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Year 1 reading levels- feeling a bit freaked by other parents

(89 Posts)
ladyandthechocolate Sat 21-Sep-13 20:43:51

DD is very young for her year, late aug and has just gone into y1. She started reception with no reading ability and now is on a reading level which I think is magenta. She still has to sound out most words and can find the process quite frustrating. She is getting to grips with some of the tricky high frequency words (we, you, here, said) but they are not coming easily. She adores being read to and we've recently finished the magic faraway tree and charlotte's web so her understanding is there.
Anyway, I wasn't worried until I went to a party today and some of the mums were chatting about school and reading levels, one was moaning her ds is finding the yellow level too easy and needs to be challenged. God, I hate these comparisons but tbh I was a bit worried about dd's progress. It seemed all the others seem to be streets ahead.
We read every day but should I be doing more?

Bonsoir Sat 21-Sep-13 20:47:50

Please relax! Your DD is just 5. Lots of extremely able DC cannot read at this age.

My DD is in Y5 and there is very little correlation between those who were early readers and all the others. Carry on enjoying stories together and don 't stress.

LePetitPrince Sat 21-Sep-13 20:48:11

Seriously please just ignore them.. I have older DC but one around the same age as yours. This week I had to endure someone raving about how unchallenged her child is in reading. I always say the same - decoding isn't everything and there is a huge difference between reading and comprehension. Please do not worry unless the school say she is behind which doesn't sound likely.

Iamnotminterested Sat 21-Sep-13 20:50:40

Oh just ignore them. I've never been to a kids party where reading levels were discussed, how sad, that's what mumsnet is for ffs.

christinarossetti Sat 21-Sep-13 20:52:52

What does her teacher say about her progress?

Before anyone comes along and tells you that their Y1 child is free reading, I think it's worth saying that reading is a marathon rather than a Sprint and that your child's teacher is more helpful in this situation than other parents.

krisskross Sat 21-Sep-13 20:53:27

My son is also in yr 1 and a Sept baby, my daughter just started reception and is a July baby. In my experience the difference in them at that point is massive, the people you overheard my have dc a year older than your dd. Also, try not to's pretty horrible. And there are always smarty pants telling you how,amazing their child is....ignore:!!

Poppet1980 Sat 21-Sep-13 20:54:40

Reception teacher- please don't worry! If she enjoys reading and being read to that is half of the battle, don't put her off by putting extra pressure on her. Summer borns are virtually always 'behind' others in the class at this age but do catch up! It's normal! Speak to her teacher and if they are not worried you shouldn't be either. Don't worry about where the other children are.

nkf Sat 21-Sep-13 20:54:53

Relax. And tune out the other parents.

Periwinkle007 Sat 21-Sep-13 21:01:53

one school's yellow is another school's pink which is another school's orange and so on (well there are obviously some schools which follow the standard ones but many don't) so you don't know what level that yellow talked about was anyway.

Honestly the teacher would tell you if they were concerned. She is only recently 5 and some of the others will already be 6. It can make a huge difference at this age (not always but often)

ladyandthechocolate Sat 21-Sep-13 21:02:57

Thank you so much for your replies. I kept very quiet while this was discussed at the party as I really hate these comparisons. Her reception teacher never flagged up a problem and I've not spoken to her new teacher about it as I wasn't worried (until today!). I feel better now though!

Quangle Sat 21-Sep-13 21:14:32

Ignore. I have one Sept baby who could read at this age and one August baby who certainly can't. It happens at different ages for different children and being a whole year younger than some of the cohort just adds to the pointlessness of comparisons and the misery for parents of the younger ones!

It's totally fab that she loved those books - the language is quite complex and it's great that she loves being read to. Don't worry - you can join me in the "lalala I can't hear you" club. It takes a strong will to belong but you'll feel better if you stick your fingers in your ears and ignore the chatter and just carry on introducing lovely stories to your DD.

tiggyhop Sat 21-Sep-13 21:21:29

Ds1 didn't read at all till 6.5 (not in UK and in Montessori so less emphasis on early reading). Had read all Harry potters byt the time he turned 7.

ExitPursuedByADragon Sat 21-Sep-13 21:23:09

Don't worry. She will be fine.

ThisIsBULLSHIT Sat 21-Sep-13 21:35:38

If by magenta you mean red, that's fine!!! Most of my yr 1 class are still grasping the words you quoted and almost all still decode by sounding out each word.

I suggest you write out those key words on cards and plaster them all round the house, reading them to her, asking her what they are all the time. Play matching games with them, flash them at her whenever you can (without it being too pressured obv) and she will get them in no time.

