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Could your child read before starting Reception?

(243 Posts)
imaginaryfriend Sat 22-Sep-07 13:25:53

Dd (5 in 2 weeks) has just started Reception and they're learning basic words like 'is' 'it' 'in' etc. My mum said to me on the phone last night that I could read the first stage Ladybird books before I went to school and suggested dd was behind.

To be honest I always thought she was pretty bright. She can recognise and write most letters of the alphabet (slower with numbers) apart from lesser used ones like 'j' but she's nowhere near being able to read words yet. She can write my name, her dad's name and odd words she's written a lot on cards like 'me', 'to' and 'love'.

I'm wondering now if she's actually behind her peers at school. I haven't asked the teacher as it seems kind of wrong to ask about what stage your child is in comparison to the others. I'm not competitive, she'll get there when she's ready, just curious.

so I thought I'd ask you guys instead.

LIZS Sat 22-Sep-07 13:32:44

Your dd sounds fairly typical ime, some can some can't. I think where they start is irrelevant anyway as if they are ready it can come quickly. Our parents sometimes have selective memory lapses and will insist on something whether it was so or not. The first stage Ladybird are so repetitious iirc (Here is Peter. Here is Jane. Here are Peter and Jane.)that it was easy to learn them by rote. ORT can be similar initially.

tortoiseSHELL Sat 22-Sep-07 13:35:59

She is not behind at all. I think when we were little there was much more emphasis on reading before school.

Ds1 could read the first Peter and Jane books - up to level 2 I think. Dd can read quite well - she can read ORT level 4-5, but with help. Lots of people in their class can't/couldn't even recognise that writing is writing, not a picture iyswim!

Don't worry about it - they all level out anyway.

imaginaryfriend Sat 22-Sep-07 13:36:53

Thanks LIZS. I was wondering that. My mum said I couldn't write at all but that I could read a book. She did suggest that if I couldn't help dd to read she'd be considered behind in the class... But then why would the teacher only be giving them such basic words to learn?!

NotADragonOfSoup Sat 22-Sep-07 13:37:57

I could read before starting reception, as could DH. Neither of my DSs could and nor could the vast majority of their peers. your DD sounds fine.

IMO it's is better to foster a love of reading rather than teaching them to read. Make them want to do it rather than teaching them IYSWIM!

imaginaryfriend Sat 22-Sep-07 13:38:57

tortoise, you know, it never occurred to me to teach dd to read a book before school blush. She's kind of hard to teach because she thinks she knows how to do everything already and is such a perfectionist that if she can't get it immediately she gives up! So I didn't push her.

imaginaryfriend Sat 22-Sep-07 13:41:12

NotaDragon, I agree with the love of reading. Dd's not interested to be honest. She's incredibly good at drawing and has a fabulous vocabulary. She's also quite keen to write things, little notes to me (always says the same thing: "to mum, love xxx") but as for reading she seems to have little patience.

tortoiseSHELL Sat 22-Sep-07 13:42:24

imaginaryfriend, that's exactly why it has to come from the child - something the playgroup leader said to me about my elder 2 was that if they were ASKING to read that was fine, but if not, not to push it, as they need to be really excited about what they're learning in reception, and if they've learnt it all already, they won't find school as exciting.

If you want to do something to help her reading, the same teacher (who is an amazing lady) suggested making books with the children, which we've done and they love it. Take pictures of a family outing, or just pictures of people in your family, stick one picture on each page, with a sentence about the picture. So it could be 'Here is Molly'. 'Molly is feeding the ducks'. 'The ducks are on the pond'. 'How many ducks are there?'

Etc. Then read it together, with you pointing to the words as you read them, she will learn to recognise the words, and it doesn't seem like 'work', because certainly my children ABSOLUTELY LOVE this sort of book! Ds1 still reads his 'visit to the fire station' book.

imaginaryfriend Sat 22-Sep-07 13:44:02

We do make little books actually, usually filled with dd's rabbit drawings (she's amazing, truly) but she never lets me add words to them. Other than the names of the rabbits which she can write by heart.

Crocky Sat 22-Sep-07 13:44:46

My ds couldn't read a book or write his name on entering year one!
Doing really well with reading now going into year two but still having a struggle with his writing.

PandaG Sat 22-Sep-07 13:44:56

I could read before I started school, as could DS, DD couldn't, but is now in Y1 and is reading simple stuff fairly competently.

I helped in her class one day a week last year, and there was a huge variety of ability in gthe children, from fluent reading (one or 2), to hardly recognising any letters at all and not writing anything. All these children were considered withtin the normal range. smile

imaginaryfriend Sat 22-Sep-07 13:45:32

Whenever I try to encourage dd to try to read a word she holds her head dramatically and says "I'm just too tired ..."

