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Reading before school(41 Posts)
My dc is 4 and starting reception in September. She’s been ‘reading’ for a while now which I know is quite early (she’s lacking on other skills - just what she’s in to). She started by recognising short words, memorising them essentially. I’m aware that this isn’t how reading is taught any more and tried to do phonics with her. Totally out of my depth on this! I’ve done all the single alphabet sounds and then a few of the easy combined sounds like ‘ch’ and ‘sh’. But I’m not following any scheme. Please can you good people help me as it’s hard to ask mums in real life for fear I sound like I’m boasting!
Is there a good scheme to follow that lists all the sounds they need to learn? I literally just need a list of the sounds and what order I should teach them to her.
She reads a short book from the Ort series every night and I’m guessing she’s on around level 3 - how do I know what the right level should be for her? Should she know all the words or what proportion of them should be new? Should she read the same book for a few nights on the trot? Do schools give books for a day or a few days? I tend to find if we read the same one she memorises it and then I fear she’s not learning the words or how to decide but just memorising the book. But a new one each night feels hard work for her.
What else should I do with her or for her? We read loads to her but shortish books like Julia Donaldson still - should I be reading harder books? If so any recommendations?
Will there be loads of kids in her year that will be at her stage when she starts or should I try to slow her down a bit?!
I don't think you need to teach her at all - it sounds like she is capable of teaching herself what she wants to know. Just keep reading to her - she might be ready for some longer books, but let her be your guide.
As to whether there will be other kids reading at her level when she starts school, it's hard to say. Reading before reception is entirely within the range of normal, especially for kids who will be older in the school year, like your daughter. However, it depends enormously on the size of the school and nature of the catchment. DD was reading fluently when she started primary school and she certainly wasn't the only one, but then, her primary school was largely populated by the children of academics from the local university, so no surprises there!
Either way, I wouldn't try to slow her down, any more than I would try to push her on. Just let her develop at her own pace. The teacher will be used to dealing with the whole spectrum of ability.
My kid loved the alphablocks reading program when he was little. Its a bunch of magazines and games. You're supposed to make them watch a few 5 minute videos before each one. It covers all the phonics in order. Never slow your kid down just let her do what she likes. If she wants to read the same book three nights in a row that will boost her confidence, if she wants to read a new one every night it's a good challenge. You can always suggest a new book if she's done one to death or to read one again if you think she didn't understand it.
As for stuff to read to her, my dd enjoyed hearing stuff like Mrs Pepperpot and Pippi Longstocking at that sort of age. Also some of the easier Roald Dahl books.
Have just seen that you've mentioned that she is lacking in other skills. Don't know what those are, but might be worth working on those as much as you can before she starts primary - it's easy to focus on the academic stuff, especially when they're obviously bright, but the other stuff is also really important.
I'd recommend this free course for any parent wanting to help their child with reading and writing https://www.udemy.com/help-your-child-to-read-and-write/
My ds was reading before he started school, and I had no knowledge of phonics or anything, being non native English speaker. Only thing I did was regularly went to library and let him pick books.
Although he was reading any words, he still enjoyed daily phonics lesson when he started school, and it made him even stronger decoder.
My DD could read before school and I'm currently helping DS who is 3 but will start school in September. They are both book worms so are very interested.
I have tried to use a phonics approach as that is how they will be taught at school. Pre-school also use phonics. I have used Jolly Phonics resources on the internet.
We have the first two stages of Julia Donaldson's Song Birds at home but I found they both preferred using reading books of their choice and picking out sounds and tricky words with me.
My DD, in particular, would memorise words in the way your DD does but Phonics seems to have given her the skills to work things out for herself as she has progressed. She is in year one now and coming to the end of Lime level which I understand is very good for her age.
Don't slow her down, school will use grouping anyway for things like phonics and guided reading.
Most schools that I've taught in use either Jolly Phonics or Read Write Inc. They both use the same concept. School phonics will make her stronger in decoding and spelling, so maybe just enjoy the reading side for now.
Not necessarily. Grouping for phonics is only a feature of one program.
Jolly Phonics is not intended to be used that way.
Many schools are moving away from guided reading.
Thank you so much everyone - I will look at all the recommendations. I just wish I knew what I was doing more!
