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How to get DC age 5 to actually co-operate and try to learn to read

(22 Posts)
duplofrenzy Fri 30-Oct-15 10:40:40

DC, age 5 pretty resistant to learning to read. Can do single letter sounds but just walks off if I try to do the next step. I find it really frustrating as I am putting in lots of effort, but not him. Don't know whether to enforce compulsory 10- 15 mins first thing in the morning or to just wait and see if DC develops any enthusiasm over time if left to own devices ....
Anyone got any experience of this with their kids?

annandale Fri 30-Oct-15 10:41:35

I would say at this age to back right off and just read to him lots and lots and lots. Will he go with that or does he dislike being read to?

futureme Fri 30-Oct-15 10:50:12

Isn't the joy of home Ed (we're not but we considered it) that you can do it in their own time and pace? Ie concentrate on letter sounds just as they come up and when out and about but not pyush it.

We liked reading eggs and teach your monster to read for learning the letter sounds and initial blending but again when it interested them to play rather than being told to read.

Lots and lots of reading to them.

My DD (now 12) was HE until she was 7.5. We never 'taught' her to read, or write for that matter. She learnt pretty spontaneously between 6 and 7. I know she couldn't read more than a few words on her 6th birthday but by her 7th was reading chapter books and by the time she started school at 7.5 she was made a free reader within a week.

So... don't even start to worry about it. Read books together. Go to the library. Let him see that reading is fun and something you value. Provide access to as many different reading materials as you can. It'll happen but the more you make it seem like something he HAS to do rather than something he WANTS to do, the harder it'll get (IMO anyway!).

annandale Fri 30-Oct-15 15:48:58

I can also heartily recommend The Phoenix comic, though it's expensive. Beautiful and fun though.

WildStallions Fri 30-Oct-15 15:50:39

Surely there's no point in HEing and then pushing him to read to your timescale? Seems totally arse about face.

He's telling you loud and clear he's not ready yet. Listen to him!

tokoloshe2015 Fri 30-Oct-15 15:52:25

Agree with the others, make reading stories fun and exciting and when he is ready he will take to it and really fly...

enderwoman Fri 30-Oct-15 17:56:44

My children weren't HEd. My sons were not interested in learning to read in the slightest until y2. If I had HEd then I would have started then and I would bet that their reading ability would be no better today.

On the other hand they were both very interested in maths and I would have focused on that if we were HEd back when they were 5 years old.

What I'm trying to say is that if I had HEd my sons and you met them at 5 years old then they wouldn't even know their letter sounds but would be able to do some times tables and other maths.

itsstillgood Sat 31-Oct-15 20:16:10

I am not an unschooler at all but I do think a child has to be ripe to learn to read and if they aren't trying to force them to learn is harmful.
With my eldest I did nothing in the way of 'teaching'. As he asked about letters and words we automatically incorporated them into games. For example we did a lot of treasure hunts. Initially we'd just draw picture clues, then we started including the word, then dropped the picture, then built up length and complexity.
With my youngest.
With my youngest I did use the Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading, but in a very dabbling way. Think we did 80 lessons in about 18months and then stopped as he could read.
My eldest was reading fluently about the age of 4 and my youngest really wasn't interested until around his 6th birthday when something clicked and he went from sounding out c-a-t phonetically to reading short chapter books to himself.
If you sat my boys side by side at 7 they were both prolific readers and of exactly the same sort of books. No sign at all one was reading nearly 2 years younger.
The most helpful thing I think a parent can do is read. Both to the child and to themselves. Children model what they see and if it is usual to see the people about them reading then hopefully it will follow that they will want to learn.

itsstillgood Sat 31-Oct-15 20:22:19

Can't work out how to edit on tablet. What I meant to say was he went from phonetically spelling out words to reading chapter books independently in about one month period. It really was like a switch in his head.

ReallyTired Sat 31-Oct-15 20:43:21

I am not a home educator, but I did teach my son how to read before he started school. I feel a mistake that some schools and parents make is to introduce books too soon. Children become resistant to learning when the task is too hard for them. I think its a mistake to stop teaching literacy. Its better to look at making the learning curve less steep. Pre literacy skills are important.

Does your son know all 44 letter sounds or just the sounds of 26 letters in the alphabet? Are you 100% confident on the proper pronouncation of letter sounds?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ksblMiliA8

This website has a interesting set of phonics games

dyslexics.org.uk/phonic_games.htm

I think that at the age of five it has to be fun. Some children find reading easy, where as other children need a bit of pushing. Some children benefit from a star chart.

Learning to blend takes months. I helped my children by playing games like saying "touch your l-e-g" where is your "ar-m" or "find me something r-e-d" They can take a turn at getting the parent to find an object and its great for their spelling. They were not aware that they were learning reading because I did not have text in front of them. It helps to say the first letter sound slightly louder than the others. You can play games anywhere like the supermarket, park. Ie. (where the t-r-ee) or I spy using letter sounds. A child has to be able to hear letter sounds in words before they can blend.

A fun game is to take a sound your child knows and find objects around the house that start with that letter sound. When your child is proficent at hearing the letter sound at the start of the word, try playing the same game, but with the letter sound at the end of the world. For example for the letter t you would be looking at objects like hat, cat, mat.

