Phonics

(160 Posts)
MummyDolly Wed 23-Dec-20 14:58:05

So my little boy can read and write really well, his memory of words is amazing. However when it comes to phonics he cannot grasp them. He cannot sound out words or blend the sounds together.

I have got the same flash cards as his teacher to try and help but I'm just worrying he's going to fall behind in some way.

He's had his ears checked as his teacher asked me if he could hear properly etc

Just don't know what else to do 😬😬

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Diverseduvet Wed 23-Dec-20 15:00:37

My son was like this and still is. Every word he knows is purely from memory, no real phonics. After years of interventions using look, say, write method he was eventually diagnosed with dyslexia at secondary school.

movingonup20 Wed 23-Dec-20 15:03:35

Neither of my DD's "got" phonics, the elder was reading chapter books at 5 so didn't hold her back, the younger was diagnosed as dyslexic at 6. Both at university now and the younger is brighter than her more academically advanced at a younger age sister too. Don't worry

MummyDolly Wed 23-Dec-20 16:52:54

Would it be worth asking his teacher about the dyslexia? He can spell and read things easily it’s just when it comes to phonics it’s a brick wall.

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prh47bridge Wed 23-Dec-20 18:15:50

Phonics is a means to an end, not an end in itself. How does he deal with words he hasn't encountered before?

bettycat81 Wed 23-Dec-20 18:35:39

My DS failed his phonics test in yr1 and scraped a pass in year 2. He could read and write well but struggled with phonics generally. He's now yr6 and it's not been a problem. Worth asking for further advice though.

june2007 Wed 23-Dec-20 18:40:44

Phonica can make things confusing. I find the more Ifocus on p and b I get confused. Also look at the approach the school is using perhaps thats not the right approach. It is important to be able yo break down words, but theire is more then one way to terach. Good to look at the dyslexia thing.

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june2007 Wed 23-Dec-20 18:41:16

But you say he reads and writes well which makes me think perhaps not dyslexia.

napody Wed 23-Dec-20 18:44:37

prh47bridge

Phonics is a means to an end, not an end in itself. How does he deal with words he hasn't encountered before?

Was also going to ask this.

The issue is the ridiculous Y1 phonics screening, purportedly to help teachers (which is nonsense as children's phonics was routinely checked in schools for over a decade and is the simplest thing to test). Some children do memorise whole words and read new ones 'by analogy ', and good readers can and do fail the phonics screening on which schools are judged.

MummyDolly Wed 23-Dec-20 19:08:08

When he finds words he doesn’t know he tends to guess them and breaks them down in a way. I’ve spoken to his teacher about it as he gets so frustrated but she says he’s an advanced reader just his phonics he’s “behind” on. This lead to her asking about his hearing.

The way she says they do phonics confuses me 😂 Fred fingers and special friends 🤷🏻‍♀️

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MummyDolly Wed 23-Dec-20 19:09:37

He learns his spellings really well and reads so well I don’t think it’s 100% dyslexia as I thought that was mainly down to spellings

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prh47bridge Wed 23-Dec-20 19:17:19

The issue is the ridiculous Y1 phonics screening

The test determines whether a child can read. They are not required to sound out words to pass the test. Provided they can read the real words and produce acceptable pronunciations for the made up ones they will pass.

OppsUpsSide Wed 23-Dec-20 19:23:09

They’re following Read Write Inc, if you look on YouTube there are lots and lots of explanation and example videos.
Phonics works for the majority, but not for all. If it doesn’t work for him that’s ok. The phonics screening and Y2 SATS measure the school not the child.
He reads and writes well, that is the aim of phonics but you don’t have to use them to get there.
Honestly, get his hearing checked but really I wouldn’t worry at all and I honestly wouldn’t practice them at home with him because you don’t want him to feel like he’s ‘failed’ at something, especially when it is just a tool he has managed perfectly well without!

Perkyduck131 Wed 23-Dec-20 19:24:28

There are different forms of dyslexia- with surface dyslexia students can read real words and phonetically plausible alien words but struggle with irregular words (like pint, for examples). Whereas people with phonological dyslexia can read regular and irregular real words but struggle with the alien words. It could be he’s somewhere on the spectrum for dyslexia but has some solid coping mechanisms and a good visual memory (so can remember what words look like rather than how to break them down)
Would be worth looking into auditory processing if he seems to be struggling with phonics.
Just offering some additional information - not suggesting he is dyslexic! As reassurance, I’ve worked with plenty of children with a dyslexia who seemed to cope well in terms of reading and spelling but just needed a bit of extra support with organising ideas and summarising skills etc once they reached secondary.

Perkyduck131 Wed 23-Dec-20 19:26:13

Also agree with PP that phonics isn’t for everyone, but just a few suggestions if he’s struggles in other areas.

MummyDolly Wed 23-Dec-20 19:26:56

That’s the cards we have, the read write inc ones. We’ve found a guy on YouTube that he likes at the moment (same name as my brother) who uses the cards too.

