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Advanced Reading Skills

(54 Posts)
kaansmum Fri 18-Feb-05 23:16:02

I really hope that my message won't be perceived as boasting because it's not but I'd really like to talk to mums in a similar position.

My ds who is 4 and a half is in the reception year and appears, despite being the youngest in the class, to have advanced reading skills compared to his peers. He is already reading the books which, his teacher tells me, year 1 pupils who are considered very able are reading and which many year 2 pupils read. She also told me at the parents evening that she is setting him extra literacy work after half term because he is very advanced on that front too, writing sentences and spelling words independently. He's picked up on numeracy too although they don't seem to be pushing that so much yet. He's always shown an interest in reading, writing and spelling from a very early age and we've never pushed him - simply followed his interest and tried to adapt his toys etc to his interests and to make it fun. He's obviously responded well to this and I was just wondering if any other mums are in the same position - apparently it's quite unusual for boys to be so able in the literacy/reading stakes at such a young age.

I'd love to hear from other mums because it's hard at the school gates when you're not having a common experience with other mums on this front and I find I'm constantly having to play down his achievements and most of the time keep completely schtum if the subject comes up!!

SueW Fri 18-Feb-05 23:33:33

This is quite a popular subject and comes up fairly frequently on mumsnet.

You might find it useful to search the archives for subjects about advanced/fluent readers. I'd do it for you but my brain seems to have gone to bed before my body this evening and I could only find something relating to Y1 children with 11yo reading ages.

jampots Fri 18-Feb-05 23:39:31

i found that it was best to quietly bask in my dd's glory rather than discuss it at the school - mums are vile!!!

Cristina7 Sat 19-Feb-05 02:41:57

My son is 5y 3m and is reading at ORT stage 5. He's finished this stage and now he's on to stage 5 of Oxford Literacy Web. I don't know why he's not put on to the next ORT stage (which would mean yr 2) but as long as he gets a lot out of the books he gets home, that's fine with us. So far he learns something new from each of them, not bored yet, even though he could read longer and more difficult sentences. I taught him to read so I know he could be further advanced at school too, but I'm not pushing it yet with the school.

My experience with other mums has been good so far - I've had lots of mums who go in to help with reading come and tell me how he's by far the most advanced in class at reading etc. His teacher hasn't said anything yet, maybe at the next parents' evening. I feel reading is DS's main "academic" strength so far and would really like to encourage him further.

joesy Sat 19-Feb-05 02:48:26

My ds got his report home today and I was so proud of him. He is top of the class and excellent at everything. He is 6 and has a reading age of 7 years7 months.We have an interview with his teacher next week so I cannot wait to see what else she has to say, or what more we could be doing with him.
Proud mum.

kaansmum Sat 19-Feb-05 03:48:14

Joesy, I notice that you are able to be quite specific about your DSs reading age. Is there a specific test that schools do to formally assess or measure reading ability and determine reading age? I would be very interested to know.

P.S Please don't think I'm some sort of sad wierdo postng at 3.45am but I do have a good reason - DS has a sickness bug (probably do to swallowing too much swimming pool water) and I daren't go to sleep because I hate being woken from sleep at the best of times let alone to clear up vomit!!

joesy Sat 19-Feb-05 07:54:13

It is a chronologigal reading age. It was on his report yesterday. I will try and find out for you.

IvortheEngine Sat 19-Feb-05 08:27:19

kaansmum - There's are tests that they do in school every Sept or Oct. The tests measure their reading age, spelling age and maths age according to the scores achieved. I only found out about this recently. I think that schools should share the results with parents as a matter of course. Not share other childrens' results with you, you understand, just your own childs' results. Then, if your child is significantly above or below their chronological age in one of the tests, you'd have the starting point to look into it further. Sorry if I haven't explained this well. Search for my recent thread and that might explain more. Good luck!

roisin Sat 19-Feb-05 08:38:14

kaansmum - I hope your ds is feeling better soon, and that you're surviving on a disrupted night's sleep!

