How quickly did your kids learn to read?
NotUmbongoUnchained · 06/11/2018 11:23
Daughter is 4, she’s just started school, birthday is 30th August so she’s almost a year younger than most of her class.
She knows all the alphabet, her witting is fantastic and if I tell her a word she will sound it out and write it down.
But she can’t read sounds together. She can sound out each letter, but can’t put the sounds together to get the word and we’re both getting frustrated with each other!
Is this normal? How long should it take her to put the letters together. I know she’s a little slower because she’s tri lingual.
HPandBaconSandwiches · 06/11/2018 11:54
tiggerkid · 06/11/2018 11:54
I did go to school here, but was taugt to read by my parents - my point exactly: you aren't in a position to judge how effective or ineffective the current approach is. Therefore, the question still stands: what is the basis of your frustration? Well, maybe besides your expectation that your child should be able to do XYZ and/or taught a certain way that you recognise...
GaryWilmottsTeeth · 06/11/2018 11:54
She sounds very similar to my DD, also an August birthday who started reception in September. She can happily read individual letters but can't blend sounds at all yet. Its a skill that will come, it just takes practice and there's no rush.
You have to remember, learning to read isn't a black/white or yes/no event. Its all gradual. She won't suddenly be able to read fluently one day, little bits will fall in to place over time. Think of it like weaning, I remember thinking "today is the day that I wean DD" and being all excited. But what actually happened is that DD had a couple of spoons of baby rice and then it was all the same as before, then the next day she a had a couple more spoons and so on. It doesn't happen overnight.
LittleLionMansMummy · 06/11/2018 11:59
At that age you're really much better off focusing on encouraging her to enjoy reading. Getting bogged down in the detail of the methods and mechanics of learning to read is enough to suck the enjoyment out of the most engaged budding reader. It just sort of happens incrementally over time, helped by you regularly encouraging her to try and leaving it when the frustration sets in. By way of reassurance, ds doesn't enjoy reading and never has. He's 8 in a few weeks and is reading fluently with only very occasional help and intervention from us on sounding out. He still doesn't enjoy reading, but he tolerates it and that's as good as it'll get I think. We learned early on not to push too hard or too fast and go at his pace and ability to focus.
BertieBotts · 06/11/2018 12:00
It can take years to learn to read, don't worry about it. She sounds totally normal.
Do you mean she's learning with a phonics based system but the books she is being given for reading aren't decodable with the sounds she's done? That's normal because phonics is fairly new and there is no reason for schools to throw away hundreds of perfectly good books just to replace them with phonics readers. It is a bit of a pain and would be better if all children had access to phonics readers, but it wouldn't be practical/sensible, so you have to make do.
What you can do is a couple of things. First practice blending with her where you really draw out the phonics sound (e.g. sssss like a snake, not suh, like someone else said) on words where this works well e.g. sssssssuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnn - ssssssssssuuuuuuuu, uuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnn, suuuuuun, sun. There are lots of blending activities online you can look at (check accent because many are American, they also classify vowels differently, so cross check with the phonics system your school is using.) The fact she's able to write words down by sounding them out is great, try getting her to sound out what she's written so doing it backwards.
Next when you read with her, whenever you come across a word she hasn't learned that spelling of the sound yet you should say "This is a tricky word, let's do it together." Cover up the word with your thumb revealing just the first sound(s) so she can sound this out, then add the "tricky" sound yourself and let her put them together. Some "tricky" words are high frequency meaning they come up so much children tend to learn them as sight words so they aren't held back. These will be words like she, then, the, all.
Are her other languages using the Latin alphabet too? If so this can cause a bit of a crossover with multilingual children. If she mistakes an English letter for the sound it makes in another language, you can say "That's right, w makes vvvv in German, but in English it makes the sound www, remember? So not vet, but..." If her other languages are more phonetic it's worth concentrating on English first, I found DS1 then transferred this knowledge and could instantly read in German with no effort from me.
WTFsMyUserName · 06/11/2018 12:01
Don't worry too much @NotUmbongoUnchained, learning ebbs and flows, as I've found with DS who is 5. At 3 years he was introduced to phonics and he really got the hang of blending and reading simple phonetically sounded out words as well as some tricky 'sight' words like the, he, she, my etc. In reception he continued to progress well and now in year 1 he seems to have stalled a bit and is still reading books from the end of reception class. But with a gentle push he does manage to get on with the higher reading band, just takes a little longer as he's having to process not only the sounds/words but also comprehend what is happening in the book. It will all come in time.
