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Should we ignore the "reading" homework?(29 Posts)
Not sure how to tackle this. My son has just started his lovely primary school and had his first reading book this week. It doesn't have any words in it except the title and what is on the back. DS can read already - we did it as a project during lock down. He can manage books around the "The Owl who was afraid of the Dark" level.
So we've gamely gone through the book and described the scenario as requested, but it seemed a bit of a waste of time. He's read me his library book this week too. They have a scheme to work towards reading certificates. If we don't engage with these books, I presume he won't get one and will be left out. However they aren't adding anything to his reading skills. What's the best way forward?
Just pay lip service to it. He should move through the levels quick enough.
These books did my head in! However getting a child to explain a story to you from the pictures is an important part of their development (not necessarily reading) I’ve been told. I’m sure someone will be along to explain this better than I can.
There's more to a book than words. It will test his comprehension skills and see what he is analysing from the pictures. Go though it and get him to tell you what he thinks is happening in the story. If that doesn't stretch him, you could then get him to tell you the story in his own words using the pictures as prompts. You could suggest an alternative story using the pictures so for example is someone was climbing out of the window... why not ask him if he could be climbing in? If he says no because.... then you can have a discussion.
Use them to develop his comprehension skills. Lots of questions like : who do you think the main character is? why? What do you think might happen next? Why? How do you think X character feels? What clues tell you this? Etc. Reading isn't just about decoding. It's great that he can read so well so young but also spend time on the comprehension as understanding the text is also really important.
Reading books and understanding is great. But looking at the picture and be able to explain in details what's happening, what the characters thinking etc is great skills too. So I think it's actually adding something to reading skills.
However, if he can read and school isn't aware, you should talk to the teacher so he can get appropriate books.
Others are right about it aiding comprehension skills, but a book with words and pictures can do that too. I would speak to the school and ask if he could be moved up levels.
They may well have a scheme but no child should have to work their way through one from a starting point that is far far too low.
If he wasn’t reading before lockdown it may be that they’ve gone in his prior data when allocating books - have a chat with them and see what they say.
(I’m a KS1 teacher and English leader)
Please don’t ignore this. They will have been set to look at comprehension skills and to encourage discussion about books. They are a great way to develop inference skills which are crucial further up the school. Once they settle into phonics sessions, they will send home the correct book for your child. Please be aware though, even though your child can read certain books at home, they will be matching to phonic knowledge. Continue to read at home but please do the school books too! You could always write in the reading record that you’ve shared the picture book but also write which other books you’ve read together. They’ve been at school a week, they are settling before assessment begins!
Yes, definitely tell them he can read already!
We had this last year because DS was very distressed that the book didn’t have words in. Looking at the pictures is something we do all the time anyway. It really just is a symptom of them having to pitch at the level that some of the children in his class won’t have ever had a book shared with them let alone read to them. They’ll soon work it out and get them settled in the right level.
Engage in it so they can quickly move him on. If they aren't moving him on then maybe raise it. DD's teachers decided in school nursery she was ready for reading books (I'm not sure she was by the amount of strops it caused!). She found it surprisingly difficult to make up a story as she wanted to know what was right. After about 2 weeks they moved on to ones with words. Then lockdown happened and we haven't pushed it as she didn't seem ready. I'm wondering if we will be back to ones with no words in Reception.
From an education point of view, these books are so important. Your son might be able to read, but these books aren't about the mechanics of reading, they are to help him develop his comprehension skills. There is no point learning to read if you don't fully understand what you're reading. Please do these with him. The better his comprehension, the easier the rest of his education will be. They need to be able to understand a lot in year one and Reception is there to prepare him to tackle the national curriculum next year. The amount of children I've taught whose parents insisted they could read and yes, their fluency was good, but then would get the simplest questions about what they'd read wrong because their comprehension of the text was low.
Thanks. I've asked for a book with words in his message book. He's in reception but they are aware he can read from his home visit. I don't want him to miss out on his reading certificate if everyone else is getting one! I'm a bit worried about phonics - I didn't learn with them so I probably haven't used the right ways of teaching him. And I had to look up what a diagraph is....
Definitely either just do a couple of weeks talking about the pictures or ask for a book with words.
I can tell when I read with the children in my class each week which parents have read with them and which haven't. There is a shocking, and very very upsetting, huge difference.
Just do it alongside the other books you are reading him
Nope never saw the point either.
I had one reader who flatly refused to do the homework reading or indeed read anything voluntarily at all even now. If im honest I'm not how she actually learnt to read judt one day she could. School gave strategies but ultimately said not to cause distress. So we didn't. She currently taking GCSE, still doesn't read anything voluntarily and is considered gifted and talented in English.
I had another with SN who couldn't read. What made a difference to him was Peter and Jane books and subtitles on his favourite tv shows. Describing books did bugger all.
Follow your gut
@Hazelnutlatteplease we bought those and the Usbourne early readers in lockdown! I felt a lot more comfortable with good old J&J!
Does he use his phonic knowledge to sound and blend when reading unfamiliar words? Or does he read by sight? It might be that they’ve assessed his phonic knowledge and they are working on that before giving him a phonic reading book. It is important that he uses the wordless book to develop other reading skills so do use these too. It doesn’t mean you can’t get him to still read to you.
Go one the letters and sounds website
Start with phase 1 and print out the letters to form words
Then move on
It’s easy when you start
@skippetyskoo to be honest I know very little about phonics. He learned most of them by watching Alphablocks, and then we did some Usbourne phonics books (C-at, m-at etc). We sound out words and split them up. I struggle a bit with how to teach him about sounds like "tion" but he's got the hang of it. I think he recognises some of the bigger and harder words but then he sounded out the title of his reading book and that was a made up word (Spookyrumpus).
My daughter was the same, school were aware she could already read, had information from qualified teacher at nursery saying she was reading at level 6 with full comprehension. They still gave her the books with no words. It didn't take long for them to move her on. It's massively annoying but just go through the motions. I spent the whole of infants telling them the books they were giving were too easy. It didn't matter as she was reading more advanced books at home anyway. Once she got to juniors they just said she was a free reader and could bring books from home to read.
Phase 1 L and sounds is not phonic knowledge. It’s note listening skills. Phoneme/grapheme recognition starts at phase 2 if you want to look but if your child cAn sound out 3 letter words, that’s a great start. I’m sure the teacher will be moving them on quickly, so don’t panic that they are being held back. All early days.
Tbh, at my dc's school, they started sending appropriate books after half term. Before that was teacher assessing children. My dc's teacher asked us what books dc was reading at home, and asked to bring them in.
DS1 has just started school able to read fluently (happily decoding words such as 'specialist' and 'original') but his comprehension is lagging behind (not surprisingly, since he is 4). His teacher knows he can read (she asked) but said she'd still be sending the wordless books home to start with as they're good for comprehension. She did talk about making sure he is challenged though, so I am hoping we also get stuck into the reading scheme once she's assessed him.
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