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To be a bit freaked out about some of the reading levels some children have

103 replies

theWomenInTheWoods · 23/08/2015 21:14

DS was very slow to take to phonics and reading. He's nearly 6.

I was feeling pretty pleased as in the last month he's gone through book 1 to 4 of the Peter & Jane books and were starting on book 5 tomorrow.

He can also use his phonics to sound out a lot of phonic based words

However sometimes when I read threads on mumsnet I feel like maybe he isn't making such good progress. I saw one post where someone said their child was done with all 12 of the peter & jane books by the time they were 3 and a half. DS started school just before he turned 5 and he didn't know a single letter. I would have taught him letters if he seemed interested but he was too busy playing - and didn't seem to naturally absorb them or have any interest.

When people say their children are reading books like Harry Potter at age 6 are those children still sounding out words or do they somehow know a huge amount of words by sight?

OP posts:

fastdaytears · 23/08/2015 21:17

There are plenty of 6 yo out there who have moved past sounding out, but that's nothing to do with your son who sounds like he's doing really well. As far as I know, a lot of the difference evens out by the later primary school years.
Is he enjoying reading?


BestZebbie · 23/08/2015 21:18

One of the ways to get a child to know words by sight is to read to them where they can see and follow along with the words you are reading.


WorraLiberty · 23/08/2015 21:18

However sometimes when I read threads on mumsnet I feel like maybe he isn't making such good progress.

But he is making good progress for him and that's all that matters.

Some kids just take to things quicker than others that's all.

My kids are 23yrs, 16yrs and 12yrs and I can honestly tell you that once they're in senior school, 'who learnt to read the fastest' doesn't make a jot of difference.


JeffsanArsehole · 23/08/2015 21:19

It mostly equalises out though.

I had a reading age of 12 at 4 years old, it was freaky. There were loads of things I couldn't do.

Most people say the good bits (or the weird things I've just done) but we occasionally get threads where we all say how average our kids are. And below average sometimes.

Your kid is doing great to go up so much, something must have really clicked Smile


steppemum · 23/08/2015 21:21

Please don't worry.
Many children are late starters with reading and catch up fine. In particular, there seem to be quite a number of boys who take off later.
I assume he is going into year 1? He really isn't that unusual.

2 things you can/should do

  1. read aloud to him, lots of stories, lots of different styles and authors. Include some books which are a bit more of a challenge

2. make sure he does his reading practice with you regularly, at least every couple of days.

Progress is what you should keep an eye on, as long as he is still steadily making steps forward, don't worry.

Welshmaenad · 23/08/2015 21:21

My 5 year old reads by sight, his reading is very good. I have no real idea what 'level' he is on, it doesn't interest me. My dd took a long time to get to grips with reading, is now 9, but has made massive leaps in the last year. She reads for pleasure by the truckload, as does DS - to be honest that's all I care about.

Encourage a love of reading g and books, let go of hang ups about what 'stage' he is at, and he will make progress at his own pace.


steppemum · 23/08/2015 21:23

and for what it is worth, ds was a very slow starter, really struggling in year 1 and 2, finally took off in year 3.

He is now 12 and at a super selective grammar


fastdaytears · 23/08/2015 21:23

As with Jeff I was a super fast reader but in fact it caused a lot of problems. I'm happy to have had a love of reading from so young, but I hated reading at school because I felt like such a weirdo. Lots of classmates caught up over the primary school years.
It wasn't a surprise that I was pretty good at reading as I spent at least 4 hours a day at it. Your son sounds like he's having a much more balanced childhood, and might have some friends who aren't middle aged librarians.


lastqueenofscotland · 23/08/2015 21:25

I was the same as jeff and fast- super super early reading.
I was on books for older teenagers by 7, and had read war and peace before my gcse year. A lot of that was practice I did so much of it. Your son is probably well ahead of other children in other areas. I'd not panic.


scatterthenuns · 23/08/2015 21:26

It completely evens out and makes no difference in the long run.


whippetwoman · 23/08/2015 21:30

I am a middle-aged librarian!
We are very nice people. We can even be cool. We don't all wear glasses and say shush people.

My under-achieving DS was a slow reader and below average in everything but now, aged 11 has caught up with his peers and all is well. He was above average in his Sats for reading and literacy. Twill be fine.


BarbarianMum · 23/08/2015 21:30

Ds1 was very good reader at 6 - he probably could have read Harry Potter fwiw (although it would have terrified him then). Now at 9 he's still a good reader but he's not streets ahead of his classmates any more and they all read the same sort of stuff - it's not like he's reading Proust, or anything. It really does even out over the course of a few years Smile


LarrytheCucumber · 23/08/2015 21:31

It really isn't important that other children read better than your son. He is still only 5 and has made a start at reading.
As someone else said, when he is older things will have evened out and some of the children who started early will have levelled off, some who started late will have overtaken the early starters and some will just make slow but steady progress.
The most important thing is for him to enjoy reading and enjoy books, both having them read to him and reading himself.


