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to not be teaching my 2 year old phonics?

(128 Posts)
nancerama Mon 11-Nov-13 14:39:10

It seems that competitive parenting is creeping into my social circle of what were, up until now, laid back lovely parents of toddlers.

DS is 2.5 and his friends are all of a similar age, give or take a few months. Of late, everyone seems to be dashing out and purchasing Jolly Phonics packs or similar, because, apparently, their DCs really, really want to read.

DS loves books and we read together for around 1 hour a day, but I just can't bring myself to start formal education. My heart says we should have lots of fun reading together and understanding books, but my head (and my fellow parents) tell me that it's important to give him a head start before he starts school.

Please, fellow mumsnetters. Reassure me that they are all bonkers.

pianodoodle Mon 11-Nov-13 15:10:39

ScarletLady I'm not sure I don't think it's all that unusual. DD always liked numbers/colours from that sort of age. Letters not so much but she likes them now.

I put it down to numtums having a catchier theme tune than alphablocks... grin

It's all just copying I think really. Sometimes I think she has "counted" something but most of the time it'll just be parrot fashion.

Whatever the reason, I just let her get on with it rather than rushing out buying encyclopedias!

tortoisesarefab Mon 11-Nov-13 15:12:45

I am probably going to sound awful now but isnt that what school is for? They are babies, they should be playing and going for walks in the park

spritesoright Mon 11-Nov-13 15:13:13

As someone who works in education I'd say your friends are doing their children a disservice and more likely to put them off than encourage children at that age.
Phonics improves reading accuracy but not comprehension. Stick with your instincts!

Judyandherdreamofhorses Mon 11-Nov-13 15:14:01

I'm not teaching my 4 year old phonics, or anything else 'academic' for that matter. It's not necessary. She needs to be able to do and play lots of other things first. And I'm a teacher...

5madthings Mon 11-Nov-13 15:14:15

I never bothered with jolly phonics books etc at this age but I did talk about letters amd sounds, not in a trying to teach them way just in everyday conversation,

So my 2 yr old knows her name starts with 'M' and of we are in a lift I will say 'press g for ground' etc if we want the ground floor.

Also with elder siblings around the younger ones have learmt their phonics with them/because of them so ds4 knew all hsi phonics before he started school but we didmt actively teach them to him as such and he was jsit interested.

Ultimately they are all diff, my elder two were not interested in reading til 6-7 but when they wanted to learn it clicked straight away and they whizzed ahead with it. Ds3 has been more of the slow and steady progress with reading.

So no concerted effort at this age but yes to general noticing letters amd answering questions etc ie about signs we see etc.

NewBlueShoesToo Mon 11-Nov-13 15:18:24

If you want to do something that will really help with reading and writing then read loads of books together, repeat books so they become familiar with the language, read and say rhymes and songs and give your child fiddly toys to help small motor control for writing. A child who is ready to learn once they reach school will pick up phonics quickly.

Madlizzy Mon 11-Nov-13 15:20:45

Ignore the lot of them. Just because their kids will be able to read words, it doesn't mean that they'll understand what they're reading, so no point really! Enjoy your little one being a baby.

nancerama Mon 11-Nov-13 15:24:14

Wow! That's pretty unanimous. How have I managed to surround myself with such people, when they seem to be in the minority?

Perhaps it's a SAHM thing - I am one, as are most of my friends. Perhaps they feel the need to prove they are doing something with their DC while they're at home. Thankfully DH doesn't care as long as DS and I are happy.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 11-Nov-13 15:27:40

teaching reading to two year rold compises of, reding to two yeaar old, talking about the pictures and lots of rhymes, singing and word play, eg rhyming his/her own name.

if the child is interested in letter. (ds was) follow thierr lead. ds learned his by 2.5 then did nothing more with them for two years until he could hear the first sound in words and blend cvc words.

dd on the other hand, wanted me to write peoples names and began to recognise them. they both went at their own pace.

Whiteclouds Mon 11-Nov-13 15:36:20

my son is the same age. im not doing this so no yanbu.

YouTheCat Mon 11-Nov-13 15:41:09

I teach phonics. I hate phonics. grin

Can I just say, if anyone is teaching the sounds themselves, can you make sure that you are saying them correctly. Taught incorrectly, it just means we have to 'undo' all your hard work once they get to school anyway.

This is what our school follows.

CrohnicallyTired Mon 11-Nov-13 15:49:04

I was just coming on here to say what blackeyedsusan said- lots of word play and games, like rhymes and alliteration- things like 'silly Susan's socks stink'. And reading to/with them. And singing songs. Pointing out text in the environment.