Yes she needs to improve her self care skills - still can’t get herself dressed and is in pull ups at night etc and can’t do her coat up so I’m really trying to improve those on her but she’s resisting
Oh and for those that had kids reading before school did you mention it to the teacher or wait until they discovered it themselves? At the school we are hoping to go to (state) the teacher does a home visit before they start so I thinking that would be a good time to talk about it or would I look pushy parent?
Norest - not in my area. There's a huge push for guided reading and ability grouping for phonics.
Definitely mention it, OP. I've taught lots of children that have read before school and it's always useful to know. Obviously we do our own assessments but it's nice to be informed.
Silly question but what is guided reading?
We used Ruth Miskin's phonics cards from Read write inc which were brilliant for teaching all the sounds. My son was reading level 3 ORT around the Christmas before he started school as well and for actual books we read the Julia Donaldson songbirds ones. I think it helped when he went to school to feel less under pressure because he already knew everything he was being taught because he is quite a shy child and worries a lot. A more confident child might get bored if they already know it all! Theyve always just treated him the same as the rest of the class, never given him anything more difficult to do because he was ahead, I get the impression that the teachers feel like it's unfashionable at the moment to be seen to be pushing a child academically so they are just letting him coast along! He's fine with that though! I personally don't believe in holding them back for fear of pushing them, when they're ready they'll pick it up and so if they are picking it up quickly then they're ready!
I would say slow her down, not by trying to stop her, but simply spending the time you have for this with something else, and certainly read her more interesting stories! Increasing her vocabulary so she knows the words she reads will be a lot more useful than learning to decode the words.
Very unlikely not to be kids who can read on entering school, and not just "^children of professors^", some of the kids who could read in DD's class were "^from the estates^". Make sure you don't give her any thought that she's special by being able to read though, one of the kids really struggled as others caught up and overtook whilst still in reception and he lost what had become important to his esteem.
Oh and for those that had kids reading before school did you mention it to the teacher or wait until they discovered it themselves?
I waited. The teacher noticed.
Guided reading and phonics grouping very much on the up round here too!!
How about ReadingEggs?
Fun phonics site.
It is very 'australian' but is a good phonics site.
Thanks pita - yes I know what you mean re it’s not the done thing nowadays!
Sirfred - yes I worry about that it’s a balance isn’t it being praising and giving her confidence and giving her a complex where she’s used to being the best. I read somewhere that you should always praise effort rather than skill so I do try and praise like ‘you tried very hard in that [activity] class and listened well’ rather than ‘you were the best at x’
Could you also work on her understanding of the texts she's reading? Ask her simple recall questions like who the characters were and what happened to them. You could also move onto predicting what will happen next in the story or why a character did something.
I teach in the older primary years and by then all children can read but not all understand what they've read. Sorry if this idea is above your child's age/ability, I don't have any experience with the little ones.
Ps you sound like you're putting lots of effort into your DD btw
Oh I would absolutely let the teachers know. She could very well refuse to read at school because it's a new environment and it take 6 months for them to realise. I told them when we looked around the schools. They told me he would most likely be put in a year 2 reading group (they said they aren't technically by years just ability but by and large) he was introduced to the head of reading who would assess him on intake and be responsible for his progress, and shown the older library he would be allowed to use. Its not being a pushy parent it's making sure your kid gets the right help. It would be pointless her learning her ABC sounds of she's already got them down
Mine all could read before school, and they learnt by the whole word. Many preschools and nurseries do some reading-some even do ORT books so she's unlikely to be the only one. Mine were one of half a dozen or so that could read enough to jump the reading scheme.
What I found is they just picked up the phonics when done at school and very quickly ended up at the top in the phonics grouping, even though others had done it before and they hadn't. I suspect because they could read, it gave a bit of context to the phonics.
You may find that some children come in not reading and blast ahead very quickly-in dd1's class it was a group of summer borns who did that, which I think caused some friction with mum of one of the girls who was convinced her child should always be the best because she'd had a reading book at nursery
I did let them know, but casually. Along the lines of "just so you know they've been reading alone". I didn't say what level, and you may find that they start them on a lower level than you think they're capeable of. Don't rush in panicking as it may be that they feel the understanding could be better, or the reading expression and are choosing to work on that first.