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TO not get Phonics

(161 Posts)
BIgBagofJelly Fri 23-Dec-16 08:30:22

I'm mainly curious as opposed to concerned, my DD is summer born reception and brings home ORT level 2 books so I'm assuming she's within the normal range and I'm not really worried. What I don't get though is the school make a huge dealt of phonics (and I understand there's a lot of evidence to back this up) but the Oxford Reading Tree books she brings home seem to have so many words that she can't "decode" either because they're irregular or because she hasn't learned that particular rule yet. (E.g. the E on the end of a word in "Like" "Snake" etc). Am I meant to be explaining that to her or should she just read the entire word and learn it?

I can understand building up a catalogue of "High frequency words" but it doesn't even seem like the same word is consolidated so isn't she bound to forget them anyway?

AS I said I'm not really worried she seems neither particularly advanced nor particularly behind but I was curious about what I should be doing with these words and the reading books in general. Should I read each one once? Read it a few times?

sirfredfredgeorge Fri 23-Dec-16 08:42:33

The books are wrong for her, probably ignore them, she should be getting books she can decode with the phonics she's learnt, if you think she can do it, you could just show her how decode it - looking it up yourself! Or just ignore the books.

We never, read a book more than once.

DoItTooJulia Fri 23-Dec-16 08:48:45

My oldest is 11 and learned to read at school through phonics. I never got it either. What shocked me the most though was his being taught about homophones and other words about the technicalities of reading. It was simply amazing to watch him learn when I thought it seemed so difficult!

I have a 4 yo due to start reception in September. I'm hoping I'll be able to support him more with learning to read through phonics, given my previous experience. So I've ordered the Julia Donaldson Songbird books. I'm still non the wiser!

So, what I'm trying to say in a long winded way-is thank god for schools and EY teachers that get this stuff! I think I'll be leaving it to school with encouraging noises when he brings books home to read to me. I think I see my job is making sure he gets the joy of books and reading-so exposure to brilliant books and the time to read and enjoy them iyswim?

ScruffyTheJanitor Fri 23-Dec-16 08:50:53

DD brings home books she can't quite read yet but we use them as bed time story books instead.
We then use a magnetic doodle pad thingy to work on her phonics.

If she brings books home she can read then we read them together before tea time.

mrz Fri 23-Dec-16 09:03:02

The school should be providing books that match the child's level of phonic knowledge /ability not old Look and Say containing words that encourage guessing.

ApocalypseNowt Fri 23-Dec-16 09:06:40

I have no clue about phonics and was really dubious at first...mainly because that wasn't how I learned to read. My DD started school this September and i've seen her reading coming on so well week on week.

I do wish i knew a bit more about it though so i could support her better.

Astro55 Fri 23-Dec-16 09:11:44

The books should contain words they know - words they decide and words that are high frequency and sight words

The books are repetitive - just because snake isn't in them all - they do need a story

She should be looking at the pictures to guess what the words might be -

Astro55 Fri 23-Dec-16 09:13:11

Look up letters and sounds

They have games for each levels of phonics and you can see how they get built up

suze28 Fri 23-Dec-16 09:16:07

Astro She shouldn't be looking at the pictures to guess the words at all. What makes you think that?
The books should be matched to the child's phonic ability.

AuntieStella Fri 23-Dec-16 09:17:04

"words they decode and words that are high frequency and sight words"

Mixed methods produces poorer outcomes than phonics (the centuries old traditional method). So I really hope that books intended for the pupil to read mainly without assistance do not have that mix.

maizieD Fri 23-Dec-16 09:24:17

Those of you who don't 'get' phonics I suggest that you have a look at Sue Lloyd's website: Teaching Reading and Writing

tcrw.co.uk/

I'm glad to hear that your children did well with phonics, though grin

mrz Fri 23-Dec-16 09:30:17

*"*^*"decode" either because they're irregular or because she hasn't learned that particular rule yet. (E.g. the E on the end of a word in "Like" "Snake" etc*^*"*
All words can be decoded once you know how the spellings relate to the sounds they represent.

There aren't any "rules" in phonics ... Teaching rules means you have to unteach when you meet words that don't follow them so less confusing to forget the idea that there are "rules".

In phonics we teach there are 44 sounds (varies slightly according to accent)
That sounds are represented by symbols (spellings )
That a sound can be represented by 1, 2, 3 or 4 letters.
That a sound can have more than one spelling
That a spelling can represent more than one sound.

