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Can your 5 year old read?

(23 Posts)
Buddleja Wed 01-Jul-09 22:26:45

The vast majority of the time I think DS1 is doing just fine (he can read and write his name) and with help has just started to sound out some words

However at times that aren't in in the vast majority I sometime think 'oh god is he going to struggle!!?' his teacher has told me to go over the sounds of letters a few times and it was written on his report

He is schooled through a different language though we use English at home 99% of the time so I a wondering if this well have an effect as he is having to learn to read and write in the other language too (they use jolly phonics for english)

Please help me squash that little niggly bit of doubt that he's going to have difficulties!!!

zeke Thu 02-Jul-09 00:23:51

I would say that it is far to early to start worrying, especially as he is being taught to read and write in two languages.

I would just do what his teacher is suggesting and help him with his sounds at home (including di/tri-graphs - ee, igh, oy, etc). My son enjoyed the 'reading eggs' program for that, too.

I started introducing the sounds to my son at a fairly early age (two I think), he was really good at them by 3.5 but I stopped doing them with him and he forgot a lot of the di/tri-graphs. He started school at 4 yr 1 mth not reading but progressed quickly, I am pretty sure because he had a good grounding with the sounds.

My son (4 yr 11 mths) is a pretty good reader now - knows hundreds of words by sight and can sound out long and relatively complex words. However, he hasn't shown anything beyond pretty average intelligence and has a the normal attention span of a boy of that age! It has simply taken a lot of time and effort to get him there. I remember the first 'tricky' word he was sent home with . THE. It took me an entire weekend to get him to learn it - I despaired! Although he is one of the better readers in his class I fully expect that to change over the next 1-2 years and some of the children who cannot/only just started to read find their feet with it.

wrinklytum Thu 02-Jul-09 00:32:41

Is he at school?My ds is in reception and is pretty "average" for his age-not g=t but not needing extra help.If his school is on the ball they will inform you if there are any issues,don't worry

If I am honest the majority of his reading has been done with school(have a sick dp and disabled dd ) and he has progressed fine,so do not fretObviously I do what I can but cannot focus as much as I would like.

Buddleja Thu 02-Jul-09 09:24:48


I knew I really was fussing about nothing - but I just had to squash that small niggling dount that rises itself when others tell me tht their 5 year old is reading Harry Potter and the newpaper hmm

Yes he's at school - just finished his first year (which I think is equivalant to reception in England)

OrangeFish Thu 02-Jul-09 09:29:58

Buddleja, learning to read and write in two languages is obviously going to slow him down in both for SOME time. But eventually he will catch up with both and that delay would have been worth it.

DS is trilingual, so to avoid confusing him further we decided to let him learn to read and write in the school's language and deal with the other two at a later time. Well, well, I think it was a mistake... he is no longer interested and he is definitively loosing his other two languages.

Fennel Thu 02-Jul-09 09:45:54

my 5yo is 5 and 2 months and can sort of read, minimally. Nothing amazing.

we're a family of keen readers, her older sisters read a lot, so do I, and I'm sure she'll be a good reader eventually , her oldest sister didn't read at all at 5 and is a literate bookworm now at 9. she made huge progress between 5-7.

It's young. Really.

posiedullardparker Thu 02-Jul-09 09:47:30

What language is he learning in?

smee Thu 02-Jul-09 10:31:24

My just 5 yr old DS can only read a few of the key words, recognises the letters of the alphabet and is enjoying sounding them out. It's normal - he is not the only one in his reception class who can't read by a long shot.

Buddleja Thu 02-Jul-09 19:13:08

He learns through Irish at school - totally different to English too - i'm trying to learn it - he's doing fab with speaking in English and Irish (better than me!!)

I am now over my panic and decided that the children reading Harry Potter and newpapers are more than likely slighly unusual!!!

blackrock Thu 02-Jul-09 19:15:42

Keep plugging away at those graphemes (letter strings) and phonemes (letter sounds) that your children are unclear of. Do it in a multi sensory and fun/motivating way. Repeat and repeat as there are many to learn and English is a complex language.

Keep reading stories and discussing to develop comprehension, inference and prediction skills.

Phonics and comprehension are key to developing a good reader (Rose Review, DFES)

sarah293 Thu 02-Jul-09 19:16:46

Message withdrawn

DidEinsteinsMum Thu 02-Jul-09 19:25:39

Kids that read harry potter at five are not the norm. I 2nd point he is learning 2 languages and add that i didn't learn to read til nine (dyslexic) and it hasn't held me back at all. Just because he is not reading HP at 5 does not mean he will struggle. The school just want you to help re-enforce what they are teaching him - it takes some kids longer to learn but once they get it they're gone. My ds on the other hand is heading towards the freaky Harry Potter croud. He is no better off going to school reading than i was not reading. Don't worry, encourage in a fun way. Your ds will get it at his own pace.

Fennel Thu 02-Jul-09 19:30:38

I would have loved to have bilingual kids, it was always part of my Life Plan. I travelled and lived abroad a lot, always meant to have children with a non-native speaker or bring them up in another country. (but then, unfortunately for my linguistic goals, had children with practically the boy next door from my childhood).

