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My 5 year old can't read....

(101 Posts)
Stuffragette Tue 18-Apr-17 19:28:35

She is the third dc. She is a mega happy child, loves school, has lots of friends. But we recently had a parent teacher meeting and they said she is behind. She knows her sounds she just isn't blending them. Before the meeting I really couldn't care less. She's happy, she has friends. My theory is she'll get there in the end. But the teacher now has me really worried. What does anyone else think?

70ontheinside Tue 18-Apr-17 19:37:13

My ds wasn't interested in reading until well into Year 2. I was getting very nervous, but both his very old school teacher and a friend who is a primary teacher told me to hold my nerve and just wait until it clicked - and it did, eventually.
It was hard, though, especially when everybody is bragging about their dcs reading at double platinum level.

Xmasbaby11 Tue 18-Apr-17 19:38:59

My 5 yo dd can't read either. We try to encourage practice at home but she lacks concentration and struggles a lot. She is generally interested in books so assuming she'll get there in the end.

catkind Tue 18-Apr-17 21:29:33

Did the school say what they're doing to help her? It would be unusual but not unheard of from the kids I've seen that stage (friends' kids and volunteering in school). Most have gone on to click with reading and then they're fine; only one I know it turned out to be part of a bigger issue and later got diagnosed with SEN.

Can she blend if you say the sounds aloud for her? They often find that easier. I say the sounds getting closer together until the child can hear it. Slight emphasis on the first letter sometimes helps. And soft consonants are easier e.g. mmmm - a -nnnn. (All MN tips!)

BackforGood Wed 19-Apr-17 00:29:46

When you read to her, do lots of predicting and ask questions about the story.... why do you think he did that? / How do you think that made her feel? Do you remember ever feeling like that? / Where do you think it might be? / What do you think the weather is like? / Why ? / Where do you think they might be going ? / 'Who is that chap again? / and so on and so forth.
Get her to really enjoy stories through you reading them to her, and also, if possible, let her see others reading for pleasure.

Some children don't get on with phonics - despite what some teacher on here say - and there are lots of other ways to help her, and give her other cues around reading. She is young yet though, and being first to 'get it' doesn't necessarily mean they will read any better long term than those who take a little longer.

junebirthdaygirl Wed 19-Apr-17 10:20:28

If she was in lreland she wouldnt even have started school yet so dont panic..Get an alphabet board or magnetic letters and make simple words. Get a blank copy and when she makes a word eg cat you write in the copy using her name. So Sarah has a cat. Etc Maybe then make fat and then write Sarah has a fat cat. Keep reading over as she adds more making her own book. She can illustrate. Tiny steps. Dont let her lose what she has over the summer. Maybe put little messages up with magetic letters. Keep including herr name. Maybe add in dsis name or Mum Dad. Step by step. Always use lower case letters.

Stuffragette Wed 19-Apr-17 11:06:17

Thanks all. I'm normally v laid back about things like this but the bloomin teacher has got me in a panic. I will definitely try all your tips. She loves books and being read to. I chatted to my ds, 12, last night saying we need to help her and he reminded me he didn't read till end of year 1. Felt better then. It just feels like the teacher has just handed it over to me. Poor love, she cannot blend sounds. She has no clue. We will be reading a book and we will try to sound out cat. She'll know all the phonics but then when she tries to 'read' it she says fluffy cat and looks at me and smiles! She really has no clue.

skyzumarubble Wed 19-Apr-17 11:26:54

Is she 5 and in reception or 5 and in year 1?

MrsCobain Wed 19-Apr-17 11:39:54

Kids don't even start to learn where I live until age 6.

In a lot of Scandinavian countries it 7. And proportionally those kids are out performing US and UK kids in reading (and maths) by the time they're 10.

mrz Wed 19-Apr-17 11:43:33

They also have a much more transparent alphabetic code than English to learn in order to read and spell.

EvansOvalPies Wed 19-Apr-17 11:47:07

Is it possible your DD may be dyslexic, Stuffragette? My DS was diagnosed at around the same age. He was a bright, intelligent boy, but always struggled with writing and reading (still does, actually, at 21). Might be worth asking for a test, then you know how to help.