He’s had his hearing checked before by ENT at the hospital due to other issues he was having and it came back absolutely fine.

Thank you for the reassurance.

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MummyDolly Wed 23-Dec-20 19:29:26

I’ll definitely look into all the other types of dyslexia, thank you everyone smile

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MummyDolly Wed 23-Dec-20 19:36:27

The only other issues he has is iron issues and the ENT was about his tonsils. I’m not worried about anything else, just want to support him obviously and help him with it. They were doing phonics in small groups so I don’t know if it’s just the way he’s being taught it, like someone else mentioned

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napody Wed 23-Dec-20 19:39:38

prh47bridge

*The issue is the ridiculous Y1 phonics screening*

The test determines whether a child can read. They are not required to sound out words to pass the test. Provided they can read the real words and produce acceptable pronunciations for the made up ones they will pass.

Have administered the test for several years too.

Yes it may be possible but if a child slips up a few times, and doesn't (or has moved past) relying primarily on phonics it is obviously very possible for a reader to fail. Because of this, schools have an added pressure to keep a child relying mostly on phonics. Surely you don't think a national test is necessary for a teacher to assess something so simple?

Soontobe60 Wed 23-Dec-20 19:52:03

MummyDolly

When he finds words he doesn’t know he tends to guess them and breaks them down in a way. I’ve spoken to his teacher about it as he gets so frustrated but she says he’s an advanced reader just his phonics he’s “behind” on. This lead to her asking about his hearing.

The way she says they do phonics confuses me 😂 Fred fingers and special friends 🤷🏻‍♀️

They are using Read Write Inc to teach phonics by the sounds of it. There are videos that the school should be able to give you the links to which will help you understand.
Fred fingers: used to blend and segment decidable words. Eg to spell cat you would hold up a finger for c, another for a and one more for t. Point to each finger as you sound out each letter then put the fingers together and say the whole word.
Fred talk is when you read a new word you sound out each letter then blend together.
Special friends are pairs of letters that you sound together, so in the word ship, s and h are special friends and make the sound shhhh. You don't say ‘s h i p’.
Split digraphs are also special friends eg ‘bike’ is sounded out as b i(as in eye) k, the i and e is a split digraph (one sound written as 2 letters that are separated by another letter)
Your child will have green words and red words linked to their reading book. Green words are decodable, red words aren’t and have to be learned as a whole word. Eg, the, said, you,

MummyDolly Wed 23-Dec-20 20:08:19

Soontobe60 thank you so much that makes so much more sense. She told me to just pinch my fingers. I’ve got the read write inc cards like his teacher so I’m hoping I can help him a bit

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mooncakes Wed 23-Dec-20 20:15:51

His hearing might be fine and it's more a case of developing listening skills.

You can look up Letters & Sounds - phase 1 (it's a government phonics scheme) and it has lots of ideas for working on listening skills.
Lots of games for recognising rhymes, hearing the first sound in words, and oral blending and segmenting sounds.

For example play I Spy but something beginning with the sound b or sh.
Or Simon Says but sounding out the word "touch your H-ea-d" "touch your m-ou-th".

Unless he can hear the separate sounds in words and split words up/put them together, then attaching letters to sounds doesn't help.

MummyDolly Wed 23-Dec-20 20:24:42

I think it’s definitely a more listening thing. He only hears what he wants to be honest and likes to just read straight away, I think that’s why the phonics annoys him.

Thank you for the ideas we normally play I spy on the way to and from school so that’s a great one to get him started on

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prh47bridge Wed 23-Dec-20 22:54:51

Surely you don't think a national test is necessary for a teacher to assess something so simple?

It shouldn't be but, given the number of teachers still spouting rubbish like, "good readers fail the test because they read the made up words as words they know", it clearly is needed. To be honest, I struggle with the idea that a reader who doesn't, or has moved past, phonics will fail. That suggests that a pupil can be a good reader but still be unable to produce acceptable pronunciations for the made up words.

OudRose Wed 23-Dec-20 23:17:20

Does he know his sounds? So when you show him the flash cards, can he name them all? He needs to work on his oral blending by the sounds of it.

He needs to be able to orally blend so he can 'hear' the sounds and put them together to make the words.

Lots of games you can play.

- Simon says touch your h/ea/d etc

- I spy a... t/r/ee

- Sing in the tune to coming round the mountains.
She'll be coming round the mountain on a b/u/s
She'll be coming round the mountain on a b/u/s
She'll be coming round the mountain, coming round the mountain, coming round the mountain on a... (Child says bus!) Change bus to coach/ship/ train etc

Print off pictures of different animals/ objects etc, you sound out the word child finds the picture. You can take it in turns to do this so he can practise sounding out (segmenting) as well as blending (putting the sounds together to say/ read the word)

Once he can confidently orally blend (with you saying the sounds) he'll then move onto being able to hear/ blend the sounds when he says them himself.

Hope that makes sense!

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