Many schools do not routinely do a 'reading age' test with reception children, because they're not really up to that point yet. But your school may well have done a test with your ds, and you can ask the teacher about it. But if you do so without the information being volunteered you may well come across as a 'pushy mum'. The information they convey is questioned by some anyway, as it is a test of reading individual words out of context, and comprehension is not assessed.

I know exactly what you mean about "keeping schtum" at the schoolgate. We are so English aren't we? I felt a sense of achievement that I managed to keep ds2's reading successes a secret at the school gate for almost the whole year of reception. I developed several tactics for adroitly avoiding questions about the reading scheme!

I have two boys who are both excellent readers, they are now 5 and 7. Early/fluent reading has given them a great to their school careers, and their progress in all areas has not yet begun to slow down. So don't be put off if people tell you that early readers 'plateau', and all children attain the same standard in the end.

Well done to your boys all of you on this thread. You are justly proud of them.

happymerryberries Sat 19-Feb-05 08:57:32

People can be very rude about this topic, sometimes even on MN Dd is the sam, very advanced in readin (8 with a reading age of 12.5). One of the problems you will find is that it can be hard to get books that stimulate the advancd reader that are 'young' enough is theme....I fight a constant battle with dd to keep her away from the 'older' J Willson books, for example. We found that moving towards the classics was most helpful

happymerryberries Sat 19-Feb-05 09:04:23

Oh, and dd's school handled it well, they got her to read 4 different reading schemes rather than constantly moving her up, that way she got lots of development for her vocabulary without making her 'stick out' too much. Her problem is that her handiwriting and spelling don't match her reading

roisin Sat 19-Feb-05 09:05:39

I think it's easier with boys hmb, as they don't want to read JW novels! We had a stage when we had to steer ds1 away from novels that were too scary, but now he seems able to cope with most things. There are a few things which remain prohibited purely on content, but its quite a limited selection now.

He is currently reading Hitchhiker's Guide, which appeals to his odd sense of humour.

happymerryberries Sat 19-Feb-05 09:07:58

hobbit here

roisin Sat 19-Feb-05 09:10:17

Love it - that's great!

A lot of girls avoid fantasy (being obsessed with JW instead), and there's some fabulous fantasy books out there - both classics and contemporary.

Miaou Sat 19-Feb-05 09:52:21

My dd1 is similar, she had worked her way through ORT by the time she was halfway through primary 1, had read all the Harry Potter books before she was 7, etc etc. My mum used to be a literacy teacher so I used her test for working out reading ages - few schools use them these days but I just thought it would be interesting to see - at 6 she had a reading age of almost 12. But as has been mentioned, it's about finding books that challenge them but are not too far advanced emotionally - I had misgivings about dd1 reading the fifth Harry Potter, I have to say! dd2, aged 6, has a reading age of 9 too.

With our two, it seems to go hand in hand with general intellectual development - they are both working at 1 to 2 years above their chronological age, and are friends with older children too. But it doesn't always work that way. We tend not to discuss it much with other parents, just with the teachers where relevent and with their (rather proud) grandparents!

SueW Sat 19-Feb-05 09:55:59

DD's school have never told me what her reading age is. Perhaps I should be asking a pointed question!

Tanzie Sat 19-Feb-05 15:44:50

We are going ploddily through ORT at school (DD1 is 6 and in Yr 1) and are on stage 12 (whatever that means). I think the teacher is holding DD back as she likes to do group reading and there isn't anyone else who is at the same level as her. DD is currently reading Charlotte's Web, has raced through the "My Little Unicorn" series (which she loved) and basically reads anything and everything she can get her hands on.

The teacher says she cannot do any more extension work with DD1 until she is seen by the G & T co-ordinator, which keeps being put off, and that she has almost completed the work she would be expected to do in in Year 2 (no surprise, when she finished Reception her report said she had completed most of the work expected in Year 1). She has been moved into a group with the bilingual children in French and seems a lot more interested (she is not bilingual BTW, but we have done some basic French at home and she has picked up a lot from the TV ).

