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How does silent reading relate to free reading?

(9 Posts)
Vickster99 Thu 28-Apr-16 23:20:28

My DD is in reception and currently on ORT stage 7. She is doing well with reading overall and generally reads fluently, only needing to sound out a couple of unfamiliar words per book. Tonight she said she didnt want to read aloud and then proceeded to read the whole book silently in one go. I asked her questions about it and pointed to random tricky words and she knew all the answers so she was definitely genuinely reading. My question is - is this a sign she might be ready for free reading soon? Should I let her read silently or is it better to encourage them to read out aloud?

EarthboundMisfit Thu 28-Apr-16 23:39:07

By all means let her read silently, but not as a substitute for reading aloud. I'm only a parent, not an educator, and it sounds like she's doing brilliantly, but reading aloud is an important skill and it can go downhill quickly. In addition, it's the best way to watch to make sure she's really reading properly.
Although she's obviously ahead of expectations, I'd be wary of encouraging free reading for a long time...I think children really benefit from guidance in selecting reading materials and from more in-depth discussion of content as their choices become more complex. It's also so much fun to read together once they get to the point of reading chapter books, and she's nearly there by the sound of it.

catkind Thu 28-Apr-16 23:55:44

Free reading at most schools is a lot later than stage 7. Most go up to at least 11. It's not really a meaningful thing, it just means the school has run out of scheme books they want to give the child and let them choose library books instead. DS school only have enough scheme books to send home in reception, so in a sense they are all "free readers" from year 1. This is not a good thing IMO!

Stage 7 is usually good for them being able to read non-reading-scheme books though I think, probably still mostly picture books? You could try letting your DD loose on home/library books if you haven't already. Lots of fun to be had. I wouldn't expect school to officially declare her free reader for a while yet though.

For school books I'd still get her to read aloud. They still need to work on expression. Sometimes they sound out words phonetically but don't pronounce them actually right or know what they mean (or they think they know and guess wrong). Unless you hear her reading aloud you won't be able to tell if this is happening or not. If she's not keen on reading aloud you could always just ask her to do a few pages for practice?

(PS only the top group of the year 1s I volunteer with can read in their heads, so she's doing great!)

mrz Fri 29-Apr-16 06:59:34

It doesn't is the simple answer.
When we read we generally read "silently" but for beginner readers it's important that children also read aloud to ensure accuracy (which can't be checked by questioning and reading random words I'm afraid).
Free reading is one if those concepts that could mean almost anything from we have no more suitable books in the class so just pick anything , choose a book out of a selection provided or our reading system stops after lime book band after that pick any book.

irvineoneohone Fri 29-Apr-16 07:40:41

My ds's school insists on reading aloud even for free readers. And as other PP said, I think it's important skill. There was a time my ds didn't want to read aloud, so I let him read to himself for while. After few months, I was shocked to find his reading aloud ability deteriorated so much. Now he reads to me everyday, as school suggests.

Ginmummy1 Fri 29-Apr-16 13:16:32

My DD is also in Reception and also a very keen reader. She reads books in bed and has one lying around most of the time, which she reads silently.

We still continue with the (almost) daily ritual of her reading to us (and us reading to her as well, of course). A few months ago we noticed that she'd try to read a bit too quickly, and her clarity and expression started to suffer. Occasionally while reading she'd go silent, and then pick up at the next paragraph - and when we questioned the bit she hadn't read, she was adamant that she HAD - she'd evidently forgotten she was reading out loud, and started to read silently for a bit!

I assume this is a natural phase of an increasingly confident silent reader, but it made us realise how important it is to continue to develop the skill and enjoyment of reading out loud.

We now really focus on the expression and the meaning of the sentences - she often self-corrects and reads a sentence again if she hasn't got the inflection quite right. We also stop and discuss the meaning of particular words/phrases where appropriate, to develop her vocabulary and comprehension and inference skills.

We also enjoy reading plays where we each take a part, and also poems, where the shape and expression is so important. We also make a game of creating different voices for the different characters, and remembering to use the appropriate voice each time.

Our current pattern is for her to read all of school books out loud to us, plus a selection of harder books to read together with one of us, and a few more straightforward ones to read silently on her own.

I have no idea when children become 'free readers' at DD's school, but she already has a go at reading whatever she fancies. Having said that, there are definitely benefits to be had from using school reading books that are graded according to phonics knowledge and comprehension.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Fri 29-Apr-16 17:31:56

Dd is 11 and we still read aloud. Not every night now and not every book, but it helps to identify words or names which she doesn't know how to pronounce. We've just finished Animal Farm and we discuss it as we go. She also reads a couple of hours a night to herself too.

wonkylegs Fri 29-Apr-16 17:59:35

We don't do ORT so I'm not sure what levels equals what but 7yo DS does Collins and he's on Sapphire level which is something like level 16. He can read to himself and is currently reading Harry Potter & Horrible science books at home but we always read a page or two aloud - it helps with pronuctation and also means I can catch some words that need their meanings explained. I suspect we will do this more or less whilst he's at primary school, we won't necessarily do it every day but enough to keep an eye on progress.

Vickster99 Sat 30-Apr-16 21:03:06

Thanks for the advice all, will try and keep encouraging her to read aloud and if she seems bored will mix up the ORT books with our normal books at home & library books. She can read the many of the picture books we have at home but I've been focusing on the reading scheme ones.

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