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The school is teaching phonics in class and sending DS1 home with ancient Ginn books...

(96 Posts)
StrawberryMess Sun 30-Jan-11 19:50:26

The phonics book that comes home with him in his book bag shows that the kids have just done x v and z. The class have only learned simple sounds - the only digraphs are ff, ll and ck.

He's coming home with some reading books including lines such as "Tilak saw a castle". "Rosie saw a ladybird". "Mrs Hall's class saw a play". "Sam couldn't sleep".

DS1 is very frustrated that his reading books he's sent home with consist almost entirely of words that he can't decode. He knows the basic sight words but it seems bizarre to make a child learn "couldn't" by sight before introducing "could". And "castle"? Even I couldn't explain the phonic rules for that.

When I ask him, after hearing him read, what he thinks I should put in his reading record, my child who had previously said "write DS1 read perfectly" is now saying "write DS1 read stupidly and I don't love him" sad. He's being melodramatic, but I can see that these books just confuse him.

I'm thinking of taking out a Reading Chest subscription so I can give him Collins big cat phonics, which a friends DD at another school has, and some other phonic books in the holidays, so he can be logically and gradually introduced to the trickier words. Does this seem like a good idea or should I stick with the school reading scheme?

mrz Sun 30-Jan-11 19:57:19

It's quite common in many schools as replacing reading schemes is very expensive so there is this mismatch

RoadArt Sun 30-Jan-11 20:00:12

Talk to the teacher.

Who is giving your child the books? the teacher, a parent, or is he choosing himself?

In our school we have a whole range of other books along side the main reading scheme, and the children are given one book and choose another for themselves from a box (that is meant to be the same ability).

It might be that he was given the wrong level of book

Also, go to the library, you dont need to buy into subscriptions. the local librarian can guide you to the age/level appropriate books.

mrz Sun 30-Jan-11 20:01:37

Road Art if the school uses Ginn it is a Look & Say scheme at every level.

StrawberryMess Sun 30-Jan-11 20:04:30

There is a list of books in order. When they have been heard reading by a teacher, TA or parent, the book they've just had is crossed off the list and they get the next one. The teacher has heard him read twice on this level already (it's only stage 1) and has just done smileys in his reading record.

I'll have another look at the library. We're quite rural and they have a small box of early readers, which are mostly quite old and completely unsorted so it's hard to find something at the right level that can build on his knowledge of phonics.

Feenie Sun 30-Jan-11 20:05:52

Mrz, you are much nicer than me - how long now have schools known that they need phonics based schemes? I know they are expensive, but if you start replacing in Reception, a level at a time.....

mrz Sun 30-Jan-11 20:06:33

Look Look LOOK!
Look Here!
No In Here!

mrz Sun 30-Jan-11 20:08:30

Lots of schools use the excuse that parents like Ginn or ORT as a reason for not changing.

FreudianSlippery Sun 30-Jan-11 20:09:44

"write DS1 read stupidly and I don't love him"

Poor lad

Very frustrating for you all. I guess as you are rural it would be worth investing? I will go to shops like The Works in town as they have phonics schemes cheaply, but you may not have those stores locally? Maybe have something - I know they do reading schemes at good prices but not sure which ones.

Feenie Sun 30-Jan-11 20:10:09

I didn't give ours the option of choosing - bet you didn't, either! smile

mrz Sun 30-Jan-11 20:11:02

I bought in a phonics reading scheme and our Y1 teacher insisted on sending home the old scheme because she knew where she was with it hmm

StrawberryMess Sun 30-Jan-11 20:12:07

How on earth can parents like Ginn? DS1 was okay with the "look, look, where is it" stage, but he's flummoxed by the "Tilak saw a castle" as he wants to decode the word which he pronounces car-sull and he can see cass-t-leh. He's a very logical little boy and accepts that there are tricky words, just gets frustrated that there seem to be two new ones on every page.

