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Not reading at end of Yr 2...

(19 Posts)
summersanta Tue 16-Jun-15 13:22:21

Any advice gratefully received. My dd is young for her year and I'm worrying about the step up that is between year 2 and 3. She is managing maths fine and strangely spellings just about. She has had little progress with reading this year even with some extra support. I'm quite relaxed about it and I'm sure it will just click. My only frame of reference is my other 2 who are older and reading came naturally. School say wait until she is 7 to be formally assessed. I wonder if anyone has any computer programmes that would help in the summer holidays? I'm sure little and often must be the key.

BrilliantDayForTheRace Tue 16-Jun-15 13:48:12

Presumably she has already been doing little and often for the last 3 years?

BrilliantDayForTheRace Tue 16-Jun-15 13:51:50

Sorry, I didn't explain myself properly.

What I meant to say was I'm sure she's already done little and often for the last 3 years. Both at home and at school. So what you need to make sure is what you're doing from now on is more effective than whatever you and school have been doing up to now.

And when you say she can't read. What do you mean? Can she read 3 letter words?

BrilliantDayForTheRace Tue 16-Jun-15 13:52:59

Oh and the fact that she is young for the year is irrelevant. By the end of Y2 she should be reading.

Are you expecting her to get a 1 or a W in her Y2 SATs?

Has she passed the phonics check? In Y1 or Y2?

noramum Tue 16-Jun-15 15:10:08

DD is in Y3 and I found they rely on reading heavily.

While the class book (Mathilda, Mr. Stink and similar ones) are often read by the teacher but still the children have to read and write extensively. Homework is often reading a A4 page and answering lots of questions.

Also maths is more text based and all other subjects are relying on the child to be able to read.

I would start to worry instead of being relaxed.

mrz Tue 16-Jun-15 17:26:32

What have the school done so far to support her reading?

christinarossetti Tue 16-Jun-15 22:53:43

What sort of things is she able/not able to read?

PastSellByDate Wed 17-Jun-15 18:32:59


I had this exact situation with DD1. There was definitely no dyslexia issue she just took to reading very slowly. Partly because the school hadn't really fully embraced phonics at that point (the difference with DD2 where they totally adopted jolly phonics under a new teacher was night and day).

We realised that nightly reading simply HAD TO HAPPEN, rather than as and when we could.

So STEP 1: Make 15 - 20 minutes for reading. If it bothers you that your child can't read - then find the time to change that.

STEP 2: Be realistic - if the book from school is too hard/ if they're unwell or tired - take up the slack and read to them (they will benefit) - use your finger and let them see the word you are reading.

STEP 3: Little steps. We started by having DD1 spot words she knew in a sentence (The, She, He, His, Hir, This, That, And, End, etc....) and we built up reading from there. First easy sentences. Then whole paragraphs. Then every other page (I let DD1 cheat and decide which pages had most pictures) and then you suddenly find they're happy to read it all to you.

If you haven't seen Jolly Phonics workbooks (especially if this is the phonics system your school uses) - consider getting these and using them over the summer. They introduce letters and sounds individually and in groups one by one, helping you to build up sounds in English. It's organised like a colouring book and there is letter formation practice (which is no bad thing either!). It may be worthwhile to get these (there are 7 in the set) and work through them [perhaps from where your DC is at] over the summer to try and 'close the gap'. DD2 got these late in Y1 and we just did a bit each day between Y1 and Y2 and it genuinely made a big difference.

STEP 4: Just keep signalling that THEY WILL GET THERE. It really is important to show your DC that you totally believe they'll crack this reading lark in the end. It will give them confidence to keep trying.


Fun things:

Buy magazines in the store and read those instead of a book - there are tons of children's tv show related magazines available. Lots of reading, games/ maths, etc...

Encourage reading when you're out and about - reading signs, posters, etc....

Get CDs for the car or download books on your MP3/ Iphone/ Ipod for the car - hearing good stories read well is also improtant and really gives your child a feel for English.

If your DC feels left out - say everybody is reading Harry Potter in Y4 and they're not - then opt to read that together at night and help them. Discussing the story, interesting characters, funny names, meanings of words, etc... will be incredibly useful for KS2.

We found our biggest success came from reading our favourite books to our children. We did this as a weekend treat, when we had more time and it slowly crept into the week as well. Really nice way to wind down together after a long day and lovely to revisit old favourites.


I know it is very depressing to see your child struggling to read, especially if you're there in the class on a reading morning and everyone else seems to be reading complicated things beautifully. I found that observation for DD1 vis a vis her classmates almost physically painful to be honest. It wasn't a competitive thing - it was just really upsetting she couldn't do it too.

