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Advice on helping 5 year old struggling with reading

(20 Posts)
mydogeatsnutstoo Tue 09-Feb-16 14:05:05

My son is in reception. He has problems with his speech which we have been told is a speech disorder, so he tends to substitute the wrong consonants in words and has trouble with some sounds. His comprehension is fine, as is his expressive language. I did wonder how this would impact on learning to read, but he learned all his letters quite quickly. However he has struggled more with learning short words and doesn't seem to be able to get the hang of blending even CVC words as yet. He has problems with holding a pen as well and is not really very keen to try to practice reading and writing. However, he does love anything with a screen and I have downloaded a good app called phonics island which he likes and which helps trace single letters. Just wondered if anyone had advice as to what else might help particularly any apps which are particularly good for learning to blend words? Apparently by end of reception there are supposed to be able to write in sentences and I really can't see him meeting this target at the moment! If anyone has any experience also of reading in a child with speech problems advice would be appreciated.

AveEldon Tue 09-Feb-16 14:28:57

Articulation Station is good but expensive

Has he been referred to a speech therapist?

mydogeatsnutstoo Tue 09-Feb-16 16:48:45

Yes, he is under speech therapy, his speech is improving, though still not completely clear. Thanks will look into articulation station not heard of that.

mydogeatsnutstoo Tue 09-Feb-16 18:21:47


oobedobe Wed 10-Feb-16 02:43:18

My dd1 who is 7 now was a late reader. No speech issues though. It was a real struggle for her so I found it was better not to push the reading or she would get a real chip on her shoulder about 'not being good at reading'. She really only started to read well and regularly at 6 1/2. Now she is in yr 2 and doing really well and improving all the time. Lots of kids are not good readers or ready to read (or write) at 5 so I would worry. Just spend time reading together and make it enjoyable not stressful. smile

FrancisdeSales Wed 10-Feb-16 03:02:55

I would read aloud to him every day to increase his vocabulary and expression and just because it's great to read really wonderful books together. That way he is still participating in literacy and the joy of stories even if he is struggling with the mechanics. Reading aloud to children has been proven to help with literacy at all ages - we never grow too old for a good story!

mydogeatsnutstoo Wed 10-Feb-16 07:30:09

Thanks, he has been read aloud to daily since being a baby and we also have stories on in the car . He likes being read to and his understanding is good . I know what you mean about not pushing them and putting them off - my daughter was an able, just not keen reader in reception so I ended up letting it slide for a bit as she was getting upset but I was not actually worried that she couldn't do it! With my ds I want to find a way if doing a bit little and often so hopefully he will eventually get it!

I have a dd in reception and have bought "wipe clean " books that help with writing and so on and will also help with reading.
I got them from asda.
If dd gets it "wrong" we simply wipe away and try again, they also come with reward stickers. Just an idea smile

mydogeatsnutstoo Wed 10-Feb-16 08:51:56

Thanks Missrabbit, have bought a couple of these books (not the wipeclean ones which would have been better) but he didn't very keen to sit down and do any writing! That's why I wondered about computer game apps which teach blending letters as he will do anything if presented to him on a screen!

Have you checked out jolly phonics? Also search for whatever ds loves, my dd loves peppa pig so we have learning apps that involve peppa.
I also bought foam letters from Wilko in a tub, couple of pounds. They stick to the bath tiles so when dd is in the bath I make 3 letter CVC words such as "cat" etc and then she does one and I have to "guess"
She has moved on from three letters really quickly and I think these have really helped.
Another tip I read about blending was say if the word is again cat. Speed up a little bit on each attempt so it's C - A - T And the next time it's C -A- T then CAT hope that makes sense.
Our school is doing a literacy course for reception parents and children and lots of children are struggling with blending and others are flying.
Good luck smile

mydogeatsnutstoo Wed 10-Feb-16 12:40:21

Think they use jolly phonics at school. Am really looking for things that don't involve sitting down with a pen and paper! Bath letters is a great idea - just ordered some from amazon. Yes have started doing the speeded up sounds too .

Miloarmadillo1 Wed 10-Feb-16 13:23:20

Would he watch Alphablocks? Brilliant for teaching blending. It's on the CBeebies website.
Hairy letters app good for individual letters, letter formation and simple blending.
Teach your Monster to read - free website, think there is an app now as well.

