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AIBU to be worried my 7 year old still can't really read?

(125 Posts)
MigrainesAndMore Sun 06-Aug-17 14:33:42

My son is 7 in a few weeks and is one of the very eldest in his class so will be joining year 2.
For a little perspective he attends a very small independent school that don't focus too much on literacy / reading / writing from what I've seen however when I voiced my concerns I was told he lacks concentration and interest in reading.
He refused blankly to do reading with us at home so we ordered him his own collection of books that he didn't associate with school and have practised as much as we could.
Teacher then recommended a tutor which has helped slightly ( one hour per Sunday ) however after using her for 6 months and with us reading with him at least 5 times a week, along with him having a story from us every single bedtime he just doesn't seem to be grasping it.
Not only is he completely not interested, he seems to really struggle with remembering a word he's only just read on the page before, still segmenting and blending pretty basic words.
He is on blue level at school which when compared to mainstream schools ( ours don't discuss levels at all ) he's working at about a year below.
Is there anything else I could be doing to help?

OP’s posts: |
Pengggwn Sun 06-Aug-17 14:34:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MigrainesAndMore Sun 06-Aug-17 14:37:06

The school is part of a very small group that until the age of 7, rarely do any formal learning.
So this will change now he is about to enter for year 2 I expect however for the past 2 years there has been very little focus on reading / writing or any literacy based tasks.

OP’s posts: |
MrsOverTheRoad Sun 06-Aug-17 14:39:38

Is it a Steiner school? They get knocked a lot here OP....either way...have you spoken to his peers' parents about their children's progress?

MrsOverTheRoad Sun 06-Aug-17 14:40:58

Also...many schools in Sweden and similar countries are the same OP..and don't really press much reading just yet.

I would try word games and stickers with words, also comics.

Pengggwn Sun 06-Aug-17 14:42:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SplatController Sun 06-Aug-17 14:43:06

I would be worried.

I'd be considering the choice of school as well as the low attainment.

Do you read with him at home?

Does the school teach a phonics program?

Does he have any difficulties in other areas?

What alternative schools are there in the area? Staff at my school would be having serious meetings with and without you (the parent) about your son.

Perhaps not good news but the earlier problems are addressed, the better. Besides which, you have the gumption to realise something might be amiss and go looking for ways to sort it out. It's a little worrying but by no means insurmountable.

MrsOverTheRoad Sun 06-Aug-17 14:43:31

Peng well he has...OP has had a tutor for him. She says so.

lionsleepstonight Sun 06-Aug-17 14:43:36

Are you happy with the learning ethos or just how it's manifested in the reading?
Would you consider moving him to a mainstream one?

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Sun 06-Aug-17 14:44:24

But you know the school doesn't teach them to read before age 7, so surely the fact he can't read shouldn't be a surprise?

FWIW I think this sounds much more healthy than teaching just turned 4 yr olds to read

SplatController Sun 06-Aug-17 14:45:06

MrsOvertheroad beat me too it.

Ignore comparisons with Scandanavian countries. Whilst they do hold back on formal education, when it begins, it's extremely intensive and quite old fashioned with regard to current accepted best teaching practice. Don't compare apples with oranges and, to extend the metaphor, check that the apples aren't rotten on the inside.

missyB1 Sun 06-Aug-17 14:45:57

Hopefu In year two they will start to foucus a bit more on literacy, he might improve then. I would be worried about a school like that tbh.

Pengggwn Sun 06-Aug-17 14:46:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BigSandyBalls2015 Sun 06-Aug-17 14:46:15

I wouldn't be too worried. One of my DDs was the same at 7, really wasn't interested, eventually Horrid Henry caught her eye and she soon caught up.

Predicted to get an A in her English GCSE in a couple of weeks.

Sirzy Sun 06-Aug-17 14:48:14

Ds finished year 1 just about able to read. He has just finished year two and he can now read fluently.

However, Surely if you picked a school knowing that their approach was not to really teach it until year 2 you can't be that shocked he hasn't mastered it yet?

