Feeling overwhelmed with HE, please help encourage me!(24 Posts)
We have always wanted to HE and I was HE until I took my GCSEs and AS levels but I am finding it so overwhelming with my own.
We are right at the start and I would love some advice about teaching DD to read please. She is showing all the signs, knows all her letters, spells out everything we drive past, asks what stuff says, sits at the breakfast table hidden behind the cereal box spelling things out. She spells out and then reads three or four letter words, and can manage some that are longer. With help to put some syllables together she can figure out longer words too. But I don't know how to help her go the whole way.
I've printed and laminated the reception high frequency words and a list of 100 essential home school words I found. We have taken 8 words to start with and are playing snap with them and matching games. Plus DD loves writing so I've had her writing them from the cards and from memory (with some help).
I really want to get her a reading scheme but I don't like Biff Chip and Kipper and others I've seen. The one I like is prohibitively expensive to buy, especially in comparison with the other schemes. I'm assuming this is the easiest and best way to get them reading.
The other thing I'd love some advice on is phonics. Where to start?? I'm a bit boggled because there's so much out there.
DD2 is 19 months and I get her to sit in her high chair with is when we sit and do a bit (20min sessions) and she draws but she reaches over and draws on DD1's stuff and upsets her and I spend over half the time trying to sort DD2 out. Plus DC3 will be here in a few weeks and I'm worried about how to manage it with 3!
I would love any sage advice please!
How old is DD1? Seriously, just relax. Read to her! DD2 can listen if she likes, or play her own stuff if she likes.
Play alphablocks games on the CBeebies website. That's probably as much phonics as you need :-)
When watching a DVD, put the closed captions on.
It will come by itself. Don't bother with a reading scheme - just buy books from charity shops and read them to her - she'll start reading them to herself when she's ready!
Do you have an iPad? We've got some good literacy related apps.
Thank you for the encouragement!
Yes we do have an iPad, she has some phonics games on there but some are American. What apps do you suggest? I'd be very grateful for any suggestions.
Sorry, DD is 3.8, 4 in June. I will check put the alpha blocks games, thank you. She's watched the program but I didn't know about the games.
It sounds like she's well on her way to reading. Our library has some phonics books, and I'm sure there's lots more orderable in from the countywide system - maybe see if you can do the same with the reading scheme you like?
My DD is enjoying Teach Your Monster To Read, which are free phonics and reading games in an English accent. (I think they are flash, so laptop/desktop computer only.)
She's not yet 4????? Then back right off!!!! No need to rush it. Early reading really isn't important - let her lead the way - just read to her and answer her questions.
Word wizard is a lovely app.
That's why I didn't put her age in my op as I knew it would put people off. I honestly have not pushed her, it's all come from her and I feel I am holding her back. I couldn't find the alphablocks games on cbeebies.
Thanks Invader I will check those out and ask at the library too.
You're not holding her back it sounds like she's doing brilliantly! My dd was at about the same stage as your dd for ages (around a year probably) then suddenly it's all clicked and she reads brilliantly. My dd is 5. They do it when they're ready.
I'd seriously advise you to relax. Play is so so important for children. It's great that you're incorporating literacy stuff into her play but let her take what she needs from it in her own time.
Couldn't read and run so my take is similar to ommmward and others.
Just let her play with words and letters.
When you do choose books just look for the simple ones containing the words you printed.
I know if I could start at the beginning this is what I would do.
You don't need reading schemes, or levels.
Letting them do it for themselves at their own speed really does pay off, ime.
She has all the building blocks and she has the enthusiasm. Wild horses couldn't hold her back now. If you actively teach her and work hard on moving to the next stage, rather than just carrying on as you are, she might possibly reach that next stage a tiny bit earlier, but so what? The exact timing of when she starts reading will make no difference in the long run.
Make sure you have some things around which she can play with, and some books she might manage to read. Play the games with her when she asks you to, and answer her questions. She'll get there before you know it. You don't have to actively do anything.
"If you actively teach her and work hard on moving to the next stage, rather than just carrying on as you are, she might possibly reach that next stage a tiny bit earlier" - or, you might actually wind up putting her off!
John Holt said "About reading, children learn something much more difficult than reading without instruction - namely, to speak and understand their native language. I do not think they would or could learn it if they were instructed. I think reading instruction is the enemy of reading."
Find the bit about reading here.
And this is a broader article, more relevant to slightly older kids in school .
We used Letterland for phonics and it worked pretty well and is a lot of fun for littlies. As far as reading went we used old-fashioned Ladybird books to practise key/high frequency words and had a few of the Usborne phonic readers.