NotADragonOfSoup Sat 22-Sep-07 13:46:28

I think that if she's not interested it would be wrong to push her as it'll make it seem like a chore rather than a pleasant thing to do. Just reading to her whilst she looks at the words helps where I think.

DS1 wasn't interested much. He could barely read when he started Y1 but 6 months on it had all clicked into place and he wanted to tackle Narnia! He was a huge talker too as it happens. DS2 was much keener and could read really well by the end of reception. He still is keener on reading than DS1 and I've had to remove his book from his hands and force him to turn his light out [delighted]

imaginaryfriend Sat 22-Sep-07 13:50:10

I've always been a very keen reader, we always had books and dp's an academic so he virtually lives tucked inside a book. We never have pushed dd though. I always quit my efforts when she does her bored / tired swoon! I'll leave the teachers to break through I think.

Gotta go for a bit now but I'd love to hear from anybody else on this, the range is so interesting.

And my big question is ... if we could all read before school, taught by parents, how did they manage to do it? I'm sure my mum wouldn't have done all this phonetic stuff with me or made lists of key words???

tortoiseSHELL Sat 22-Sep-07 13:52:12

I was taught by 'look and say' using peter and jane

jabberwocky Sat 22-Sep-07 13:52:43

I think she sounds fine. I would just keep reading to her and let her teacher do the rest. She may even know more than she is letting on b/c she likes you to read to her rather than sounding it out with you. But in any event, she sounds on track to me.

Pollyanna Sat 22-Sep-07 13:53:34

neither of my older 2 could read, but by y2 they were both among the most advanced readers in their class.
Like you I was worried as I could read before I went to school. I think the most important thing is to continue to read with your dd, she will pick it up quickly.

nell12 Sat 22-Sep-07 14:05:01

Ds could read (was 4y and 3m when he started reception)but only because I am a pushy mother blush I am not sure it made him progress any quicker, but I do know that reception teachers prefer that their class can read/recognise their own name and the alphabet/numbers etc when they start

So you and dd are well ahead!!

Hulababy Sat 22-Sep-07 14:17:53

No. DD started school at 4y5m and couldn't read. She did know her letter sounds, including some easy blends, and should could sound out simple CVC words. Within the first month she was reading simple words. A year later she is reading really nicely.

I didn't bother even trying to teach DD to learn to read beforehand.. She loved books. She loved being read to, and she would make her own stories up reading to herself. She was just ready I guess when she started school.

Alambil Sat 22-Sep-07 14:18:59

I had a conversation with my son's teacher about this last week actually because he could read really well before he went to school, now they are learning "letter sounds" and really basic words that he has known for the last 6 months or more.

I was concerned he was getting bored with it (books with no words etc - he hates them... just wants to read) and she said it is a new government scheme thing where they all start with the sounds, then learn to decode words (instead of just look and learn)

I am convinced your dc will learn to read faster than you could imagine possible - this new system is really fast moving and they pick it up really quickly

samanthar Sat 22-Sep-07 17:21:52

no as when we had our parents info evening a few mths ago they said make sure they cna go to the loo, use a knife and fork, get clothes on and off in less than half an hour, do lots of play doh, scissor work, big brush stroke painting but do not attempt teaching reading and writing stick to games guessing shop signs, counting cars etc etc
so far in the three weeks they have beent there they have done s,a,t,p,i,n and have learnt how to read look at my is so am glad now we didnt do any formal reading stuff, as they are just havibng lots of fun

gibberish Sat 22-Sep-07 17:26:00

dd1 and dd2 could as I was worried about them starting school and not being able to - not sure why hmm

dd3 and dd4 have never been to school (home educated) so didn't feel any pressure to teach them early. Left them until they wanted to. Much easier!

DaisyMOO Sat 22-Sep-07 18:25:32

DS1 could read fluently when he started school because I had the time to do it with him and he was desperate to learn. DS2 didn't even know his letters - he wasn't interested and I was much busier with another toddler and a baby. By the end of reception ds2 was pretty much at the same standard as ds1 was at the end of reception, so my feeling is that it isn't worth teaching them to read before school unless they're very interested.

swedishmum Sat 22-Sep-07 19:35:28

Dd1 could read - as well as doing stuff with me at home she was taught at pre-school because she wanted to learn. She's now Y9 and still devours books by the bucketload. Dd2 and ds didn't do much before school (different pre-school) and while dd is v bright, reading has never been so easy. Ds is dyslexic so he's a different case anyway (although I think it should definitely have been flagged much earlier). No. 4 will start school next Sept. I will be teaching her - she's keen and bright and I think I let nos. 2 and 3 down.

LongDeadMotherofHarryP Sat 22-Sep-07 19:37:04

Firstborn - no
Second born - very fluently
Thirdborn is preschooler and early reader

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