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Upset for my DS re: reading levels and teasing?

(28 Posts)
BlushingBlind Fri 28-Sep-12 09:07:55

Hi my DS is 6 and in year 2 (July baby). He is quite low in reading level but its a bit of a non issue in our house as we read with him everyday and there has been improvement since YR.
so... Today we got to school and his close friend B asked DS what colour level he was on, I was saying it doesn't matter but B said he already knew DS was blue and B was 4 levels above he did blue in reception. I was making light saying we all learn a our own pace etc. but DS was getting upset. Then a girl 'M' butted in and laughted at DS saying they are baby books! Hahaha.
Do I mention to the teacher as DS said don't worry mum and looked like he might cry.

Is there anything I can do for DS or should I just leave it? I was so sad for him when I left him he's a very young 6 and sensitive too.
Sorry for garbled just finished work but wanted advice thanks.

adeucalione Fri 28-Sep-12 09:25:49

Poor DS. I know it doesn't help him one bit but my DD was in a similar position in Y2 but at the end of Y6 she got the highest score in the year in her reading SAT (and there's 120 in the year, and she got teased about being rubbish for ages, so I enjoyed that moment immensely).

In the meantime yes, I would mention it to the teacher. She can do some work on kindness with the class, and allow the children some privacy when they are changing their books so that nobody even needs to see what level they're on.

BlushingBlind Fri 28-Sep-12 09:29:13

Thanks for that it makes me feel a bit better smile

He's really sensitive to teasing and the girl M has form she's very smart but is mean about it sad she makes me mad I have to walk away when I'm around her and get my DS to move in the line so he's not around her when I'm there as I want to say something about how mean she is.

Sorry rant over!

adeucalione Fri 28-Sep-12 09:30:06

Meant to say - the most important thing is to keep your DS's self esteem intact, and to continue fostering a love of reading.

It sounds like you are doing everything right, so just keep doing it and don't let him get demotivated or switch off from reading because mean children are teasing him about it.

I used to say to DD 'forget the stupid reading book, let's cuddle up and read Peter Pan (or whatever) together', so that she knew that reading for enjoyment was entirely separate from the hoop-jumping school reading scheme.

adeucalione Fri 28-Sep-12 09:31:49

Sorry X post. Yes she does sound mean, and my DC are still coming up against such children now that they are all in secondary school, so ignoring them is a good skill to learn.

ReallyTired Fri 28-Sep-12 09:38:47

Your poor Ds. I feel you should say something to the teacher. Such bullying will destroy your son's confidence. Your son's reading is behind because he is very young in the year. I expect that he is not much older than many year 1s. Also boys develop more slowly in the early years. (They do catch up though)

It is out of order for a child to mock another's low reading ablity. M should not be allowed to get away with such behaviour. Either the teacher or possibly the head teacher needs to tell M that such behaviour will not be tolerated and maybe send a letter home to the parents. Even the brightest of children have to learn basic manners.

If M's behaviour continues, it will damage your son's mental welbeing as well as put him off reading.

MerryCosIWonaGold Fri 28-Sep-12 09:40:23

I can sympathise too. My ds is Y2 and in quite a low group. He failed his phonics test (luckily no-one else knew that). Last year all his friends were in the top group and he did quite often get, "That's a book for babies". Or, "I'm reading a book with chapters...does he read books with chapters?". They also teased him about drawing/ writing/ running, you name it. It has definitely impacted his self esteem, which is a bit sad, but we try to boost it in other ways. I have framed a lot of drawings, some are in his room and some in the kitchen. We read together and I read to him. He has a fantastic imagination and I know he is going to love reading when he can do it fluently. He has made progress too, it's just not as fast as others. And we play a game sometimes at bedtime where he says 10 things he is good at and I say 10 things I am good at...

I would definitely mention it to the teacher. She can also help boost his esteem in this area, like giving stickers for good reading or whatever... My ds is always thrilled when he gets a 'reward' from the teacher.

PiedWagtail Fri 28-Sep-12 09:41:53

Hi - your poor ds. The problem is that every child knows what level s/he is on, and the rest of the class! They are very competitive. You could try bigging up your ds and all the things he does do well - 'you may not be on purple level like xxxx but you are such a good swimmer/football player' and 'everyone does things at their own pace.' Agree about having a word with teacher and talking about kindness in class. Kids can be little buggers.

