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To think that reception children should be given reading books in september

(108 Posts)
ReallyTired Thu 05-Sep-13 18:21:23

Most reception children cannot read and do not know any strageries for decoding new words. My daughter has been given a reading book which is a lovely book, but way beyond her ablity at the moment. I feel strongly that I do not want her to randomly guessing at words.

Sharing books is important at the age of four. Surely its better to share a high quality story book than an Oxford Reading Tree book. I would prefer to help my daughter learn her letter sounds and how to blend before being set loose on the school reading scheme. I feel that children should learn phonics initally before attempting to learn any other strageries for reading. I like synthetic phonics because it starts off very simply and complicated words are introduced later when the child has developed confidence.

My son did Jolly phonics in reception and he loved it. Good phonics teaching is not boring. He got his first reading book after christmas and enjoyed the buzz of sucess. I feel angry that my daughter's teacher is not using the same method.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Fri 01-Nov-13 10:31:01

Dd is in reception and has not bought a book home yet.

She brings the phonics sheets home, next step is a word box then the reading book.

My guess is by around Easter she should get a book based on her progress so far.

OwlCat Fri 01-Nov-13 10:25:21

I think that it's impossible to generalise. My summer-born reception DC was started on the pink level, so had words. She had done and got on well with phonics at nursery but I wouldn't have described her as 'a reader' before starting school. She has subsequently progressed through the levels and is now on blue, which she reads and comprehends well - we discuss the stories after reading at home. This isn't a boast, I'll well aware that progress can slow and more advanced readers are often 'overtaken' later on but just to illustrate that a one-fits-all approach isn't the answer.

cooldad48 Wed 30-Oct-13 22:54:40

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LisaTaylor2 Mon 28-Oct-13 16:36:37

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merrymouse Tue 10-Sep-13 07:00:49

I think that some children struggle with phonics, some pick up phonics naturally, and children develop the skills needed to learn phonics at different rates.

However, having difficulty learning phonics techniques (hearing the order of sounds in a word, identifying the sounds you can hear, remembering some spelling rules), is often a sign of a wider learning difficulty that needs to be addressed. I don't think you have to panic because your child doesn't have these skills at 4, and I don't think schools are always best able to sort out these problems given class sizes and all the demands on the teacher's time.

However, for many (most?) children, reading (and writing) doesn't 'just sort itself out' if they have a significant difficulty with phonics.

McRedHead Mon 09-Sep-13 23:24:57

Rereading some posts I missed earlier, there have been a lot of valid points raised. I think one issue to remember is that the teacher in question is not going out of their way to provide a 'bad' education. I think if you have concerns then take them to the teacher or the new management so they can justify - or not- their teaching methods. Stay positive.

ReallyTired Mon 09-Sep-13 22:20:58

"Just to add for a point of interest. Not all children are able to decode easily. They are not suited to synthetic phonics and learn through looking at the shapes of the words and making meaning with pictures etc. The top-down model. "

Pure synthetic phonics works for a higher percentage of children than any other method of teaching reading. Many children get utterly confused when multiple methods of teaching reading are thrown at them at once. Primary school is seven years and there is plenty of time for introducing other reading strageries later.

Prehaps a proficent reader does use a range of methods to decode words, but it could be argued that a proficent mathematican has a good knowledge of calculus. In maths children start of with the basics and I feel that it makes sense for children to start simply with reading as well.

"Fostering a love/shared interest is really difficult. Especially in homes where there are little books/newspapers/text of any kind. It is the children in those homes I feel for."

I agree with you that sharing books is important. Many parents make the mistake of stopping the bed time story as soon as their child can bark at print.

My son loves reading and he was taught by pure synethic phonics. I know plenty of children in book rich homes who do not love reading. I believe that pressure to read something too difficult and failure can put children off reading for life.

