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Reading in P1? Need perspective

(59 Posts)
HauntingMyWay Mon 29-Oct-12 20:43:38

I'm quite nervous posting this incase I'm seen as thinking DD is a genius. I don't.

DD (4) started P1 in August. She learns the words in her word box easily and is confident with the sounds they have done so far.

We read together every night. For about a month we have been getting early readers from the library and we read one of these and then I read a 'chapter' book.
The early readers take 5-7 days and she can read them independently. Learning by sight and rote mostly I'd expect but in the past week she is sounding out words and making sensible attempts. Also we play word games and she can read so many of the words out of context.

Anyway... her school reading books as so simplistic in comparison with little scope for word games. She just reads it and wants to move on to something else.

Are these books essential foundations to learning to read?

Is she in danger of losing interest in reading in school as they are too simple?

When should individual reading levels be assessed and catered to by the teacher?

Thank you so much if you read all that. She is my first and I want to do right by her. Not pushing but not ignoring her needs either.

HauntingMyWay Mon 29-Oct-12 20:45:28

Should say I don't read a whole 'chapter' book to her every night! grin

learnandsay Mon 29-Oct-12 20:57:39

I've been down a similar (but slightly different) path with my daughter who is 4 1/2.

The main difference is that I've been actively encouraging my daughter to read since she was two. She can now read very simple chapter books and has an ability to extrapolate meaning from spellings that she doesn't yet know. The consensus on MN is two things. (a) don't teach her to sound out words using an informal common sense methodology because it might/will clash with formal phonics. (which I don't believe is true.) (b) going over old ground is either necessary or is not harmful.

Personally I don't think it's all that necessary. But neither am I that convinced that it's harmful. (My daughter loves reading Dan the man can ban a pan and Dan has a pan. Although she can read: possibly Dorothy should borrow a beautiful gown tomorrow.) So my solution is to accept Dan the man can ban a pan, from the school archive and read it with her. And then read about Dorothy some time later. That way everybody's happy.

HauntingMyWay Mon 29-Oct-12 21:34:30

Thank you for replying. I haven't read the other thread yet (18 pages shock ) that'll be bedtime reading.

I suppose as long as she is happy with the school reading books I'll continue with what we're doing and see how it goes. It's the most amazing thing to me baby learning to read in front of my very eyes.

simpson Mon 29-Oct-12 21:57:15

Does she understand what she is reading with you??

Am in a similar situation although not quite so bad as at least DD's school books do have some "bite" to them.

"We were the quickest to catch a hundred crabs!" they shout jumping about. Then the children empty the bucket of crabs. The crabs all scatter and run along the muddy river bank....

Etc, etc but I guess some improvement on Biff and Kipper!!

Have you spoken to your DD's teacher about her reading??

DD reads chapter books at home and we also use Oxford owl (I have put her on ORT5 ).

HauntingMyWay Mon 29-Oct-12 22:44:22

Yes she understands the essence of the story right away and we talk about new words when we see them.

Understanding of the text is not an issue.

simpson Tue 30-Oct-12 00:02:42

It is hard. Have you spoken to the teacher about this??

Maybe at parents eve??

BrittaPerry Tue 30-Oct-12 00:17:01

Is she possibly doing what my DD did and pretending to not be able to read at school?

I'm sure the teacher thought I was mad, until she was looking at DD and observing her knowing what direction to turn pages in etc, and noticed her lips moving slightly as she read.

Up to then, DD had been happily sitting in the group going slowly through satipn, and even seeming to hesitate with her answers.

DD behaved exactly the same way when the teacher put her in the top group - it would seem that she just reacts in the way she thinks she should to questions.

Some children are just a bit odd...we know how to get the best from our children, because we see them every day in all different situations, but it harder for a teacher because they only see the child how they are in a class of 30, iyswim.

doyouwantfrieswiththat Tue 30-Oct-12 00:54:43

I'd like some perspective on this myself, ds1 was sight reading before age 2 so I flagged it up when he started school, he was pretty much left to his own devices, lack of resource I guess, but finally he seems to be engaging again (age 7 now) and while other kids are proudly competitive about being able to read he seems to have lost momentum because he's already where most of them are.

ds2 started school this year & recent comments from his teacher were that he recognises letter home he reads simple books to me. I don't see the point of saying anything after my experience with ds1.