Think of ways to remember them, eg Sally Ann Is Dancing for said, I always say 'there's a hat in what and there's a hen in when' to help too.

But frequent reading practice and encouragement will do wonders and she will be fine. Ignore everyone! There will be loads more children on red than there will on yellow. Also many parents think their children can decode texts with no problem but fail to grasp that their child has no scooby doo what the book is about or are unable to infer anything other than what is explicitly stated.

Your dd sounds like she will have a rich and varied vocabulary to use when she starts writing her own stories!

treadheavily Sat 21-Sep-13 21:45:09

Look I think you speak for a bazillion mothers who have endured the competitive mum thing at Y1.

Your dd sounds completely and utterly normal and I agree with the other posters about continuing what you are doing, and checking any doubts with her teacher.

Children will read in their own sweet time and not according to the timetable of someone else's mother.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 21-Sep-13 22:00:04

My Aug dd really struggled at the beginning of reception, just learning her letters seemed so hard.

When she moved I to y1 she seemed pretty much where your dd is now. Can remember helping out at school and overhearing some of the other children read and having to remind myself that they were nearly 12 months older.

She's a year 2 now. Yes there are better readers in the class but she loves reading and reads all if the time and you can't ask for much more than that for a just turned 6yo smile

xxwowxx Sun 22-Sep-13 11:20:50

I would be quite worried if my child couldn't read high frequency words in year 1, if your daughter is only on red books then perhaps you should talk with her teacher and help her a little bit more at home. People need to stop using age as an excuse (being born in August is certainly no excuse to be behind!).

Quangle Sun 22-Sep-13 11:35:04

"stop using age as an excuse".. what a silly thing to say. August children are a full year behind the oldest in the class and the oldest tend to set the pace. My son is not behind - but he is a full year younger than many of his peers (it just so happens that there are no other June, July or August children in his class).

You wouldn't say "Stop using age as an excuse" if your baby wasn't walking at the same time as all her peers - some do it at 8 months, some at 18 months.

xxwowxx Sun 22-Sep-13 11:38:01

Well my child was born in August and I don't use that as an excuse! Just because they were born in August does not mean they need to be behind, they are all in the same class, learning the same things, age is no excuse!

Pachacuti Sun 22-Sep-13 11:46:04

"People need to stop using age as an excuse (being born in August is certainly no excuse to be behind!)"

Of course it is; what a strange thing to say. A child born at the end of August starts Year 1 at just turned five (in fact, they don't have to have been in education at all until that point). A child in the same class but born at the start of September will be six on the first day of school, twenty percent older, and legally has to have had a whole year's full-time education.

DameFanny Sun 22-Sep-13 11:49:48

Don't be silly xx - of course age makes a difference. As does the fact that every child is different and reaches milestones at different times.

"getting" reading is as much of a milestone as walking, and it doesn't happen until the child is ready, no matter how much preparation the parents have done.

Pachacuti Sun 22-Sep-13 11:54:37

DS was born in January. When he turned 4 he wasn't drawing anything recognisable, had lousy pen control, certainly couldn't form letters, could recognise most letters but couldn't read even simple words and couldn't vaguely grasp the concept of blending.

If he'd been born in August that would have been the point at which he started school, alongside children virtually a whole year older.

In fact, of course, because he was born in January he didn't start until September when he was 4y 7mo (nearly 4y 8mo). At that point he was drawing detailed pictures, writing several words, and decoding cvc words.

Of course it makes a difference, on average, how old a child is when they start school. Plenty of studies on large groups of children have demonstrated that.

xxwowxx Sun 22-Sep-13 11:58:16

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

BlackMogul Sun 22-Sep-13 12:40:43

Studies do indicate that August birthdays can take several years to catch up but, some August birthday children can be very advanced. It just means that all children are different. In my DDs year group at primary school all the children who scored the maximum score at 11+ were all summer born. They, incidentally, were all pretty bright and this was fairly obvious at 5. However, others did take longer to show their intelligence and children mature at different rates. I would not worry and I would keep working at it. Ignore boastful parents. Also the school should use various reading schemes not just one! I never had a direct comparison with other children because they might be on one scheme for a month or two and my DD would be on another one. The school as very sensible to do this.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 22-Sep-13 12:48:16

Now the thing is, some parents are ok with their kids being a little behind, I wouldn't be....

So how have you ensured that your Aug born child isn't behind? Do you ensure your child isn't behind a certain number of children, and if so, how did you come to that number, or do you want them to be top in everything?

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