Confused about book bands / over teaching / under teaching

(9 Posts)
callmebob Wed 28-Nov-18 12:42:48

I am slightly overwhelmed by the number of book options (Snapdragon, Songbirds, LadyBird, Usborne), types of books (decodable - non decodable) etc that are available, and I don't know what I should / shouldn't be teaching him. I don't want to teach him incorrectly and contradict what he is taught at school.

My son is 4 turning 5 in 3 months. His school uses Jolly Phonics and a range of different books. When he started reception he was placed on the red book band but now 3 months later he is still on the red book band, so maybe he hasn't made the process he could have.

I think its partly my fault as I sometimes come home very late and he is already sleeping, and he isn't really into readying. To help him I have changed my hours at work, so I will be home earlier.

Some books that are red / yellow band are not decodable so I need books that he can sit and work out the words himself, as this is what he is being taught at school.

The Ladybird books aren't suitable as I think they are geared to more able readers.
There is a red band book called Dad (Snapdragon) but it has the sentence 'Dad put on a big (big is in bold) jacket' then ''hurry up''. My son would struggle reading the words jacket & hurry. So should I be reading this to him, rather than him reading the book.

Any suggestions as to the right book set to us?

OP’s posts: |
Laquila Wed 28-Nov-18 12:48:32

I would try not to worry too much OP, my son is in reception but very old in his year. His school uses the Oxford Reading Tree (Biff, Chip and Kipper) and also a very odd range called Dandelion Launchers. I have to admit that I haven’t even looked at what bands they’re on or whether these have changed because I know he’s making steady progress. My son loves books but finds reading his school books a bit of a chore so we do it in short bursts and I always make a big deal about how funny/silly the story is - this goes a log way to making it more enjoyable! Then when we read our bedtime stories I pick out a few words that I think he’ll know and a few that will stretch him a bit, but I do the vast majority of the reading in those myself, otherwise he quickly loses patience. My advice is to try not to beat yourself up about it and don’t get too hung up on levels and bands etc - go by instinct and try and let him enjoy it. I know it’s easier said than done!

BuffaloCauliflower Wed 28-Nov-18 12:52:51

The most important thing is reading his school book with him, not worrying about anything else. The school will only expect him to be reading that book. Even the words that are hard, help him sound them out and read the book every day so he learns, or get another family member to read with him of you’re not able. Regular reading at home is the biggest indicator of reading success, just make it part of your routine.

BuffaloCauliflower Wed 28-Nov-18 12:54:15

Oh and read him stories, ones he likes so that he learns that reading is fun and something he wants to learn, but just focus on those being stories he likes to hear rather than reading practice for him.

MrsKCastle Wed 28-Nov-18 12:58:00

The songbirds books are very good- you can usually get a set cheaply from the Book People.

When reading the books from school, I would just supply any words that aren't decodable for him yet. You can explain them if he's interested (eg with 'hurry' you can say 'in this word the letter y shows the sound 'ee').

I would also get a cheap whiteboard and pen - or just laminate a piece of paper - and write some sentences for him to decode. Make it a secret message for him to read each morning. Could be anything e.g. Can a dog skip? And he can write the answer.

PermanentlyFrizzyHairBall Wed 28-Nov-18 13:13:04

There were kids in my DC's class who were still on red at the beginning of Y1 and one of them is now free reading in Y2 so I definitely wouldn't panic about a reception child being on Y1 not even 1 term in. (I think the average progress is one book band a term but it's often not linear it'll come in sudden bursts).

Little and often is the best way with reading. If you can fit 5-10 minutes a day that's ideal. It could be in the morning or afternoon. If you want to do extra reading with him (and don't push him to do to much if he's not enjoying it) I would recommend song birds, big cat phonics or read, write inc. (you can get them on amazon but they're not very interesting looking as books but are good phonics wise - big cat phonics are more engaging as they look like real story books). If he's reluctant maybe do half a book at a time or take it in turns to read a page each.

Make sure you also keep reading to him to ensure he maintains his interest in books.

Helix1244 Wed 28-Nov-18 13:30:46

It depends on the scheme phonuc bug took till about easter to get through the bottom band.
Songbirds is good. As is reading chest.


brilliotic Wed 28-Nov-18 14:06:55

If he got put on red to start, he skipped all of pink - some children won't reach red until the end of reception, so he is doing fine.

I would NOT worry about being on the same band for 3 months!

For DD I plan to get more decodable books if school start sending home non-decodable ones. They did a few years ago with DS and I saw how many children stalled/went backwards/got confused/lost all confidence when they had read all 'decodable' books within a level, and were moved on to the old non-decodable ones, rather than onto the next level of decodable books.

But otherwise, as long as you are getting enough books from school to keep him practising, there really is no need to supplement with more scheme books. Enjoy some lovely 'real' stories together instead!

brilliotic Wed 28-Nov-18 14:15:05

Oh and, depending on how DD is doing if/when she starts getting old non-decodable books, I'll be getting her

Dandelion launchers/readers
Songbirds (that we have already)
the Traditional Tales phonics series (we have already)
Project X
In roughly that order of learning (with lots of overlap).

From school she will get Jelly&Bean, Big Cat phonics, Songbirds, Floppy's Phonics. Hence why I'm picking other series for home, if the need should arise. Except Songbirds because a) they are fun, it's fine to read the stories several times, and b) we have them already.
I have looked into the Usborne phonics series but am not convinced. Several themed 'phonics' books such a Paw Patrol are just rubbish.

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