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4yr old wants to learn to read - what shall I do?

(42 Posts)
Sonnet Tue 19-Apr-05 11:40:29

A bit of background first. My DD who is 4 goes to the nursery class of a school.
She loves it - they do mainly play with a bit of jolly phonics and number work thrown in which is fine by me.
Her end of term report was great but had the comment that she is unwilling to do "structured" work but when she does she focuses 100% and is easily within the top acheivement level.
DH and I initially thought this was a bit odd as at home she is constantly asking to do sounds, numbers, writing etc. But having thought about it have come to the conclusion that there is the distration of so much fun stuff to do at school.
BUY - what do I do with her at home (if anything!) because she is continually asking to read and do more stuff particularly when her elder sister is doing homework.
If I do move on with her at home will she become board at school and therefore be even more unwilling to do structured activities OR should I respond to her interests?
Thanks in anticipation......

philippat Tue 19-Apr-05 11:51:01

My mum loves to tell the story of when she first met my infant headmistress just as I started school and was told in no uncertain terms:

'whatever you do, don't try and teach your child to read, it will destroy our methods'

my mum: 'but she can already read, I've been teaching her for the last year'

teach her, it can only help her wanting to engage in the long run.

ambrosia Tue 19-Apr-05 11:59:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aloha Tue 19-Apr-05 12:01:57

I could read by the time I went to school. Yes, school was a bit boring but the joy I got out of reading more than made up for it. Ds can now read quite a few words (he's three) and he's gagging to learn more. I will help him all I can - and no, I don't mean push him!

ambrosia Tue 19-Apr-05 12:04:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cam Tue 19-Apr-05 12:04:56

I would do it, I believe that education happens as much at home as at school, I would encourage everything to do with books at your dd's age.

foxinsocks Tue 19-Apr-05 12:09:54

it doesn't matter if she can read when she starts school

my dd could read well when she started reception. All they do is give them a different level book to the others. In no way is she bored or understimulated. They focus her activities on getting her to write (something she's not very keen on!). Her teacher has been fantastic with her. I must say, when she started nursery class we did get a few looks and I am sure they thought dh and I were very pushy parents - we aren't at all (in fact, if you ever met dh or I you would probably think the opposite!) but dd was very keen to read so we helped her along.

Things we did - played lots of phonics games when we were out - so things like what do you think that begins with (when we were on the bus), what do you think it ends with etc. etc, loads of rhyming games (what do you think rhymes with cat etc.). We also got her a few simple reading books (the ladybird range). I would find out what reading range they use at school and avoid it so that you don't repeat books (otherwise she would be bored). Also, enjoy it and go at her own pace. Good luck!

PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 19-Apr-05 12:09:57

Sonnet, if she's doing some jolly phonics at nursery ( I presume therefore the whole school follows the programme), then you can buy the teacher's handbook for £20 fron amazon and teach her yourself, to support what she's doing there. You don't need to be a teacher to do it (I am, but I know I could do it if I wasn't).

Ds1 (4 in June) was itching to learn to read, so I've been following the Jolly Phonics programme with him since the end of January. Half an hour a day, he loves it.

As far as I'm concerned I'm doing the school he will attend a favour. It's a good school, but I'm not all that impressed with it's approach to teaching reading.

tigi Tue 19-Apr-05 12:10:11

they started my son reading in nursery last year by taking a small group out to do reception work with them. They also started him on a home reading book scheme, which they changed weekly. He had picked all him letters up really quickly using the 'Letterland Book'. He is now in Reception, and on Year 1 books.

Sonnet Tue 19-Apr-05 12:11:11

Thanks Phillipat, Ambrosia and aloha for your words of wisdom...

Yes we do lots of arts and crafts and outdoor things - she is a "doing" girl and isn;t interested in TV at all.

We are a "booky" family - my elder DD could read fluently by the time she was DD2's age BUT the nursery class she attended was more structured and old fashioned but as an October baby it worked for her.

Just one more question: DD2 does jolly phonics - should I continue this at home or do Something (what?) in parallel?
Should I have a chat with DD2'd nursery teacher - but, "oh Horror" do not want to be a pushy parent...