Debs75 Mon 09-Sep-13 21:43:30

So DD2 got her reading book today. I say reading but it was more of a story book to share with me and dp. Perfect for her as we read a lot anyway but I like that it had a comment book which will get us all used to talking about the story more so we can put a comment in.
SHe was very excited to get the book with it's book bag and has already asked to have the book read twice before bed

JUX DD loves Dr Seuss, he is a brilliant writer and makes his books really come alive. I don't know why they aren't in more schools. I had never heard of him until I met Dp at 19

McRedHead Mon 09-Sep-13 20:35:39

Just to add for a point of interest. Not all children are able to decode easily. They are not suited to synthetic phonics and learn through looking at the shapes of the words and making meaning with pictures etc. The top-down model.

ReallyTired, you sound as though you are interested in your daughters education and are likely to have books in the house and visit the library. You daughter will succeed and be a 'reader' in no time at all. It is difficult to have another child to compare with, especially if he succeeded through another method.

Fostering a love/shared interest is really difficult. Especially in homes where there are little books/newspapers/text of any kind. It is the children in those homes I feel for.

Jux Mon 09-Sep-13 16:01:21

DD was bored put of her mind inmreception as they gave all the children bloody Biff and Kip, even though she'd had most of them at nursery. We just read books she enoyed at home in stead, Dr Seuss in particular was really helpful in keeping her love of reading alive. She'd have turned her back on it otherwise.

strokey Mon 09-Sep-13 12:43:34

Just wanted to add that in my experience the age you learn to read has little to do with intelligence.

I could read when I started reception, and still remember cringing when my mother boasted about how gifted I was. It only lasted a year or so though, I ended up about mid range. Particularly slow at maths. I was the only girl in my year not to go to university (private school)

camelindasand Mon 09-Sep-13 12:29:54

I get torn between the scandi model and not wanting my children to stand out.

Meerkat8 Mon 09-Sep-13 10:43:19

Hmm not sure. I don't think you are really being unreasonable if you feel there may be an expectation on the child to start reading when they haven't even been taught the basic sounds. Sort of seems to be setting them up to fail. Also seems to be encouraging a "whole word recognition" type of learning instead of the phonics they are encouraging at the moment.

I agree that fostering a love of reading at this age is what is most important and that working through a reading scheme in which you have to succeed at one book before going to the next, before you have been taught some sounds would be completely inappropriate.

On the other hand my sister bought us stages 1-6 of Julia Donaldson ORT series when DD was at pre-school. DD loved them and chose them as stories for us to read every night in no particular order. As she got older and interested we started doing some of the exercises at the back, and she was reading (mostly using phonics) before school (but she is one of the oldest in the year). I'm sure the fact that all the words were so simple helped and that she wouldn't have learned to read with more complicated books. The Julia Donaldson stories are much more interesting than "the dog is on the log" stories though!

I suppose it depends how the reading books are presented and there needs to be more communication from the school about what you are supposed to be doing with them. Like other posters I think the lifeskills are far more important at this age and would actually much rather children didn't start formal teaching until 6 or 7. If DD had started reception at just over 4 I don't think she would even have been ready for phonics and I wouldn't have wanted to pressurise her.

strokey Mon 09-Sep-13 10:22:45

My husband is Scandinavian, they don't learn to read until aged 7.

I haven't done any reading homework with my children until I see they are ready. They send the books home with a reading diary and I send them back unread.

The books are awful and could put them off reading for life IMO. I read real books to them.

School say Im not supporting their education etc but my 8 year old missed reception and didn't start to read until year 2 but is a fluent reader now.

I don't like the one size fits all attitude to learning. All children are different and parents know their children best.

hullmum31 Mon 09-Sep-13 09:11:55

I am a teacher myself, though not foundation stage. Totally agree with the points OP has made, but sometimes we as teachers can't do right for doing wrong. The teacher will not know the ability of the individual child yet. This leaves 2 options - send reading books out (which even those children who cannot read can still get something from) and risk upsetting/confusing parents like OP, or not sending them out and upsetting/confusing those parents who expect reading books to be sent out from day 1. Though maybe the teacher should have issued some guidance on how to use the book with your child depending on their ability. I really wouldn't get stressed about it, just use the book as you see fit and hopefully there'll be a parent-teacher meeting early this term for you to discuss this further with the teacher. And yes the phonics books and ORT etc are boring but it's very difficult to write books using just the selected letters from each phase of the letters and sounds programme that is used in schools, so we should all be offering our children other books to share with us alongside the school reading book to ensure they are reading for pleasure.

