How to practice reading with reception age child who's behind?(137 Posts)
Didn't want to derail this thread https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/primary/2844011-learning-to-read-books-4yo which had some useful info on it but seemed to be turning into a bit of a debate on phonics vs whatever. I'm quite happy to stick with phonics.
What I'm not so sure about is what will be most productive to help DS with reading. He's apparently in a group getting extra help at school - which isn't a big surprise as he's the youngest in class, and his speech was borderline for referral to SALT when he started school (it's come on a lot since then). He knows a lot of sounds and can sometimes decode words with sounds he knows, and can also read some of the "tricky words" with unfamiliar sounds.
School have asked us to do more reading with him, but I'm finding he's often reluctant to read his "school" book at home. We try to encourage him to sound out some words in the books we read to him, but he tends to know them off by heart as he'll tell us w/o looking at the page.
I'd like some advice on the actual mechanics of reading with him - we prompt him to look at the initial sound, and look at the picture. When he sounds out all the letters, but doesn't put them together - are we supposed to tell him the word? Or just say that's good, move on and maybe next time he'll get it? I don't know if reading it to him is a big no-no or okay. Will it end up in him just memorising the word instead of practicing decoding? I don't know.
We have the Songbirds Level 1 &2 books, but as he seems to need more reinforcement, is there anything else at that level that's suitable and not outdated that we can practice on? We're rapidly going to get to the point where he's memorised everything at this rate.
There's such a big scale of normal in reception I am surprised that any reception class would see any child as 'behind' quite yet.
As above, I'm quite surprised that the school feel the need to label any child as "behind" half way through the Reception year. To be honest, I'd be more worried about this labelling setting him up to feel like a "failure" before he's even had a chance to begin. I think it is really important that children not be switched off reading.
Personally I'd stick with reading "with" him in the sense of sharing books together and really enjoying them, rather than pushing him to read them (in fact, are you sure this wasn't what the school meant by dong more reading with him?)
Otherwise, with helping - if he says all the sounds but can't get the word I'd probably repeat the sounds myself (faster) to help him "hear" the word that way. If it still doesn't click, give the word and move on. I'm not a teacher though - there are many helpful ones on here who will likely give better advice!
Could you try playing with letters and making your own words just one at a time? (Jolly Phonics have some fridge magnets). I think Bean's idea is great - sounds out everyday words like a robot. I agree that he sounds like he's not at L2 or even the 1+ songbirds yet (which is fine most of my DS's YR class are on L1+ - even the autumn borns).
I'd go for other books like meg and mog and read between you or perhaps grab some sound cards (we have the rwi ones) and play at making words with them.
I should clarify that the school have never used the word "behind"!
I really would not worry. If he won't do the school let him read anything he wants to.
Encourage him to read words on signs or in the supermarket when he's out and about. That way he'all get little and often input and it won't just be sitting down to read a book. By halfway through year 1 a lot have caught up. X
School have just said he's getting some extra support along with some others, and any additional practice we can do hearing him read would be helpful. They're not putting pressure on (have been very clear from the start that homework is optional, and shouldn't be pushed if DC are reluctant), and have been careful not to label. "Behind" was my perhaps ill-thought shorthand for the title.
Thanks for the suggestions - he loves playing with fridge magnets so that might work.
Might try sounding out words with DP that he has a lot of incentive to figure out.
ch o c
b i s c ui t
erm, not sure about cake?
Sweets is a good one.... cake is a pita.
Cake has the split a-e digraph. So ae sound split by the k. C ae k. You can draw a line to join the a and e to help. c a k e
Well my line didn't work. But you get the idea. Wouldn't teach split digraphs until they've got the hang of the basics though.
I made word cards for my DD when she was learning to read and drew a picture of the thing on the back. E.g. "sun", "dad", "cat", "jug" etc. Once she had attempted the word she could look at the picture to at if she was right. She loved them and it was a bit less daunting than trying to read a whole book. We also watched Alphablocks quite a lot. After a while she also helped me make the cards, then we moved on to books when I thought she was ready.
