Reading help for DD aged 6.(10 Posts)
We live overseas and DD is pretty much bilingual.(English being her first language.) She is almost 6 and is reading level 4 in English. We are following the Biff and chip books. We read with her a couple of times of week, but don't want to put too much pressure on as this is on top of normal school.
She is excited to be reading but finds the books a little dull. Having said I don't want to put pressure on, I'm keen that she gets as far as she can this year. The reason being that in school here they don't really push reading in her second language until the next academic year, and I think it would be helpful to have one language under the belt a bit as it were.
Do you wise mumsnetters have any experiences/ ideas/ resources that I could tap into to help her?
Thank you in advance!
The older Biff & Chip books do not encourage Phonics, in the way it is taught in UK now.
Many people recommend Oxford Owl:
This will be very useful, and will provide years of learning:
An inexpensive and easy to use book, that can encourage children with reading, spelling and writing, and really help them to understand Phonics, is reviewed in the MN Book Reviews section. Just search ‘Phonics’ and my name.
If you can order books from the UK - I'd get some books from other schemes.
With my DDs I used Jelly and Bean series, as well as Dandelion Readers and Bugs club. These are fully phonics based, so give you nice and logical progression.
Dandelion Readers - are particularly nice - they'll have books organised by particular letter combinations - eg there will be a book practicing "ai" words, and another book for "ow", etc. That worked really well for my kids and progress was quite fast.
If you have an iPad the Sounds Write app is excellent and matches the Dandelion books (books were written by SW trainers). The first unit is free and I think it's £2.99 for the complete initial code prog.
The Dandelion books are also available as iBooks.
Thank you! We're going to be back in the UK over Christmas so I'm looking at getting some more books now. Are the levels mostly interchangeable? Or do different schemes do it differently?
Different schemes do it differently.
The major publishers are using the old book banding colours and trying to shoehorn phonic books into criteria that's written for Look & Say/mixed methods.
Dandelion books are organised into the units in the order taught in the Sounds Write programme while Jelly and Bean follow their own progression.
She does not necessarily need to follow any particular scheme.
Even in England many children learn to read mainly at home with books that they are bought or get from a library. They do their phonics at school, but the best readers don't learn just with that.
Becoming a good reader of English is mainly a matter of practice. Once children get past learning the main sounds for the roughly 90 most used English spellings (a, ai, a-e ...i, i-e, igh ...) it's a matter of learning to recognise by sight the hundreds of words with alternative sounds for them,
especially the much used ones like 'any, many, said, have' (cf. Amy, man, paid, gave...).
Many of the longer English words from Latin roots are much easier to sound out than the most common ones:
interest, determination, competence....- only, once, other ...woman, women, won...
My daughter learned to read before starting school. I taught her some basic phonics with a couple of books from the Ladybird series when she first showed an interest, but was soon asking why is there a H in John?
She was fond of learning nursery rhymes by heart. When i bought her a book of them, she learned to read mainly by linking the words in her head to those on the page.
There are lots of different ways of coping with the madness of English spelling. For reading, it's mainly lots of reading that does the trick.
OP you should be aware that Masha's beliefs are hers alone and in no way reflect how children are actually taught or learn in schools in England.
They are fine for those fortunate children who will learn easily but leave thousands struggling. The problem for parents and teachers is that it's impossible to know who will find reading easy and who won't.
OP - if you choose a phonic based books, they might follow slightly different path, but the main approach would be the same.
What I mean by that - they'll start with simpler letter combinations and progress to the more complex ones. So it is possible to use more than one book scheme - they compliment each other.
For example - we'd read Dandelion Readers teaching 'ai', 'ay', 'ow', 'ee' (not a real example). And then we'd read Jelly and Bean Folifoot Farm series 1, that uses these early sound combinations in several books. And DDs didn't get bored with just one kind of books.
While it is possible to learn just by using normal kids books, i personally found that it was easier for me to follow a structured path that reading scheme books provided.
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