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Is it normal to be unable to read at start of year one?

(42 Posts)
toadstool Mon 03-Sep-07 18:04:34

DD is a reluctant reader at home, and over the Summer she has lost any ability to recognise the words (a few key words only) from reception. I've realised her 'reading' is mostly guesswork - e.g. 'dog' is 'was' if she reckons that's what she heard me say. Her writing was better but that's gone downhill too - also it's weird 'emerging writing', e.g. 'don't rush' she writes 'dot wush'. I wouldn't worry too much but we're moving to a new school (relocation) in term 2 and I'm concerned that she may be well behind!

Kbear Mon 03-Sep-07 18:10:06

My DS is going into Year one this week. He has lost interest in words over the summer and it's been a struggle getting him to do his word walls and read even first stage books. I'm not pushing, he'll get back into it at school and catch up with the speedies! DD was a speedie and I have to stop myself comparing them. He knows so much (about 100 different species of whale and dolphin for example!) but reading isn't his thing but he'll get there, no doubt.

I wouldn't worry. One day it all just clicks and they are off.

singersgirl Mon 03-Sep-07 18:12:50

IME loads of children can't read going into Year One. Children who can read are rarer, really. For most of them it clicks at some point in Y1, and then for a few others in Y2. Really don't worry.

Reallytired Mon 03-Sep-07 21:10:37

She is still little. ALso age makes a big difference at this age. A summer born child is at a disadvantage.

I suggest you buy the "Jolly Phonics Handbook" and concentrate on learning the letter sounds, diagraphs and learning to blend. Words like "dog" shouldn't be learnt as a sight words, it is completely phonetic. There are some tricky words that just have to be learnt and they are listed in the Jolly phonics handbook.

DaisyMOO Tue 04-Sep-07 13:14:14

Actually I would be concerned by what you've said. The children at our local school are almost all reading fairly well by the end of reception IME. Aren't there high frequency words for reception that they're expected to know? Personally I would want to speak to her teachers and ask how they are teaching (make sur eit is phonics based) and whether they feel she needs any extra help.

Niecie Tue 04-Sep-07 13:20:29

My DS has just started Yr 3 and we were told by the new junior school that it would take until half term for most of the children to get back to the level they were at at the end of last term. They just forget so much over the long holidays so I wouldn't be too worried that she lost ability. They all do.

Agree with the poster who said that a lot of children 'click' during Yr 1. My DS went to a really good infants school (according to OFSTED) but only had about 33 of the 400 key words at the end of Yr R. We kind of got serious about reading during yr 1 and worked on the list of these 400 keywords as well as the set books and by the time he left infants last term he was one of the best readers in his class. So, all is not lost - your DD will catch up.

Niecie Tue 04-Sep-07 13:22:14

Forgot to say 33 key words was below average.

Does anybody else have keywords or is that specific to our old school?

handlemecarefully Tue 04-Sep-07 13:25:40

My dd, also starting Year 1, is pretty much as you have described toadstool. She's a July birthday and so young in her year.

I've read plenty of reassuring threads on here saying not to be concerned, but you can't help having niggling worries at the back of your mind can you?

Gobbledigook Tue 04-Sep-07 13:28:32

Gosh, not a problem IME. Ds1 has just gone into yr 2 but when I was reading in his class last year (so yr 1 obviously) there were quite a few still struggling to start with.

There were a chunk flying away, majority all at same level (emergent readers I'd say) and a few still struggling with the basic phonics. By the end of yr 1 they had come on leaps and bounds.

TheQueenOfQuotes Tue 04-Sep-07 13:30:19

I also had concerns about DS1 despite a very good friend of mine being a teaching assistant (or whatever their proper name is these days) at the school and assuring me that he was doing ok and it was perfectly normal. Even this last school year I was paranoid that he was "falling behind" in maths and reading/writing....however, not only can I now see (as he's about to start yr2) that he's doing ok apparently he's one of the best readers in his year!

fourboys Tue 04-Sep-07 13:31:17

ds3 just starting yr1. He knows all his sounds and a few words. Did not do anything with him over the summer as its a holiday! And have no concerns at all, he is my third child and is pretty much at the same stage as his brothers were at the same age and both read beautifully now. It will all fall into place when they are ready so try not too worry.