Feenie Sun 30-Jan-11 20:12:47


Feenie Sun 30-Jan-11 20:13:36

Of course, Stawberrymess - poor kid.

mrz Sun 30-Jan-11 20:18:38

the phoneme /s/ can written in a number of ways including "sc" scissors "ps" psalm "c" circle and "st" castle "le" pronounced as ul

Runoutofideas Sun 30-Jan-11 20:28:18

Our school has the same "run out of cash" issue, but it is really confusing for the children. They read Rigby Star and Rigby Rockets in Reception, which I thought were great - not sure what reputation they have with teachers..? - Now in year 1 they are reading Ginn 360 godawful, dull, old-fashioned rubbish, which are not inspiring a love of reading in the slightest.

Am even more confused now though as the entry in dd's book on friday said "Great reading - now move to shelf one". I have no idea what shelf one is. Previously they were numbered levels and she's just finished 7. I assumed level 8 would be next, but am really hoping it means an end to the awful Ginn 360s - any ideas?

Fayrazzled Sun 30-Jan-11 20:37:05

I think in your situation a Reading Chest subscription would be worthwhile. My son was in a similar situation- great phonics teaching in school but kept coming home with ORT books. He loves receiving the Reading Chest books in the post- we especially like the Rigby Star ones too. Much more modern, relevant and the children can decode them more effectively. Worth every penny of the subscription IMHO.

RoadArt Sun 30-Jan-11 20:38:56

We had ORT but moved to Rigby Rocket from Year 1 which were much better and varied stories.

The Ginn books were old and were sorted into reading levels. I started issuing these as a second book but soon gave up when I had to listen to them. They initially appealled to children because they had more words in them but I found the children never wanted them again. The reading levels were also confusing because they were different to ORT and Rigby

Runoutofideas Sun 30-Jan-11 20:47:56

Roadart - if the levels are different with the Ginn books, what would a Ginn 7 equate to on ORT or Rigby?

Also meant to put in my earlier post that I can also recommend Reading Chest. My dd loves getting new books in the post and the styles are varied and interesting.

MrsvWoolf Sun 30-Jan-11 20:49:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wordsmithsforever Sun 30-Jan-11 22:07:23

This exact issue came up when my DD (now 10)was learning to read. It was very frustrating all round - this business of teaching phonics but having whole word readers at the schools! It's not helpful to children.

Re "write DS1 read stupidly and I don't love him": I really sympathise, I can remember my daughter making similar comments - so sad when they should be loving reading and it's just the readers are unsuitable!

IndigoBell Mon 31-Jan-11 10:30:04

Re, should you read the Ginn books with him?

I wouldn't. Subscribing to Reading Chest is a good idea (if you can afford it), because there is no way your library will have enough early phonetic readers.

Asking him to read the Ginn books which he can't read is stupid.

Don't write anything in his diary, if school ever ask you why not then you can explain face to face that you are reading XYZ instead and the phonics teaching is obviously excellent because he's making fabulous progress grin

squeezedatbothends Mon 31-Jan-11 14:52:24

There'll always be a problem regardless of the scheme because our language is not phonetic - no, I, go, to, the - really basic words do not fit the phonics scheme, so while phonics is a good way to learn skills of applying rules and decoding, it is not a perfect system for English. When I'm teaching children to read, I set up a 'Word Villains' wall for tricky words - we create wanted posters for words which don't follow rules - draw pictures and write the word underneath and offer a reward if they can 'capture' the word -(identify it in a book/text). The kids love the game and it makes them see that the frustrating words are not their fault, but a funny feature of our language. You could do this at home, using the Ginn books are ways of finding villains. Worth a try?

Feenie Mon 31-Jan-11 15:24:00

Letters and Sounds recommends teaching tricky words as decodable with a 'tricky' bit.

There are very, very few words which are completely undecodable, if we teach the code.

I disagree that there will 'always be a problem' - there is no problem with a phonics based scheme because the words presented first are easily decodable. Sight reading schemes tend to present words immediately which have more complex decoding rules, so this is far from ideal for the beginning reader.

maverick Mon 31-Jan-11 15:24:52

'our language is not phonetic'

The English written language is totally phonetic -the 26 letters are used to represent the smallest discernable sounds (phonemes)in our speech.

There are only seven HFWs words <one>, <once>, <two>, <who>, <the>, <are> and <eye>, that may need to be memorised as whole units i.e. are true, high frequency 'sight' words, though no English word is completely phonologically opaque.

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