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How quickly did your kids learn to read?

98 replies

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.

OP posts:

NotUmbongoUnchained · 06/11/2018 12:23

So just reading to them is just as effective as making them read?

OP posts:

Deadbudgie · 06/11/2018 12:26

Blimey - take a breath - she's 4. Quite frankly I think at that age if they can spell and recognise their name all is good (even if they cant no big deal so long as they are progressing). All kids learn at different rates and in different ways. stop being pushy and let her enjoy reading or being read and talking about stories. Stop comparing your kid to others, their rate of development is no concern of yours. The school system in England has gone mad and from talking to primary teachers most of then agree!


SheepyFun · 06/11/2018 12:29

For DD (now in year 1, and old for her year), for the first few months she just didn't get blending, but then suddenly it clicked, and she was off - I think around Christmas time last year. But I definitely remember the frustration that she just didn't seem to get it. She now really enjoys reading, and literacy is one of her strengths. You probably don't need to worry just yet.


Ninoo25 · 06/11/2018 12:32

My daughter learned to blend sounds by Christmas of reception year. She could read well by the end of the school year. She was like your daughter, could do all the associated things needed to read (ie blending etc), but found it hard to get going with actually reading words. She was the oldest in the class and very smart, but was in the bottom 3 in the class for reading as most of the class were much faster at starting to read. I was really worried as I didn’t want her to fall behind, her teacher told me not worry that it just takes time, but I did worry a lot, as she was my eldest child and all I could see was all the other kids overtaking her. During Easter half term we spent a lot of time deconstructing everything, blending all the sounds together slowly and I got worksheets from a website called twinkl (I really recommend this site btw, there’s a lot you can get on here for free). By the end of Reception year she was well exceeding the target for her year. By the end of year 1 she was on the highest reading level and had an ability to go onto free reading, but according to the school the content of the free reading books weren’t suitable for her age.
One important thing that I think helped was that I stayed positive and chilled in front of my daughter, but made sure we practised every day, even in the summer holidays. Make it fun and say you are playing schools, take her to the library and get her to engage in it and take the pressure off. I’d also have a quick chat with her teacher and ask for tips, as they’ll have seen it loads of times.
Even though it’s frustrating don’t give up, you will get there in the end XXX


Deadbudgie · 06/11/2018 12:32

Oh and I didn't move off flash cards until I was 7 years old and went straight to Enid Blyton - I just suddenly got it. Got the top A level grades in the school, a 2:1 in law from a top university and a solid professional career. Meanwhile some of the kids that were flying through the reading books are struggling with day to day living! Early reading success or lack thereof, is no predictor of future academic attainment. What matters is developing curiosity, understanding, analytical skills, social skills, an enjoyment in learning, a work ethic... the rest will come.


Patchworksack · 06/11/2018 12:33

Ask at the parents' evening what phonics method the school are using and try to use the same approach to support this at home. My third child is just going through reception and the school is using yet another different reading scheme [sigh] but it helps not to confuse the child if everyone is using the same method. My daughter is summer baby and is confident on the letter sounds - she is starting to 'get' blending but has often forgotten the first sound (in a three letter word) by the time she's read the second and third. It helps if I let her read the letters and then model the blending c-a-t and see if she can 'hear' the whole word. Practise for a short time (5 mins) every day and then just read to her for pleasure, don't make it into a battle. I tend to find one 'green' (decodable) word on every page that she can sound out or spot one of her 'red' words so she gets the idea that the tedious sounding out will eventually mean she can read real stories. Don't worry - your daughter sounds completely on track!


bigKiteFlying · 06/11/2018 12:35

Seems early to worry.

However - you may need more phonic books if the reading books aren't using words based on phoics she's been taught.

Or song birds.

Things like - teach your moster how to read can be fun way to practise or alphablocks

However if you think later in year there are issues tryDancing bears or bear necessities

Ds found shouting out the letter sound helped with blending - so that could be worth a try though make sure she can recongise the sounds of each letter very quickly as well.

My older two struggled in the early years but were find by end of year 2 - they are both summer born as well.

The Education primary board is a good place to get advice about reading and other things - lots of teachers and well as parents post there.


NotUmbongoUnchained · 06/11/2018 12:35

Thank you everyone.
Feeling very guilty and crap now! I’m going to take her to Waterstones after school and let her choose a book and we’re going to enjoy it together.

OP posts:

puppymouse · 06/11/2018 12:39

DD is nearly a year older than yours - started school in September. Our reading sessions were almost farcical as similar to you I was struggling to understand how she perceived it all.

Her enthusiasm is overwhelming at times as it outweighs her ability and comprehension heavily. We've had to try and contain it a bit at bedtime as she just doesn't have the head space by then as she's shattered and it isn't the time to learn new words.

Having said all that, in just half a term she's gone from not being 100% secure even on her whole alphabet to writing whole sentences if we spell out for her and can read Sam, Tam, Tim type three letter word books herself. As pps said it's very fast when they get the hang of it.