IsItMeOr · 23/08/2015 21:31

Firstly, what everybody else has said about kids picking reading up at different stages, and so long as he is making progress and enjoying reading, all is well.

There is a huge variety of reading abilities in DS's class (just about to start Y2, so they are all currently 6). DS is one of the stronger readers, and he can read pretty much anything - although he will struggle with words he has never heard spoken. He has been reading the Enid Blyton Adventure series this week.

So, it is perfectly possible that 6yos are reading Harry Potter. However, my good friend, who taught before having her kids and now works as a TA in primary, observes that they are all pretty much the same re reading by the time they're 7.

I didn't know that they still made the Peter and Jane books. DS's reading really took off when we got him these Alien Adventures. They're based on the Oxford Reading Tree scheme, and the difficulty level gradually increases as you work through the (protracted) story. It might be a bit more engaging for your DS - unless they have radically updated the P&J plots.


WoodliceCollection · 23/08/2015 21:33

I think you probably get some bias in what you hear on here because people are more likely to post about things they want to brag about, if that makes sense?

FWIW my older daughter didn't read at all (knew some letters and could write name but that's it) when she started school, and was fairly slow to get started, but then in p2/year 1 she suddenly got really motivated and caught up to the 'best readers' in her class- now at high school she gets good marks in most subjects. Younger one seems to be following a similar pattern, although she can sound words out better than dd1. Conversely, I read very early, but struggled with a lot of other things in primary school and had few friends in secondary. I don't think there's any correlation between very early reading (reading before about 4 is very early for most kids, and before 3 I think is classed as hyperlexia which is associated with ASD) and later academic skills. Most countries also start formal education later than the UK and have no problems with lower ability in adults. I don't think the focus on age of starting to read is helpful to anyone really. Your son sounds like he's doing fine, and improving, which is the main thing!


WhatWas · 23/08/2015 21:36

The best advice is to stop reading about all the hundreds of amazingly gifted kids on Mumsnet. It doesn't reflect reality. There are loads of super proficient readers about but there are even more average readers about.

It's a bit like the threads about universities. It seems like the vast majority of mumsnetters kids go to Oxbridge. Confused


IsItMeOr · 23/08/2015 21:39

Forgot to mention that DS has autism, so I am confident that your DS's social skills will outstrip his, despite being 18 months younger.

Your DS sounds like he is doing great all around.


Rowgtfc72 · 23/08/2015 21:40

Is was a free reader by seven and off the reading scheme by nine.
Nobody picked up my lack of maths skills.


Pranmasghost · 23/08/2015 21:40

Peter and Jane is the old Ladybird reading scheme isn't it? I didn't think it was still in use. Most schools seem to use ORT nowadays.
I help with reading in a Yr 1/2 class and the ability range is huge. I have a Y1 child who is reading the first Harry Potter book and a yr2 child who struggles with Green Eggs and Ham.
I think the secret is reading with and to the children at home every day.


goodasitgets · 23/08/2015 21:46

Early reading caused me nothing but problems Sad
It lost me friends because they presume my mum was coaching me to parrot things, I got called a liar a lot at school. And to top it off I read about 1000+ words a minute which meant I spent most of school bored!!!
They all even out eventually


steppemum · 23/08/2015 21:46

it is worth noting that neither of my dds could read before they started school. I hadn't taught them.
In their classes there were kids who were amazing readers and a fair bit of subtle boasting at drop off pick up about whether or not their kids were getting stretched.

a few years on, and those early readers are still among the top groups, but have been met and over taken by all the others, who have caught up along the way. They no longer stand out from the crowd.


chumbler · 23/08/2015 21:47

yy to pp. peter and Jane seems really outdated. do you rate the school's phonics teaching??

and yes, read everyday. otherwise so long as he's making good progress for him that's all you can ask for


chumbler · 23/08/2015 21:48

sorry x post - yy go pran I meant


Fluffyears · 23/08/2015 21:57

I was an amazing reader, writer and speller at school. I was ahead of most of my classmates however I was and still am really shite at maths and problem solving. Your son will have strengths and weaknesses like everyone else, maybe words are not his thing but he'll be good with numbers etc.


Fluffyears · 23/08/2015 21:59

Do you get him to read to you every day. Even a few pages would be great as practice makes perfect. Take him to the library and let him pick his own books.

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