My feed

to access all these features

Join our Primary Education forum to discuss starting school and helping your child get the most out of it.

Primary education

How can I 'motivate' dd to learn her words? (reception) apologies if it gets long

33 replies

MrsBojangles · 07/11/2006 19:04

dd got her first lot of words to 'learn' yesterday. 10 in all, some of them key words some of them just words relating to traffic (why? no idea).

asked teacher what 'learn' constitutes and she just said play games with her, sound them out etc. I even did a sheet of paper with the words on them and pictures where I could find, i.e. car, van, bike etc. so dd can match them up and has an optical aid. Problem there though is she's not trying to 'read' them or even tell me the letters she recognises in the word. All I keep getting is a 'don't know' which of course is plain nonsense because I know which letters she knows if that makes any sense at all. Oh and she does the same to the teacher!

I appreciate that after a day at school she's shattered, but e.g. tonight she actually wanted to do her words however that didn't last long and she was just clowning around...

Also got some of the 'I can learn' books, which she loves because of the stickers which she does get when she's done well - i.e. yesterday she recognised 3 words immediately and she got a sticker. However we were doing one of the excercises she chose, which was basically 6 pictures (3 starting with c and 3 starting with o) and the task was to pick out which ones start with c or o. You get the picture. So she kept saying everything starts with c... first of I was still in good humour and saying so Octopus starts with a c? to which she goes YES. argh.

Anyhow... Questions:

how can I get her to concentrate instead of clown around?

what attention span can I realistically expect of dd after a day at school?

do I try to enforce her to sound out the words or should I just be glad if she matches like with like?

I'm new to this 'homework' melarchy and am not coping very well as after 10 mins of her messing about I sort of loose my rag...

HELP and advice highly appreciated

OP posts:
Whizzz · 07/11/2006 19:10

I'd say that as shes not long started school, expecting her to sound out words is a bit much. I'd focus on trying to recognise the word CAR & match to car pic.
Have you tried the homework before school ? She may be more attentive.
Expecting a reception chid to learn 10 words IMO is a bit much. DS used to bring home 4 at a time & even now in Year 1 only at the mo has 8 a week to learn / spell

MrsBojangles · 07/11/2006 19:24

thanks Whizz, I think it's a bit too much too. Will do pictures and words separately and then try and get her to pin the word on the pic

I'm sure when I was 4 I didn't even know how to write my name properly!

Oh and she got the words yesterday and in the excercise book it says hand back on Wednesday. WTF? 10 words in 3 days?!? yeah riiiight

btw dd is bi-lingual so dh thinks I'm confusing her by sounding out the words then saying then (both in English) but otherwise sticking with German... I told him, don't think so, she's used to me swapping when I speak to dh as he doesn't understand German... but I also told him 'well if I'm doing it wrong, you can do the homework with her' he said 'ok' oh but let me see...he's away for 2 nights this week.

OP posts:
NAB3 · 07/11/2006 19:24

I made two sets of word cards with all the reception words on them. The first night I picked out 3 words and played snap. I asked my son to pick one word and find the matching one. I then told him what they said and he copied me. He picked it up very quickly and learnt three new words a day. The next night we did the same three again to refresh and then another three.

Yesterday, my 3 year old daughter got out her flash cards and asked me to play with her. They have a picture on one side (bed, fork, dog, etc) and what it was written on the other. I turned all the cards with the pictures showing and asked her to pick three pictures showing 3 things needed at bed time (bed, pyjamas, teddy), what she would need to eat her dinner (fork, knife, spoon) etc. I read her the word, she repeated it after me and then once we had done all three I asked her what they said. She got most of them right.

It is all about repetition and making it fun. Sounding the words out (bed= buh, eh, duh) etc can really help them work out the word. HTH.

MrsBojangles · 07/11/2006 19:26

ok now to find card, pictures and make them up

Any more suggestions highly welcome

OP posts:
NAB3 · 07/11/2006 19:28

Print off the words on the computer, cut them up and stick on to plain postcards.

MaloryTowersBigHeadBigNorks · 07/11/2006 19:31

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kid · 07/11/2006 19:42

Something I found really useful with DD was to write some words she could read on a grid (ie: 5 squares across, 10 squares down), I wrote the words repeatedly into the grid, sticking to words she knew and added in the odd new word every other day. It meant, she would see the same word over and over again therefore was able to remember it.
She was in Year 1 when I did this. The idea was to see how many she could read in one minute, I did this every day and by the end of the week, I could see a definate increase.

I really think its too much to expect reception children to learn 10 new words in 3 days. I would be surprised if any of them are able to do it. Is it a new Reception teacher?

FioFio · 07/11/2006 19:43

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

foxtrot · 07/11/2006 19:50

hi, another first time reception mum here. I suggested this on another thread earlier - foam letters to play with in the bath, then we stick the key words up on the tiles. Nice and relaxed in the bath, more like play than homework. Get them in ELC (or i got mine in the local pound shop).

LIZS · 07/11/2006 19:56

10 is a lot in one go. Can you split it down to concentrate on say 4 or 5 at a time and in short bursts (10 mins max). Just return those she really knows and catch up at the weekend.

Try making up silly sentences using the words ? Writing them together on a blackboard/megasketcher, in wet sand/flour with fingers or with magnetic letters somewhere.

MrsBojangles · 07/11/2006 20:06

thanks for all the suggestions

problem with doing them before school is that e.g. today she only woke up at 0800, that's when I usually have to dash to drop ds off at nursery and then her at school. Still made it in time but it was all a bit hectic so not very constructive for learning

FioFio is there something I should know about my name???