MerryCosIWonaGold Fri 28-Sep-12 09:44:05

We spoke to the teachers too, and they did always get on the case, but sadly a lot of kids aren't very kind. It depends how much kindness is stressed at home I think. School can only do so much. So yes, some coping mechanisms are good to learn like ignoring and not worrying what other people think of you.

BlushingBlind Fri 28-Sep-12 09:44:52

Thank you so much there's some great ideas here that I am going to take on.
The phonics test he just scraped a pass and he fails his spelling every week but when he gets more than half right we have a celebration!
Merry my DS sounds like yours he has a wicked imagination so will pinch your ideas

Thank you all for being so kind. X

smee Fri 28-Sep-12 09:48:39

I used to whisper my DS a code word when we had similar. Bizarrely it was 'snow'. It was our secret code for 'boasty-pants', so made him giggle. I told him if he was teased to just say 'snow' under his breath and it would make him smile. I know it sounds daft, but it really worked for him.

I think you should talk to the teacher too though. I primed mine, then we had a meeting with DS too, where she told him how imaginative he was and how well he was doing and also that he must tell her if anyone was teasing him like that. She also did a lot of work with the class, reinforcing what low level bullying was (for that's what it is). Soon sorted it. smile

mam29 Fri 28-Sep-12 09:56:47

I can empathise my dd had same thing end year 1.
shes now started year 2 and started from much lower level than most others in the class.

But she has progressed quickly this year.
In her school all teh ones who failed their phonics test in small groups with ta for phonics and the stronger ones with teacher.
Dd passed phonics but still not a great reader.

Like yours her confidence is knwocked and as its split class and shes combined with 15youngest in her year its knocked her confidence even more .

They set on tables for numercay and literacy.
we read at home.

Told her over summer forget about reading levels just enjoy story we did reading challange at libary.

Hope you get it sorted I cant believe how competative kids are at such a young age.

rrbrigi Fri 28-Sep-12 10:07:33

Your poor DS. I am so sorry to hear it. I think your DS should not ignore her. I am sure there is something that your DS better than this girl (running, football, math, art, music etc..?), tell him he can say to the girl "never mind you read better but I am a lot better in (something) than you. So the girl will realize that she is not in the top of everything.
And also you could tell to your son that some children are better in something (e.g. reading) and other children are better in other things. So he won't feel himself sad because his reading not as good as others. He will realize he is very good in other things and it will make him proud.

All the best for you and for your son.

dinkystinky Fri 28-Sep-12 10:14:58

Mention to the teacher - and re-emphasise with DS that its not the book band colour that matters, its enjoying what you read and learning to read at your own pace that matters. DS1 is 6 and in year 2 as well - he was on green at the end of year 1 and is now well on his way through turquoise at home with us (he's on orange at school but barely reads with his teacher) and always has his nose in a book, Argos catalogue (to make his xmas list!) or magazine and tells me he loves reading... so that's all that matters to me. His "friend" teases him about his writing (as he is still writing non-joined up and reverses his letters alot) - I've told him to tell his friend to stop being mean and everyone learns at their own pace.

expansivegirth Fri 28-Sep-12 10:33:05

I have had to deal with a similar situation within my own family (twins). One of my children is a better reader than the other. The better reader recently taunted the lesser reader. I pointed out that people learn things at different rates and that she had learned to walk before her sister, but now her sister was the faster runner. Also her sister can swim while she can't, but within a year she will be able to swim too. They seem to have absorbed this and I haven't heard similar competitive comments since.

The chiidren also once made one comment about a girl at school reading a baby book. They didn't say it unkindly but I pointed out that the girl in question can speak two languages - which they can't - and that made English and reading harder for her. Also, that she was the youngest in the class. And that children learn at different rates just like they learn at different rates. Again, I've heard no comments since. They are at a school that would also try and knock such comments on the head: there is no streaming in infants. .

I'd talk about it with the teacher who I am sure will emphasise to the class that people have different strengths and different paces. Sorry for your son, though, horrible to be on the receiving end of this.

Timetoask Fri 28-Sep-12 10:43:29

I think you should definitely talk to the teacher. However, in your place I would also boost up your DS's confidence by finding something he is really good at. Is there a sport he really likes, is he really good at drawing, is he good at inventing stories, we all have a skill. Try to find his special skill and foster his confidence through that.

If he has inner confidence, the words of these other children will not get to him as much.