SureIusedtobetaller Sun 06-Aug-17 14:48:30

Any reason to suspect dyslexia? Does he have a tight grip when writing, struggle with sequencing? Does he seem verbally bright compared to his reading ability? Any dyslexia in the family?
In other countries they leave it till later but the languages are phonetically more regular. English is notoriously difficult to learn as there are so many exceptions to the "rules".
For a rule of thumb children who were at gold/white or purple at the start of year two were ok with end of key stage tests. Below this they struggled with the volume of reading required I found.

StorminaBcup Sun 06-Aug-17 14:55:44

I don't want to be an armchair diagnoser but I was going to suggest the same thing as Sureiusedtobetaller

Can he sound words out when he reads aloud (can he sound out the same word correctly when he reads it again if he needs assistance)? Follow the words with his finger (know when a word stops and a new one starts)? How is his writing? Does he struggle with any procedural things - riding bike, getting dressed? Dyslexia isn't always the classic confusing b's and d's. Even more simpler - has he had his eyes tested recently?

MigrainesAndMore Sun 06-Aug-17 14:56:36

Sorry I haven't explained well enough on here as was rushing.
He went to a mainstream school for reception and then we had to move to London for my husbands work, there were no schools available to us so we sent him to this school.
So he did reception all in mainstream, was taught phonics and was at expected levels at the end of reception.
He has always lacked interest in reading but we've done it with him every evening aside from weekends ( until we got the tutor when noticed he seemed to be struggling ) and I've got many friends in mainstream schools who say they only do a certain amount of guided group reading and not much one on one in year 1 so I figured the amount he's got from us and the tutor is probably not that much less than he would have done in a class of 30 in mainstream. I like the approach of the school however would never have looked at it if we had been given a state school TBH.
I mentioned dyslexia in my parents evening and was told he had no signs of this, even after me telling them he still often says " of " for " for " and vice versa, that he just isn't very interested yet.
To the poster who said staff would be having meetings with me and without me, in what context? As in, what would they like me to work on that I'm not already? Many thanks

OP’s posts: |
Atenco Sun 06-Aug-17 14:57:42

It sounds like a Steiner school, though I don't understand the recommended tutoring in that context. Seems odd to be paying for them to teach and then paying someone else to teach them on the side.

I haven't clue about the phonetics system, but when my dd was little I would read with her. She would read a bit and when she started to stumble I would just pick up a continue reading then turn it over to her again. Worked really well.

When you say that your child cannot recognise a word that they saw on the last page, I think you are expecting too much. I did some supply teaching in a selective independent school and even though all the children had been selected on their intelligence, it still took seven times for them to get something.

MigrainesAndMore Sun 06-Aug-17 14:58:18

He had his eyes tested last week and they were fine.
Writing is very good and he enjoys that ( which I think is half the battle with him! )
Has been riding a bike since 4 with no stabilisers and is very independent getting dressed, the only issue I've spotted is getting letters muddled up

OP’s posts: |
ittakes2 Sun 06-Aug-17 14:59:24

Ask your school for the 10 sight words he needs to learn for each reading level and focus on him learning these. Also worth trying children's comics, magazines or newspapers (first news) to try and capture his imagination or listen to audio books. My son didn't like reading until he was 8 or 9 and only after I also hired a tutor who inspired him. He's 10 now and I found him reading hunger games at 2am in the morning last night! Your son can easily catch up.

MigrainesAndMore Sun 06-Aug-17 14:59:43

No dyslexia in the family.
Well I went in mentioned my concern with reading, said he really didn't want to do it with me and they basically said it wasn't part of the schools ethos therefore if I wanted someone outside to assist they have a recommended tutor

OP’s posts: |
MigrainesAndMore Sun 06-Aug-17 15:00:44

Really concerned about the sats tests as a lot of it is based on reading ability from what I hear.
I thought one hour a week from the tutor was enough but maybe it's not. I just don't want him to feel pushed

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CauliflowerSqueeze Sun 06-Aug-17 15:06:00

I'm sorry "not part of the school's ethos" to assist him with reading?? Are they joking??
I wouldn't be too worried about your son in this context. I'd be very worried about the school.

CauliflowerSqueeze Sun 06-Aug-17 15:07:25

And RIDICULOUS that a small independent school, who should have plenty of resources and staff time, should suggest you get a tutor if you want him to read. And to recommend one?? Does this tutor give a cut to the school? It all sounds piss poor to me.

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