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Half a term of reception has put DS off reading 😓

(40 Posts)
PenelopeChipShop Thu 20-Oct-16 13:16:06

My DS turned 4 in June so he's a summer baby who's just started reception. It's gone better than I expected emotionally, he seems to have some friends and is happily bouncing into school most mornings which tbh is all I could ask fir at this point!

The school doesn't do homework as such but does expect us to 'hear the DC read' daily - which in theory I totally agree with but he can't actually read! So obviously I read bits of his books and try to get him to sound out words I think he could do - he can do simple phonics like 'cat' if in the right mood.

He has always loved me reading to him and still does like it but trying to get him to read/sound out words is like pulling teeth and I think it's putting him off books sltogether. They get a wordless book every week to bring home just up look at and we're at the point now where he won't even look at it - he's even thrown it across the room!

Should I push him to do it or just leave it and read to him?

Don't want to hold him back but I'm a bit dismayed by him not wanting to look at books when he's loved them since he was a baby 😓

Newtoday Thu 20-Oct-16 13:25:42

I'm in ROI where you can wait a year, DD also June baby and just started school aged 5y4m. The first two years in ROI are very play based so she's not expected to read yet. They simply play with phonics.

Really feel for your DS and TBH I would continue reading to him as you have done, without expecting anything of him. Is that what your intuition is saying?

You'd have to clear this with the school, though I was raised in UK I'm not sure how it works. Surely they are ok with children aged 4-6 progressing at different rates?

Very lucky here - they aim towards free reading around age 6, which is brilliant. 7 would be better, though!

I've a PhD in general education and worked on the continent for years. They're light years ahead in not starting formal reading til 7. I really wouldn't worry about your DS. Sounds like you fostered a wonderful relationship with reading before, and I'm pretty sure without pressure he'll have "caught up" (and maybe even take over" his older peers after age 7. The key is whether the school can support him without him losing confidence.

Frogusha Thu 20-Oct-16 13:28:06

Do quid pro quo - whatever he likes to do in exchange for reading a book. Also no bedtime snuggle up with a book you read to him if he doesn't want to "read" a book with you. I normally only get DD to read her book to me and she doesn't have to sound out words in the book I read to her (she'd perceive it as unfair as she did her part). Also. perverse as it sounds, try to make homework a reward. E.g. if you are misbehaving at dinner I won't do homework with you (for my DD it worked as I'm a working parent, no homework means significantly less 1-2-1 mummy time). But carry on reading to him more challenging books - they can't really improve their vocab with Biff & Chip smile

JeepersMcoy Thu 20-Oct-16 13:33:47

My dd has started reception and when I spoke to the teacher about reading she said that at this stage it as just asking them about the pictures and what was happening rather than worrying about sounding out words and such. Dd loves getting her 'reading' book and going through it making up a story from the pictures. I ask her about what she thinks is going on and how people are feeling. If she is in a good mood we might look at some of the words and sound out letters, but like you ds sometimes she just isn't in the mood.

She also has phonics worksheets and keywords for practising letters and actual reading for now. Her teacher says they will move onto actual reading from books soon enough and it is more important she is enjoying looking and using the books right now.

Caroian Thu 20-Oct-16 13:36:34

I don't really agree with the above. Almost everyone learns to read eventually, but a significant proportion never learn to love it and I don't think forcing, or bribing or making it a chore to be got through is helpful.

To be honest, at the moment he can't read. So I'd not ask him to. It is, after all, part of the school's role to develop this and it's up to you to support and reinforce - not actually teach. Continue to enjoy books together a foster the love of stories and books and the rest will follow.

