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Are you teaching your preschooler to read this year?

(15 Posts)
mamatilly Thu 03-Sep-09 10:49:57

just listening to Womans hour and they are discussing whether we should be teaching our children to read and write before beginning Reception class... My four year old has one more year of nursery and knows alphabet/can write some letters in his name, but just wondering whether it is the norm for rising 5s to already know phonics etc...

should i be creating a reading/writing program over this coming year to give my boy a head start or should he simply be enjoying the simplicity of play?!!! my preschool is definitely NOT proactie and it seems more mother and toddler than preschool really...

anyway,what are you doing?


redskyatnight Thu 03-Sep-09 11:36:31

I'm doing what my DD (3.5, will start school next September) wants to! She loves playing I-Spy with letter sounds although the words she "spies" are quite repetetive. She points at some words she recognises in books but shows no interest in learning others. Writing wise she can write the first 3 letters of her name.

DS (just starting Year 1) didn't learn to write his name till the Christmas after he started school but is ploughing ahead with his reading (not reading at all before he started) because it has sparked his interest.

I do think that pushing at this age (and even into Reception) is counter productive as it just turns them off what you are trying to teach. I've found that my children have learnt readily through play when they are ready.

Sallyallyally Thu 03-Sep-09 11:40:59

Nope...Didn't with the first (who is now 9 and has a reading age of 14) and won't with the second.

EldonAve Fri 04-Sep-09 14:08:55

I leave it to preschool, they do phonics from 3.5

rachels103 Mon 07-Sep-09 13:37:20

Only if he wants to...he knows the first sound in his name and m for mummy, loves books and occasionally expresses an interest in writing, so may well pick up a bit, but I won't push anything.

Apart from anything else, when he starts school as one of the oldest in the year next September, I don't want him turned off school or bored because we've done too much at home first.

Iklboo Mon 07-Sep-09 13:40:44

Ds constantly asks what letters are and what words say. He can write his name (which isn't Ozymandias or anything). He'll be 4 in November and is starting 'proper' (state) nursery on Friday (eeeek!).
We got a couple of those books where he can trace the letters and he enjoys doing them but we only get them out when he asks and stop after a couple of pages

BlueberryPancake Thu 10-Sep-09 12:25:05

I think that the best is to 'prepare' them for learning letters and to read and write. We play 'I spy.... something beginnng with the sound b'... we sing alphabet songs, do alphabet puzzles, he can recognise his name written down, he knows about 10 letters (learned with foam letters in the bath), is now often asking 'what does that say' for signs, bus stops, anything written. Hopefully he will 'want' and be keen to learn when they start it at school, and will know enough to be confident about it.

It's really up to you, I know someone whose 4 year old can read and she think it's fantastic. I also think that social play is so important, learning how to be patient, take turns, listen, follow instructions, be polite, take part, etc is the most important things for school.

EleanoraBuntingCupcake Thu 10-Sep-09 12:38:35

i heard that woman's hour - the man sounded thoroughly unpleasant

oneopinionatedmother Tue 15-Sep-09 15:07:58

um what harm can it do? little kids get so much out of reading, and it really boosts their confidence in class.

i don't like the idea that learning early is counterproductive - what proof is there? i rather believe the opposite - if a child is dumped in a class where they are behind, their confidence suffers.
What is more, pretty much every child has one weak area, and the more strong areas they have, the more they can focus on bringing that up (eg, my brother could read very well, which gave him time to work on his shockingly bad writing, if he'd been learning to read at the same time it'd have been mch harder on him.)

I agree that perhaps not having amazingly high expectations is a good thing, and certainly criticising them if they didn't get it would be bad - but learning language through play is great.

>in a note of extreme smuggery, DD read her first word @19 mo. Now if only she could say 'Mummy', I'd be getting somewhere..<

in a way a school that doesn't try to get it's pre-school intake to play with letters/ numbers is shooting itself in the foot - making it much harder for the teacher doing KS1 with them.

also, it isn't a case of play vs learning - the two are not mutually exclusive.

Karam Tue 15-Sep-09 18:46:20

What about getting the Jolly phonics DVD and seeing if your son likes that? It is absolutely dire, but my 3 year old DD absolutely loves it, and will watch an episode three times back to back (whilst I'm going slowly insane in the background). We have also got the books if she is in the mood for looking at them. Its relaxed, no pressure on her, but she has learnt a few letters already, and she is in control of when she wants to watch the DVD / read the books.

Ealingkate Tue 15-Sep-09 18:51:15

Were you serious when you said your daughter 'read' her first word at 19 months??

pofacedandproud Tue 15-Sep-09 18:54:43

I haven't pushed ds at all but he is reading fluently and has just done his first week at reception. We have never done phonics, he has just recognised words pretty quickly, and I think phonics can be confusing for some children, especially with the English language.
I think just reading with your child as much as possible is the main thing, and following each word with your finger.

oneopinionatedmother Tue 15-Sep-09 19:06:59

no crap - it was 'popshop' -she pointed at the word on my laptop and said it or rather po'sho', and then when we went to the wide shot ( i was using iplayer) she carried on pointing at the word rather than the dog.

since then she has managed 'ponk' and 'garden'. though her speech is really rubbish and i thought it was my imagination, other people have seen her do this too. (i'm not claiming she read it phonetically either, but by recognition ain't bad)

though of course she never says a word in front of the HV.

Ealingkate Tue 15-Sep-09 20:37:09


pranma Wed 16-Sep-09 22:06:12

Today my dgs said he 'took my pecil for a walk'at preschool.Apparently he was following a path in a picture as the beginning of pencil control-he will be 3 tomorrow.he can recognise about 10 words on flash cards and count up to 10 but no more.The school will start phonics after Christmas I believe.

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