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Can anyone help with giving me an idiots' guide to helping my DD (4) to read?

(11 Posts)
ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Wed 03-Oct-12 18:13:25

DD started primary about three weeks ago and is loving it so far. That in itself is a relief as I thought she'd be clingy and upset but she has been brilliant.

She has had just picture books so far and we have enjoyed looking through the book and telling the story together, asking questions etc. Tonight is her first book with words and I have had a major panic. I haven't got a clue how to do it with her! I feel so daft saying that.

So the first page said 'Mum and Dad' - (it is 'Fun at the Beach'). We looked at the picture, she told me who was there, what was happening and then we looked and sounded out the words. It went like this:

Me - "mum muh-uh-mum, DD you try..."
DD - "mum"
Me - "and ah-nuh-duh and."
DD - "ah ah ah ants (the phonic thingy for ah so I know she is picking it up) nuh-duh duh is for Dad"
Me - Well done that's right, this word is Dad, look, Duh-ah-duh"
DD - "Look the moon's out..."

And it went like this for every word and every page. By page two she was totally bored and disengaged.

Am I going about it wrong? I don't expect her to be reading by now, I'm not fussed she can't do it yet I just worry I'm doing it wrong and not helping her one bit. I worry I don't have enough patience to do this every night for every book. I've totally taken reading for granted.

RaisinDEtre Wed 03-Oct-12 18:18:06

have you been given a sheet with How To Say the sounds

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Wed 03-Oct-12 18:20:24

Nope. No info at all so far. There is a scheduled phonics workshop... But not til November.

kekouan Wed 03-Oct-12 18:26:58

Have a look at alphablocks on the cbeebies website and watch the episodes and play some of the games - might make it more interesting for both of you until she's getting the hang of blending the sounds

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Wed 03-Oct-12 18:38:19

Thanks ill have a look for those and see if she'll watch them. She's not a big tv watcher.

Does she know the sounds all the letters make? I would have thought that's the place to start, then once she knows the sounds she can begin to blend them.

Also be careful of your sounding out; and would be aaaa nnnnn d, no nuh duh etc. Try searching jolly phonics on YouTube for help with them.

RiversideMum Wed 03-Oct-12 18:52:44

If you find the Jolly Learning website or google Debbie Hepplewhite, there are examples of how to sound each letter correctly. You need to lose the "uh" at the end of the sounds and make them pure eg "mmmmmmmm" not "muh". TBH, it sounds to me like your child may not quite be ready for a book.

kekouan Wed 03-Oct-12 19:28:48

We do alphablocks etc on the tablet, so no TV there - makes it more interactive.

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Wed 03-Oct-12 20:15:52

Yes she knows her alphabet, the names of each letter and can write/recognise each. She can write her name, mummy, daddy, her brother's name; writing wise she's brilliant.

Thanks for the sounding out advice, that's helpful. It would have been more helpful for the school to have advised us about this beforehand though, not a month after learning has begun.

I think she is ready, I just think my teaching methods aren't helping her.

She is learning the phonics sounds and knows A, P, S, T so far and probably more. She has a phonics workbook that was sent home in her bookbag but we haven't been told that we need to do anything with her in it, just that it needs to stay in her bookbag. It's so hard to ask the teachers anything as drop off and pick up is like fight club. 60 sets of children and parents in a single doorway is a right 'mare!

Ferguson Wed 03-Oct-12 20:46:11

Hi -

I seem to do a 'post' on Phonics every week! Will try to copy some of my previous info :


Hi - ex TA (male) here, now retired:

Phonics is confusing for those not properly trained in it, and I have come across plenty of teachers who still get it wrong!

The SOUND for most letters should be "pure". Thus the sound for letter 'l' is not 'luh (which it was in the 'old days', I agree) but 'llllll'. Similarly, 'm' and 'n' are not 'muh' and 'nuh' but 'mmmm' and 'nnnn'.

In the word 'like' it is the 'e' at the end that changes 'i' from its normal sound, to its letter name (pronounced) 'eye'.

So children need to know TWO sounds for many letters, the 'normal' sound, and the 'name' when the word ends in an 'e'.

This is known as a 'split digraph', and probably by Yr2 children are expected to know it by that name.

PS : different schools teach Phonics with various degrees of accuracy; thus some will do it great precision and dedication, while others do only minimum Phonics and revert to systems they have used for 20 or 30 years!

If you need any further clarification, feel free to ask me for more info. I'm afraid I get rather cross when some well-meaning people give false or misleading info. In case you have not noticed yet, one of the very best MN teachers is " mrz ", who always gives sound advice; sorry about the pun!



pudding25 Wed 03-Oct-12 20:49:52

I think also, the thing to remember, is that they are little children who are tired after a long day at school and while they are ready to learn letters etc, they may not be quite up to speed at wanting to read books on their own as yet.

I say this as a primary teacher with a daughter in reception!

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