Yy to alphablocks it's great.
The jolly phonics we use is an app.
Sounds like you're doing everything you can, good luck smile
Enjoy the bath letters!

juneau Wed 10-Feb-16 13:53:56

I have a DS in reception who has also struggled to read and write. We do Kumon with him every day, but that's a PITA and does involve sitting down. We also did Reading Eggs on the computer all last term and while it introduced letters and words in a fairly random order DS really enjoyed it and liked doing something on the computer. We only gave up with really because doing his reading book + Kumon + Reading Eggs was just too much.

Isoldeonetwo Wed 10-Feb-16 14:00:07

Teach your monster to read website is excellent . My ds(6) started reception at 4 ( very late summer baby) and it took another 18 months to get past " sid is in a pit" Ds got a lot out of this . We read a lot together, that's the best way . A year on its all coming together and he's catching his peers up.

Isold- I've just looked at the monster website and it looks brilliant, dd will definitely benefit from that, thank you smile

WombOfOnesOwn Thu 11-Feb-16 10:04:45

Research indicates that children who learn to read at 7-8 very quickly catch up to peers who learned at 3-5 -- within weeks or months of starting to learn to read, they catch up. That's because the main limiting factor for reading comprehension is the capacity for abstract thinking, not the ability to sound out words. Your kiddo will learn this when he's ready, and it's best not to stress him out with an idea that he must learn at age 5. When I was in school, it was quite normal for 5 year olds to be unable to read. The age when children are expected to be able to read is being moved lower and lower until many parents and kids are stressed and panicked over the idea that a child is delayed.

I read at age 3, barely. My sister, 4.5 years younger, didn't learn to read until age 7. Today, I'd say she reads more often and more complicated books than I do, and in several languages while I remain sadly monolingual. Don't pigeonhole your child as being slow in this area or make him think reading's a chore, or you may take away his ability to love it later.

mydogeatsnutstoo Thu 11-Feb-16 12:15:39

Thanks for all the advice, some really helpful ideas.
I don't want him to think reading is a chore, but I do want to help him as much as possible perhaps in a surreptitious way! He likes the computer apps I have found as they are funny and feature cartoon characters. I realise in some countries children don't learn to read until later, and if someone gave me a crystal ball and said don't worry he will be able to read fine at seven I would relax, but not knowing if that will be the case I want to make sure he is exposed to as much as possible that might help now!

LemonBreeland Thu 11-Feb-16 12:20:27

My DS2 learned to read at a fairly standard rate at school, but he didn't pick up new words or easily blend at a young age, which his brother could.

However he hit 7 years old and reading just clicked for him. He moved up two reading groups and severaly reading levels in about 6 months. By 7.5 he was reading books aimed at 9 year olds. For some children it just takes longer for them to get it.

lolacola1977 Mon 22-Feb-16 17:11:03

Know this is a bit late, DS was reluctant to read & write and is a very stubborn child - what has worked for us is completely removing the pressure, I told the school he wasn't ready for formal writing etc and that I would continue working with him at home but that we wouldn't do the set homework...what I did/am doing is for reading - continue with the enjoyable stuff - bed time stories etc and also, whenever we are out and about, pointing out words everywhere - ie, oh look, it says XXX road or whatever, after about 6 months of this, he is flying with his reading and hasn't really noticed that he has "learnt" it...with the writing, I do lots and lots of playdoh / lego / duplo / painting to build up his fine motor skills - also bought a sand tray and got him to play at drawing letters in the sand...have shaving foam on demand in the bath and get him to "paint" the walls, either letters or just what he wants to do - they need the gross motor skills you get from writing very big circles etc, before they can get the fine motor skills, I also bought the wipe clean books, but started with the ones where they just do dot-to-dot and straight / wiggly lines etc, again completely removing the pressure - all this has improved his writing, he is not brilliant still, but he doesn't hate it any more...also using writing to do stuff he is interested in - ie writing a score sheet if you are playing football, or in our case, drawing a lift and then writing the numbers down, labelling various bits of his duplo house etc so they can see why writing is relevant and useful...anyway, hope that helps! This also brilliant

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