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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.

sherazade Wed 13-Nov-13 20:40:17

No teacher worth his or her salt is going to have a problem with a child arriving in reception already reading.

No they aren't, it's actually great when I get children who are able readers. But the able readers:
haven't been 'pushed' or taught at home; they are always self taught
the less able readers are often sitting at home with flashcards and handwriting books and just don't want to know.
Some children are made to write reams of nonsense at home and are less confident writers who worry about spelling or making mistakes.

Children will read when they are ready. Memorising sounds is the least important precursor to reading. Children more vitally need 'pre' reading skills such as being able to enjoy stories independently, recognising rhyming patterns, sequencing and narrating, using pictures for comprehension, etc. Exposing your child to plenty of books and sharing them together, singing rhymes and songs, quality conversation and dialogue with your child, is how you get them to be great readers, not making them memorise sounds.

My dd went to nursery abroad. She missed several months of reception due to limited school places when we moved back to the UK. When she joined reception in November, she didn't know a single letter sound. By January, spring term, she was an almost fluent reader. I did nothing in the way of memorising letter sounds with her. She learnt those at school, but she had an avid interest and passion for books and storytelling which equipped her to be a good reader.

jamdonut Wed 13-Nov-13 21:45:05

I read to all three of my children...piles and piles of books..we loved to snuggle up on the sofa and read and read.

My older two couldn't read before starting school (but very quickly learned) whereas my youngest actually could read when he started Foundation. I didn't teach him ,he just kind of figured it out for himself! His teacher started him on level 4 books,when everyone else was on pictures and no words. Phonics (in school) only helped for spelling and writing.

I wouldn't sweat it. Keep reading loads of books to your DS,and let school teach him phonics when he gets there.

OwlCat Wed 13-Nov-13 22:02:30

We have Jolly Phonics books in the house from my older child but I can't imagine using them with my 2.7 year old for at least another year. He loves being read to and it's the only time that he'll sit still but he's definitely nowhere near ready for reading himself yet.

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