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Still struggling in year 1

(76 Posts)
MustTidyPlayroom Sat 27-Oct-12 11:29:28

I've posted about DS2 (born May 2007) earlier this year and got some great advice, but the general feeling was that I was worrying to soon.

So, we are now half a term into year 1, parents evening is approaching and DS is still struggling.

- Reading - DS can still only sound words out and doesn't recognise words from one page to the next - reading books are a thing of the past and we are now doing something called Sounds Write. The teacher is also sending home lists of words to go through and letters so DS can spell them out.

- Maths - DS is struggling with simple number bonds and we have started using Komodo maths at home to help him with this.

- Speech - DS has some on going speech problems, which are improving with intensive therapy.

On the other hand, he loves school, has lots of friends, tries hard and excels at sports.

What should I be asking the teacher at parents evening? 

Should I be worried? 

What more can we do to help?

My other concern is that DS is in a fairly small, but high achieving prep school (children are expected to be working two years ahead of their age in maths when they leave at 11). I am considering moving to a state school as I would hope he would get more support - or is that wishful thinking? 

learnandsay Sat 27-Oct-12 11:37:55

I don't know what the official method is, but the way I did it with my daughter was I wrote pseudo words on pieces of paper and spread them out on the livingroom floor


and so on and after a while I would call a word out and the child would bring it to me. Some months later I'd write a very simple story with stick pictures to illustrate it and the child would read that. It probably was somewhere between four and six months between the first pseudo words and the stick picture stories, using real but very simple words.

MustTidyPlayroom Sat 27-Oct-12 14:00:57

Thank you learnandsay - anything is worth a try.

The weird thing is that he can spell simple phobic words without a problem, but if you ask him to read the word he has to sound out each letter first - I've been thinking dyslexia, but I'm really not sure and think he is too young to be assessed?

Sparklingbrook Sat 27-Oct-12 14:03:35

Just a thought but could you get a private tutor to come round and assess your DS? And just establish exactly where he is?

kidshurt Sat 27-Oct-12 14:08:40

This sounds just like my ds he is also in year 1, we had parents evening last week and I raised my concerns as my dh is dyslexic and my older son is dyspraxic teacher said she would speak to the senco to see if she could work with him to see what she thought, ds came home with a message in message book saying they do things all different now and school cant do anything till they hear from the doctor so i was advised to take him to his doctors!

mrz Sat 27-Oct-12 14:09:17

Some children will remember the word after sounding it out once or twice, some will need to sound the word 200 or 2000 times before they assign it to memory. It doesn't really matter as long he can work it out.

Tommychoochoo Sat 27-Oct-12 14:15:52

You could be describing my DS. He is in Year 1 and in exactly same position, really struggling at reading/writing and numberbonds but is doing amazing well at sport. He can sound out letters and put 2/3 letter words together but nothing any harder. He is at a state primary school and currently had 2 sessions one to one with a teacher a week. He has now done this for 6 months and after half term will be doing a hour private session a day. I think the school believe he has dyslexic or dyspraxia but the local council will not asses him until he is 7. I spoke to the school 6 months ago as I felt he was falling behind and his teacher was fantastic at sorting out private sessions the following week. I think you need to put together a list of your worries and discuss with teacher this is what I didsmile

learnandsay Sat 27-Oct-12 14:19:15

mrz, does it not spoil the experience of reading for the child (and perhaps the parent) if the child is reading a story about cheese and every time she comes across the word cheese she has to sound it out? I don't think the OP is talking about remembering it from story to story, but just the same word you've seen eight times in the last five minutes. Isn't it a developmental thing? My daughter is a bit like that with addition, if she's adding eight and two on the abacus she counts out eight beads and then two of a different colour and to add them up she recounts the first eight! Sometimes I tell her she doesn't need to count the first eight because she already knows there are eight. She says OK, mummy. Now I've lost my place. One, two....

mrz Sat 27-Oct-12 14:21:48

Are we talking about learning to read or entertaining a parent?

learnandsay Sat 27-Oct-12 14:25:21

If it's going well it's likely to be more enjoyable for the child and the parent, and if it's enjoyable it's likely to be done more often. If it's like drawing teeth and a stressful experience it's likely to be done less often and not as well.

mrz Sat 27-Oct-12 14:27:23

The fact is learning something new takes as long as it takes ... that's why not everyone passes their driving test first time

learnandsay Sat 27-Oct-12 14:33:22

It takes as long as it takes, by definition. But a good teacher will make it takes less time than a bad one or none. The trouble is not everyone has access to a good teacher and even a good teacher may not understand this or that particular child.

