High reading age and struggling to fit in.(11 Posts)
Hi I've just learnt that my 7 year old has a reading age of 12+. I would like advice from other parents on how I can keep him interested in progressing and what the school can do to support him. He's a little 'different' from the other boys in his class and has struggled making friends too. Any advice?
Is your question about his reading, or more about his social skills, gina? I don't think a 7 year old with a reading of 12 is unusual, I have one myself (OK a 6yr old). His school will hopefully be providing, or planning to provide extension in his literacy lessons. Ask his teacher. Sorry I can't offer any advice re; the friendhsip issue. Good luck. And enjoy having a bookworm!
I too had an advanced reader. He is now 13 but at 7 had a reading age around 12to 13 year mark. I do recall that it was difficult at the time to find him reading material that was suitable for his age range. However, don't get carried away! I have found that all that happened over the subsequent years is that everyone else "caught up" with him. His vocab now is far better than others but he is reading the same type of books as his peers. I agree - enjoy having a bookworm, a skill for life! If he is gift and talented all round then the school should be extending him. Don't let him be moved up a year (in my view) as you then get maturity problems.
ds is 7 too.
He has been assessed as being about 7 years ahead of his peers across the spectrum. He also has few friends.
I have tried to take my cue from ds about when to intervene in relation to school work. If he says he is bored and has learnt nothing new then I talk to the teachers. If he is happy, I leave will alone.
On the social skills side, which I regard as much more important, I think it depends on how "different" your son is. My ds is noticably not quite like other children and I have had an active dialogue with the school since he was in reception. He has also been bullied by his peers.
Some of the things which have worked are:
1. We identified children who might enjoy ds's differences and both the school and ourselves tried to foster friendships;
2. The school stopped doing things which made ds stand out in negative ways.
3. We actively worked with ds to help him work out how he should act in given situations. We went through what had happened through the day and how he might have dealt with it differently;
4. We stopped focusing quite so much on how we saw things and looked more at how ds saw things. His view of the world was much more optimistic than ours so we stopped stressing as much.
My 7 yr old has a reading age of 12+ too so I don't think it's that unusual and certainly not difficult to manage - he still enjoys reading the books that his peers read, such as Beast Quest and Jeremy Strong, but we just make sure that he has access to more challenging ones too. Examples that he has enjoyed are the Percy Jackson stories, Harry Potter (has read them twice - I didn't even manage them once...) and Just William is his latest obsession.
Your DS's school should be differentiating throughout the class anyway so I wouldn't worry that your DS needs specific support in that sense. Like I said, I think this is common enough for them to be well used to be dealing with it. DS is certainly not the only one in his class with a RA of 12+.
I agree with Pixie - and as far as I know, reading age tests are not that accurate anyway. My DD2 is 7, nearly 8, reads and writes really well (12+ on reading age too) and is good at maths, is working well ahead of her age group - but she is still a giggly not-quite-8-yo. She doesn't struggle with friendships fortunately.
OP, in what sense is your son different? Is he simply shy, does he find that his advanced vocab makes it hard for him to talk to his peers, or is there something else going on?
Agree with other posters as far as reading age goes: I too had a reading age that was quite far ahead of my age and that was never a problem (though my lack of social skills arguably was).
A good tip is to introduce him to the classics: those books that are considered too "old" for modern children are often fine in subject matter, just more densely written and wordier- which may be just what he craves. Writers like E. Nesbit, Mary Norton (The Borrowers, Bedknob and Broomstick), Richmal Crompton (Just William), Michael Bond (Paddington), Anthony Buckeridge (Jennings)- nothing unsuitable in any of those and a lot less babyish than what is on offer now. Oh and Professor Branestawm.
Another one who has a DS (who is 6) with a reading age a good bit older than his chronological age. His school are very good and make sure that his work is differentiated, and they are trying to get funding for a couple of hours SEN help for him too.
Have you spoken to his teachers? I know all children are different but I certainly don't have any trouble keeping DS2 interested in reading, it is harder to get him to put down a book and do something else!
dd2 was assessed at 12+ at 5.5 as well - i think the other two had quite high reading ages as well.
dd2 was a little slower socially as she has cp and found keeping up physically harder - she also talks/ walks a bit funny which takes some getting used to (my kids also move a lot as we are a military family, so it's a big ask for an sn kid to integrate into a new peer group every year or so). anyway, her teachers have been great and know she needs some help with social interaction.
ds1 is also a little odd. he's also v bright and enjoys stuff that isn't popular with the peer group (he does dance classes etc). we've learned to downplay that (no one else from his school attends the classes), and he takes part in some more mainstream stuff that is popular in our village as well. this integrates him with the other boys in his class.
reading is no biggie, really - it is extremely common for children to access books from other year groups/ key stages. maths etc is much more problematic.
ask the teacher if you can sit down and discuss his social difficulties. sometimes an iep can be put in place for social targets if necessary - it may just be that he needs a bit of help initiating for a while.
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