She's only 4, just let her carry on doing what she's doing 


Ninoo25 · 06/11/2018 12:41

Don’t feel guilty or crap! She’s only 4 and the school will tell you if there’s a problem. Everyone’s suggestions are just to help you out if you are worried that she’s falling behind x


Patchworksack · 06/11/2018 12:59

Don't feel guilty! You are doing your best to support her learning - it's just finding the balance of being supportive without putting them off altogether. If you want a book recommendation my 4 yr old loves Chris Riddell's 'Once upon a Wild Wood' which has a great female main character and includes all the traditional fairytale characters in beautiful illustrations.


Aurea · 06/11/2018 13:02

My nephew was like this. Just not interested until quite old - 6+. He had real difficulty sounding out and processing the individual sounds into words. He's very smart and was top of his his year at SATs so has caught up.

My son, on the other hand was a fluent reader when he started school at 5 (school starts later in Scotland) ) He was on level 11 of the Oxford reading tree.

When kids are older, it's impossible to tell who was early or late readers, so just relax. 😊


unlimiteddilutingjuice · 06/11/2018 13:06

"But she can’t read sounds together. She can sound out each letter, but can’t put the sounds together to get the word"

My child is at the same stage at 6.

Tbh, I think blending may be one of those things that only seems easy to us because we've been doing it a long time. Its actually a fairly tricky skill.

Please try not to get frustrated with her.


junebirthdaygirl · 06/11/2018 13:08

Why do you think children are in school? To learn these things. If it all happened in the first term what would they be doing then. Just relax. More than likely the teacher has taught 100s of dc to read and will manage to teach your dd too. I have taught at least 1000. But it takes time. Skills build on skills and it comes together. Just enjoy books at the moment and ignore your parents.


puffyisgood · 06/11/2018 13:09

can't blend at all? very normal given her age.

my daughter was born late in the year. she picked up the ability to decode even quite complex single words but I think it was quite late in the year before she could fluently read out whole sentences, rather than stopping to painstakinlgy spell out & then read all but the easiest of individual words.


liquidrevolution · 06/11/2018 13:10

DD is only a month older than yours and is similar except she cannot write well at all. She could at preschool before the summer holidays but its all been forgotten since then so she is slowly relearning. Its a slow path and I dont want to push her in case she loses her enjoyment of it.

I would say your DD is normal.


Zoflorabore · 06/11/2018 13:18

My dd is a February birthday so pretty much in the middle and is now in year 3, will be 8 in February.

She has always been very bright and her lack of interest in reading during reception baffled me. She started off with the blending of the words, could read the books given but was very slow to progress and remained on the red ORT for the whole of YR.

Year one she took off and has never looked back, is a total bookworm like me and will read for hours. She just didn't seem to get it during reception and I think she wasn't very interested either.
Now she is a free reader and laughs when I tell her that she was so reluctant to read.

Op- have a look at "teach your monster to read" as it helped with dd.


TheNoodlesIncident · 06/11/2018 13:19

Don't feel guilty or crap, you naturally want to help her and see her making progress, that's what we all want for our children. You're really worrying about it too soon though. See what her teacher says at parents' evening and ask how you can help.

Fwiw my August born ds learned to read by himself, he was reading and blending sounds before he started school. Is he top of the class now..? Hell no... He learned using Alphablocks as a pp mentioned:

They all learn at different rates, your dd might not have got the hang of blending yet but one day she will get it and will be off like a rocket.


Choccywoccyhooha · 06/11/2018 13:20

There will be children who can blend and read sentences by now and others who can't. And the birthday makes a huge difference, the older ones in the class are a quarter of your daughter's life older than her. My two eldest are Nov and Dec birthdays and could read and blend by this point in reception, my youngest is in the same position as your daughter -birthday in August and can sound out all of her letter sounds but not blend them.

Stop pushing her, you will turn her against reading. It isn't a race, slow down, go at her pace and make it enjoyable.


madmum5811 · 06/11/2018 13:20

Well don`t shoot me, but with all mine lay on the bed at night and went through Peter and Jane books, putting my finger over every word as we read it.

Have bought grandson the complete set new for him to do the same thing. Do not push it, just enjoy together time.


PhilomenaButterfly · 06/11/2018 13:20

DD within a term, DS2's still a work in progress in yr3. All DC are different.


WitchyMcWitchface · 06/11/2018 13:24

Don't label DD on the strength of this, she is tiny and it will come. I had planned a non academic future for DD2 on the strength of her taking so long to read, how wrong could I be. It's a shame we insist on starting them so young in this country.


PhilomenaButterfly · 06/11/2018 13:25

Umbongo 3 books every night?! Is that what school has asked her to do? DS2 brings one book home. At the start, I was lucky if he read a page.


NotUmbongoUnchained · 06/11/2018 13:27

No they’re our books. I read them, but she will have a go at many of the words. She usually has a book in each language.

OP posts:

PhilomenaButterfly · 06/11/2018 13:27

And don't feel guilty and crap. Flowers Come back over to the Respo thread. 😊

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