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Books to help DD with her reading

(48 Posts)
cakeycakeface Mon 12-Dec-16 15:34:19

I would like to buy some simple books DD can read herself. She's bringing home Oxford Reading Tree books from school, and the one she currently has is Stage 2. I don't really want to buy these, since she'll probably get them via school.

Can you advise an equivalent reading series I can buy, and would the level be the same?

I'm worried she's not getting the hang of reading as quickly as her peers, and want her to practice at home. She enjoys reading with our support, but I think that maybe we're not doing enough with her.

Scarydinosaurs Mon 12-Dec-16 15:43:51

Is she in reception?

The Julia Donaldson phonics series is quite lovely, try and pick books she will enjoy and let her choose ones that interest her. Maybe try different sorts of books too- rhymes, recipe books, poems etc

Scarydinosaurs Mon 12-Dec-16 15:45:01

Also, do read to her too- especially if she has favourite books etc that she enjoys being heard read to her.

cakeycakeface Mon 12-Dec-16 15:59:20

I read to her every day - books she chooses - and I'm currently reading through 'The Faraway Tree' for her as well, which she loves. I've read to her since she was a baby.

My concern is I can't see real progress with her school reading. She's not recognising words at all. Guesses a lot by looking at the pictures. But if I present her even with a simple word, out of context, she has to sound it out and even then stumbles. I have no idea if this is normal? Is stage two where she should be half way through the year?

I'm not sure if I should be doing flash cards with her, or practicing in different ways?

We're in Scotland, so it's P1 here - first year of school.

cakeycakeface Mon 12-Dec-16 16:00:30

I don't like the word normal here. I know she should go at her own pace. I'm just not sure if we, as parents, are supporting her enough.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Mon 12-Dec-16 16:40:09

From what I can see from other children I know it is what happens with some children after talking to other parents. Eventually it will click into place.

mrz Mon 12-Dec-16 17:00:15

If you have an iPad I recommend the Sounds Write app and Dandelion Launcher books

Tomorrowillbeachicken Mon 12-Dec-16 17:06:49

Or try teach your monster to read app.

maizieD Mon 12-Dec-16 21:24:07

So is this her first term of learning to read?
Are the ORT books the phonics based ones or the 'old' Look & Say ones?

I'm a bit worried about the 'guessing'.
Has the school given you any advice on supporting reading at home? If it has, what is the advice? It would be good to get some idea of how she is being taught.

There are lots of good decodable book schemes around these days. They are all designed to help with progression in phonic skills and to be read with no guessing; all unfamiliar words to be sounded out and blended.

Jelly and Bean books are nice.

cakeycakeface Tue 13-Dec-16 13:14:10

Thanks for the app suggestions, I'll have a look at them.

Yes, it is her first term of reading. I'm not sure which books the ORT ones are - I'll check what she has when she gets home.

Yesterday she 'read' through her book very quickly with me. No sounding out, including long words I was pretty sure we'd not had before. I asked her if she'd read the book before, and she had with her teacher. I think she almost memorises the story, rather than words. I isolated one of the longer words - hid the picture and rest of the sentence - and asked her what it was. She didn't have a clue.

I feel as if I should be doing something more than reading. I am worried. Again, I have no idea if this is standard for kids her age. I'll look at the apps, maybe they will help. I'll also look at the Jelly and Bean books.

maizieD Tue 13-Dec-16 21:32:13

It seems very clear from your response, cakey that, even if the school claims it teaches phonics, it is not teaching children to use their phonic knowledge as the only strategy for identifying words. Nor does iit seem to be giving them books to read which enable them to practise their phonic knowledge and skills. I'm willing to bet that the ORT books aren't the modern phonics based ones!

If you want more information about phonics I suggest that you have a look at Sue Lloyd's website, Teaching Children to Read and Write, Sue is co-author of Jolly Phonics. She made this site with parents in mind. It is non-commercial.

Also, Debbie Hepplewhite's Phonics International, there's some useful stuff in the 'Free Resources' section:

(Disclaimer. I know both the authors of these sites but I have no financial interest in either)

katand2kits Fri 16-Dec-16 10:39:04

If she is in Reception and is already on stage 2 books then she is clearly doing well with learning to read. I have bought the "songbirds" reading set from the Book People, it is really great for beginner readers - my son is in reception and he can now read all of the first band in the songbirds set and is beginning to read the second. He is on "red" books in the ORT school scheme, although he has only just moved onto that band and finds it a bit tricky.

maizieD Fri 16-Dec-16 10:46:17

kat If you read cakey's second post in this thread you will see that her DD is not doing particularly well with learning to read.

Autumnsky Fri 16-Dec-16 11:15:52

I think this is normal at this stage, DC can’t read by themselves and can’t sound the word quickly, they have to practice their phonic skills learnt at school and then gradually master it.
My DS2 only had picture books in reception term 1 without words. I didn't push for reading at that stage, as I think they haven't learnt most of the phonics. we only practiced the word his school sent home, and watched Alphabet games in Cebeebies website ( highly recommended). I think it is important at this stage to get DC to understand the link between the sound and the letter. The magnet letter games is quite good too, I remember DS2 using these letters to form words on our fridge while I was cooking. Creating words using phonics certainly booster their phonics skills.
Only in the last term of reception, DS2 started to have books with more words, after that we started to borrow books with similar levels in library. I wouldn’t buy these sorts of books, as these books are too simple, DC won’t like to read it again and again, we just changed these books from library quickly. I think it is not that important to have exactly same level books with school. For a more difficult book, I just let DS2 sound out the word he can recognise and I do the rest. DS2 became free reader in Y2( his school standard).
Do bear in mind, reading is a hard job at the moment for DC, as they hasn’t master all the phonics, and they read each word really slowly, so don’t push DC to read is she is reluctant. Doing lots of word games is better

Longtalljosie Fri 16-Dec-16 11:34:02

OK - I come at this as someone who really believes in getting kids reading. I'm not one of those posters who thinks children should let a thousand flowers bloom until the age of 7. My DD1 is at the top of her class and my DD2 is in nursery and I've been teaching her her phonics since she got the hang of colours and shapes. I tell you this just to provide background on what I'm about to say.

