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Reading in pre-school

(21 Posts)
ugglyboots Sun 13-Oct-13 21:23:55


My DS was 4 at the start of Sept so will start school next year. He has been reading three letter words for 6 months or so. He goes to a pre-school attached to a school where they don't believe in doing any "proper" literacy/ numeracy until Reception. They do fun things relating to a letter each week (making toast in "t" week etc). He has friends who are the same age who go to pre-schools where they're getting proper reading books to take home.

I feel like DS could do that and am worried he's being left behind. Any thoughts?


NickNacks Sun 13-Oct-13 21:26:28

Erm so could you buy him some books, sit and read with him. You don't have to wait for preschool you know.

RandomMess Sun 13-Oct-13 21:27:50

Reception is all about learning through play. If he wants to read for fun at home that is fine but do not worry about him being left behind, there is no need for them to start learning to read until they are in year 1 - as it is in the rest of Europe!

ugglyboots Sun 13-Oct-13 21:33:10

I know NickNacks but I don't want to get it wrong. I've already been told off by his teacher as he can write his name but can't form cursive letters, so I've got him into bad habits. I don't want to do the same with the reading.

RandomMess Sun 13-Oct-13 21:38:30

The most important thing about reading is actually talking to him about the story, what does he think might happen etc. just encourage his love of books. Guessing from the pictures what is going on is a good one as well.

NickNacks Sun 13-Oct-13 21:53:57

Hmm ok I understand you'd be nervous but you seem keen for him to get reading. Agree a life of books is most important and gradually build it up from the CVC words he can already read.

ugglyboots Sun 13-Oct-13 22:14:01

Can you recommend any good early reading books nicknack?

Rhinopotamus Sun 13-Oct-13 22:21:51

You could look at the Songbirds phonics reading books. I got one from Amazon recently with lots of different stories in it. Haven't used it though as my DS is not quite ready for it yet, but have heard good things about them.

simpson Sun 13-Oct-13 22:45:38

My DD could read before she started nursery at 3 (only at a "cat sat on a mat" type level).

Agree that the songbirds books are fab.

Is there any way you can find out which system they use is reception? Jolly phonics for example...

Our local library is fab for basic phonics books and they had a full range of reading corner phonics books (Run Rat Run was the first book she ever read - think "Rat ran, Cat ran, Rat ran in a big red hut" type level).

Another series of books which were good were the Usborne First Reading Series. The early ones have you reading one page and the child reading the speech bubble (easy words like "I can!" etc).

But yes agree with others, keep reading to him. It's a lovely stage seeing them progress, enjoy it!

Littlefish Sun 13-Oct-13 23:04:29

I would avoid using the same reading scheme books as they use at school. The Book People often have sets of early phonic readers.

nomorecrumbs Mon 14-Oct-13 09:49:27

Don't worry about the handwriting OP, I entirely learned to read and write in print from 3 and didn't join my letters until Year 4 - when the bribe of a fountain pen worked grin

Read to him every night and get him to point out words he recognises.

ReallyTired Mon 14-Oct-13 09:55:13

There is a diference between barking at print and comprehension. A good nursery will have lots of interesting activites so that children can learn about the world. A good pre school will have children learning through play and it will look like chaos. Three and four year old children aren't ready for "proper" literacy. I think that making toast in "t" week sounds fine.

I find it laughable you are worrying about your child getting left behind when the majority of the children in a state school will have been to the state school nursery.

nomorecrumbs Mon 14-Oct-13 09:58:30

I beg to differ, ReallyTired - yes not all children will be ready for formal reading and writing activities at 3, but some will be very keen to do so, and they should be encouraged both at home and at Nursery.

ugglyboots Mon 14-Oct-13 10:09:22

We don't have state school nurseries around here. The nursery DS is in in private but attached to a state school (it's in the school's grounds) so it coordinates it's learning with the school. It is total chaos but they do have loads of fun, which is one thing I love about it.

