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Tutoring Kids before reception(26 Posts)
My DS starts reception in September and I was just wondering if parents here had practices / studies session with their kids before reception.
Nothing like bedtime stories or just playing with the alphabet, but proper style sitting and learning stuff. my DS has been going to nursery since he was 3yo but they did not really focus on academics, mainly playing
I did some activities with my son, but I met some parents whose kids are very advanced because they tutor them. I felt a bit left behind that I let my son play the whole time.
I am also new to this country and was told that kids are grouped by abilities and if my kids is not "ready", he will be left behind for ever
When my son was still at nursery, his reception teacher to be emphasised that she much preferred that parents didn’t try to teach any academics to the children before they arrived, as it often meant they had to unlearn things. She instead suggested reading with them a lot and concentrating on soft skills like getting dressed/changed, using cutlery, carrying a tray, going to the loo unaided, sitting quietly etc
All you need to do is read to your child, make sure they can use the loo without assistance, dress themselves and use cutlery. Reception is an extension of nursery and is mostly play still as is completely appropriate for that age.
Tutoring before school is horrific. It is completely unhelpful. My DS1 knew numbers to 100 when he started school, because he loved numbers and wanted to learn. It made him slightly ahead in maths for a while but his peers soon caught up. A friend of mine is a primary teacher and taught her DD all of her phonics before school. The other children soon caught up and the DD ended up middle of the class where her natural ability lay.
They do group children by ability for some tasks, but those groups are moveable. You aren't stuck in one group forever.
What I'm saying in a long winded way is, don't worry. Most people don't hot house toddlers, and your DS will be fine. The most important thing that teachers want them to be able to do is change their clothes and toilet independently. Those are useful skills. The academic stuff is for the teachers to do.
Teachers will mystify learning, to keep it their domain. 'Unlearn' means 'learn to do it my way'. Follow the child - if he asks, tell him. My then-two-year-old asked for a reading scheme and could read at thirty months. Some do that, some don't. But they all need to know how to take themselves to the toilet, get dressed and undressed for PE, eat with a knife and fork, be polite, follow instructions. Knowing name, address and your phone number is always useful, as is knowing the name of the school.
I know lots of families who are keen for their children to do well at school and I don’t know anyone who tutored kids before reception. From yr 4 onwards, yes but not younger.
Lots of parents back up what the school do, make sure the children are reading lots, doing their homework and practising their maths and timestables.
If your dc is happy to sit down and do some workbooks then there are a few you can buy but education is more than just tutoring.
Before reception, lots of reading and books, talking about anything that sparks your dcs curiosity, going out to places and good tv programmes is a good start.
I was an early years teacher before I had 4yo DS and I did nothing with him ‘academically’ before lockdown. They’re babies, if they’re interested, show them, but no one actually cares in school. That’s a teachers job - to teach! It’s really useful if your child can dress and undress, get their coats on and off and go to the toilet by themselves. It’s even better if they can hold a conversation and play nicely.
I’ve been homeschooling my just turned 4yo alongside his y1 sister. I don’t push anything in particular but I do think it’s nice for them to have a few basic skills.
We’ve focused on: self care (putting own shoes on, wiping bottom etc), counting ip to 30 and adding it taking away 1/2 (he really likes this so I’ve just followed his lead), holding a pencil, recognising and writing the letters in his name, recognising some other letters and their phonic sounds.
We also read a lot and talk about the books (what is this person feeling? Why do you think he did that? Etc) I think it’s good for him to learn to sit and concentrate for short stretches.
They do most of this at his preschool when it’s open so I’m not expecting him to be particularly ahead when he starts.
If you want to tutor concentrate on teaching him to take his shoes on and off on his own, getting dressed and undressed on his own, taking his coat on and off on his own and wiping his bottom after a poo on his own. That is all you need to do.
Thanks for all the replies. Yes I was/ am still focusing on dressing, using knife and folk etc.. Just a conversation that I had with couple of parents about "academics" before school and I felt really bad. My DS loves our reading sessions and that is the max I do. We are bilingual family (French and English speaking) so I was trying to improve his english as the french as taken over since we were living abroad.