I'd also clarify with the school though, as I have a feeling that by "reading" they may mean looking at the (wordless) school book together rather than doing any sounding out etc. Youmight have to back off on even this though if he's really hating even looking at those books. You can always start again in a few weeks. Talk through the issues with the school.

stillwantrachelshair Thu 20-Oct-16 13:45:42

Have you tried reading his book in the morning? We had to with DC1 as she was just exhausted after school in reception.
At this stage, it is more about playing with phonics, recognising them , blending & segmenting so, if he won't look at a book, play games - road signs, number plates, sounding things out. Things like "Simon says put your hand on your l-i-p". Or say "I need to practise my spelling. I'm going to practise "pig". "C-a-t", there I've spelt "pig". My summer born boy who started in reception in September only recognising about two letters finds the latter very funny and is desperate to tell me that I'm wrong. He might not get it right but he has a go & is at least listening for the sounds. Online things like Teach your monster to read are fun too.

mouldycheesefan Thu 20-Oct-16 13:52:07

Agree with doing it in the morning. 5 Mins max. Give him a sticker or whatever motivates him after every read. If you can do five days out of seven I would call that a success. Once he actually can read it will be easier. You could try books he has chosen himself from the library sometimes as well. Tonnes of praise and let's tell daddy how hard you work etc.

Believeitornot Thu 20-Oct-16 13:54:47

We don't read with ours every day (I mean we don't make ours read every day) and they're doing very well indeed (dd is in reception and is flying, ds in year 2 is an excellent reader). We read to them every day though.

So I would stop and just read for pleasure. Read him stories as normal and talk about the pictures etc as normal. Don't bother looking at the school books. He still gets the benefit of reading just not associating with school.

Then come back to it in a few weeks.

PenelopeChipShop Thu 20-Oct-16 13:56:10

Thanks for the replies. Perhaps I've been pushing it too much with the sounding out then... but tbh he is more willing to do that than look at the wordless Biff and Chip ones. I thought it would be less pressure to just do that one but he hates those most of all! If I ask what the characters might be thinking he's literally rolling his eyes and will just say he doesn't know, when literally the week before going to school he would have offered his opinion without me asking!

I thought i'd done a good job of encouraging a love of books but I feel like I'm undoing it now with every attempt to practise with him. It's as if he's cottoned on straight away that it's something he HAS to do and is therefore resisting. I think I might need to back off for a bit and just read to him but may need to clear it with his teacher.

Before bed he's enjoying the BFG at the mo but ask him if Chip looks annoyed and he's ready to fling the book out the window! 😂

PenelopeChipShop Thu 20-Oct-16 13:57:29

I will try mornings too, good idea. If I can find a spare 5 minutes!!

BertrandRussell Thu 20-Oct-16 13:58:12

"Also no bedtime snuggle up with a book you read to him if he doesn't want to "read" a book with you."

Oh, I do hope this is a typo- you don't mean this, do you?????????

ceeveebee Thu 20-Oct-16 14:03:03

Personally I would not push the reading books and would focus reading to him the books he loves, and would let him watch alphablocks on CBeebies or play on a phonics app if you have a tablet.
If he starts associating letters = fun he might take an interest of his own accord. Only around 1/2 of my DSs reception class have been giving reading books so far, the others are focusing on learning letter sounds and being given books to share ie parent does the reading.

MotherofPearl Thu 20-Oct-16 14:04:45

Watching this thread with interest. OP, my DS is just the same; I could have written your post. He is not especially young in his year, but he is very resistant to sounding out words or looking at the school reading books. But he's always loved his bedtime stories from us, and still does.

I like the advice from pp about just leaving it for now and focusing on continuing to nurture his love of stories (he also loves to make up stories, especially using story cubes).

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 20-Oct-16 14:21:27

Are you sure the school said they want you to hear a child who cannot read, read to you daily, it's kind of muddle headed.

DD is a june kid, we got the occasional book from school, we read them, they never took us more than 5 minutes a week. It didn't hinder her reading at all.

You do not want to encourage a love of books - you want to encourage a love of stories, with reading and books being a route to stories, it's probably important to remember that.

If you really want to ask comprehension questions, do it about the books you're reading him!

KittyandTeal Thu 20-Oct-16 14:27:30

As a reception teacher I'd say pull right back on the reading. Do not force him to do anything.

If he likes the wordless ones great, don't just talk about the pictures but make up a silly story between the 2 of you, even if it's about floppys toxic farts.

Read to him as much as he'll allow. Please do not restrict the snugly night time reading. Honestly this is how you keep their love of reading, they associate books with lovely stories and warm cuddles with mummy and daddy, as it should be.