LucyJones Tue 04-Sep-07 13:34:33

Just to say this is what the library reading challenge is for over the summer holidays - to encourage kids to keep up reading by giving out stickers and medals.
You probably all know about it already though smile

Blu Tue 04-Sep-07 13:35:57

It wasn't at all normal at DS's school.

And, IMO/E if she's in reception and doing emerging writing as good as that, you have no worries!

Blu Tue 04-Sep-07 13:38:40

Sorry - I mean it wasn't normal for children to be able to read as they started Yr1. A few could, most couldn't. Big wide range of how many could manage high frequencey words, too. DS was (and still is, now about to start Yr2) very reluctant - but it has still 'clicked' to a great extent.

DaisyMOO Tue 04-Sep-07 14:14:04

Well my kids' school is obviously the odd one out then! Hope I haven't worried you unnecessarily, my experience has just been that my kids and most of the others we know have been competent readers by year 1. I'm sure your dd will be reading in no time anyway!

handlemecarefully Tue 04-Sep-07 14:31:53

Perhaps the parents in your kid's school who have children who are faltering readers don't necessarily like to draw attention to it? (I certainly haven't mentioned it to other parents in my dd's class) - so you wouldn't necessarily know about them Daisymoo?

DaisyMOO Tue 04-Sep-07 14:47:43

Yeah, maybe, and I don't know the parents of every child, but I do know that in ds1's year children who couldn't read at the end of reception were given 'special' lessons to catch up. Like I said, I'm sorry if I'm out of step, I'm just going on my experience.

toadstool Tue 04-Sep-07 14:57:00

Thank you for these very useful posts! DD's been doing phonics, but two friends of hers are v. advanced readers, and many other parents are cagey about their kids' reading, so it has probably distorted my perception - her teacher said there was no problem in the classroom with her reading, but (ahem, she's notorious for this) seemed to treat it as a parental failing rather than something to be dealt with. OK, I'll get the Phonics Handbook and stop worrying! smile

bagpuss Tue 04-Sep-07 15:04:48

Just a quick post to say that my dd is the same. Just about to start Year 1 and can't recognise many of her high frequency words. Having said that she had read pages of a book and signposts really well whilst we were on holiday which made me think that maybe she does it for attention in the classroom. I'm not worried yet. She is an August birthday and so only just 5, 2 weeks ago.

bozza Tue 04-Sep-07 15:14:34

DS was just about still reading during the summer between reception and Y1 (last summer). He was not confident though. He really took off in Y1 though and even got sent to do the reading/comprehension) SAT with Y2 (well his teacher just told me it was a test that Y2 were doing and she sent him so that his next teacher would have an idea of his reading level but sure it was a SAT, DS says they were all sat in hall at seperate desks) and got a good mark.

This summer I am always having to remove books (Horrid Henry type level) from his hands so that he can do little tasks like get dressed and the other day even got to the point where I threatened to remove all books from his bedroom. grin I would not have believed this last summer.

Dottydot Tue 04-Sep-07 15:15:08

ds1's the same and he's old in his year - December baby.

bozza Tue 04-Sep-07 15:16:05

And DS has done the library Big Read this summer.

handlemecarefully Tue 04-Sep-07 16:23:44

Wow bozza - I will be delighted if either of my two grow into avid little readers like that

bozza Tue 04-Sep-07 16:27:14

There is, hmm, somewhat of a genetic predisposition on the maternal side, shall we say blush. But when I am nagging DS to get dressed, clean his teeth, make his bed, answer a question and he is either ignoring me or asking me to let him finish his chapter I feel as though it is payback time.

Kaz33 Tue 04-Sep-07 19:37:58

DS1 couldn't read at the beginning of year 1, half way through it clicked and now at the beginning he is a fluent reader and will try pretty much any word that you put in front of him.

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