NotWilliamBoyd Fri 28-Sep-12 10:53:22

Lots of good ideas here - I would also speak to the teacher about your DS's weekly spellings though, they sound too hard if getting more than half correct warrants a celebration.

Iamnotminterested Fri 28-Sep-12 10:58:45

Behind every competitive, bullying child is a pushy parent, believe me. I have stood and cringed for many years in primary school playgrounds at the shite that some of them come out with, but I have now come to the conclusion that these people must have low self-esteem and are to be treated with pity. Try to avoid these people and their horrid children but do talk to the teacher who should act on your DS's situation.

delphie Fri 28-Sep-12 11:04:06

OP love smee's suggestion re code word - might try that one myself. My DCs always have a non-school book in their bag they can whip out and talk about rather than have a discussion about which f***ing level or colourband everyone is on. With what you've said about phonics and spelling etc you might want to read up on signs of dyslexia and keep an eye on things. Protect his confidence and self esteem as much as you can.

becstargazeypie Fri 28-Sep-12 11:10:26

Here's a thread I posted a year ago..

...about my DS - he was in Y1 at the time, and from my OP you'll see the similarity. Firstly, the advice from mrz I got on helping him with his reading was amazing - worth checking all of that out. And secondly DS is now gradually working his way up towards the middle of the class having been right at the bottom - something 'clicked'. He wasn't dyslexic he just needed help with confidence and he was a bit behind developmentally, which he's catching up on - other kids teasing him hadn't helped. Have a read and hope it helps. And take heart from the fact that my DS is doing really well now, and the teasing has stopped.

smee Fri 28-Sep-12 11:10:31

delphie's right, keep an eye on dyslexia signs. My son happens to be mildly dyslexic, but doesn't mean yours is. Key signs for us were lots of letter/ number reversals long past when the others had stopped. Also he can't copy or spell and his handwriting's all over the place. His reading though is amazing and that suddenly zoomed off at end of Yr2.

sazale Fri 28-Sep-12 11:39:40

I've recently read that thread, becs, whilst searching for info and im glad to hear things have improved for your DS. My DS 5,in year 1, is really struggling to learn to read and recognise numbers. He still hasn't made it off the initial four sounds from week 1 of phase 2 letters and sounds that he started at the end of F1. School have only just admitted this to me despite me voicing my concerns several times through F2. I'm really worried about his self esteem as he has social anxiety and the difficulties in school are compounding this. He also has extreme hypermobility in his hands which makes writing very difficult and he's not really writing yet (apart from his name).

He does have a phonological speech disorder so it could be connected to that but that also adds to his worries as when he's not too anxious to talk he can't always be understood. He does have many friends, fortunately, and is the most loving, caring child. He is highly intelligent and it must be so frustrating for him.

I do worry that he will start to get teased by classmates as they get older and be in a similar position to the OP.

Sorry I don't have any advice, OP, but I do share your concerns.

becstargazeypie Fri 28-Sep-12 11:54:54

Yes sazale things have improved hugely, please do take heart. It's great that your DS has lots of friends - I think this is what helped my DS not to take the teasing so much to heart. Also we put lots of emphasis on the things that he was really ahead on (swimming, in DS' case) and whenever DS said 'X said that I'm a baby because I'm on blue band and she's on gold band' we'd remind DS that X is ahead on reading, but she can't swim yet and one day X will learn to swim and DS will be reading and no-one will know who did what first. And we point out that DS wouldn't tease X about not being able to swim because that would be mean and a bit babyish, wouldn't it? So he's the grown up one for not teasing anyone else and just doing his own work. I guess not everyone would agree with that, but it did help DS to feel more confident.

delphie Fri 28-Sep-12 13:10:48

I hope I didn't alarm you. If he does turn out to be dyslexic please don't think it's terrible news. i have 3 (and counting!!) dyslexic DCs and their abilities vary enormously but they are all doing well - as it progresses to high school the weekly torture of spelling tests is a thing of the past (if you have a good primary they will differentiate the spellings anyway) and they are able to show off their skills in other areas.
PS - I agree with the poster who said it's pushy parents behind the children who want to talk about which reading levels people are on. In a few years who the f* cares anyway.

pateran Fri 28-Sep-12 15:36:11

DEfo tell teacher about kids. If 6 years old see him upset and behave that way how will they be behaving at 16.

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