My friends with the children who get reading books both go to private school nurseries.

I will do some reading at home when he's keen. I'm pretty certain they do jolly phonics at the school, he learns little signs to go with each week's sound. Thanks for the book recommendations, I'll have a look.

ReallyTired Mon 14-Oct-13 10:15:51

nomorecrumbs there are lots of other skills that children need to be sucessful in school and life generally. Last year my daughter learnt how to get changed for PE and put her clothes in a neat pile, her social skills improved, ablity to express herself, general independence and lots of general classroom skills like knowing when to ask for help. These skills are far more important than either numeracy or literacy.

If a child is ready to learn to read and write then its quite easy to teach a child with jolly phonics at home. Children can achieve a lot with one to one attention. What is practical at home is not necessarily practical in a nursery situation because so many children aren't ready for formal learning in a group.

I feel that pre literacy activites are a better use of time. Children who are truely ready to learn to read pick it up really fast at the age of four. A child can go from being able to read nothing in september to being able to read a proper book by Christmas provided they have high quality synethic phonics teaching.

noblegiraffe Mon 14-Oct-13 10:24:53

My child is only a couple of weeks older than yours but is in reception and being taught to read, so I understand your frustration.

What I have found interesting is that my DS has been read to a lot, seems to know the stories, but when asked questions about the story (early readers have questions to ask your child) he doesn't actually understand as much as I assumed - e.g. Why is this character cross? Why is she sad? Why did he do this? We are doing a lot more discussion of the characters and what they are doing now.

I would suggest going to the library and checking out some early readers for discussion pointers.

MummytoMog Mon 14-Oct-13 10:33:54

My DD is probably a couple of weeks older than yours and is in reception. The books they send home are awful - we're carrying on with the ones that we already have. When I was pregnant with DD I got a bit obssessed with finding all the puddle lane books on eBay (I did) and now we read the blue ones. She has one book she chooses at bedtime and then one book that I choose. She can only read a very very few words, so we talk more about the pictures and the characters.

As for writing, she's been able to write for ages but absolutely will not unless she wants to. FRUSTRATING as she's so behind in other areas (self care and talking) and it would be nice to have one thing she was good at smile

I would also spend some time practising clothes on and off for PE - DD can't do this at all and it a) results in a massive meltdown when they help her and b) she comes home with the wrong damn uniform.

ReallyTired Mon 14-Oct-13 10:53:14

Its a real pity that there is not more flexiblity about when children start school. I know an August born boy who is struggling with reading in reception as he is simply not developmentally ready.

I believe that there are some children who would really benefit from an early start and others who would benefit from an extra year in nursery.

I think that the issue is not so much whether children should learn to read in nursery or not, but which children are ready for school and which children definately aren't. Our school mixes nursery and foundation stage and places children at activites suited to their development.

MummytoMog Mon 14-Oct-13 11:40:12

Although my August born girl is not ready in a lot of ways, she does still get a lot out of reception because of the play based curriculum. In an ideal world, I would have her do two reception years I think and then move onto Y1. Nursery was good, but she is noticeably developing in reception, in a way she wasn't in nursery any more.

Mummyoftheyear Sat 19-Oct-13 09:36:24

I highly recommend Dandelion Launchers :
Have a look at your library's selection of phonic reading books, too.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 19-Oct-13 10:28:37

Uggly please don't fret. DD joined reception not being able to read entering a cohort of children who were all 'early readers'. Other parents gave me the shock when they found I hadn't taught her to read.
At the first parent's evening I had a worried discussion with the teacher who put my mind a rest. She thanked me for ensuring that DD could dress herself, put her shoes on, do up her coat wipe her own bottom, play nicely with other children and sit quietly for a few minutes. The reading she said was no problem as all these other skills were present.
She is now in year 5 and believe me it certainly hasn't held her back. However, there are 'early readers' in her class who are till struggling to get themselves dressed.

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