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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?

Pachacuti Sun 22-Sep-13 12:48:55

But you're still expecting that a child who starts reception at just 4, unable to write any letters or read even the simplest words, and a child who starts reception already aged 5, able to write phonetically plausible attempts at many words and decode simple sentences, should finish that school year at exactly the same level. Do you imagine that the 5yo is going to spend the whole academic year picking his nose, or something? Or is there some other reason that you expect a 4yo to make significantly more progress than a 5yo?

I'd expect the gap to narrow over the course of Reception, and then further over the course of Y1, and then further over the course of Y2, but to think that it's going to be eliminated entirely in just one year is unrealistic. Many very academic schools (who are not generally in the basis of making excuses) factor birth month into admissions assessment at 7+, 8+ or even 11+.

missinglalaland Sun 22-Sep-13 12:51:10

If it makes you feel better, my daughter, a Spring baby (so in right in the middle age wise), seemed very far behind. I kept reading with her as per the school reading scheme, and reading her a story at bedtime. Somewhere in year 3, reading just clicked. It became a pleasure rather than a chore. She is nine now and the best reader in her year group.

I think there were three main things that turned the situation around:
1. She simply needed to develop mental/physically to the point that she was ready to read. (Lots of studies show that you need certain fine motor coordination to move your eyes across the page etc.) So mainly, it was just waiting for her to be ready and keeping faith.
2. We kept supplying her with books she liked. I've never worried if the books are the right level, or advanced enough, or worthy or whatever. Anything she will happily read is just fine by me. We've bought used, library and Amazon to keep the books she likes coming.
3. We've never moved her bedtime back from 8pm. If she isn't tired she can read. This just sort of happened by accident, but it has meant that she spends thirty minutes reading before bed, rather than watching junky tv.

So really, just agreeing with DameFanny that reading is a milestone that doesn't indicate a child's potential or ability anymore than when they started walking.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 22-Sep-13 12:55:05

wow may be off about the age thing but I do think she has a point with regard to worrying a bit if the kid is still on red at beginning of yr 1. Red are what are given out at the beginning of reception so to still be struggling with oneir two words in the page would worry me too. Regardless of what other kids were on.

I do think you need to talk to teacher. Even yellow is quite far behind a lot of kids so they are in no place to be fragging either. I'd have concerns that something was amiss in class for these kids to be on the Lower levels.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 22-Sep-13 12:55:27

Bragging - damn iPhone

xxwowxx Sun 22-Sep-13 13:01:03

JiltedJohnsJulie - teacher told me my child is in the top group for all subjects, I was also told NC level in year 1. It is quite a worrying question though, are you not aware whether your child is behind or not?

thegreylady Sun 22-Sep-13 13:01:19

Surely pink is the first ORT colour? Mydgs is in reception and has a series of cvc readers. He started on I think 1b and is now on 4b which is called The Fib. The others were all about Sam, Pam and Pat so very simple phonics but very confidence boosting. Dhs was 4 in February.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 22-Sep-13 13:04:31

The pink ones are the wordless ones weren't they?

thegreylady Sun 22-Sep-13 13:06:09

They are called dandelion books I think.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 22-Sep-13 13:06:15

Haha wow you're hilarious. Any more gems before I have to toddle off?

DameFanny Sun 22-Sep-13 13:08:15

Xxwow - do you mean to sound like a Goady Fucker?

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 22-Sep-13 13:17:34

Forget about whether she's being goady. You might not agree with what she says but can you honestly not say that you wouldn't be concerned about a kid leaving reception virtually unable to read? Yes occasionally it happens but if other parents are stating concerns about progress does that not show that perhaps there is a problem in the class.?

It will probably all be fine, but telling the op there's nothing to worry about isn't that helpful tbh. She really does need to speak to the teachers and maybe even the parents because there Well could be something not right here.

TheBuskersDog Sun 22-Sep-13 13:18:34

Of course even if wow's child had turned out to have SEN she'd have made sure they weren't behind other children.

I believe the correct response is "oh do fuck off".