Children will take a bit longer on average to learn to read and write if they are learning two languages. Just as, on average, bilingual and trilingual children start to speak a bit later. But it's a huge advantage, learning another language young, one I would have really chosen for my children if I could.

weegiemum Thu 02-Jul-09 19:38:02

Buddleja - my kids are educated in Scottish Gaelic, and my 5 yo dd2 has just finished primary 1. She knows all her "sounds" (fuiaimen) and can sound out words of up to about 5 letters when she tries (and can be bothered!).

But otoh, she can speak 2 languages fluently! We were told that they might be a little slower to read in what is not their mother tongue. But we are so happy with the other benefits of bilingualism that we're not too worried.

The others were much the same at this age, and 9yo dd1 is now reading the 3rd Harry Potter and 7yo ds is devouring Beast Quest etc. I wouldn't worry too much.

TotalChaos Thu 02-Jul-09 19:41:09

wow this is fascinating, I knew there were Welsh medium schools, but not Gaelic or Irish!

back to the main point - my DS can sound out simple words and knows about 60 say sight words.

paranoid2 Thu 02-Jul-09 19:52:03

yes TC Irish speaking schools have seen a big increase in popularity in recent years in Ireland. They are generally regarded as very good schools with a lot of emphasis on sports and arts as well as the academic side of things

blackrock Thu 02-Jul-09 20:42:58

Lots of children reading Harry Potter, do not fully understand the content. i was an early reader, but returned to the same books over and over.

As long as children learn to read in the long run and enjoy reading, I see no reason to worry.

neversaydie Thu 02-Jul-09 21:13:23

I was brought up bilingual (Malay and English) and although my primary school taught in English, my teacher and class mates were Chinese, with strong Chinese accents. This was the 60's, when we still used letter names, and we were expected to learn whole words. I was well past six before I learned to read at all, and only then because my mother took a hand and used the phonics that she had been taught in her childhood. Her cut glass English accent possibly helped, as well, come to think of it.

By 7.5 I was reading the Narnia books and by 9 Jane Eyre (very limited supply of English-language books!). I went on to get a good degree and a doctorate.

So really, don't worry!

I lost most of the Malay when we came back to the UK for 2 years when I was 7. That is something I still bitterly regret. Being late learning to read isn't really an issue these days!

Buddleja Thu 02-Jul-09 21:34:39

and the irony is he helps me read words when he gets his Irish readers home (he doesn't read them he recalls what they should be) I am struggling to read irish (I'm english - DH is Irish and the Irish speaker)

He sounded out a word today (when I wasreading Fantastic Mr Fox tonight) and I was dead proud of him - apparently too pround as he told me 'it's only a word mammy' in a very teenage ah shut up way smile

DH just told me today he couldn' read till he was a least 6 - could of told me that earlier - he's more literate than me - I was reading at 4 and didn't know until I had my own realise this wasn't the total norm - and also obviously doesn't give any advantage at a later stage I'm alway asking DH what words are and how to spell them!! (he's not around at the moment so I can't ask if I've spelt literate right grin

Funnily enough I was thinking that if a 5 year old would understand a book like Harry Potter and as for the mums that tell me their DC's read the newspaper I wonder if it's the Sun or the Finacial Time hmm

OrangeFish Thu 02-Jul-09 21:41:22

In many countries, learning to read starts when the children are 5 or 6. Apparently, they learn faster at that age and soon are exactly at the same level as children who started reading earlier.

DS knew all the letters before he was three (was over attached to some letters magnets I had on the fridge), was reading short words at 3 and at 6 he is now reading in the level of children 2 years older than him. Still... I don't see my son been benefitted in any way because of this.

DidEinsteinsMum Thu 02-Jul-09 22:14:09

Ds 'reads' the new scientist - he looks at the pics and searchs for the words he knows and any interesting looking words. then demands i 'read'. I read words and explain what in means in terms that he can understand. It increases his vocab and understand and kicks his butt-- into perspective about how much he does and doesnt know. (big head, know it all complex).

ThingOne Thu 02-Jul-09 22:34:37

I'm sure I've read that it's normal for bilingual children to take longer to read and write but that they have normally caught up before the age of seven.

That said, it's not uncommon, especially for boys, to barely read before seven anyway.

My DS1 has a bilingual child in his reception class and I know he was in the "non-readers" group in the spring term. He's gone off to his mother's country for three months to go to school there, with the blessing of the school here. They know he'll catch up in time.

weegiemum Fri 03-Jul-09 08:54:56

Gaelic schools or units within primary schools have become very popular in Scotland. My dcs are at the Gaelic school in Glasgow (we chose this as we have Hebridean connections through neither me or dh speak Gaelic) and this year (dd1 in P1) they had 3 classes of 25 pupils each in her year!

The benefits of bilingualism are so huge I'm not surprised, and it is an excellent school.

Dd1 has just finished p4, she started reading/writing English just after CHristmas of p3 and seems to be similar to her peers in what she can read in English.

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