But I can assure you that if you treat the process of learning to read as water on a stone and just keep chipping away at it - doing 15-20 minutes of reading with your child each day - you will get there and have a very strong little reader.

If you haven't come across it Oxford Owl has free e-books but also has information to help with phonics and learning to read -


summersanta Mon 22-Jun-15 16:57:33

Thank you so much to all for replies, I have no frame of reference here, I have two older children who started reading age 5 and 6. She is nearly 7 and clearly struggling. I have had advice from school, she had her eyes tested and is long sighted, now has glasses for close work. It's too early to say if this is helping. The Optician did say she had slow reaction times which could be affecting her concentration and co-ordination. For example she is not yet riding a bike.
School have said they will not formally assess her until she is 7 (does this sound reasonable?)
School have suggested doing 5 mins every day of repetition ie word shark (no idea if this is any good?)
It is difficult to know if I am doing all I can, I do give my time to helping her read but it's always after school and she is still getting tired, I also notice she is trying to avoid reading by delaying/hiding etc. I think I am going to go back to basics and build her confidence and read stories to her. Any more advice gratefully received!

BrilliantDayForTheRace Mon 22-Jun-15 17:08:38

Wordshark wouldn't be my first choice...... For starters it's a spelling program not a reading program.

If you want to go back to basics I'd look at something like dancing bears.

summersanta Mon 22-Jun-15 17:10:20

Pastsellbydate ~ I meant to say I found your post so helpful and reassuring so thank you grin

summersanta Mon 22-Jun-15 17:11:09

Brilliant ~ that is useful I will look at the Bears....wink

mrz Mon 22-Jun-15 18:11:05

Dancing Bears is a good programme but I would look at Bear Necessities from the same company (labelled industrial strength)

BarbarianMum Mon 22-Jun-15 18:28:45

Have a look at Headsprout. I've heard people singing its praises (but haven't actually used it myself).

mrz Mon 22-Jun-15 18:47:56

I would advise against Headsprout as an American product it may confuse

Baddz Mon 22-Jun-15 19:00:21

Don't do headsprout. It's American. With American spelling and pronounciation.
Dancing bears and bear necessities by sound foundation is the best there is IMO.
(I have been helping my severely dyslexic son since he was in year 1 and have tried em all!)

summersanta Mon 22-Jun-15 22:49:33

I will look into these Bears, they seem to be the way forward....spoke to DH tonight, we have a plan for the summer which I feel happy about. Bless her she picked up a Mallory Towers book tonight and seems so keen, that is what to hold onto...

PastSellByDate Tue 23-Jun-15 13:41:20


you're very welcome.

By the way DD2 didn't master bike riding until Y3 and didn't get her training wheels off until Y4. Very able reader - just terribly uncoordinated.

I think the eyeglasses will help with reading (possibly also bike riding) - if your child can see print more clearly that will make a huge difference.

instinctively I agree with the school about waiting a bit for assessment - there may be some underlying learning difficulty (dyslexia, etc...) but it could be your DD is merely a slow starter.

Either way - you're alert to it and the school is - so that's got to be good.

Summer is nearly here - use these long evenings to enjoy stories and I agree, read to your DD if it makes reading less of a struggle, but whilst you're at it encourage her to read the odd word or sentence now and then and just gradually sneak in the reading.

I too had an expert child at avoiding reading time -my solution was base cunning. I'd strike deals - if you can read this word, I'll finish the paragraph. If you can read this sentence, I'll finish the page. Let's read every other word this sentence. Etc...

DH and I were big on finding a word for the day - maybe a spelling word and getting all excited when it appeared in a story. Noisy was a particularly great word - in spelling list that week and all over the story we were reading at the time.

Or sometimes we'd choose a High Frequency Word (e.g. and get DD1 to read it every time it appeared. The was a fantastic word - it's everywhere, as are He and She. Just pause and point every time it appears. They know they just have to say 'He' again when you do it - but somehow after doing that once with a book, they don't need much help reading a word like 'He' after that.

Hang in there - she will get there in the end flowers


CB2009 Tue 23-Jun-15 14:19:57

Reading at bedtime is lovely but we found when son struggling that actually reading in morning was much better. After a long day at school then better in the evenings for him to be read too. So we just made it part of our morning routine. Hubbie made pack lunch. Son would get into our bed. I would have the book beside our bed and deal was x lines then y pages had to be read before anything else happened in the house. First couple of weeks were painful but he got to know the deal & then it became easier. We are morning people so appreciate will not suit everyone but he was so much more awake/alert.

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