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I know this sounds odd but I'm worried that DS is reading too well!

(75 Posts)
DoubleDoubleTwigletTrouble Sat 17-Nov-12 10:43:15

DS (Reception) has always been good at reading for his age and could read simple decodeable words fairly easily and knew a few letter blends such as sh and th. But he seems to have suddenly learned to read almost in a fortnight. He can easily read an ORT stage 4 book (a sentence like "I went to the park and I liked playing on the swings, they went very high") and I'm wondering how he's done this so quickly! Obviously the old OR style books follow a certain style and you can guess words to a certain extent but it's not just ORT he can do this with. I may be worrying over nothing (after all, the goal is for them to read and he can) but I'm concerned that he's just got the 'look' of a word and isn't reading it phonetically. I guess I'm worried that he's missed out on some basics? If he came across a word he didn't know then he would try to work it out phonetically so he can do it - he just doesn't seem to need to.

His teacher said not to worry and that kids learn to read in all sorts of different ways but it just seems really odd that he's gone from c-a-t to advanced reading in just 2 weeks or so....

ErmahgerdBlahdyCold Sat 17-Nov-12 21:09:58

DS1 (4.6) is a lot like this, he went from A,B,C, to phonic sounds for the letters, to reading whole words (before he was 4), without ever doing a c-a-t stage. They've been really good at school, his guided reading targets are based on comprehension, rather than just reading the words, he's being given 'proper' books instead of phonics readers.

Very interesting reading about hyperlexia, DS1 is totally obsessed with letters and numbers, a little behind socially but very articulate and seems to comprehend what he reads. If I had to define him, it would just be as a slightly nerdy type (in a good way), rather than actually hyperlexic.

mrz Sat 17-Nov-12 21:10:35

and just because something is a phonic reader it doesn't mean it isn't a real book smile

learnandsay Sat 17-Nov-12 21:15:29

True, I'm sure. But I did qualify by saying the early ones, anyway. Everyone's opinion of a real book is bound to differ. But I can't fit what I've seen so far into my definition of real books. Maybe there's room to hope for some kind of future...

mrz Sat 17-Nov-12 21:22:04

Regardless they are real books.
"A written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers."

The content of early books may not be intellectually stimulating but they are probably much more appealing to the average 5 year old that Wittgenstein would be ...perhaps if he'd employed a good illustrator hmm

learnandsay Sat 17-Nov-12 21:32:38


simpson Sat 17-Nov-12 21:36:13

Out of interest LandS - which books does your DD like reading?? (other than green eggs and ham!!)

Looking for ideas for my own DD...

learnandsay Sat 17-Nov-12 21:50:45

She loves our Michael Rosen book (which frustratingly I've lost. But it contains the poem about yucky custard, the robot, going to the moon on a spoon, and a girl on the toilet.) Probably could do with a better description but the book is a scream.
She loves Max and Poppy books. (So do I. They're hilarious and easy to read.)
She loves traditional tales Cinderella, Three Bears (by Hopscotch Publishing.)

We've had this book for about a year:
It's got some pretty difficult words in it like wriggling, decides, stalks (and more) and she's so proud that she can read/sound it out. She's tracing her finger along a lot of the text. She has heard it often so she has a large amount of expectation of what the text should be. But that's not the same thing as actually sounding out each word. And she can sound all of the words out. (It's a real book, in the sense of it's not a children's learn to read book.)

But, to be honest, with enough love and attention I think she'd love almost any book on earth!!

simpson Sat 17-Nov-12 21:54:06

The problem I have with DD is that once she has read a book once or twice she won't touch it again <<sigh>> so I constantly have to find new ones for her....

We have 1 frog and toad book left to read (out of a pack of 4) and she read a Horrid Henry book (one of the easier ones) I picked up in the £ shop the other day...

Will check out your link, thanks!!

simpson Sat 17-Nov-12 21:55:46

Forgot to say, she loves the usborne early reader books (Cinderella, Puss in Boots etc etc)

learnandsay Sat 17-Nov-12 22:02:38

I buy lots of second hand books for her. I scan them by the handful checking that they're roughly the right level. I don't believe that for reading them she needs to love the book. But her favourites are clear too. The library is also a lifesaver. Our library staff are very responsive. I can take in a series book and they'll track down all the others in the county and reserve them for free. They do much more for me than the school does, which doesn't do anything as far as I can tell.

simpson Sat 17-Nov-12 22:05:45

I love going to 2nd hand shops too and order stuff in the library (got 4 books out for her today - but our local library is tiny and I have to think of books for them to order in for me)

DD asked me tonight to get some harder books (from the reading chest) so am going to put her up a level I think....

noisytoys Sat 17-Nov-12 22:11:05

DD (reception) is a good reader. She is on turquoise level. I have no idea how she learns to read and phonics, digraphs and whatever else they do confuse me but she is happy at school and school stretch her so I'm happy. And she enjoys reading even school books

magnesium Sat 17-Nov-12 22:18:13

I would keep checking that he can sound words out and try some made up words and ensure he continues to use this skill even if he can remember whole words very easily.