I honestly don't know whether to just relax because they enjoy school as time to play with their friends & they're both still young.

learnandsay Tue 30-Oct-12 08:55:57

My own suspicion is that the phonics lovers worry that sight readers are going to have problems with words like "thoroughly" or "heinous" or "vicissitudes" or other relatively uncommon words which are spelt in a peculiar way. And they've got a cunning plan to equip all children with an inbuilt way of sounding these words out. Mind you, that doesn't mean that the children will know what on earth the words actually mean once they've sounded it out (that's one of phonic's weak points,(known as barking at text)) but at least in theory the child can sound it out.

And the long running argument goes that all children should learn these sounding out skills or will/should run into problems. I learned to read using sight reading and have absolutely no idea how I coped with "thoroughly". But I clearly did cope with it.

My own personal suspicion is that none of this actually matters unless a child is struggling to learn to read. I think that unless the child is struggling it's all just a debate between two or more competing theories about how children should learn to read and doesn't matter that much to normal people. Normal people should just give their child increasingly complicated books in terms of subject and vocabulary until the child can read any book that he or she chooses on his or her own. (And should help the children read, (in whatever manner the children feel most comfortable,) when they get stuck with a word or phrase.

HauntingMyWay Tue 30-Oct-12 09:21:17

Thanks guys for being so helpful. I really thought I was going to be jumped on as being a pushy parent! wink

I agree with what you say learn. I haven't really come across debate between the two ways of teaching reading. I think our school does jolly phonics along with sight learning irregular words.

I am my child's first teacher and if she is powering along at home then we'll continue And like you say in your other thread we'll keep going with the simple books from school but the second I think she is bored or unengaged I'll be hot footing it to the school for a chat.

BrittaPerry Tue 30-Oct-12 09:27:51

See, the way I have always read is yo look for parts of the word that are like others that I know, so I can work out the meaning first, then the sound. Sometimes I pronounce things wrong. It is far more important that. Understand what I have read, though.

BrittaPerry Tue 30-Oct-12 09:30:13

We have just deregistered Dd- she is reading and understanding Alice in Wonderland at home. At school she was still on ORT 5 and bored.

She worked through Jolly Phonics at home before school too. We're doing them now with 2yo dd2. I never ever force them to do anything and they manage perfectly well.

learnandsay Tue 30-Oct-12 10:17:03

Britta, when you say deregistered does that mean you're now officially a home educating parent? (Presumably reading the wrong books wasn't the only problem that you had with the school system?)

I think what you're saying is pretty much the same thing that I (and a few others) have been saying and that is that it seems as though the phonics readers that our (mainly daughters) have been given to read are far far too easy for them. And we're wondering how on earth this can be helpful. (Or in the worst cases we're wondering if it's going to put them off reading.)

And I think there are a couple of answers coming from phonics lovers. (a) Give the children more complicated phonics books. (This is easier said than done if the teacher genuinely believes, (however wrongly) that the child doesn't deserve a harder phonics book. (b) It does the children no harm to read too easy phonics books and it erases phonics gaps if those gaps exist, and if those gaps don't exist, well, reading too easy phonics books is generally a good thing anyway, (for no particular reason, it's just good.)

My own suspicion is that what's good and what's not good depends far more on the particular child than on the reading theory. I'm sure some children can't stand reading baby books, (phonics or not) and to force them to do it against their will is a really really bad idea. And then there will be others, (like my daughter,) who loves reading them, and it's no big deal as long as she's happy.

maizieD Tue 30-Oct-12 10:24:58

a)don't teach her to sound out words using an informal common sense methodology because it might/will clash with formal phonics.

It's just a bit daft to knit your own interpretation of the alphabetic code when it may well be erroneous and may muddle a child when they come to be taught at school. It's not as if you have to reinvent the wheel. There's plenty of information on the 'code' available on the web for parents/carers who want to work with their child 'pre school'; both alphabetic code charts and sound files to demonstrate what each phoneme sounds like.

Mind you, that doesn't mean that the children will know what on earth the words actually mean once they've sounded it out (that's one of phonic's weak points,(known as barking at text)

That is absurd, learnandsay. Try looking at it like this. Everyone who reads extensively is likely to come across words which they can 'read' but don't know the meaning of. Just being able to say the sounds it contains doesn't automatically lead to knowing its meaning; 'meaning' has to be learned. So you could say that 'barking at print' is a perfectly normal and natural facet of reading instead of using the phrase pejoratively.