Youthecat- and that! For anyone unfamiliar with phonics, basically you want the pure sound- mmmmmm not muh. I had a child write the word 'ham' the other day. Tools us ages to realise he meant 'hammer' - he had sounded it out 'huh a muh'. Some sounds like 'b' and 'p' you can't help a little 'uh' creeping in, but make it as quiet as you can!

mrspremise Mon 11-Nov-13 15:49:24

I was a SAHM before I went back to work, I didn't teach my children to read or write before they started school. I felt that it was more important to teach them life skills like sitting quietly, playing well with other children of the same and different ages, following simple sets of instructions, eating meals nicely using cutlery correctly, dressing themselves, going to the toilet without help, etc. Those are things that schools shouldn't have to teach, but often end up doing -- because parents would rather attempt to teach things that they can show off about--

nancerama Mon 11-Nov-13 15:50:33

YouTheCat - that's one of the things I'm bothered about. Mostly I want time at home to be fun for him, but also I have fear that teaching the wrong thing will do more harm than good.

madmomma Mon 11-Nov-13 15:51:00

YANBU at all, but I taught my first daughter to read before reception and I'm doing the same with my younger 2. I don't use phonics though. Simply because the schools where I live are shit. I certainly don't think it's necessary if they're going to a good school, and I couldn't care less about the competitive element. I'll be teaching them as much numeracy as possible before school, too for the same reason. It makes me sad that I feel it's necessary but there you go.

YouTheCat Mon 11-Nov-13 15:53:00

That's very true, MrsP.

That's what I taught dd (and ds as far as I could) - sitting quietly, putting up her hand, managing her shoes/coat etc. So she wasn't a pick of bother because she already knew what was expected. She did know her letter names and sounds but that was because she taught them to herself. I was most lax in that department. grin

YouTheCat Mon 11-Nov-13 15:54:13

I definitely agree that being 2 should be utter fun.

madmomma Mon 11-Nov-13 15:57:43

I'm not sure why everyone on mn seems so anti-early reading though. I totally get why you wouldn't want to hot-house and put pressure on a child, and of course play is all-important, but teaching doesn't have to mean pressurising, and learning can be stimulating and fun. Feels like there's a bit of inverse snobbery in this area sometimes, a bit like with the potty training topic, where rather than just choosing to train one's own child at a later age, people start saying it's wrong to train them early.

siblingrevelry Mon 11-Nov-13 15:58:32

Spot on mrspremise.

Life skills and a bit of independence (wiping bottom, getting dressed & undressed for PE, doing coat up etc) will be far more valuable when they start reception. And good behaviour and how to play!

PresidentServalan Mon 11-Nov-13 16:04:20

I could read by the time I was 3 but that was before Jilly Phonics were invented grin

PresidentServalan Mon 11-Nov-13 16:04:55

Or even Jolly - see, it did me no good! grin

nancerama Mon 11-Nov-13 16:05:44

I'm no anti-early reading, but there's a massive difference to me between sharing books or fun letter and number songs and sitting down with workbooks.

DS already recognises some words because we read together all the time, but I don't see that as a cue to formally teach him.

Aeroaddict Mon 11-Nov-13 16:09:32

YANBU OP. When DS was at pre school they made a point of not teaching them any phonics, as the school had asked that they didn't. DS picked up reading really quickly once he started school. Enjoy your little boy being 2. There really is no rush!

madmomma Mon 11-Nov-13 16:12:39

well yes nancerama I agree. I never used workbooks, just storybooks and games.
I agree with the poster upthread who said that 'that's what schools are for', but I have a pesimisstic outlook on educational provision these days, and I now see it as primarily just socialisation. If they learn anything worth knowing then that's a bonus. I know there are lots of excellent schools, just not in my area, sadly.

Joysmum Mon 11-Nov-13 16:14:44

I did Jolly panics with my daughter as she loved reading and I wanted to do it in a way that was compatible with how her school would when she was old enough.

It's not formal, it is fun, or at least it should be! Loads of fun. Loads and loads of fun...did I mention that!

On the other hand, she wasn't keen on counting or numbers so we just went with what she liked. If parent are pushing things ore schoolers aren't interested in or teaching in the formal sense of the word then that's pushy. Play is learning and that's how we've always learnt.

Now she's in her first year at senior school, still loves reading, still not fussed about maths. I'm still looking to support her learning by finding ways to make it fun and relevant. Something I've found more necessary this year in the transition to big school. Once she sees the point then she's plugged in and interested then I don't need to continue.

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