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Need a bit of advice - year 1 dd age 6 really behind at school !!

(35 Posts)
laughalot Thu 07-Mar-13 12:17:21

Went to parents evening the other night and came out crying I am actually really angry with myself for not asking the teacher more questions. My lovely little girl is 6 very confident does not stand for any rubbish slightly hyper at times and struggles to concentrate for long periods.

She is very behind at school virtually at reception level or where she should be when she left reception. She does struggle to read but is getting better because she cannot read this really affects her writing. The teachers advice was that she needs to concentrate more which I take his point on board however I expected him to tell me what plans he would put in place to help her. I know class sizes are big and she cannot have someone to help her all of the time but she does need some help.

We have been out and bought her a load of work books and we have got the flash cards out again I suppose I just want a bit of advice of how to help her and to know that it is possible for her to catch up.

jayyamela Sun 10-Mar-13 22:09:34

Hi, I have a quick read, I haven't seen anyone mention this website

These are books for parent to help at home. I have found out about the books here on mum net. These book really increase his Spelling Awareness.

MY DS1 in year 3 doing Apple and Pear A for spelling which is really help with the writing, the book state that you can start this at the age of 4+.

AbbyLou Sat 09-Mar-13 18:10:39

If you want to help her with her reading I would say go for a mixture of high frequency words (the ones you will have been sent home) and phonics. As she is Year 1 she will have the Phonics Screening to do as well in June which is a pretty good indication of her decoding ability - not necessarily her reading ability! You say she can sound out words like can but does she know any digraphs/trigraphs - 2/3 letter sounds. In Phase 3 of Letters and Sounds these begin with double letters like ff, ck and ll but then move onto sh, ch and th. After that it moves on to vowel digraphs such as ai, ee, igh oa and oo. This is Reception level (Phase 3 ) so your dd should have at least done them once, even if she hasn't picked them up yet. Once children know these, it makes reading a bit easier, although they often need to have thempointed out in words for a while. Phase 4 concentrates on ccvc or cvcc words (consonant and vowel) such as crab or lamp - these are a bit harder to blend than 3 letter words. Phase 5 is where children should be in Year 1 but many schools work at a slower pace. This introudces more ways of making the vowel phonemes such as ay, ea, ie, oe, ue etc and therefore gives children more options. I would look at the first 100 high frequency words and see how many she can read. Make/use some flashcards for the first 5 she doesn't know. Practise reading and writing them as often as possible.
As others have said, sharing books with you is also so important. If she sees/hears adults reading it will help her value reading and want to do it more.
Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.

doyouwantfrieswiththat Sat 09-Mar-13 15:45:16

if your child is in state school I think this is a nice resource to show what's expected at KS1 and let you know where she may have gaps.

laughalot Sat 09-Mar-13 15:38:50

Thank you everyone did not manage to see the teacher yesterday as I have the dreaded tummy bug. I did ring school and he is going to see me next week they did send home with her her 200 keywords that she should know by the end of ks1 so that is a start.

You have all been fantastic thank you.

PastSellByDate Fri 08-Mar-13 14:01:22

Hi Laughalot:

First off remember that in many countries children do not formally start school until the year they turn 7 and they end up doing as well or better than British children. So start off by remembering this is a marathon not a race.

Sounding out/ blending help: try getting in some jolly phonics workbooks - but then really reinforce those sounds your DD is working with in your reading. (i.e. if she's learning sh- sounds - then make a point of having her sound out all sh words (maybe with a bit of help from you) in whatever you're reading.

Reading: Make sure this is a regular feature of your day. We do this after bath and before bed time. You may be doing the bulk of the reading right now - but you can include your DD by identifying words she should know (high frequency words: & select H/F words list 1 and 2). Start regularly pointing to them and have your DD read those. Gradually you'll move from your DC reading one or two words per sentence to reading whole words.

If you haven't come across it - OXFORD OWL has a lot of advice and useful on-line e-books for free:

MATHS: This is really up to you and what you're comfortable with. It may be that you have strong skills and can support this yourself. Oxford owl also has a maths section for early years, which may help. One thing I picked up on with my own DD1 (who also was very behind in KS1) is that she learned maths better through visual examples. So lots of raisins, smarties, buttons, etc.... and drawings to support explanation in workbooks. Ultimately we opted for an on-line tutorial which focuses on basic calculation skills (mathsfactor: but others here on Mumsnet have sung the praises of mathletics ( and mathswhizz (

For Year 1 - the real aim is addition/ subtraction with numbers up to 20 and counting by 2, 5 and 10 (early multiplication tables). The real hurdle for us was numbers over 10 - but this can be shown visually by working from the start with units and tens and making sure your DD can visualise the difference between them: so for example in the number 24 the 2 = 2 tens and the 4 = 4 units. The best way of explaning this is using two different but related items. We used grapes (for tens because they were nice and big) and raisins for units. So 24 = 2 grapes and 4 units. To then take away 10 from 24 would be the equivalent of taking 1 grape away. You can also teach borrowing by cashing in a grape for 10 raisins.

Games like snakes and ladders can also really help with counting on (playing forward) and counting back (playing backward from 100 to 0). To increase numbers you're counting - use two dice.

I've been there - but if you take a deep breath, accept this is going to be a long, slow haul and just keep plugging away at it when you can (30 minutes or so a day max including reading time and ideally not in one solid go) - you will find that you do make substantial progress.


firepitguru Fri 08-Mar-13 13:36:09

Read lots to her too. My daughter suddenly clicked when hearing me read, she realised that she didn't need to read so slowly! I'm amazed at how by simply telling her she can read faster that she does. Good luck with the meeting x

laughalot Thu 07-Mar-13 16:36:50

You have all been a great help thank you. I spoke to her teacher today and he is going to see me after school tomorrow.

