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DD has started to blend letter sounds, should I encourage this?

(12 Posts)
marialuisa Fri 02-Jan-04 15:27:11

DD (2y10) has reliably known her letters and the corresponding sounds for about 12 months. She started recognising whole words about 6 months ago but over the past few weeks has strted to try and "read". She spells out words all the time and has now started to blend sounds e.g. "at", "un". I'm not sure whether we should encourage this as she is completely obsessed with doing this or should just ignore it. She does letterland stuff at nursery but I don't think this is where it has come from. Am loathe to mention this to teachers as I don't want to seem like pushy parent from hell (will live with being seen that way on the web though!)and suspect she'll start doing this at nursery anyway! We're also aware that her fine motor skills are nowhere near as advanced, e.g. has only been doing tadpole people for a couple of months, has no interest in tracing wavy lines, just draws a straight line through from first to last dot.

Any advice?

NewThinnerDragon Fri 02-Jan-04 15:30:21

If she's enjoying it, carry on. Don't make it into a learning thing though, just let her enjoy doing it and give her fun opportunities to link it into play.

charlize Fri 02-Jan-04 16:54:10

She sounds just like my ds who is now 11.
He too knew all his letters from around 20 mths, we encouraged him but to be honest he just seemed to teach himself. He only had to shown something once and he remembered.
He stated to read around the age of 2.5, but I noticed it was whole words he was remembering not really reading phonetically.
For instance my dh made a little computer programme for him where random words would flash up on screen, he soon knew around 50 words.
By the time he started reception he could read fluently. I too remember he was slower with the actual writing. I think he was ariund 3.5 before he could write his name, although saying that my dd is 3.5 and she is no where near writing her name yet.
Interestingly now ds is 11 his stongest subject is by far maths. He is top of his year and is doing almost gcse work even though he is in yr 6.
Saying that he is is still way above average in his english.

kmg1 Fri 02-Jan-04 17:45:50

marialuisa - definitely encourage her as long as she is interested and keen - both my dss were like this. It is hard (or expensive) to get hold of early reading books, so do as much as you can at home. You can get flashcards fairly cheaply of phonetic and high-frequency words. Also, write your own books, using cheap exercise books: My name is XXX. I am 2. Here is my mummy. This is my house. I can read. I like books. etc.

Another resource I would highly recommend is books you can read together - the adult reads a couple of sentences, and the child reads one simple one. Books designed in this way give the child a lot of clues, and therefore boosts reading confidence. Some examples are: Usborne Apple Tree Farm books, Puddle Lane (Ladybird) - start with stage 1. May not be in print now, but they're often available cheaply on Ebay.

You may find she loses interest after a couple of months or so, and that's fine. Don't stress. But whilst she's keen go for it. Early literacy gives kids a massive advantage (IMO), so the last thing you want to do is put her off now.

marialuisa Fri 02-Jan-04 21:39:09

Cheers all.

Dmum Fri 02-Jan-04 21:40:19

marialuisa, I'm a primary teacher (and a mum of an 8 month old!) and I've done a lot or work with reception and Year 1. I would definitely encourage your daughter to keep practising this "skill" as long as she enjoys it. Try to show her groups of rhyming words (Dr Seuss is good for this, although it's not everyone's cup of tea!!) eg. cat, hat, mat; sun, fun, bun; etc and exaggerate the rhyme. Ask her if she can think of any more words that rhyme. Early Learning Centre has good literacy games and flashcards, or you could make your own - things like, "rhyming snap", etc. Just be aware that when she goes to school, she will be advanced, but the school will have to cater for this. Don't worry about the fine motor skills, that'll fall into place. In the meantime, encourage her to do jigsaws and just allow her to scribble with lots of different colours. Keep practising with the the wavy lines. Eventually you could write her name in bubble letters and ask her to colour it in. Make her name with plasticine and let her trace the shape of the letters with her finger, a blunt pencil, the end of a paintbrush. Hope this is some help.

emkaren Sun 04-Jan-04 18:54:14

Hi there! This thread got me quite worried now! My daughter is 2 years 7 months. She can (sort of) count to ten. She's not interested in letters at all. She can recognize colours - although still confuses them sometimes. All this was all right with me, I didn't really think that I should expect her to know any more than that at her age. But now I read in marialuisa's post "We're also aware that her fine motor skills are nowhere near as advanced, e.g. has only been doing tadpole people for a couple of months, has no interest in tracing wavy lines, just draws a straight line through from first to last dot." and that got me thinking 'what's that all about?' What are tadpole people? And what should my daughter be able to draw? To be fair, all she does is scribble! And does all this mean now that she's developmentally behind? What do children this age REALLY need to be able to do? I must admit I get really confused partly because I'm from Germany where there seems to be much less emphasis on early literacy and numeracy and much more emphasis on free play - which is now being questioned as not getting the best out of children. So what should I do?

Jimjams Sun 04-Jan-04 18:59:45

Germany is sensible! Everything here has gone mad. Do the things your dd likes, whatever that is. You would know if she was developmentally behind I promise (DS1 is autistic and dyspraxic, ds2 is what I assume to be normal).

Dmum Sun 04-Jan-04 21:52:34

Emkaren, as a teacher and a mum, I would advise you not to worry too much. I think free play is great and should be encouraged. But, if your child is showing an aptitude for something, then you've got to nurture it. I think the emphasis should be on enjoyment. Some children are just "natural" readers (sounds like marialuisa's dd is like this - it's an inbuilt thing.) I think the best thing we can do as parents is expose our kids to as wide a variety of experiences as possible, but don't force them to do anything. You'll soon see if there's something they're particularly good at. I would agree that there is a lot of pressure on reception year teachers to teach literacy and numeracy and that structured play is taking a back seat. (I know, I've been there!) Most teachers will tell you that the pressure comes from the education authorities and, ultimately, the government. As a teacher, you try to keep things balanced and do the best for each child. But, with classes of 28 and lots of pressure from the boss this is very difficult. Sorry, I'm up on my soapbox! My 8 month old ds is already reading, knows numbers to 10 and his colours. Only joking! At the moment, sitting up without falling over and putting everything in his mouth is about as much as he can manage.

Jimjams Mon 05-Jan-04 10:56:20

oh and emkaren- just to add why you shouldn't be worried. My autistic ds1 started reading and recognising symbols like divided by and times before he was 2. We're still waiting for him to speak though (and he's 4 and a half now). Believe me you would know if there was a problem.

marialuisa Tue 06-Jan-04 11:29:13

Sorry for any concerns I've caused! DH and I are Psychologists so we do tend to view everything in a slightly odd way....The letters thing is very much like me, I can remember loving spelling tests and sobbing my heart out about my complete inabilty to draw etc. By the time i got to secondary level I skived art and went to the library.

As for DD she is just the way she is, we don't sit there drilling her or anything. I was just concerned that she was racing ahead in some areas and wasn't quite sure whether to encourage or ignore.

marialuisa Tue 06-Jan-04 11:33:21

Oh and tadpole peole is the professional term (!) for those first people drawings kids do, a circle with facial features on it, hair and the arms and legs as sticks off the circle. It's because faces are the most important part of a person. Steiner websites offer better explanations or one of the myriad of journal articles on the subject.

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