Beansmum Tue 19-Apr-05 12:14:09

I learnt to read before I started school and did have a few problems, I got sent to a psychologist because I didn't listen in class and didn't join in with lessons. I was too shy to tell them that I already knew the stuff so they just thought I was really thick. But I'm glad I could read easily at an early age, otherwise I would have missed out on so many brilliant books that I'm a bit too old to really appreciate now.

I think the best thing to do is to have books around all the time and read together whenever you can, your dd will just pick bits up and you can point out common words and sounds to her in books or when you are out.

Sonnet Tue 19-Apr-05 12:14:34

ambrosia - your post of 12.04 is the situation I am in with DD2 exactly!!!

PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 19-Apr-05 12:15:54

I'd definitely go with Jolly Phonics Sonnet, it's a bit naughty of me to say this, being a teacher and all that, but I wouldn't bother saying anything to her teacher, just do it.

ambrosia Tue 19-Apr-05 12:16:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

foxinsocks Tue 19-Apr-05 12:18:09

I didn't do jolly phonics at home with dd because I didn't want to repeat what she was going to do at school.

Having said that, the 3 reception teachers (3 classes) had a meeting with parents to tell us what they do during the day and they told us that if we wanted, we could buy the little jolly phonics workbooks (like they have at ELC) to do at home as it would reinforce what they did at school.

ambrosia Tue 19-Apr-05 12:18:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 19-Apr-05 12:18:50

It is hilarious ambrosia, and yes ds1 has made up additional actions for the sounds - great fun .

Sonnet Tue 19-Apr-05 12:23:32

So many responses whilst I was posting - thank you all -
I agree that the gift of reading is the best thing you can give a child - DD1 is testamony to that. DD2 is in such a different environment to the one DD1 was in - I know that if DD2 had the sme nursery enviroment as DD1 she would be reading by now and far less frustrated... BUT I also know the pressure children can be under as the move up the school and just love the fact that yeserday DD2 wearing her wellies made paint footprints, planted seeds in old wellies and today is praying for rain so the whole class can go puddle jumping!!
I think I will buy the handbook PTMD - thanks, and foxinsocks will activly play more games with her
Great help - my scrambled thoughts have been put in order!

Sonnet Tue 19-Apr-05 12:28:01

LOL amborosia at both comments!! - how old is your DD (the one reading Harry Potter).
My DD1 is 8 and in year 3. She has just got into E.Nesbitt after reading the Pheonix and the carpet and is now happily reading Five children and it. Will alos devour a famous five book at one sitting!

ChocolateGirl Tue 19-Apr-05 12:37:30

I have bought lots of the Jolly Phonics range for my ds (age 4, 5 in July) who is in Reception. He really likes it. He uses Jolly Phonics with his Speech Therapist and in School (although the reading scheme is a different one).

I find it very good. I bought the handbook, the teaching video (I'm not a teacher) and found some useful information on the website about what to teach, in what order and how quickly etc.

I don't know if he will become bored when they cover stuff he already knows in class - but he would have covered it in Speech Therapy if he hadn't done it with me, so we'd be in that position anyway.

Most schools seem to use a "Look and Say" teaching method and there is a list of 45 words they cover in Reception - I think the Ladybird keywords range covers these 45 words and they are quite cheap to buy, if you are interested in that.

Sonnet Tue 19-Apr-05 12:38:27

Just ordered jolly phonics handbook - thanks
Foxinsocks _ I too wondered about using a different system but looked into it a few weeks ago and couldn't find anything other than letterland which didn't really appeal. Also read other threads on MN re jolly phonics
I just hope that it dosn't switch her off in class too much!!

ambrosia Tue 19-Apr-05 12:38:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sonnet Tue 19-Apr-05 12:41:29

Thanks Chocolate girl - can you point me in the direction of where I can find the the 42 key words please??

Ambrosia - I remember "horrid henry" well!! I read all the Narnia chronicles to DD1 last year, don't know which of us enjoyed it more!!

foxinsocks Tue 19-Apr-05 12:53:28

here's a magnetic set you can buy from gltc. I got some from a local toy shop - both my kids loved playing with them on the fridge, making up silly sentences etc.

if you search for key words, someone has put a link to where they are online - I can never find it!

magnetic reception key words

PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 19-Apr-05 13:00:44

I wouldn't woory too much about them getting bored in class. Even in " whole class" work any teacher worth their salt will tailor questions to individual children to suit their specific ability level, and work done in groups will be differentiated.

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