MrsBungle Sun 08-Sep-13 15:34:55

Oh sorry - salt as in a salt school - no idea what that is!

MrsBungle Sun 08-Sep-13 15:34:25

SALT is a speech and language therapist.

I don't know where I stand on this. My DD started school last Thursday and came home with a songbird ORT book (Dig Dig Dig) on Friday. She only turned 4 in June.

My DD has enjoyed looking at it over the weekend and was able to sound out the words, then we looked at the questions at the back of the book. She really enjoyed it and I don't think it was too much for her at all.

But, I am not a teacher and this is my first child - I have no idea what is 'right' or not.

perfectstorm Sun 08-Sep-13 14:37:04

What does SALT stand for?

Snatchoo Sun 08-Sep-13 14:07:31

We've not been given a book, but my children are in a SALT school so it's more verbal that others.

I'm not worried, they'll get there! We do lots of reading at home, DTS2 is already starting to recognise his name and letters in his name.


perfectstorm Sun 08-Sep-13 14:04:01

You know, I went to a shite school. We weren't taught phonics at all. I couldn't read until I was 6 or 7 or so and I came from a really literate home. It has had absolutely no impact on my lifelong literacy.

I do think it's easy to get caught up in anxiety about how very young kids are taught/learn, but in a lot of the world they don't formally teach at all at this age. It doesn't mean they are behind - in fact if taught effectively, the opposite. And an interesting book called Nurture Shock found the research overall indicates there is precisely zero correlation between early achievement, and eventual outcome. And given there is a fifth of their lives between the oldest and youngest, and the teaching has to suit all, they will have to try to pitch teaching/learning accordingly. My son couldn't speak a single word at 16 months, while friends with similarly aged kids were chattering away in sentences, but you'd never know it now. They all learn at such different rates. That's fine.

I suppose what I'm saying is, this is only Reception. If they're bored and/or genuinely unhappy, then there's a problem. Otherwise, let them get on with it, obviously offering support from home. Most of their learning at this age should be through play, anyway. Apart from anything else, they'll pick up on your attitude... and that really will affect their own attitude to education. The most helpful thing I think we can do is try to be positive about the school and their learning unless/until something drastic happens to prevent that.

My dd has mild dyslexia and was a late reader, now at 14 she's an avid and very good reader. Reading took off much better once she discovered (and was confident enough for) real books like Pippi Longstocking, then Lemony Snicket series.
We both made slow progress through the Oxford reading tree !
- though had also shared some lovely children's stories when she was younger smile

Dededum Sun 08-Sep-13 11:25:50

Two boys - DS1 (12) got it in yr 2 and quickly proceeded to Harry Potter, Ds2 more interested in football but at 10 has just asked to go to bookshop and is now getting stuck into a 500 page teen book.
I did all the reading to them when they were young and we have a house full of books. They get it when they get it, as long as not dyslexic.

Chill, ideally they need to get it before secondary school, but think there is room for wide variation before then.

Feminine Sun 08-Sep-13 10:04:09

And so the bragging appears! wink

slightly disguised but still there.

Dancergirl Sun 08-Sep-13 09:57:56

Generally these children where this works come from families where there are lots of books and the parents are interested in reading

OP, it's sounds like you are this type of family, so what on earth are you worried about??

It sounds to me like you weren't happy with the school from the outset and are finding something to moan about to prove your point. I know the school wasnt your first choice but I suggest that you either accept the schools failings or look for another school otherwise you're going to find the coming years very tough.

cerealqueen Sun 08-Sep-13 00:40:39

YABU - my yet to start school DD likes to look at a variety of story books just to make up her own stories, as well as read them with me. She sees words, and hears them, and it all helps, surely?

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