We also colour and count from time to time but all fun.
He is my first kid so I am just learning as well all those stuff
We are making the most of the wonderful sunshine and spending our days walking around the local nature reserve, cycling, feeding the ducks, playing in the garden. To get to the nature reserve we go down about 20 steps which he counts! In my mind they have sooooo many years of sitting down and learning at school to come why not play and explore nature. Pre school send educational ideas and the level took me by surprise! I downloaded a phonics song album they suggested to listen to and I play that on my phone when he’s in the bath! We’ve also got alphabet letters in his bath so show him some of those but we don’t sit down and “learn”. I doubt they even do that in reception? But I could be wrong.
No - as someone who works between preschool nursery and primary 1 (reception equivalent) we do not need you to do this and tbh we'd rather you didn't. Being able write their name and recognise some sounds (not letter names) is useful if done correctly and numbers to 10 but teaching incorrectly is worse than not doing it at all. It will be gone over anyway so anything more than some basic understanding is unnecessary
If your child attends a nursery where they are mainly playing then that's a good nursery. Playing is the best way for a child to learn.
"but they did not really focus on academics, mainly playing"
That's because at that age, playing is learning. They get bugger all out of 'academics'.
I wouldn't do it if I were you and I used to be a reception teacher.
I was going to say exactly what @midnightstar66 has beaten me to it.
@Midnightstar out of interest what do you mean by teaching incorrectly?
Mostly people teach ABC rather than ah bi ci and even if they do teach sounds it's usually ruh rather than rrrrr for example. Also incorrect letter formations. Unlearning and relearning is far harder than learning for the first time. The best thing to do is engage with your child. Answer their weird and wonderful questions, okay games, and most importantly read to them, tracking the words with your finger.
Great! Thank you! I’ll stick with a few numbers 🤣
We did some stuff with numbers up to 100 with DS, but it was just following his interests - we bought a few counting books. We also let him play Teach Your Monster to Read a little bit over the summer when he suddenly got into letters, he learned all his letter sounds but no blending etc. (His school do Read Write Inc and I watched videos to make sure I said the letters properly). At our school, the reading teaching is a bit odd, so it was definitely worth us having done as much as we did.
Read write inc is fab, I don't know why most schools use oxford instead
You can do a huge amount of 'academics' without having to do any formal learning at all. Firstly, read, read, read. And include different sorts of reading, like poems, stories, basic non-fiction etc. Make sure your child can see the book, and follow their lead. Answer questions if they ask them. Ask them questions about the pictures, what they think's going to happen, etc. One of my children was a very early reader, and it started because he would ask things like 'where does it say 'gruffalo' or whatever on the page?', so I'd show him. I never sat down with flashcards to try to teach him - he just wanted to know. Also, take any opportunity you can to point stuff out (even if you feel very annoying doing it, and even if it's stuff that seems a bit too old). Point out words or numbers on signs when you're out and about, talk about adding up numbers on the weighing scales when you're making a cake etc etc. You're not actually trying to teach your child to add up or read, but you're encouraging curiosity and observation, and you're embedding the basic concept that marks have meaning, that numbers have practical application. And you can never play too many games. When mine were preschoolers we played endless, endless board games (things like Shopping List, picture card games, jigsaws etc). I think games teach children such a massive amount - not just the academics of counting etc, but also patience, turn-taking, resilience, logic, chance etc etc. Don't get a tutor! Just spend time reading to, talking to and playing with your child - it's all you need.
I do a bit of reading eggs with my four year old and it's just the phonic sounds. Only a few mins a day. The rest I let him colour and play etc. He loved books to. Getting them independent for getting dressed and toilet. Don't worry at all about academics at this age, take their lead
My then-two-year-old asked for a reading scheme and could read at thirty months
Don't be so silly. How would a two year old even know about reading schemes? Talk about exaggerating 🤣🤣
Read Write Inc is soooo boring! Lots of schools don't use it because a) it's really expensive and b) there are much better ways to teach phonics. I've worked in a couple of schools where they don't use any schemes, and their results are really high.