To tell ds reception teacher he is NOT doing reading books at home.(142 Posts)
Ask for a one to one meeting with the teacher for 15 mins before or after school. Talk to her, it will be much more productive thsn shuttling notes back and forth. You can explain to her far more fully in a nuanced conversation, the difficulties he is having. If he's struggling that much it may be possible for them to do some individual or targetted small group work with him during school hours that will also be of benefit. But seriously, go and speak to her.
We had similar issues with ds1 in reception and he only really got blending towards the end of the easter term, yet by the start of year 1 he was reading some bits of the easier Roald Dahl's to himself! We chatted to his recpetion teacher fairly frequently because I was very woried he was falling behind, and she was wonderful in encouraging us to slow things down at home if needs be. Give your teacher a chance too.
Just write a note in his reading record - 'Read together and working on blending sounds although he is still finding this quite tricky at present'
You read it through, ask him to pick out letters he recognises and then try and get him to blend 2-3 words. That is all that is needed.
I'm with the 'he's very young' camp but Ds' teacher had a good tip to help with blending:
extra emphasis on the first sound, making it louder if necessary, seems to help them blend the rest more easily i.e. C-a-t
X posts then - ask for another meeting and outline your concerns, if you've already got a relationship going, use it to your advantage!
I assume the teacher is aware of the speech delay and familiar with specialists recommendations on how to best support children who have this problem?
Your poor little boy. Forcing him night after to 'read' will not help him learn. I say this as an early years teacher. Sharing books just like you described for now is just what he needs.
Meet with his teacher and ask for some phonics games you can play at home to help with blending. He should be doing these at school and his teacher will know which ones he enjoys. If not pm and I'll happily help you.
Alpha blocks on the computer is also a fun way of exploring phonics at home. http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/alphablocks/
I'd agree to back right off on the reading and blending. You reading with him each night as you're doing will encourage and foster a love of reading when he's developmentally mature enough to do it. Forcing him will put him off completely. If he struggles with his speech, then sounding stuff out isn't going to be right for him just yet.
I was going to suggest reading to him, but I see you are doing that already. I think you are doing the right thing by backing off for a while - your ds has got plenty of time to learn to read - and that will be infinitely harder if he gets so stressed and upset reading at home that he develops a real dislike of reading.
Could you maybe find some word games that you could play with him instead? Perhaps write out some easy, short words he knows, two of each, and play the memory match game with them. Or make cards with individual letters and make words out of them - ie. 'can you find the letters for hug/cat/car?'.
Or get him to describe what's happening in the pictures in the books you read to him - just low-pressure, fun stuff that won't make him upset or stressed.
He is only four. Learning to read shouldn't be unpleasant. Some of the best ed systems in the world don't start formal schooling until six yo. I think you are right to want to go at his pace and have him enjoy it.
At my DS's school they do the segmenting/blending thing by calling it "using robot voices" (complete with robotic arm movements) which the children seem to find a fun way of doing it.
It really did seem to help the whole idea of blending click with ds. It was so hard trying to explain the concept of words and blending to him him because of his level of understanding language. Saying "blend the sounds together" meant nothing but this activity really helped him see how the sounds made the words that matched the pictures.
As he gets better at it you can speed up a little and leave less of a pause between each letter sound.
On a separate note 3 books a week sounds like a lot for any child!
Also meant to say when he picks the card get him to point to each sound and say them out allowed too so he can hear himself sounding out and blending. He'll get there and as others have said phonics isn't for everyone!
I would just have a couple of days off then do as little as he can manage ans that is all, gradually build him back up in his own time let him lead.
Sometimes I would be tempted to just enjoy the book by looking at pics, havig a chat and sounding out. It will click and then he wont be put off books.
I think puttig him off reading is far more damaging in the long run than slowing down for a term.
My daughter was exactly the same down to making herself sick and poorly. It was so stressful for us all. I stopped reading and just read to her. Never mentioned it.
Now she is 8 and reads perfectly. No tantrums (well rarely) about reading. So I would say leave it and enjoy what he enjoys.
We had this with ds1 in reception. We just scrapped the reading books (with his teachers blessing). Her and our view was that reading is supposed to be enjoyable and twenty minutes of "look at the book, the words are not on the ceiling/your brother/next doors cat (delete as applicable)" was doing nothing for anybody. We still read to him lots and did other things, but we just didn't make him read.
I seem to recall, we really focused on learning his key words and played lots of games with them.
His reading is fine now.
He's FOUR. In lots of countries (scandinavian countries for ex) children don't start reading until years later. I think this rush can be damaging to some children. I would let my ds take his time if I were you.
Could the clapping also be counter-productive...just thinking the noise of the clap may distract from the sound of the letter
Ds does it on his fingers like he's counting iykwim
Could you get him to read the letter sounds but then you do the blending?
Ds couldn't blend at first he kept getting the word backwards but after I did this for a while he got the hang of it
Lastly could you try having certain words to learn by sight rather than breaking them up, for example you, is, the, of...words that don't actually blend which may be confusing him more.
Good luck he will get the hang of it
YANBU about not wanting to 'make' him do the homework to the level you think the teacher expects. However, a note as you worded it doesn't sound like a good idea, nor does the thread title. Work with the teacher, tell her how upset he is and tell her the strategy isn't working and advise you think it best if you sounded words out with him in a more informal way. IMO it is ridiculous to push reading at this age, as so many have said many countries with much better literacy levels than the UK don't start formal reading lessons until aged 6 or 7.
He is 4, really give it a rest for a few weeks, it wont hurt him at all.
I would stop making him read but not tell the school. They'll never know. You are his Mum and know what is best for him, but the school will be more concerned about their targets and what you/he "should" do.
I say this as a teacher btw. It is very difficult for me to say "don't worry about that homework/target" because it is my job, but I love it when a parent says it!
This sounds awful for you. DS is in P1 (Scotland so no reception).He was 5 in August. He has picked up phonics and blending really easily and is one of the best readers in his class. At 4 years 5 months there was no chance he would've managed anything.
DS has 1 book a week- 3 sounds a lot. We do other reading with him because he wants to. He is so young- I am surprised the teacher is pushing this.
My mother was a P1 teacher (4-5) and she said teaching the kids reading and maths was mostly just going through the motions until they were ready to get it and sometimes it happened overnight.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.