The letter e on the end of snake and like is part of the spelling for the vowel (commonly called a split vowel spelling/digraph) so in snake the spelling is ae and in like the spelling is ie. Even though your child hasn't been taught these yet it makes sense to explain them when she meets these words as it will help when she's formally taught them and means she won't get the idea these words can't be easily decoded like any other.

mrz Fri 23-Dec-16 09:31:42

*"*^*She should be looking at the pictures to guess what the words might be*^ *"* this is probably the worst advice you could be given please don't follow it!

MrBennOfFestiveRoad Fri 23-Dec-16 09:39:21

My DS taught himself to read fluently before school without phonics. I still don't really understand how, I think he just has a good visual memory. He then had to learn phonics at school as that's what they did. We were more concerned about his social development as a very shy late summer born, so as long as he was happy and making friends, we weren't too bothered.

UnlikelyLou Fri 23-Dec-16 09:49:56

I used to Teach. The books she brings home should mainly include words that can be coded with phonics - 'cat', 'shop', etc. There will always be some words that can not be coded easily in every reading book, except the very basic first books.

Give lots of praise and be really positive about what she can read in the book. If there is a difficult word, decode most of it yoursef and explain that it is an unusual word. Do something like this: (Like) "What sound does the word begin with?" , "An i can be pronounced 'eye' sometimes". "There is a c (k) sound" . "This word says 'Like'. Say "Like".
At the end of the book, flick back through the book and pick out a few of the irregular/difficult words: "Can you remember what this word is?". If she does not remember say it for her and get her to repeat it.

Don't worry about it, it requires visual memory skills. If she keeps encountering the word over again in different books eventually it will go into her memory bank. The main thing is to keep it all fun and light-hearted so that she associates reading with good experiences.

catkind Fri 23-Dec-16 09:58:23

Oh dear, I'm afraid the problem is with the reading books rather than the phonics. Not good. If you want to help OP, I'd get hold of some decodable reading books and go through them. As others have mentioned the Songbirds books are good and cheap, but there aren't that many of them and Other Schemes Are Available.

Unfortunately some schools really don't Get This Stuff. Advice sent home with the first reading books here included gems such as "encourage your child to guess from the pictures". Yes really. (No, don't do it. The year 1s I volunteer with get into all sorts of muddles through trying to guess instead of read.)

mrz Fri 23-Dec-16 10:11:54

*"*^*Do something like this: (Like) "What sound does the word begin with?" , "An i can be pronounced 'eye' sometimes". "There is a c (k) sound" . "This word says 'Like'. Say "Like".*^ *"* confused

Alternatively teach phonics - if she knows the sounds /l/ and /k/ and how they are represented in the word like you point to the <I-e> spelling and say this is the spelling for the sound /ie/ in this word say all the sounds and listen for the word. /l/ /ie/ /k/ like

Feenie Fri 23-Dec-16 10:14:51

There will always be some words that can not be coded easily in every reading book, except the very basic first books.

There rely shouldn't be, because the school should be using a decodable reading scheme.

Sick of reading about schools who don't bother.

RubyWinterstorm Fri 23-Dec-16 10:18:17

One of my kids totally bombed out of literacy with the phonics metod, at age 8 could barely read/write, we did old fashioned whole-word reading instead. By age 10 he had caught up. Phonics-method was a drama for him (us!) .

Youngest DS took to it and it really worked for him though!

Clearly it does not work for all kids. Somehow my very left brained logical thinker (onthe spectrum) did not get on with it!

Euphemia Fri 23-Dec-16 10:35:13

We still use ORT as it's what we have and we can't afford new books. sad

BIgBagofJelly Fri 23-Dec-16 10:42:09

Thanks for the feedback, I think I should read more about phonics I tend to agree that it's the books rather than DD's reading ability. She can read confidently when the words are decodable with the phonics knowledge she's been taught. It's easier for my to explain things like two "ee"s but the split digraph I'll need to look up. It just seems the oxford reading tree books have quite a high ratio of "tricky words" to decodable ones (I understand all words are supposedly decidable but I don' think DD is going toe able to decode words like "one" at the moment) - maybe I'll go through a different reading scheme at home and she can read those books at school.

Feenie Fri 23-Dec-16 10:47:11

Songbirds are £16.99 for 36 books, Euphemia.

www.thebookpeople.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/qs_product_tbp?productId=218821

For £200, you could purchase 396 decodable books. What about the PTA?

Kennington Fri 23-Dec-16 10:47:56

I don't get phonics either but I see it works more or less for my child.
I would suggest just reading lots! It might just click one day too for phonics.

Feenie Fri 23-Dec-16 10:50:11

Try Book Chest, OP - it's an online reading scheme lending service. Books come in a big envelope addressed to your child, which is quite exciting.

Feenie Fri 23-Dec-16 10:52:28

www.readingchest.co.uk

Reading Chest, even.

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