Get the idea of reading not as a mechanical thing but as story telling. Separately work on phonics, games with flash cards, snap/pairs, alphablocks games anything like that if you have time. He will pick it up, and it'll be sudden. Go with your gut though.

CocoLoco87 Thu 20-Oct-16 14:36:08

Could you buy a phonics game where he thinks he's playing a game but it's also covertly teaching him to read? That way if you're not pushing him into books, he is at least learning to blend sounds together to make words?

Tomorrowillbeachicken Thu 20-Oct-16 14:43:26

You could try teachyourmonstertoread as it's free or a free trial of reading eggs

Believeitornot Thu 20-Oct-16 14:56:02

YOu might need to give him more help when describing feelings of characters. How sophisticated is hos understanding of emotions beyond happy and sad?

You could say "doesn't he look cross, I wonder why that is?" And if he doesn't know then tell him. Helps him learn anyway

shouldwestayorshouldwego Thu 20-Oct-16 15:03:28

ask him if Chip looks annoyed and he's ready to fling the book out the window!

To be fair after three dc I often felt like that about those books too. They aren't the most inspiring books, although one of mine really got into the magic key stories, however insisted that the school sent them home in order. If the next one wasn't available he would check each day until it was.

I digress - at his age I would just back off and get back into enjoying books. Half term will be a natural break here for you. Of my 3 dc one took to reading like a true MN child, one struggled at first but was fairly fluent by yr 2, the other one has really struggled with reading, is nearly 10 and only now is beginning to catch up and we are going through assessments for her. They all had the same parents, encouragement etc. I think that the main lesson is to keep the love of stories going, through reading to them, audio books, making up stories, even comprehension of a tv programme/dvd helps. As I say to the one who has struggled the most, she has learnt to persevere and eventually is being rewarded and that is never a wasted lesson.

Frogusha Thu 20-Oct-16 15:16:04

BertrandRussell, no need for sarcasm. I meant you imply it. you don't actually say or do it (subtlety of delivery is the job of the parent)- the idea is You read to me and I read to you. I read to my daughter every day and she would definitely rather read her reading book to me, even if it's mind-numbing biff & chip, than potentially risk missing out on me reading to her.

BertrandRussell Thu 20-Oct-16 15:24:02

I wasn't being sarcastic. I was/am genuinely horrified at the thought of denying bed time stories if a 4 year old doesn't want to do school reading, and hoped it was a typo. Because otherwise it's horrible and counter productive.

Thingirlstuckinfatsuit Thu 20-Oct-16 15:39:20

I agree with stepping right back. My DD started off flying in reception, but then went off reading completely, to the point of becoming slightly anxious about it. She started saying she was 'falling behind' and getting really upset. I spoke to the school, who agreed to move her into an easier phonics group, and we just read to her for a bit. She eventually started reading again, her choice, and now in YR1 is flying again, and loves reading.

I think the most important thing is to ensure they have a lifelong love of reading, so try not to push it too hard now. Also, and I'm sure you're not, but try not to project your anxiety about their progress onto them. I realised I was 'disappointed' my child hadn't got it straight away, which was totally ridiculous and I had a word with myself. I also try to avoid the reading band conversations with other parents, in case my idiocy reappears grin

albertcampionscat Thu 20-Oct-16 16:24:25

Um. My personal (probably unhelpful) experience is that books are ruined by being done in school - the experience is either too slow or too pressured.

So I think yout son sounds wise - could you just ditch all the homework crap, smile and nod if you're asked about it and get back to enjoying reading? That's far far more important than what reading level he's at at 5 or 6.

albertcampionscat Thu 20-Oct-16 16:28:12

Also, what BertrandRussell said.

Reading should never be something you have to do, it shouldn't be the green veg you plough through to get to pudding. It's joy and comfort and adventure and home. It's the secret garden, the magic kingdom, the utter glorious wonder. The idea of forcing someone to read when they don't want to/aren't ready for it is just heart-breaking.

RoganJosh Thu 20-Oct-16 16:31:48

If mine don't want to read I pick out the odd word for them to do from the book I'm reading to them. I agree with it not being a chore and so I don't push them.

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