I never mention her progress/work to the other mums (there are enough pushy mums and dads around!) although some who help at the school ask me if she has had her G & T assessment yet, and why she hasn't been moved up a year.

I am also especially proud of DD, as she didn't learn to speak English until she was three and it doesn't seem to have held her back at all.

sparklymieow Sat 19-Feb-05 16:10:39

My ds is 7.2 and has the reading level of a 8.3 year old. He is one of the top in the class. And he also has Cerebral Palsy so I am doublely proud of him

roisin Sat 19-Feb-05 17:17:10

Oh that takes me back Tanzie. Ds1 was entranced by those my silly secret pink sparkly unicorn books in Ottakars when he was that age! He wasn't bothered that he wasn't their target demographic, and loved the books

Stilltrue Sun 20-Feb-05 09:12:17

As Roisin says, the standardised reading tests aren't usually relevant to rec yr as they are calibrated to age 5+. At this stage, it's great your ds is enjoying books and literacy generally. Could you buy one of those notepads for children with pages that are half lined and half blank, and encourage him to write /draw about things he enjoys. My dd loved doing this in reception. She is in y1 and her reading age is almost off the scale (13+) according to her teacher. Last year she didn't follow any scheme at all; we hit that "emotional v. script" barrier quite early on . This year she has been put on ORT level 12, but she reads them in a minute or 2 and doesn't find them very interesting. I certainly think they are a bit trite and not really enriching for an enthusiastic child. I agree to an extent with the school's line that she should't be pushed much further on the scheme; however I wish there was more (anything really!) in her class library corner for her to choose at times when they have a choice. Surely the gifted readers have needs too. I have tried to go down the classics route at home; richer language, timeless appeal etc. What about some traditional myths and legends in a children's edition for your ds? My older dss enjoyed this sort of thing. I also have a book by Dorothy Butler called Babies need Books (it's a guide from 0 -5); unfortunately it's out of print I think, but it was published by Penguin and your library might have a copy. Oh, and good luck with the other mums. If in doubt, don't speak out, iyswim...

Cristina7 Sun 20-Feb-05 09:20:55

I think ORT books are quite good as the stories, however silly they appear at first, usually have a funny twist at the end. My DS(5) enjoys them.

The "I can read" series has some good stories too. Some of them are a bit American in language, but I guess they have to start understanding language differences sooner or later so I'm using some with my DS. I bought them in the USA but can also be found on Amazon.

Catan Sun 20-Feb-05 09:25:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

binkie Sun 20-Feb-05 09:50:33

Think I'd be interested in that test too!

Big vote for Tintin in this house - having just rediscovered them via ds (nearly 6) I'm amazed at how sophisticated the text is verbally, so a good challenge; while the stories are nothing to bring a blush to a young person's cheek.

On the subject of abilities, can I just use this thread to record that ds has invented a new mathematical function - it's a multiplication sign with dots in all the "v"s (like the Bank of Scotland logo) and it's called an "imagine" - so you set out 1846 [imagine] 48390 = 284756 and then you have to think what 1846 has to do to 48390 to make the answer. Obviously my pride in this is tempered by thinking he's an alien.

roisin Sun 20-Feb-05 09:56:06

I do like mumsnet - it's great to find people with similar experiences. Your description of your son Catan was what ds1 (7) was doing 3 wks ago ... walking to school reading The Two Towers (narrowly missing lamposts!) then standing reading it in the playground.

His passion and ability for reading seem very unusual in the context of his school, and it is always reassuring to hear that others have had similar experiences.

roisin Sun 20-Feb-05 10:00:42

That's great Binkie!

Last week we met up with Wedgiesmum at a swingpark (her ds is nearly 6 too). When I came back home to dh I said to him that WM's ds and my ds1 were thick as thieves. Together they constructed a very complex game, with lots and lots of complicated rules. I said to dh that they were both like aliens from another planet compared to the other children there, but the fantastic, liberating thing is that they are like aliens from the same planet!

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