Reading book at home(43 Posts)
A little while ago, I bought the Julia Donaldson ORT Phonics songbirds books (the set of 36) to read at home with my son. We're coming to the end of these and I wondered whether any of you had any recommendations for what to buy next? Ideally, what I want is another set of 36 books to follow on from this set but I haven't found this online.
We do have the Ladybirds Read It Yourself series but they are a bit harder than the phonics books (Cinderella is in level 1 and includes "stepsisters", "fairy godmother" etc).
My son is in Reception.
I would head to your local library if possible. I bought a couple of the type of sets you mention but then kicked myself as I discovered a whole enormous section of them in my local library.
My kids also liked being able to choose the ones they wanted from a large selection and they were much more motivated to read them as a result.
Tbh I'd be inclined to say that you don't need to buy any of the reading schemes - your dc will have plenty of opportunity to read those as they move through school. Instead, it is your job to foster a love of reading and that's only really going to happen by sharing books, reading together, providing plenty of reading opportunities and allowing it giving access to a range of reading material from fiction to non fiction to instructions. It doesn't matter really whether they follow the phonics schemes or not either; if your dc struggles with some of the words then either read it for/with them or help them develop other strategies for working out unknown words (try not to rely on phonics as not all words are phonetic and often, if a child only has that as a way of working them out they end up losing the meaning of the text as a whole).
I'd go to the library and see which of books he likes the look of. Both of my kids liked the Reading Corner phonics books at that stage, but one then loved the fairy tale retellings with a twist (can't remember which series, but there's tons of them) and the other was more into anything funny so the early readers like The Topsy Turvies. It's a very quick stage, IME, so not worth investing in tons of books.
Take a look at the Reading Chest, which will send you reading schemes books in the post. They have a good selection.
if your dc struggles with some of the words then either read it for/with them or help them develop other strategies for working out unknown words
Please don't do this. 'Other strategies' invariably lead to impaired reading skills.
Please don't do this. 'Other strategies' invariably lead to impaired reading skills.
Other strategies such as word recognition and just remembering words that they come across rather than having to decode it every time make for a poorer reader? If so, why do we teach children the list of high frequency words, words which are not phonetically regular, alongside those that are?
Strategies such as using the context of the sentence or paragraph as a whole to work out what the word could be and decide whether their chosen word 'fits' mean that child has impaired reading ability? I don't mean simply guessing what that word could be, by the way. I mean looking at the initial sound of the word, or other sounds within it, and the length and trying to work out what it could be and then using their understanding of the text to make sure that it 'works' within that sentence. How could that impair a child's reading ability?
I'm not saying phonics doesn't work or that it is isn't important (of course it's important. It should be the child's first approach to decoding and is perhaps the most effective tool we have at our disposal when learning to read and to spell; it is the basis for working out most of the unknown words we come across and for the most part we do it automatically without realising) but what happens when we come across a word that isn't phonetic or if trying to decode it phonetically could lead to a number of possibilities, many of them wrong? Using contextual cues in those situations is incredibly helpful.
DD's never been taught any "high frequency words" in her school, and they get very good reading results from a group where you'd expect not. So you appear to be presenting a bit of a straw man, that is exactly a mixed method that is not necessary.
Whilst there are words which are not phonetically decodable, they're all nouns, and not ones that kids are likely to have to read, and if they did, no-one would care how they pronounced them.
There are some words children simply have to learn by sight or by looking at the context of the sentence. You cant read every word phonetically. And yes kids do need to be able to read Nouns, how odd to think that they dont!
I have three children ages ranging from 26 to 7 so I've seen different "fashions" for how to teach reading come and go during that time. The best approach in my opinion is primarily phonics, but with other methods for when phonics wont help.
OP my ds enjoyed the Usborne first readers books.
Which words missyB1 ?
The nouns I'm talking about are extremely rare ones (Magdalen, Featheringstone when pronounced completely non-phonetically.)
Don't bother with more reading schemes. Just go to the library and stock up on books your son wants to read. It doesn't matter if he cant read them yet. You read to him or make up silly stories from the pictures. A love of reading is far more beneficial to a child than mastering all phonics in reception.
Other strategies such as word recognition and just remembering words that they come across rather than having to decode it every time make for a poorer reader?
As your original statement was this: help them develop other strategies for working out unknown words, I'm completely failing to see what 'word recognition', which implies the child already knows the word, has to do with this. Word recognition is the end result of sounding out and blending, not a 'strategy'. Likewise, 'remembering' the word is also an end result of sounding and blending not a strategy.
If so, why do we teach children the list of high frequency words, words which are not phonetically regular, alongside those that are?
Well. It's a long story.