OP posts:
MrsBojangles · 07/11/2006 20:41

and yes the teacher is a first timer in reception herself. So far she's tought 7 year olds

OP posts:
handlemecarefully · 07/11/2006 20:44

I'm really taken aback at this type of homework in Reception. Dd has a few letters in her book bag, but teacher is very free and easy re. whether we do anything with them....(and mostly I don't!)

...and yet our primary school is in the top 5% nationally based on SATs results

Wallace · 07/11/2006 20:47

When I do dd's word cards with her I give her a kiss for each one she gets right. We do it really fast and it turns into a giggly game. We go through the whole pile again and again until she gets them all without prompting.

She has about 15 words now, but they have been introduced gradually, not all at once.

foxtrot · 07/11/2006 20:51

I don't suppose there is a 'normal' amount of homework. DS1 gets 3 jolly phonic sounds sheets, 6 high frequency words and a reading book each week (he's not expected to read it yet but he will say the words he knows). This does seem like a lot but he's quite keen, unless he's tired, then he gets frustrated so i put it all away without any fuss.

cat64 · 07/11/2006 20:58

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

MrsBojangles · 07/11/2006 20:59

note to self... no making a fuss or getting frustrated

just found an unused photo display pockets hanging thingy which I'll be putting up on her door with the cards in it... if she walks past it often enough it migth sink in ...

OP posts:
hotandbothered · 07/11/2006 21:09

I think it's great that you want to help your children. I was a teacher in a former life (BC) and I'd have been really thrilled if my parents were trying so hard... IMO I think that 10 words are a lot and would do them slowly and gradually - they will sink in - but only at your dd's interest rate. You don't want to put her off homework so soon. I wouldn't worry about holding onto the words as long as you need. Hope this helps?

MrsBojangles · 07/11/2006 21:18

yes that helps

Already had an almight row with dh... fair enough I get slightly exasperated because she just won't concentrate, but then pull myself togehter and say to myself she's only 4 and tired and we'll continue tomorrow.

What did dh blast out at her because she wasn't taking it seriously ... 'I'm very disappointed'... I nearly bit his head off (unfortunately right in front of dd)... I've been a 'disappointment' when younger which only resulted in me giving up trying... so he sort of recouped and explained to her that he wasn't disappointed with what she knows but because she wasn't listening to him... not much better but a start... MEN

OP posts:
willowcatkin · 07/11/2006 21:20

Personally I think learning words by their shape is the wrong way to do it. The vast majority of words can be broken down into their sounds so kids just blend the sounds to make the word.

My ds is currently in Reception and my dd started in Reception last year (June baby) - they are learning jolly phonics, and dd can now read just about anything and we have never had word flashcards. Ds is doing pretty well too, despite being the youngest in the class.

Have you seen the Jolly phonics handbook? It teaches children the sounds and is multi sensory so there is a song and an action to go with each letter / sound. It is also great fun and we regualarly have a game of phonics. The DVD is good too if they are too tired to do anything else after school.

We got the finger books and have the CD in the car for the drive to/ from school - amazing how much they picked up and they love it. We even did the ELC phonic sounds flashcards in the bath tonight - helps having two as they are both competitive!

You can play lots of phonic games - I spy is a good one, and also having items that match words on cards is good, the objects are at one side of the room and the child has to run from you to put the card on the correct object and back for another - good for active boys! Flap books are good too as there is 'reward' for reading / decoding the word in turnign the flap to look at the picture. And just lots of phonic speak eg look there is a d-o-g when you see one until they grasp what it all means.

And finally - you can rarely force a child to work, they have to want to. If she does not want to do it, don't push it, just try and find ways of getting her to want to - you have mentioned stickers which are good - we use a sticker chart with a picture of whatever prize they want at the end (my ds has one for reading books with a plough) or link it to a wanted activity such s 10 mins TV per book etc

Good luck!

MrsBojangles · 07/11/2006 21:24

will have to look into that jolly phonics stuff especially if it's active as dd seems to love e.g. 'Something special' and also they seem to be learning sign language at school... one slight problem I have with phonics/phonems is that English isn't my mother tongue so I actualy hear and sound certain things differently... it's always quite amusing when I say my name to dd and she repeats it and it comes out totally different!

OP posts:
McWitch · 07/11/2006 21:29

does your school not use Jolly Phonics, MrsBojnagles?

kid · 07/11/2006 21:36

Hopefully she will realise quickly that there is a big difference to 7 year olds and 4 year olds.

DD is 7, her new teacher is used to teaching 11 year olds, so it took her a few weeks to adjust to her new age group. She is doing great now though.

PrincessPeaHead · 07/11/2006 21:40

I haven't read the rest of the replies but...
I wouldn't bother. she is very little. she will learn at school, it is too tiring managing homework as well.
Im sure some parents will manage to do it, but I don't think it will make much difference in the long run, she will pick it up eventually.

Am I a Bad Mother for thinking so? I'll go read the rest of the thread now!!

PrincessPeaHead · 07/11/2006 21:41

I haven't read the rest of the replies but...
I wouldn't bother. she is very little. she will learn at school, it is too tiring managing homework as well.
Im sure some parents will manage to do it, but I don't think it will make much difference in the long run, she will pick it up eventually.

Am I a Bad Mother for thinking so? I'll go read the rest of the thread now!!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.