MustTidyPlayroom Sat 27-Oct-12 14:40:59

To be honest I do find reading with DS1 stressful, but I appreciate that it is my problem and not his.

It is incredibly frustrating when we read something along the lines of -

"Max can run, run, run"

And DS2 sounds out "run" each time!

I also need to stop comparing to DS1 (year 3)  who is working his way through Roald Dahl at the moment.

Math is the same, but we are seeing a bit of improvement with Komodo.

Can I ask how much a tutor would cost? We are currently paying £100 a week for private speech therapy to supplement the NHS therapy so money is a bit tight, hopefully this will only be for a few more months.

mrz Sat 27-Oct-12 14:44:12

Sorry learnandsay but all the brain research suggests it's down to a particular area of the brain (intraparietal sulcus) how quickly a word is assigned to long term memory and unfortunately even the best teacher can't tell which child needs to read a word once and which child needs to read it over and over.

mrz Sat 27-Oct-12 14:45:45

MustTidy does he need to go through the "r" "u" "n" or does he think he has to because that's how you read?

Fluffanstuff Sat 27-Oct-12 14:46:27

Personally in my teaching experience I think it sounds to me like there are some displays of Dyslexia / dyscalculia .
Teachers dont have training in spotting it so unless they had first hand experience it might not be a thought.

I wouldn't push it too much untill it gets looked into more , you can end up doing more harm than good because sometimes If they cant they cant , and the teaching style might not suit your child.

If the school wont take action their will be local charities with trained specialists , once a child turns 7 its proven by research that it can be harder to catch up at that age... Do some research into it and see if it sounds like your son.

My sister has dyslexia and due to lack of support from school my parents sought out a specialist dyslexia tutor she taught my sister how to LEARN differently / interpret instruction into her way of thinking.

learnandsay Sat 27-Oct-12 14:47:23

I don't think the OP is talking about long term memory. I think she's talking about the same word he's just seen eight times in the last five minutes. (Like I was about my daughter and adding.)

MustTidyPlayroom Sat 27-Oct-12 14:50:03

MrsZ - that is an interesting question- I'm really not sure. If I say don't sound it out - he does try really hard to the read word and usually manages it, but it is very slow and I think he is sounding out on his head - if that makes sense.

mrz Sat 27-Oct-12 14:51:38

Oh dear learnandsay ... when we are able to recall a word it is because it has been assigned to long term memory.

Sparklingbrook Sat 27-Oct-12 14:52:42

When Ds1 was in Year 2 (he's Year 9 now) it cost £10 for half an hour for a maths tutor. The tutor we had did do one off sessions just to see what's what IYKWIM.

mrz Sat 27-Oct-12 14:54:02

From experience MustTidy some children actually need to be told they don't need to sound it out again if they can remember. If you say "look that's the word you just read ... can you remember what it was?" do you think he might remember ... it's worth a try pointing out that it is the same word.

Fluffanstuff Sat 27-Oct-12 14:56:56

Theres no point in paying out money for extra tutors / help until you know what the route of the problem is , it wont make a difference and actually if you pay for a tutor and he does have dyslexia or dyscalculia then they can do more damage or good.
I honestly would say it sounds like dyslexia in which case teaching methods and extra support can be put in place without extra cost from you. It will also help in the future as he will get extra time in exams etc. for reading questions.

Its not a bad thing my sister has very serious dyslexia and finished school with really high gcse grades because she got diagnosed she got the help she needed.

learnandsay Sat 27-Oct-12 14:58:45

mrz, you might be a passionate teacher but I'm guessing you're not also a neuroscientist or a psychologist. I'm guessing that there are competing theories about how language is processed.

Sparklingbrook Sat 27-Oct-12 15:01:20

I was only suggesting the tutor to do an assessment. They will spot dyslexia or dyscalcula.

mrz Sat 27-Oct-12 15:04:01

No I'm not a neuroscientist learnandsay are you?

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