It starts in the days when phonics was completely taboo and Look & Say reigned supreme. Suddenly fewer children were learning to read effectively. so someone came up with the bright idea that if children were intensively taught to remember the most frequent words which occurred in text (by memorising them as 'wholes', of course) they'd be able to read at least 50% of the texts they were required to read. Sadly this didn't really work very well either because most of these words were 'function' words (the, and, off, in, up, down etc) which only served to connect the more interesting, but less frquently occurring, content words. The ones which actually gave a clue as to what the text was about. However, the High Frequency Word myth was out of its bottle and there is no putting it back. Witness you, and at least one other person, perpetrating it in this thread. Children have got to learn the HFWs. Well, children really have to learn all the words they're likely to encounter in their reading journies. Along the way, as phonics began to creep back under the radar, it acquired an extra facet as it was declared that these HFWs were 'not decodable'. Well, if you've ever looked at a list of HFWs you will find that is palpable nonsense. There are a few which contain unusual or unique letter/sound correspondences and which are useful in early reading texts (though not essential) such as 'one' and 'two' but the rest are easily decodable as long as you know the code. The only reason the Jolly Phonics authors dubbed them 'tricky' was that they did contain very unusual code, or code that the children had yet been taught.
Strategies such as using the context of the sentence or paragraph as a whole to work out what the word could be and decide whether their chosen word 'fits' mean that child has impaired reading ability?
Of course it does. What if they decide on the wrong word; it makes sense, fits the context but isn't actually the word on the page? I'm afraid in my book, and in that of most common sensical folks, that is 'guessing' and guessing isn't reading. Child should be able to work out what a word says in or out of context.
I don't mean simply guessing what that word could be, by the way. I mean looking at the initial sound of the word, or other sounds within it, and the length and trying to work out what it could be and then using their understanding of the text to make sure that it 'works' within that sentence.
As opposed to knowing the letter/sounds correspondences and being able to sound out and blend all through the word in order to identify it? Sorry, your strategy sounds very tricky and labourious and disabling. Incidentally, I've worked with children who have supposedly learned this 'strategy'. Sadly, their default position is look at the first letter and guess. It's much easier than anything else.
but what happens when we come across a word that isn't phonetic
Well, for a start there are no words which aren't 'phonetic' , though you might consider this to be a technicality. Phonetics is the study of speech sounds; all words contain speech sounds so none are 'not phonetic'. I suspect you mean words which don't appear to be phonically regular in that the letters don't represent the sounds you would expect them to. Dealing with them is a product of good teaching, and understanding of how phonics works and a good oral and written vocabulary.
or if trying to decode it phonetically could lead to a number of possibilities, many of them wrong? Using contextual cues in those situations is incredibly helpful.
I agree. Though I think that 'many' is a bit of an exageration. You're most likely to encounter only 2 or 3 options. Yes, context is very useful in this instance if you already have the word in your oral vocabulary.
There are "more Songbirds"
I'd avoid the Ladybird books
*"*^*Strategies such as using the context of the sentence or paragraph as a whole to work out what the word could be and decide whether their chosen word 'fits' mean that child has impaired reading ability?*^ *"*. Context is useful for working out the meaning of unfamiliar words it isn't an effective strategy for reading accuracy
Wow, thanks all. I've just checked out More Songbirds but all I've found are collections designed to be used in the classroom (so 36 books but with six of each title).
Other strategies always lead to impaired reading skills,seriously. Think that might be an exaggeration and surely depends on level and ability.
Songsbirds 36 set goes up to level 6. Surely by that stage having demonstrated a good knowledge and use of phonics, beginning to use context and word origin as additional tools when stumped isn't going to impair reading skills. Not all kids just stick to scheme or school books at home.
*"*^*Other strategies always lead to impaired reading skills,seriously*^*"* yes seriously
Sorry I don't think that is always true further down the line. I think other strategies can be very useful after a while.
Perhaps you can explain how they work to ensure the child reads accurately rather than guesses incorrectly ?
It's not a guess if you use deduction and not necessarily going to be incorrect.
Funnily enough I have 3 gifted readers who started to use other techniques alongside their phonics further down the line and found it hugely beneficial,giving them confidence to attempt more complex texts. Barking out phonetically decoded words doesn't always infer understanding or comprehension. The youngest got full marks in last year's reading Sats paper. Would love to know how using other techniques impaired their reading.
It's not guessing if you're using crucial info such as root words and context alongside phonics at later stages. Phonics isn't always enough.
And sorry my 3 are prime examples that using other methods alongside phonics further down the line doesn't "invariably" lead to impaired skills. I think it gives a huge amount of confidence.
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