My DS has always seemed able to read fluently, certainly well before school and possibly therefore switched off in phonics lessons. However now aged 8 there is a huge disparity with his dreadful writing and I dont think he can properly sound out a made up word phonetically. However he has sight memorized most real words so rarely has an occasion to sound out when reading. I keep wanting to mention it to school but as their feedback is that his reading is amazing I worry they would think I am crazy and have no idea what they would do now as it would surely look bad on them to re teach phonics now?

I was so pleased that he got so much joy from reading so early but now I am concerned that it has increased the disparity in his writing.

steppemum Sat 17-Nov-12 22:28:39

dd did this. She was really ready to read at start of reception. I hadn't taught her, but suspect she could have learned early (3 ish) but all I did was alphabet as I am not a fan of pushing early reading.
It meant she was really really ready when they started and took off like an express train, went through all the easy books and was quickly reading really hard stuff, just like your ds. Unfortunately she is quiet and didn't talk much in her first term or 2 and school just didn't believe she could do it. So we read the reading book, and then got a book from the bookshelf and read that.

pointythings Sat 17-Nov-12 22:30:48

This happened to my DD2 as well, though not quite so soon - beginning of the second term in Yr R. She went from sounding out c-a-t to reading things like 'friendly' and 'dangerous' without any effort at all, and needing no help from me in reading her scheme books. But she was still using phonics - everything she was doing related to what she had worked through in class, it just all clicked in one great blast.

learnandsay Sat 17-Nov-12 22:34:10

magnesium, I don't know for sure, but I think there's a knack to using sounds as tools for spelling. You can spell you as you and yew, right as rite, tone as ton, faint as feint and so it goes on indefinitely. Just because you know how to sound out a word in English that doesn't mean that you know how to spell it. I think that some people are simply better than others at remembering which spellings of which sounds are correct in a particular instance than other people are.

learnandsay Sat 17-Nov-12 22:37:10

I think that's tonne rather than tone. I think that's something else entirely.

WhereMyMilk Sat 17-Nov-12 22:39:27

Hula baby, how did you help your DD with that? My DD (8) has the same issue-reading way above her age range, and seems just to "know" the words, but her spelling is nowhere near. Her teacher said that the way she spells you'd think she wouldn't be able to read very well!
She just doesn't seem to be able to phonetically sound the word out and hear what that sound is and translate it to be able to spell the word. But reading, she just does! Her comprehension is also great. She just can't spell. sad
Any ideas?

learnandsay Sat 17-Nov-12 22:46:57

WhereMyMilk, I think hulababy was saying that her child had learned to sight read. Is this also what you're saying that your child appears to have done? (I'm a sight reader and I remember, painful as it might have been, that learning to spell was a matter of taking each individual word and learning how to spell it.) As I remember it, it was quite a painful process. (Much harder than learning to read.)

WhereMyMilk Sat 17-Nov-12 22:55:37

Yes L&S I think she is.

learnandsay Sat 17-Nov-12 22:56:55

On the subject of spelling and phonics, my daughter seems to have an ability (which I don't share,) which is to "file" words under a common spelling, like

fight, sight, right

I'm pretty sure this has something to do with the way that she has learned the words. That's possibly one advantage that phonics has over Look & Say when it comes to spelling. But it clearly only applies if the pupil associates all or many of the possible words as having been spelt in the same way.

Cahoots Sun 18-Nov-12 00:00:25

I always think the most impressive thing is not DC's that start reading early but the ones who carry on reading when the get older and read by choice.

DoubleDoubleTwigletTrouble Sun 18-Nov-12 13:08:24

Wow, loads more of you with DCs like mine, that's very reassuring! He read his ORT school book this morning and came across Wilf & Wilma which he'd not seen before and he sounded those out, but I will keep checking that he can do it as we go along, thanks. DD was always an advanced reader for her age but she seemed to go through learning the basics at a more understandable rate which is why I guess it seems so odd with DS.

learnandsay Sun 18-Nov-12 13:09:37

Aren't the two things often linked? Ours is a very bookish family/extended family. We're constantly surrounded by books. The children come into our room first thing in the morning with books. The 18 month old can now distinguish between John Burningham books by title, ie you call out the title of one of his books and she'll rifle through the book shelf till she finds it. She obviously hasn't been taught to do that. She does it naturally. Also if you start some Burningham titles and pause, she'll finish the title for you, a game that she finds hilarious. I know some families which don't appear to have any books at all. And they watch television all the time. I'd find a process of going to school which turned children from non-reading families into avid readers very impressive.

mrz Sun 18-Nov-12 13:16:30

We have lots of families who don't have books at home and never visit the library. One such little girl in Y1 is currently reading a Horrid Henry, Roald Dahl or similar chapter book every night ... and places a weekly shopping list with me

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