LeticiaDejeuner · 06/11/2018 12:02
I find it so sad that kids are expected to be ready so early. Sure, I bet there are some who are ready/really want to learn to read at 3/4. But I've read so many reports lately saying that by 6 - 7 most are ready and the whole process goes a lot easier because the children are mature enough to comprehend what they're being taught in a completely different way.
There seems to be so much pressure on British parents to make sure their kids "get a head start" but seriously, as PP's have said, they all come to things in their own time and afterwards it makes no difference.
NotUmbongoUnchained · 06/11/2018 12:03
Her other languages are 2 different alphabets but we haven’t focused too much in learning them yet as they’re not as important. She recognises them, and can write her name in them but we’ve left it at that for the minute as English is more important.
tiggerkid · 06/11/2018 12:05
As a parent I am absolutely in the position to judge how my child is being taught thanks
Fair enough. From this I would assume that you have a certain idea of a norm or normal and the current approach isn't meeting your definition of the norm. Hence, the frustration. Unfortunately, the teaching approach in this country isn't going to change to address that. It is just what it is.
The only way to address the frustration is maybe to teach your child to read the same way your parents taught you?
PivotPivotPIVOTTT · 06/11/2018 12:09
My almost 7 year old is only recently starting to manage this. She struggles with writing and reading. Shes still struggling writing stuff down and writes it exactly how it sounds, back to front letters etc. Now she can sit with a book and sound the words out but does still struggle. As a child I was reading before I started school (my mum's aunt was a teacher and taught me young) so I would have one on one reading sessions with the teacher and felt so left out so I wouldn't listen to your parents.
SpaceCannotBeLeftBlank · 06/11/2018 12:10
My DD was the same as yours before starting school. She started in September just gone and in just half a term she’s starting to read three and four letter words and put them together in sentences. Honestly, once they start school it happens so quickly (SEN excepted, obviously). I remember it being the same with my niece when she started school six years ago. She would tell me all about her phonics lessons. I had actually never heard of a diagraph until my five year old niece told me about them.
SpaceCannotBeLeftBlank · 06/11/2018 12:13
And my mum would always spout similar nonsense: “Oh but you were doing algebra and showing an interest in quantum physics when you were still in nappies!”
It’s nice that my mum has a rose tinted perspective of my being a child genius. But I definitely wasn’t.
I wonder if I will rewrite history when my DD is an adult to make her a prodigy?
FuzzyShadowChatter · 06/11/2018 12:18
I've had both a September and August-born kids who took a few years for reading to click. My August born used to be able to copy with very lovely handwriting when she was 4...but couldn't remember letter sounds or even some letter names at all & blending together was just not happening. I used to think that unusual - that she could write so well but not read, but that's was just her. Her penmanship isn't as neat now that she's writing and reading a lot faster but it's more even now.
It really frustrated her - it was just before her 4th birthday she asked me to teach her to read. She was very keen and would diligently practice every day, but I'd say she was 7 before she was really a reader. We tried a few things but she didn't retain it very well. I actually found leapfrog's letter and word factory videos and the preschool prep phonics videos that I found for her younger brother helped her quite a bit as did phonics concentration games along readers like the I see Sam ones (those really helped my September born's confidence in reading) and reading lists for Ultimate Phonics.
bobstersmum · 06/11/2018 12:20
My first ds has just gone into year 1. He can read me a story book with some quite complicated words in. Second ds has just gone into reception. He's struggling recognising the letters and knowing the sounds. They all learn at their own pace. Trust the school.
yikesanotherbooboo · 06/11/2018 12:21
It will come . There is nothing to suggest that your child won't learn to read. It's similar to every other stage ; make sure that the environment is conducive and then wait. My DC all took ages to learn to read fluently for different reasons. This was before the updated phonics system. They all got there and two of them are terrifically fluent readers with a love of books and great academic strength. None were reading in reception. I am a great believer in reading to children and would concentrate on this rather than struggling for ages with sounding out words from a dreary primer. That may be my patience level speaking. If it helps, 6 1/2 years used to be considered average age to read fluently .
SplishSplashSplosh · 06/11/2018 12:21
I have a 5 year old and she's in year 1.
When she started reception, they focused a lot on Phonics and the sounds each letter made. The first time she was given a reading book I thought they were mad because she couldn't read at all.
I was amazed at how fast she picked it up. At first it's just a case of sounding out each letter and slowly blending the sounds together until she can read the word.
Some words (called red words) can't be sounded out (like 'the') but you may be given a list of high frequency words which is for her to learn on sight.
It seems quite daunting but in time it will all make sense to her. The key is to practice and read lots to her so she is familiar with words and sounds.
(There are lots of helpfull tools on YouTube to help with phonic sounds). Look up Read Write Inc . Lots of useful tips and it may be something that your child's school already uses.
To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.