You are fine. She is fine. Look here:

for reassurance. Your DD has been learning for one term. You say she's made no progress - could she read when she started reception? Because if all she had were phonic sounds this is demonstrably untrue.

She should be sounding out unfamiliar words. That's how phonics decoding works. And if her book band is the right one, she should be able to read about 75-80% of the words - so she should be faltering a bit every other sentence. Otherwise she's not being pushed.

As for word recognition, of course there are some "tricky" words like "the" which just have to be taken on board. But in the main it is all about the phonics. When you say "as quickly as her peers", anyone in particular? I can't believe that after one term, that many people in the class are Stage 3 ORT.

The reading chest website above used to group the colours by academic year and it was notable then that reception was typically pink/red, Year 1 (sorry don't know Scottish equivalent) yellow/blue/green - and then Year 2 there was a huge range of colours they typically got through in a year. I think this is because reading really is a "penny drop" skill.

And I say this kindly - your stress about this isn't helping. You have to chill. If she feels your tension, she will not enjoy reading. It will not be her happy place. And you'll always have battles.

My advice is to get to the end of the Faraway Tree and then have bedtime stories which are just a bit harder than her current level and follow the words with your finger. She will absorb much more that way. And have a chat to the teacher about what to work on over the holidays if that's what you want to do - are there digraphs etc "ck" "ch" that she could work on?

Google also the reception keywords - you can get them as fridge magnets. Must go and do nursery pickup - good luck xx

Longtalljosie Fri 16-Dec-16 11:35:27

* sorry - should proof read. Top of her class for reading - certainly not for everything. Sounded like enough of a boast as it was blush

Tomorrowillbeachicken Fri 16-Dec-16 14:32:23

DS hasn't been assessed for a while but can read/sound out (depending on his mood) a red or yellow book (stage 2/3 ort). For us we tend to find that non reading band books are also helping with his reading and I tend to alternate lines on books like the meg and mog books and Seuss books. They are longer so he may only alternate half the book with me but I find them a lot more interesting than book band books.

maizieD Fri 16-Dec-16 18:04:35

It's not the slow sounding out that bothers me; that will speed up with practice. It's the word guessing.

Also, the criteria of being able to read 75 - 80% of the words might be fine so long as the 20 - 25% of unknown words are decodeable with the phonic knowledge the child already has, but somehow I don't think that's what you mean, LongtallJosie. At this stage the child should be confident that she has the tools to read all the words in a book, not just 'most' of them.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Fri 16-Dec-16 19:30:33

I have to agree. School gave me some books today which are Ort from 2000 and they are not really good as only done first set of sounds in RWI yet these cannot be decoded with those so I will have to help him with the set 2 and set 3 sounds to read it. Not end of world but the early ORT with the new phonics schemes are very annoying

Castelnaumansions Fri 16-Dec-16 20:46:57

Phonics are mad. These current learning schemes are a racket. Quantifying something which is qualitative, ( stories, reading words, learning words, making sense, thinking) is mad and a money earner for loads of cruddy companies. ( see Michael Rosen's blog on Gove's links to Murdoch and Pearson

Kids like rhymes, songs, things they can join in with, stories about them. Check 'lovereading' website for sample books for your child to browse and choose. It has ideas for books for each age and both genders. Library every week, to choose and discard books she likes or not.
Reading is conceptual. Unless kids are developing their thinking and exploring skills, reading phonics is then simply decoding signs. Make up stories.. Draw pictures of them, draw the words. Play with it, to learn it! Enjoy the journey, ignore the bs from schools Enjoy your kids' learning. It'll teach you!

maizieD Fri 16-Dec-16 20:52:41

Michael Rosen is an author, not an expert at teaching children to read.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 16-Dec-16 21:31:37

How did I miss some tinfoil hats being added to the phonics debate?

Please tell me the Illuminati had something to do with it too.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Fri 16-Dec-16 21:35:57

Personally I'm finding phonics quite good with DS but I know others have issues with it. Different strokes I suppose.

Feenie Fri 16-Dec-16 22:06:29

There are usually issues when teachers say they are using phonics but are actually mixing methods - which we already know causes problems.

The strategies you describe promote enjoyment of reading, but don't teach reading in themselves, castel. Rosen is excellent at the former but very vague on the latter. Unsurprisingly, since he has never taught reading.

sirfredfredgeorge Fri 16-Dec-16 22:26:41

So DD's school appears to only do phonics, there's no "tricky words" or anything, at least none that she ever brought home or talked about, and she's a pretty reliable person, but as a summer born, she went from no phonic knowledge on day 1, to a completely fluent reader in reception year.

We barely read the phonic books, or did any explicit phonic practice as homework, certainly didn't buy any phonics book, just the 1 or 2 a week from school, less than 5 minutes. So most of the time was spent with stories and songs and word play - but little of that was DD reading them, she just listened and got the pleasure and vocabulary from that.

I guess, because DD found learning to read so relatively easy, that this was a good approach, had she struggled more with getting the phonics maybe we'd've needed to do more explicit phonics practice.

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