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First Parents Evening - can I ask?

(9 Posts)
wandymum Wed 10-Oct-12 19:56:05

My 4yo DS started reception in September. During his last year at preschool we discovered he'd taught himself to read. He just came home with books with great long sentences in and could read them and is now pretty much able to read whatever he likes.

I am not sure his reception teacher realises.

He is coming home with phonic worksheets focusing on the basic individual sounds. I appreciate these are still useful to go back over as he'll need them for spelling etc... but so far he hasn't been given anything more taxing. No mention of a reading book or similar yet.

After asking for suggestions on here I have stocked up on plenty of books for him to read himself - Roald Dahl, the blue bananas series, the Happy Families books, lots of factual ones about space, engines etc... to keep his interest going but I would like some input from the school.

I'm nervous of appearing pushy so early on in his school career. DS isn't drastically advanced across the board. He is good at maths and has a phenomenal memory for factual information (he can lecture me for hours on the internal combustion engine or similar) but his writing is dreadful and he is pretty shy socially.

But on the other hand I don't want him getting bored as they all sit around sounding out cat and hat day in day out.

Do i mention it or not?

Tiggles Wed 10-Oct-12 20:23:02

I would tell them, but (based entirely on my own experience with DS1) prepare to be ignored! In fact the teacher came out a couple of weeks before the end of reception in great surprise, having discovered DS1 could read hmm.
DS1 who was a precocious reader - reading Harry Potter by the time he was 5 and an 'expert' on tudor history in reception, but he missed out massively by not learning phonics in a structured manner. It hasn't unduly held back his reading, but his spelling is attrocious. He is now in year 6 and I am having to go back and teach him how to spell (by hearing the sounds in the words properly).
Hopefully the teacher will take note, but if not just keep him reading what he wants in the evenings smile

AbbyR1973 Wed 10-Oct-12 20:41:56

I would say discuss with the teacher in a nice way. My DS1 also reads quite well and started school in Sept. His school started sending books home in the middle of week1. Most children got picture books but DS1 got a very simple book with character names only. We were also asked to write in a communication book. The teacher had already figured out he could read and was clearly making her own assessments. I felt bad that I hadn't mentioned anything before he started and DS1 was a bit confused as to being given such a basic book. I also didn't know what to write in thecommunication book. I decided to speak to his very lively teacher.
I am so pleased that I did. I went in really just planning to say he could read a bit but she was already well on the case. She started talking about how she planned to extend him within the year group for phonics work, put him straight on to stage 4 books which are stillon the easier side but we have discussed the reasons for this including not overwhelming him in his first few weeks. She also tookthe opportunity to ask about other things like number skills. DS1 is happy, appropriately challenged and adores school and his teacher and they have been AMAZING with him. She quite often stops me now at drop off for a little update about what she is doing with him.
I really feel that we are working together for DS1 now.

Tiggles Wed 10-Oct-12 20:45:57

I probably should say that DS2 at a different school was nurtured much better - like Abby they had noticed DS2 could read a bit and set him at the right level.

I merely wrote my more jaded experience with DS1 as the school hadn't picked up his abilities themselves, so it is possible they just haven't had time to assess your DS yet and will soon be on the case.

AshieFan Wed 10-Oct-12 20:53:03

Oh, how fantastic that your ds can read already and by himself. He is what is classed as gifted and talented. Absolutely tell his teacher that he is an independent reader - the chances are that she/he already knows. And if they are not aware, it could be because your ds is rather shy? If he/she doesn't then they need to know, esp when reading books start being sent home. Let the teacher know the types of books that your ds is reading at home. It is still useful to do basic phonics for spelling but he could be quickly progressed through it.

In terms of how he could be supported for his reading (both at home and school) is comprehension. He may be able to read but how much does he get including inferred information? Especially, about what characters may be feeling and why as well as motivation of characters. Boys can sometimes find this difficult. The other thing I would do (and I am not sure others would agree wi me on this) is expose him to a wide range of reading material inc comics, electronic books etc.

Not everybody can be good at everything. Your boy has a talent in reading, is very good at maths and has an excellent memory. I'd say that is pretty good going. His handwriting - he is only 4 years old! It will come.

PS sorry if my response sounds a bit abrupt, it's because I am tying on my phone and its a bit of a nightmare.

numbum Wed 10-Oct-12 20:57:11

You say his writing is dreadful and phonics will 100% help that! Our school have carpet time to sound out letters, CVC words etc and then they go and write them. That is ultimately going to help your son's writing and, if he's reading already, he will probably pick the writing up quickly too. You should mention it (nicely) but, IME, him being able to read will just mean his reading books should be at his level

wandymum Thu 11-Oct-12 09:56:17

Thanks all. I will mention it then and see what she says.

rrbrigi Thu 11-Oct-12 14:14:12


Your son is a very good reader and he is very good at math. That's great. Why don't you take to opportunity to help him on his weaknesses (writing, socially) at home and in school? Probably going to the playground or helping other children in a class (with phonics, math or anything he knows) help him socialize and find friends easily. And you can practice handwriting at home too.

Did he mention to you that he is bored? They are doing a lot more other staff not just sitting on the carpet and saying, cat, hat etc... He probably enjoys building works, singing, PE or any other things they are doing in the school.

LouHal Thu 11-Oct-12 14:48:23

I think you've got to tell the teacher and then hopefully they will structure his reading around being able to read independently already. He will still learn phonics so that will always help with his reading anyway. Good luck!

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