There are some good Ipad apps for learning phonics. My daughter liked "Hairy Letters" and "pocket phonics"

Archfarchnad Sat 31-Oct-15 20:49:57

The age at which children are expected to be ready to read is simply too young in the UK. We didn't HE, but both mine have gone to school in a European country where school only starts at 6. Until that point they could both recognise individual letters, but we made no attempt to get them to actually read by themselves. As PP have said, we just did lots of reading with them and got them used to having lots of books around. At 6 they both picked up reading very quickly, and in two languages too. I'd say use the flexibility of HE to concentrate on other things first. There are some very good Montessori materials suitable for 5yo non-readers.

Seriouslyffs Sat 31-Oct-15 20:56:26

Arch
The age at which children are expected to be ready to read is simply too young in the UK.
Yes!

ReallyTired Mon 02-Nov-15 13:47:45

What is the OP concentration like? Can he/she sit down do a jigsaw, colouring or a puzzle independently. Children need to build up a certain level of concentration before they can learn to read. If learning to read is too much of a fight then get your child to do activities that build up concentration.

ItIsHowItIsx Mon 02-Nov-15 14:28:30

I agree with Seriouslyffs. In Switzerland they don't start learning to read (or even letters) until they start school at 6 1/2 to 7 1/2. Then they learn pretty quickly. Just read and read and read to him.

duplofrenzy Wed 04-Nov-15 19:57:52

Thank you for all of your thoughts.
ReallyTired - DC's concentration is pretty poor, so would be very rare to see him sitting down colouring or doing a jigsaw.

Interesting to hear from several people that their child just developed an interest at a certain age/ stage, which was independent of the age at which instruction started. I think that I will ease back off again and just read to him more as he loves to be read to. I might gradually introduce the digraphs though, so that he is familiar with them when he does want to start reading.

It is hard to not feel that I ought to be doing more when they start so early in schools. But that was one of our main reasons for choosing HE, so I have to remind myself of that!

ReallyTired Wed 04-Nov-15 20:36:01

Reception is very play based, frankly it is more like nursery than formal school in places like switzerland. In reception it is mostly learning through play as frankly there is no way you could get a mixed ablity class 30 four year olds to learn to read fluently. It is a bit of a myth saying that England starts formal education at four years old. Year 1 is really when formal teaching begins. Admitally starting formal education at five is still very young.

Lots of children at the start of year 1 cannot read because they spent most of reception playing in the sandpit or riding trikes. I think with the English education system reception is developmentally appriopiate. What children find hellish is the very formal approach of year 1 when there is hardly any child initated learning. (Especially summer borns) In an ideal world I would have a longer foundation phase with a gradual transistion to formal learning.

What does your dc like doing. Does he like lego? Some boys need a lot of physical excercise to develop the core muscles so that they can sit still. Something like gymnastics or even going to the park might help him. My daughter did pre school swimming lessons and gymnastics and it really helped develop her concentration. She found it fun as well.

What are his fine motor skills like? My daughter played lots of busy fingers games in reception.

uk.pinterest.com/childhood101/busy-fingers-fine-motor-activities/

Mumstheword21 Thu 05-Nov-15 16:32:52

Reallytired I have to say that I disagree.

In our experience of reception, there were phonics daily (all of the class sitting on the mat repeating sounds as the teacher held up cards etc...) from October and homework to learn diagraphs/sight words from October too. 5 words weekly. Literacy targets were included from the first half term. She was just 4.

Ours friends at school in our former village (so different school) had ridiculous amounts of homework from the same time. This was Jolly phonics sight word games, letters etc...as well as 'choosing' maths homework from a selection of activities and completing (or rather parents completing) a learning book with a weekly topic (say dogs) with a minimum of an A4 page per week. Obviously on top of all of the work that they were doing in class which was interspersed with some pre-determined choice of 'free-play'.

This isn't a myth and IS formal instruction.

OP, I agree with the other HE'rs and say relax on the learning to read and come back to it in a year, two years, when he will not only be much more developmentally ready, but also probably value the skill a lot more, which will help with motivation far beyond what any sticker chart could ever do!

ReallyTired Thu 05-Nov-15 20:30:07

My daughter had no homework whatsoever in reception. She found it bliss. Year 1 is another story. I suppose that people with a well run reception class are less likely to home educate. There are thousands of schools across the country and some are good and some less good. If a school implements the early years foundation stage property then it should be run exactly like a nursery because they should be following the same curriculum. The EYFS should not consist of worksheets and homework. It supposed to be child initiated learning. Formal learning should only be introduced if the child shows readiness.

There are lots of pre reading skills. Building up concentration will do wonders long term.

futureme Fri 06-Nov-15 21:40:52

No homework in reception here too. Actually one of the criteria I chose the school on - it had to be a play based reception. We chose the "community " school over the local target driven academy for that reason.

What Really Tired said.

knittingwithnettles Sat 07-Nov-15 20:57:53

Dr Seuss!!!
poetry with rhymes

I have twins. They both did synthetic phonics intensively in Reception and were entirely schooled until Year 8 (dd is still in school) Ds2 still cannot spell or write very well and learnt to read far too early - now he just skips through making errors. He is very behind with his literacy after years of school. And refuses to read for pleasure. So much for formal tuition. hmm
Back off and wait for him to ask you, or start reading his favourite books again and again. Once he knows them off by heart, he'll start to link the words with the sounds he has heard. Schools have to teach formally because that is the only way they can teach that many children at once.

Crazybaglady Sat 07-Nov-15 21:54:29

Have you ever checked out readingeggs.com? I signed my son up when he just turned 3 and absolutely loved it. It helped teach him to read 2-3 letter words before he started school (July baby so youngest in his year) and we re registered with it recently... Hes on his tablet all the time now... And using the 'mathsseeds' section which helps with maths! good luck

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