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Normal or not? Reading Y3

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thedcbrokemybank Mon 18-Sep-17 13:44:46

Bit of background: My 7 year old ds has always found it harder to read than his older siblings. Last year he came out with above expectation and did really well in the YR2 sats. I think this may be because his understanding is better than his reading. We seem to take three steps back for every one step forward though.

At the moment he is swapping all his high frequency words around; "a" will be "the", "like" might become "they". My very able dd went through a phase of missing them all together but he swaps literally every single one for a different one. He has lost all fluency because he is constantly having to be corrected. By swapping out the words he is totally altering the comprehension of the text too although I don't know whether he is mentally reading the text but the wrong words are coming out.
Is this normal? Has anyone else got experience of this and of so what can we do to help him?


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RedSkyAtNight Mon 18-Sep-17 13:53:36

I'd stop correcting him and let him at least finish the sentence or paragraph. Then you can say "what just happened in the story" and it may force him to realize that what he said is gobbledegook, or alternatively that actually he read what he expected to see, not what was actually there (the second of these is not necessarily an issue and may well show he has good comprehension.) Hopefully you will get to the point where he will self correct.

brilliotic Mon 18-Sep-17 14:06:49

My DS (also 7, Y3) reads really fast when he is reading silently to himself. I was worried that he had begun to skim-read and that it would affect his comprehension, especially as when he reads out loud to me he often mixes up words and mis-reads many e.g. fantasy made up names, he will just say a word that vaguely resembles the one represented by the letters on the page.

However I think in our case it's just a lack of effort. He gets the words out of his mouth right when he is reading out loud in school... just not when he is reading to me (I checked with the teacher). And he got 115 in his reading SATS so his comprehension clearly is good.

He DOES confuse himself when he reads out loud to me and mixes the words up, the sentences then don't make any sense anymore. It's not that he reads it right in his head but the wrong words come out. Or at least, it's the words that come out that he tries to make sense of.

I think you need to be aware that reading out loud is a different skill than 'reading'. It sounds like in both our cases it's the reading out loud that is of concern, whereas the reading itself seems to be fine. We can't see into their heads but if they do well on comprehension tests, they must be 'reading' with a certain degree of accuracy - they couldn't score highly on comprehension if they were substituting words in their minds while reading all the time, or just guessing.

Maybe in your case it would help to make your DS aware of that distinction too? So that he understands that reading out loud is slower, requires considerations such as what tone to use, emphasis, where to slow down and where to break for breathing. Requires a word not simply to be 'read' i.e. inserted into your mind, but pronounced, with all it's sounds in the right order, up to the end, as it is written.

In my case I make him slow down, and sometimes say 'pretend you are reading to Mrs Teacher!' because he can do it if only he bothers to put the effort into it.

thedcbrokemybank Mon 18-Sep-17 18:48:30

Thank you both. Both of your posts make sense. He spends a lot of time looking at books but I was never sure that he was actually reading them but I think maybe he is and I didnt realise he was able to. He really suffers with confidence anyway - he is number 3 of 4. The others are all very gregarious, naturally confident and happy to jump into new situations. He is much quieter and reserved and I think he doesn't realise he is just as good or that some of his skills lie in different areas than them.

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