It would be interesting to know just how one would be expected to 'know' the meaning of an unfamiliar word just on sounding out and blending alone... It is almost beyond belief to find that supposedly intelligent people condemn phonics because the act of sounding out and blending a word which is not in the reader's vocabulary doesn't instantly reveal its meaning. Why on earth should it?

mrz Tue 30-Oct-12 10:38:56

As the mother of a very early self taught reader- he could read the Financial Times at nursery and loved to tell grandpa how his shares were doing when he collected him, I didn't worry when he started school as he just read at his own level right from the start. I began to worry when he couldn't write/spell and was continually told not to worry because his reading age was far in excess of his chronological age. He eventually saw an EP who said the same and suggested I was an over protective mother. It was only when he started secondary school (and his 3rd EP assessment) it was recognised that he knew no phonics whatsoever - why would he need it when he was such a great reader hmm
I personally wish I could turn back the clock and insist he should be taught phonics with all the beginner readers regardless of his reading age/ability.

mrz Tue 30-Oct-12 10:42:38

If a child is genuinely an able reader they can read whatever they want at home so why worry about scheme books. Easy reading books are hardly going to damage anyone after all do we always read books that challenge our reading ability as adults

mrz Tue 30-Oct-12 11:09:40

OP can I ask which reading scheme books your daughter is bringing home?
You say they "take 5-7 days" and I'm not sure what that means ... do you mean it takes her that long to read the book once or that long to "learn" the book sorry really puzzled

learnandsay Tue 30-Oct-12 11:11:55

Maizie, there's no guarantee that formal phonics doesn't contain errors either. I'd consider pronouncing earth as erth an error. I'd also consider stating that the limit on ways to create a sound like eye was five different ways when in fact there are more than that an error. Just because something is official it doesn't mean that it has no errors in it. And just because something has errors in it it doesn't mean that it's not useful.

And just because formal phonics is taught in all schools that doesn't mean that it's taught exclusively or properly in all schools. So it's likely that children are going to have to develop some methods of transferring what they've learned to solve new problems regardless of how they have been taught. I think some development of a child's natural ability to make out what a new word says is sensible actually (quite the opposite from being daft.) And I find this rather slavish devotion to one theory that some people show rather depressing and mistaken.

TheCunningStunt Tue 30-Oct-12 11:22:42

Hi OP I am in scotland to. Ds is 5 and in p2, so started P1 at 4. He was sort of labelled as a bit slower in terms of learning to read. We went to his parents evening and my ds sat there and made words on a board in the class, his teacher sad he had neve done that in school before. We thought his reading was brilliant at home and were amazed to hear his teacher say he was "just managing". Turns out our super loud and confident boy, was the opposite in school. SO he was bring home books and reading them at home in 5 seconds flat.
We just continued to get him books that challeneged him. A year on the shcool have finally moved him up a reading group, saying they noticed a "leap" in his ability. They are still sending him home with books that are far to easy, and so we keep giving him other books to read every night.

I would say let the school do what they do. If your dd is anything like my ds, homework will be done quickly. He is not bored of reading at all, because we get him any books he is interested in for at home. School is just one part of their life.

mrz Tue 30-Oct-12 11:23:39

Learnandsay it isn't about pronunciation, it seems you are confusing phonetics and phonics, two different things. Phonics is about how words are represented in writing pure and simple. It is a method that has been used successfully for hundreds or years. It's the way spoken language was originally transcribed into print.

learnandsay Tue 30-Oct-12 11:28:26

mrz, that can't be true, because if it was just about how words are represented in writing then everything to do with phonics would take place on paper. The human voice would never be involved because the human voice is not written.

mrz Tue 30-Oct-12 11:37:14

If the human voice wasn't involved we wouldn't have words to represent in writing learnandsay ... and if the human voice was required for reading and writing we would always have to read (and write) aloud.

If we haven't previously heard a word spoken we don't know how to pronounce it no matter how good a reader we are we can only approximate the correct pronunciation. If we have heard the word previously a reader using phonics would "normalise" the word to their own accent.

HauntingMyWay Tue 30-Oct-12 11:50:16

Uh oh is this a bun fight? winkgrin

Mrz she is getting the Kipper books. Last night's book contained exactly 3 different words.
We get tadpole readers from the library. 5-20 words per page. Speech bubbles. Speech marks. Different tenses in different books.
It takes us 5-7 days to get to the stage that she knows the story, all the words and we've chatted it all through. 60-80% of the time she knows the word and meaning in another context.
We have so much fun and it's the most incredible thing to see her taking it all in.

I hope that a passion for books and love of reading will be the thing that carries her through the learning process.

mrz Tue 30-Oct-12 11:57:52

No HauntingMyWay but learnandsay has her own unique understanding which she keeps repeating and is, I'm afraid, not based in fact.

Are the Kipper books the new phonics books or the old ORT look and say which repeat the same word on every page?

Does the school expect her to learn all the words before she can change her book?

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