StitchAteMySleep Thu 07-Mar-13 15:51:55

According to this guide she is within the range for less able readers in her year which goes from red to orange. The average would be green band.

lougle Thu 07-Mar-13 15:02:51

Cook Pot Cook is ORT 3.

StitchAteMySleep Thu 07-Mar-13 14:53:56

You need to have a meeting with her teacher. They should be differentiating the instructions to her level so that she can access them or providing support. She is very young still and not all children are reading fully at that age. The teacher needs to put in place strategies to help your child access the work. Is she sitting on a table with teaching assistant support?

If she is not concentrating when the teaching instructions are given at the beginning before individual work she will struggle if she cannot read instructions on the board or on sheets given to them. The same for retaining instructions.

Working on her listening and memory skills using games might help alongside reading more with her. Some ideas here, here and here. Also listening skills resources here and here.

learnandsay Thu 07-Mar-13 14:25:27

When my daughter was at that stage I used to write words on large pieces of paper with a black marker pen and spread them on the living room floor. The advantage of doing that over flash cards is that you can use any words that you want and you can also make sentences. She became very familiar with all the words from an Usborne cloth book for babies (Kitty the Kitten) and then she and I read the cloth book lots of times. I did the same thing with words from Dr Seuss and then we read those books lots of times too.

Karoleann Thu 07-Mar-13 14:23:06

Can she see? Book an eye exam (they're free) just to rule out any uncorrected prescription or muscle balance problems with the eyes.
DS1 didn't really completely get reading til the june of year 1, he's now a year 2 and is of the the best in the class at reading. Although writing is still a bit painful at times

Llareggub Thu 07-Mar-13 14:20:25

My 6 year old DS is similar, and every reading session we do is a struggle. I a concentrating on boosting his confidence and getting him to enjoy reading. Last night, for example, we read each page twice, and on the second time over we discussed how tone/expression makes a difference. He got really into it and said he enjoyed reading what was actually a dull book.

StitchAteMySleep Thu 07-Mar-13 14:17:17

Jolly Phonics Songs free

AngryFeet Thu 07-Mar-13 14:15:25

The alphablocks on cbeebies is very good for this too. I am getting DS to play the games they have on the website for this as it really helped my DD a couple of years ago. DS is also very behind with reading but he is progressing slowly. Sometimes it just takes them a while. DD certainly didn't get blending until around this time in year 1 and she is a Sept baby so was 6.5 at the time. She is a brilliant reader now and is on stuff like Famous Five etc.

learnandsay Thu 07-Mar-13 14:12:18

blueberry, I think the OP's daughter knows the letter sounds and she can blend, but it seems that she needs to sound out all words al the time. So she can already read a little.

blueberryupsidedown Thu 07-Mar-13 14:07:27

Not sure about flash cards... If they are learning through the phonics method, you woul dbe much better off getting a phonics CD to help her recognise the sounds, ie hearing the sounds individually, and learning the sound associated with each letter - this does take time but pays off in the end. Speak with the teacher first though and see which method they are using. You might have to back to basics iwth your daughter, just a few minutes a day might be enough to help her through making the difference between all the sounds.

We used this CD: and the kids loved it, and learned quickly all the letter sounds correctly, ie the way the teacher is doing it at school, not the way I learned it!

laughalot Thu 07-Mar-13 13:40:50

Thank you everyone.

Timetoask Thu 07-Mar-13 13:33:39

Ok, I agree do not panic, but if she is really behind then please don't listen to all the good folk who think they are being kind by telling you that she is only 6 and will probably catch up. You need to act on your worries.

Have a good meeting with the teacher and be ready with lots of questions. Give it some time to see improvement, but if you are not satisfied, go to your GP with your worries so that someone can assess and decide if she needs some sort of extra intervention.

HormonalHousewife Thu 07-Mar-13 13:31:45

I've just noticed your name and think we were on the same postnatal thread

(I've namechanged a lot over the years but I was Kwith3)


gymboywalton Thu 07-Mar-13 13:31:20

i agree that you should have a word with the teacher

the other thing i would say is to just read and read and read with her

not just her reading books-go to the library once a week and get a pile of picture books that she has chosen and share them-try doing you read a page, she reads a page. you want her to think reading is fun.

i can't emphasise how much much reading every day with an adult helps.

seeker Thu 07-Mar-13 13:30:51

Laughalot- seriously- not just "another word" A proper meeting, where you sit down properly and don't leave til you're sure exactly what has to be done and who's going to do it.

laughalot Thu 07-Mar-13 13:28:41

The one she has at the moment is cook pot cook I would have to look later what level it is. Can I just say a big thank you for all of your replies. I find it very hard as she has a older brother who is the other end of the scale and is working well above average. I do not want her to be a brain box by any means I would just hate for her to struggle. I think the best thing to do is have another word with the teacher.

HormonalHousewife Thu 07-Mar-13 13:21:42

Sometimes children just 'get it ' later.

and it is perfectly possible and probable that she will catch up.

Book another session with her teacher and find out a bit more. Parents evening are not the best place to get down to the nitty gritty of what needs doing.

keep on encouraging her and reading to her. Flash cards etc are good.

seeker Thu 07-Mar-13 13:21:08

Don't do anything yet. Make an appointment with the teacher and go in and find out exactly what they'd re going to do and what they think you should do. You need to work together on this. Don't panic- she's only 6! And don't let her see you're worried. You need to calmly make a plan and calmly implement it.

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