that the school did not take it seriously enough when I was originally concerned. I wish I had been a bit more vocal about my concern. I believe had the school had the set of teachers it does now my concern would have been heard. (full change since she started only 1 teacher is still there - actually the one she has now in y5 ) my comment that was made as a "ARGH" from me not as a the school is shite and working against me" comment as you seem to be taking it. I actually have a good working relationship with the school my dd is in.

I do not think You can say that what I am saying is bad piece of advice to the OP. If she thinks something is wrong talk and communicate this clearly with the school. & be prepared to jump through a lot of hoops to get some ticks done that neither you nor the school feel are 100% necessary.

I would add don't make flippant comment on this board seems you get taken the wrong way.

Mrz if you are genuinely interested I will be happy to respond to a pm from you to explain what actually has happened. However I don't think it is relevant to Op's case.

mrz Fri 27-Dec-13 16:15:14

Thank you I am interested

sazale Fri 27-Dec-13 19:14:57

I was really worried about ds this time last year. School weren't and I was told that it was me that was anxious. I wasn't being anxious and I had every reason to be concerned! Due to my questioning and insisting on an IEP (he was on sen register but no one had told me) DS had wave 2 intervention last year and is now in year 2. He is still on red band, can't read any word bigger than 3 letters and he hates books and everything about reading/writing!

It doesn't just click for all kids but that doesn't mean it won't for yours OP. My advice is to keep an eye on things. It was the way DS was trying to read in reception that first made me concerned not particularly his lack of progress.

picnicinthewoods Fri 27-Dec-13 19:46:24

the child is in year 1........imo, enough said, Id take a chill pill! Take the pressure off yourself and certainly off your child. Children know when we're worried & it won't help. If school are happy then at this very early stage, I would not worry. It doesn't really matter how many phonics books/reading eggs/book schemes etc you do, if your child is not ready to read then s/he is not ready. End of story! Best thing you can possibly do is read your child wonderful examples of children's literature. Inspire her to love books and the idea of reading and in time she will.
Take your cues from school about when to worry. Many children make a big leap in terms of reading in the year they are 7 -8 years old.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

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

Register now