We use an iPad app called pirate phonics. It is brilliant for reinforcing the sounds and moving them to blending. My DC have a lot of fun on it, will do it on their own and can do it for ages.
And yes, I would say the sounds in the word and then blend them together to make the whole word. So start with simple vowel consonant vowel words like s-u-n sun. Try and make each sound short and soft and don't put an 'uh' on the end. ssss not suh. That's the basics of the beginnings of phonics.
(I just read through some of that other thread and it did get very involved!)
Oops I mean consonant vowel consonant, probably time for me to go to bed!
BeanAnTi I think you misunderstand me. Children are far more likely to be switched off by being pushed over and over again to read if they really aren't ready. It is the same as repeatedly asking a child to do anything they don't want to do - eating a hated vegetable etc - it's frequently ineffective. If children don't want to read a school reading book at home when they are in reception, I firmly believe that it shouldn't be pushed. Pushing makes something a chore which saps the fun and enjoyment from the activity.
Also, where did I say that all children should be doing the same activities? If anything, I'm advocating more of a hands off approach. Of course all children can't, and won't, do the same or achieve the same. But there is an unfortunate tendency for society to rank and measure and whilst this is obviously helpful and necessary in some circumstances, as well as motivating for some people, for others it can be really counter productive. The OP has said that the school have not actually used the term "behind" so this was my misinterpretation, but I stand by the fact that it would be potentially very unhelpful for them to do so.
He is in reception - he is not behind. There is nothing and no-one for him to be behind. Just as other children around him will have passed various milestones at different times during the pre-school phase, so children are ready to read at very different ages. He is the youngest in the class and may be nearly a year younger than some of the others - at this young age it makes a huge difference.
The really bad thing here is that you have been made to worry - which is guaranteed to make things worse.
Cuddle up on the sofa and tuck this wee man under your arm and read him a book that he enjoys. You will know when he is ready to read. It sounds as though the school are doing the right things by giving extra help in school, and the best support you can be to them in their efforts is to make books fun. You can co-operate, but you cannot do their job for them and trying to do this could confuse him as they will have their own ways of teaching reading. Your role is to enjoy books with him. That will be is motivation, which is the main impetus to success.
My ds is a summer birthday too, and just hated reading, he's now halfway through year one and beginning to make a bit of a breakthrough and is finding his confidence. I think my ds will only have leant split digraphs (e.g. The a and e in cake) in year one, I think it's a bit much for reception!? I found that revisiting lots of books I had read to him over and over again when he was younger helped, I read them and he joined in, and especially ones that rhymed as he would manage the end rhyming word which helped build confidence. Can you take him to the library, let him choose a few books and read those to him, he might sound out a few simple words. I spoke to a lovely teacher who said whilst phonics were useful, when the teaching of them was first introduced they were one of seven tools to use when teaching reading, its just part of the picture. Don't let him lose the desire to look at books, even if it's just the pictures, my son loves how things work books, and most non fiction. If school send books home, read them together, or you read first and then he reads with you? He'll still be learning.
Children are far more likely to be switched off by being pushed over and over again to read if they really aren't ready.
Not sure this is true tbh. I suspect this persistent belief that children can't be identified as being behind in reception and given extra support to help them causes far more issues than identifying a need and meeting it.
OP, can he hear words when you say the sounds for him? Doesn't have to be written words, you could do this orally.
Maybe he'd enjoy iPad games more? Mine quite likes 'teach your monster to read', which is really well designed with different mini games for learning sounds, sounding out, blending, decoding.
We still make it 'together time' where he gets my attention, just not reading school books which he doesn't enjoy. The teacher recommended this as she says how they learn it is less important than that they learn it. We only do about 10-15 mins a few times a week but he actually sees it as a treat rather than a chore.
If you are sensibly sticking with phonics then
1) make sure the books school are sending home are phonics ones
2) don't encourage looking at pictures as clues to read words
I find reading in the morning is better than after school.
Join the discussion
Please login first.