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DS (reception) is reluctant to read

(79 Posts)
HappyAsEyeAm Tue 11-Jun-13 13:26:36

DS is nearing the end of reception. He is 5.

They do Oxford Reading Tree at school, and after a very slow start, he is nearing the end of Stage 3. He reads with his teacher every day, and we read with him at home too. He will get a new book if his teacher is happy with his reading, and now he seems to be getting a new book nearly every day. His teacher is happy with him.

We found that he only started really progressing if we read his book with him in the evening, and also again the following morning before school. Since we started doing that, he's come on very well, and is at the same level, or thereabouts, as most of his friends. So obviously, we want to continue in that vein. We (and the school) give lots of praise and encouragement for his efforts, and put emphasis on trying hard with his book when he reads to us, rather than on the result.

Lately though, I am finidng it harder and harder to actually get him to read with me. He prevaricates, throws strops, downright refuses etc. It takes forever to get him to read, despite me trying to make it fun, upbeat, doing it when he isn't too tired etc.

The only thing that seems to work is an incentive, and for him, that is usually a food treat eg a small packet of sweets, a small chocolate biscuit etc. I say that if he tries hard with his book, he can have a treat. And then he tries hard.

Am I doing the wrong thing? Obviously, I don't want to be using a food treat as an incentive forever. But non-food treats, praise, encouragement etc doesn't seem to work anymore to get him to read his book with us.

HappyAsEyeAm Thu 13-Jun-13 17:20:58

Ali, I agree that there is an element of memorising involved. Bt he has learned lots of words in previous books that he remembers when he sees again for the first time in a new book. I don't think it is all memorising.

The school does not teach phonics. I do a bit of phonics with him at home, but I don't want to do too much for fear of confusing him, as they don't do it in school.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 13-Jun-13 18:44:14

They don't do phonics?

So how are they teaching them to read then? Just by memorising individual words?

mrz Thu 13-Jun-13 18:53:57

If the school isn't teaching any phonics them I'm afraid you have a problem. Some fortunate individuals are able to work out the relationship between spoken words and letters on the page themselves, unfortunately most need to be taught as memorising 250 000 words is an impossible task.

BabiesAreLikeBuses Thu 13-Jun-13 19:29:09

How can they not be teaching phonics? And yet reading daily? That sounds confusing, i would be tempted to teach the phonics myself to help dc although i appreciate that you don't want to go against the school. Have they said what they are doing and what they want you to do?

mrz Thu 13-Jun-13 20:22:37

That is the Look & Say method BabiesAreLikeBuses. Children get lists of words to memorise then are given a book to reading which contains those words. When they have learnt the book they get another list of words to memorise ...which is fine until they meet a word that isn't on any of their lists and they don't have a clue how to begin to read it.

learnandsay Thu 13-Jun-13 20:25:22

Well, that's one way of doing it.

learnandsay Thu 13-Jun-13 20:28:46

The main look and say way of reading a word that you haven't met before is to guess what it is from its context. And, if you've had a reasonable stab at it and can't work out what it is then the person you're reading to tells you what it is. (Trying, failing and being told also happens with phonics children.)

simpson Thu 13-Jun-13 20:29:48

Is it just reading the school books that he does not like?

There are loads of phonics based books in our local library which DD loved.

You can also check out the Oxford owl website or sign up to the reading chest.

It might be worth thinking about when he reads ie is he tired. It might be worth reading in the morning instead.

Also maybe the books are too long for him (they have such a short attention span when young) so you could split the book over several days and then his recapping of the story so far could be practised.

mrz Thu 13-Jun-13 20:32:26

No learnandsay THAT is YOUR method of Look & Say!

HappyAsEyeAm Thu 13-Jun-13 20:35:22

Yes, they do look and say at school. Sorry, I am not familiar with the terminology around ways of learning to read. His teacher says that if he doesn't know a work, tell him the first letter, and let him have a stab at it, and if he doesn't know, tell him what it is. So this is what I do. He knows quite a lot of words, and this is how he has learnt them. The school isn't going to change the way it teaches children to read. I want to be consistent n the method of teaching, but I also want to help him.

simpson Thu 13-Jun-13 20:36:35

I don't get how a child is supposed to work out an unknown word by using look and say...

If they don't know it, they don't know it. Which is why the method fails so many children.

simpson Thu 13-Jun-13 20:38:16

Personally if my child was being taught the look and say way at school, I would be doing phonics at home.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 13-Jun-13 20:39:04

Blimey I would be livid with a school if they were using that method! And you are paying for it...

learnandsay Thu 13-Jun-13 20:39:44

OK, mine, Louisa Moats' and about a couple of hundred thousand other people some alive and some dead.

mrz Thu 13-Jun-13 20:41:02

Unless he manages to work out the phonic code for himself then he is going to struggle once he reaches the point he can't memorise any more words I'm afraid.

HappyAsEyeAm Thu 13-Jun-13 21:01:48

I don't really know enough to debate the merits of being taught in this way over any other way. I think he is making progress. I know that the other children in his school, past and present, have all made good progress and achieve well. I have taken lots of tips from the replies, which is why I posted. I am happy with the school, and DS is happy there too. I will supplement what they are doing with some phonics at home.

simpson Thu 13-Jun-13 21:09:26

The problem with the look/say method is that problems quite often don't arise until a child is older ie yr5/6 when they cannot spell for example.

learnandsay Thu 13-Jun-13 21:11:53

Not being able to spell is a universal problem. It's not limited to one reading method. Children specifically need to be taught how to spell. It's a separate discipline.

mrz Thu 13-Jun-13 21:14:22

No it isn't decoding for reading is the opposite skill to encoding for spelling and are taught together

simpson Thu 13-Jun-13 21:18:42

Exactly, I did not realise they were 2 different things until this year (DD's reception year) but she is being taught both at the same time.

Encoding and decoding I mean....

DS always got 10/10 in spelling tests every week but totally forgot the words he had learnt when writing quickly (ie in the big write) although his spelling his pretty good.

simpson Thu 13-Jun-13 21:19:31

is blush

NutsinMay Thu 13-Jun-13 21:19:43

I may be in the minority here but I no longer try to read with my child. She is too tired after school and just not interested at the moment plus the books aren't interesting for her.

Instead I read for 15-20 minutes every night as I have always done and we talk about the books. She is only 5. I'm in no rush.(If she was in Scandinavia she wouldn't be in school yet)

She's a bright child, she'll learn in her own time.

I certainly wouldn't use bribery to get her to read. She loves books and I don't want to put her off them.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 13-Jun-13 21:21:08

learnandsay I disagree completely.

DS1 is learning to spell by saying the word, sounding it out, and then writing down those sounds. Which he could not do if he wasn't being taught phonics. It is all one thing.

learnandsay Thu 13-Jun-13 21:25:55

Sure, you learn to spell each word individually by letter name and not by phoneme.

And since many sounds are spelt in different ways, and often letters are silent, knowing a words sounds does not mean that you'll know how to spell it.

BabiesAreLikeBuses Thu 13-Jun-13 21:32:59

I thought all state schools were phonics only now, i'd teach the code. I would find it too hard to watch my dc struggle if i thought that phonics would help. I'm sure that way back when i was young i learnt by l &s although i do remember having words spelt out to me too - but if we know there are ways that work better for everyone then why not do it?

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