EvansOvalPies Wed 19-Apr-17 11:51:40

The English language is apparently just about the most difficult to learn, spelling wise. There are so many pronunciations for the same combinations of letters and same words with different tenses, eg, plough/cough/through/though, read/read etc, ad infinitum.

DS's Dyslexia tutor told me that Scandinavian countries have far fewer instances of dyslexia, as the pronunciation of letter combinations is not as complicated as ours.

mrz Wed 19-Apr-17 12:28:10

Surely that conflicts with "^“Dyslexia^" as a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin

EvansOvalPies Wed 19-Apr-17 12:39:02

I don't know, mrz. It is just what I was told by an 'expert' in the field (hence my first words of that sentence "DS's Dyslexia tutor told me . . . . .") I didn't say it was true, just regaling what I was told, and offering some possible help and support to a fellow MNer.

That theory may also correlate with what you said in your post above regarding Scandinavian countries ^ ^ ^ They also have a much more transparent alphabetic code than English to learn in order to read and spell

mrz Wed 19-Apr-17 12:48:13

The theory that children find it easier to learn to read in a language with a "transparent" one sound one spelling system doesn't correlate with the idea of "Dyslexia" being the cause of reading difficulties rather it suggests it's the system

maisyanddaisy Wed 19-Apr-17 13:05:54

In Scotland many children are 5 and a half before they even start school- your dd is still v young! She might get on better with word recognition as opposed to phonics (which IMO isn't the be all and end all of learning to read). Keep reading to her, pointing at the words as you read- she'll get it when she's ready.

mrz Wed 19-Apr-17 13:08:36


blueskyinmarch Wed 19-Apr-17 13:10:16

My DD2 couldn’t read at 5 either. She just wasn’t interested. Having done a lot of child development study i understood that children don’t all learn the same things at the same time and at that point she was consolidating other skills. I didn’t push her and i spoke to the teacher and we agreed that i wouldn’t do the spelling/reading homework for a while as it was stressing her. She continued doing the class work. She eventually got it but i think she was over 6 by the time she was starting to read. She is now age 19 and at university. You can’t write your DD off at age 5 - she has loads of time to learn to read.

sportinguista Wed 19-Apr-17 13:10:21

What about doing "Teach your Monster to Read" on the computer. It's a really good way of starting if she's reluctant or not getting it. We did it with DS and he just seemed to click with it. He's now a confident reader but it made the difference in getting him off the blocks. It's good fun for kids too!

maisyanddaisy Wed 19-Apr-17 13:12:56

Was that face aimed at me, mrz?

MaryTheCanary Wed 19-Apr-17 13:14:31

"In a lot of Scandinavian countries it 7. And proportionally those kids are out performing US and UK kids in reading (and maths) by the time they're 10."

No, it's six in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. It's seven in Finland only, which is not Scandinavian (Nordic is not the same as Scandi). All those writing systems and especially Finnish are very easy to learn. It takes about three months to be reading fluently in Finnish. More like three years in English.

OP, how about doing some oral sound-blending practice?

Try this game. "Touch the wall. Okay, touch the door. Touch the TV. Now.... touch the sh-e-l-f [make each sound separately with a gap between them]. Now... can you touch the ch-air? OK, how about touching the m-a-t.... Now it's your turn." Get her to practice "hearing" a word after hearing the sounds separately, then get her to practice breaking a word into sounds. I found this game really helpful.

mrz Wed 19-Apr-17 13:18:51

Yes Maisy ...words failed me!

5moreminutes Wed 19-Apr-17 13:20:32

My kids learnt to read in German at school at age 6 (or 7 in one case). Of my 3 kids I only taught the first to read in English (when she was 3 - I was a bit over eager with the first, though she did ask...). The other two didn't want to learn before starting school. Made no difference, they all picked up reading in English and prefer to read books in the original language, which means that they tend to read more books in English. So I'm dubious about Mrz 's insistence that children need to learn to read in English earlier than in other languages. If, as a poster up thread says, Irish children don't start school until after they've turned 5 either that then that adds weight to the idea there is no need to worry about English speaking children reading in reception!

I wouldn't worry about a 5 year old yet, as long as you read to her every night.

maisyanddaisy Wed 19-Apr-17 13:22:20

Why, mrz?confused

blueskyinmarch Wed 19-Apr-17 13:22:39

What on earth is wrong with what Maisy said? Seems like a reasonable suggestion to me.

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