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 22-Sep-13 13:18:55

And in not trying to be mean and worry the op but her concerns are valid and could be indicative of a problem re the teaching of phonics etc.

xxwowxx Sun 22-Sep-13 13:27:57

Wheresmycaffeinedrip - exactly, telling op that there is nothing to worry about is just wrong!
TheBuskersDog - No one mentioned SEN, that is a completely different story! If you want to be rude go ahead!

Mumof3xx Sun 22-Sep-13 13:30:25

My ds is 5.7 and has just gone into year one

He is just going onto stage 3 of ORT books but I do know some children in his class are already on stage 6 or higher

This did worry me for a bit but the way I look at it now is as long as he is progressing however slowly it's not a problem

HumphreyCobbler Sun 22-Sep-13 13:35:18

People are saying not to worry because it sounds within the range of normal achievement for the age of the child concerned. August born children ARE a year younger than some of their peers. It is just a statement of fact. Some of them will not be as fluent at reading as their older contemporaries. Some of them will be ahead, this is normal variation.

Having said all that, if you are worried about your child's reading I would always recommend a proper eye test with a behavioural optometrist or opthamologist as this can pick up a problem that the very basic school screening or ordinary eye test would not spot.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 22-Sep-13 13:41:06

But in conjunction with what other parents have said about their children not being challenged enough it is not worth the risk of saying nothing. Hiding behind age and other parents bragging is not going to help her dd.

She may well be struggling due to she or she may well just not been heard enough or taught enough. You can accept she's one of the younger ones and that it may take longer but you CANNOT SAFELY attribute a complete lack of progress to her age.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 22-Sep-13 13:45:54

I don't think wow meant that it couldn't be a factor either. I believe she meant it isn't an excuse for parents or teachers to write off potential problems and struggles as being down to her age. If they think like that they may miss important signs which won't help her at all.

xxwowxx Sun 22-Sep-13 13:47:38

exactly Wheresmycaffeinedrip, at least someone understands my point!

hatsybatsy Sun 22-Sep-13 13:47:57

xx - you're unbelievable.

The age difference is so massive in reception and year one (where 12 months is a huge portion of the child's life) that it is completely normal for there to be generally a lower level of achievement at this amongst the younger children. My dd (July born) was not even on the scale at the start of reception as she hadn't even mastered all the sounds.

Here she is in year 3, comfortably up with the rest of the class.

There is no need to worry about achievement levels with things like reading and spelling early on in primary school - kids find their own levels soon enough.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 22-Sep-13 13:53:53

If someone came on here and said that teachers missed dyslexia in their kid as a result of struggles being put down to their age then the parent would be really hacked off.

yES it's a factor.
yES it could explain everything BUT would you really really want to take that chance when a chat with the teacher could get something Put in place.

What's to loose by asking?

Periwinkle007 Sun 22-Sep-13 13:54:45

Magenta isn't necessarily the pink of level 1. for all we know OPs school could have blue books labelled as Magenta. We don't know what level her child is reading at but I do believe that if there was a problem then the school would have mentioned it if they were concerned.

I do also agree to some degree that the younger children have been exposed to the same amount of teaching as the older ones but equally some of them aren't ready for it yet so I do think age can play a part.

Glittertwins Sun 22-Sep-13 13:56:46

I wouldn't worry and try not to compare. We have twins and although they are both pretty good, she is miles better. It is hard not to compare them to eachother as well. Our school doesn't do reading level books so I couldn't tell you where they are.

TheBuskersDog Sun 22-Sep-13 13:57:15

wow your posts came across as condescending and not helpful at all to the OP.
I mentioned SEN because many children who do have additional learning needs would not have been identified at 5 years 1 month, however you would have been able to make sure they were not behind apparently.

xxwowxx Sun 22-Sep-13 14:03:45

TheBuskersDog - Children with SEN it's different as I said before! Don't know why you are going on about "making sure they were not behind". If your child does not have any problems (SEN etc) then it is your job to make sure your child is not behind, speak to the teacher, see what can be done, how you can help her/him more.

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