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Reading in reception - should I push it?

(9 Posts)
Schnullerbacke Thu 22-Sep-11 21:09:21

So, I am by no means pushy and take a rather chilled approach to most things. Her reading day is Monday, she rattled through all the two sets of words they were given and was told that Tuesday she would be given new words due to her doing well. Today is Thursday and we still haven't received anything yet.

At this age I am not keen on homework but I am a bit miffed that basically she hasn't learned much all week. I know it may not be accurate what she tells me but she mentioned that whenever the other kids do their reading, she just goes out to play. Apparently she does nothing but play and draw all day.

I understand that reception has only just started and perhaps I need to wait a bit longer to see what happens. But I dont really want her monkeying around all week just because she has no new challenge. I dont want to hold her back because we will be changing schools again in January and I am wary that she may fall behind then (the new school's sister school handed out ca 50 words before the summer holidays which they wanted the kids to know by the time they started school. So if this new school operates in the same manner, she may be quite behind then).

We have a parent evening next week and I will bring it up then. I just wanted to know what you would do in case teachers will not increase the speed new words are given. If I plough on ahead at home we may get too far ahead of ourselves.

mumtoone Thu 22-Sep-11 21:16:58

I really would not worry at all about homework at this stage. The most important aspect of Reception is developing a child social skills and general ability to play cooperatively. Play is most certainly not a waste of time. On the reading side of things, the best thing you can do is to develop a love of books by reading regularly to your child. The homework will come in due course.

yellowsubmarine41 Thu 22-Sep-11 21:20:30

"the new school's sister school handed out ca 50 words before the summer holidays which they wanted the kids to know by the time they started school"

Good grief. For why the fuck why?

Schnullerbacke Thu 22-Sep-11 21:25:55

@ Mumtoone - I'm not worried about the homework, am glad she is not getting any. She is home late enough as it is - bohooo. We already read loads but she really wants to start reading to me.

@ Yellow - I think they are maybe just ambitious. They have a high turn-over of kids but at the same time, are really high up the league table for reading ability. I think they are just ambitious....

The other thing is, DD's first language is not English so I guess I just want to ensure that toodling around doesnt mean she'll suddenly starts lagging behind.

Ferguson Thu 22-Sep-11 22:36:26


These days Reception IS mostly play, and taking turns, sharing etc, 'Show and Tell' sessions, painting, sand and water, PE, music and dance.

Reading should be taught through synthetic phonics. As English isn't first language find out from teachers exactly how each letter sound should be pronounced - it may well be different from her 'native' language.

English is harder than some other languages, so getting the foundation of reading correct to start with is quite important.

yellowsubmarine41 Fri 23-Sep-11 13:20:30

Agree with ferguson. Kids need to learn how to sound out phonetically and those helping them eg parents need to know too.

Being ambitious is fine, but the first step is the foundations through phonics, not drilled sight reading.

Oggy Fri 23-Sep-11 14:48:58

You say you already read loads but she wants to read to you, what's stopping you getting a few first reader books and letting her read to you?

I and many others on this board have been or are in the situation where school reading books are not challenging enough for them. My approach and those of many others is to make sure they are reading appropriate material at home.

If your main concern is her being up to speed for the new school then there is plenty you can be doing at home to facilitate that.

Personally I say let them play in reception. Most kids around the world haven't even started school yet (and many have better academic records than our own).

BarbarianMum Fri 23-Sep-11 16:13:55

Honestly, I'd not woory - for 2 reasons. One is that it is never wise to underestimate the learning value of play. The second is that most children are not the most reliable reporters of what learning actually takes place in the classroom. Ds1, for instance, never ever did anything remotely mathematical allegedly yet was suddenly able to count and order in the hundreds, add, subtract, count in 2s etc etc - and all this by playing in the construction area or dancing!

mrz Fri 23-Sep-11 17:10:37

@ Yellow - I think they are maybe just ambitious .

It sounds to me as if they haven't got a clue how to teach reading so are hoping to impress parents by sending home lots of words ... high turn over hmm wonder why!

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