Ladybird have updated 'Peter and Jane' to 'Tom and Kate' and we used both depending on what we could pick up in charity shops etc! By the time we got to book 5/6 they were reading pretty fluently and could move on to more interesting books (Usborne/I Am Reading books for 4-5 chapters and lots of pictures).
As your DD is still pretty small, I would have thought Usborne phonic readers could be a next step. I think there can be pressure not to push littlies but sometimes they just want to forge ahead. I ended up holding back DS1 a little and only realised when I suggested a Famous Five book and he read it in 2 days! It hadn't crossed my mind that he could be ready to move on (he was in year 1 at the time).
If you're planning on having some structure, feel free to join us here. Lots of information on different resources.
What everyone else has said- it sounds as if she's doing it for herself!
There are some brilliant TV programmes for children this age that encourage literacy.
Oh, and one other thing. You say you don't like Biff and Chip- and I know a lot of adults don't. But kids do. They are very cleverly written so there are good stories in a very few words and best of all, a lot of them are funny. So if having a reading scheme would make you feel happier and more relaxed (I agree you don't actually need one) then go for the dreaded B and C. They are widely available and cheap.
Thank you all for your input and suggestions, I take it all on board.
Tinuviel, I was taught to read using Peter and Jane! I will look for Tom and Kate. And I will check out the link, thank you.
Threetoms, thank you I will check those links. I do agree, I don't want to do too much and put her off, especially when she seems so keen.
Martorana, thank you, that's interesting about B,C and K. I found they were a bit of a jump, with harder sounding words than appeared suitable for the level of the book. But perhaps it's to introduce them to more complex words naturally. Maybe I have misunderstood their modus operandi!
I wasn't too keen on reading schemes, but my first dd was. She tended to be nervous and easily discouraged, and she liked the fact that the levelled scheme wouldn't present her with anything far beyond her. And she loved the content of the Oxford Reading Tree books.
On the other hand, some kids start their reading with books which you might expect would be far too difficult for them. They are prepared to struggle on because THAT is the book they most want to read, or maybe because they love a challenge.
Whatever engages your child is likely to work for her. You could buy or borrow a few books from various reading schemes and of course a good collection of other non-scheme books, see what she seizes upon and go with that.
One of the top tips you will hear from long-time HE parents is this: don't spend too much money on anything until you are sure it will work for you and your child!
Floppy's Phonics are the 'branch' of the Oxford Reading Tree that support teaching of reading by phonics. The old Biff, Chip and Kipper books use 'Look and Say' rather than phonics.
Libraries have a great range of books for early readers.
You are doing a great job!
I think reading to children is also essential. I remember reading to my children books that they wouldn't have been able to decipher but understood if read to them. At 4 dd enjoyed Roald Dahl and ds loved 'Beast Quest': both read chapters ahead (when they were ready), whilst pretending that they needed us to read to them.
ds enjoyed 'Jolly phonics', their word book is only a couple of pounds. The stories were pleasant but were missing a level (for us) for which I used an Usborne series borrowed from the library.
givemeaclue, I wish all libraries did! We found that our library had a fantastic range of pre-school/picture books which were lovely for read aloud but not great for beginning readers and then not only didn't have many early readers but also put them with all the other fiction in alphabetical order so you had to wade through shelves and shelves of books on the off chance of finding one. It was really disheartening. Once the DCs got to the reading independently stage, it was fine - loads of great books but there really was a gap, which I commented on to the staff but nothing changed.
You can order any childrens book for free from your library
If you are looking for easy early readers, have you looked at Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds Phonics or Ruth Miskin's Superphonics. They are phonics based schemes so don't introduce difficult words too quickly.
I would recommend Reading Eggs (web based reading programme), which taught both mine to read, but I suspect your 3 year old's reading ability is way ahead of her mouse-using ability and she would struggle with it on that basis.
Not all libraries do children's books free. At ours, all book reserves have a charge now (it used to be free but funding as it is now...) though kids still don't get late/damage fees thankfully.
I highly recommend the series at Piper books. Their BRI-ARI has worked magic in our house, both for my struggling reader (he went from starting this to The Hobbit in about a year - the confidence being able to read a whole book himself was amazing after so many computer programmes) and early super reader and is great for catching and gently correcting guessing habits that have been our big bug bear. It has questions at the back of each BRI book to help with comprehension (with ARI I just ask what the story is about and go from there). It doesn't include any writing which may be easier for an almost 4 year old.
I taught mine with Peter and Jane. I found them to be the best books out there still (and they were all available very cheaply in charity shops). I thought everyone taught their kids to read before school, consequently mine were the only two readers to start reception
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