Reading before starting school

(11 Posts)
wantsleepnow Wed 26-Feb-14 17:44:57

My DS is 3.5 and a very confident reader (Stage 6ish on Oxford Reading Tree, maybe?). Luckily he is a late-summer birthday so will be starting school this September but I'm wondering if anyone has any tips on how to deal with Reception - presumably he will be ahead of most of the others on reading.
Should I speak to the teacher in advance, or just assume she'll work out his level and adapt lessons accordingly? Are there any good strategies that I should be looking out for/asking about eg working with other year groups? Are teachers pleased to find good readers in their intake or is it a pain for them because it means extra work??

Although he is v advanced on reading now, this is mainly because he loves a particular computer-based reading course and insists on spending hours on it (although I do ration it so he (and I!) has time for other activities). So I'm guessing he'll plateau out but I don't want him to get bored or turned off school while the other kids catch up.

I do realise we've made a rod for our own backs here but hoping for a bit of advice to make sure it doesn't cause any problems...

sillylittleperson Wed 26-Feb-14 17:49:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theendgame Wed 26-Feb-14 18:21:17

We were in the same boat. While I agree (and this is what everyone will say in response on here) that there is more for exception than learning to read, it did cause problems, just not necessarily the obvious ones.

In our case, DD got quite disillusioned because other children were getting praised for doing things that she could do easily, while she didn't get praised for her achievements, like reading, because they weren't doing that in class. But it will very much depend on the class and the teacher as well as what your DS is like so you just need to keep an eye out really

Also, things started to be difficult in the second term. There is so much for them to get their heads round in the first term, that challenge is the least of everyone's worries. But once DD had settled, she was a bit frustrated.

I wouldn't worry about strategies - there is so much choice in reception that it's not really an issue. But you are pretty likely to get a chance to chat with the teacher in advance (we had 'stay and play sessions' and I think it is worth mentioning to them then. We did, and it wasn't held against us!

simpson Wed 26-Feb-14 18:57:21

DD could read very well before starting reception (she is in yr1 now) and she was fine.

The only thing she moaned about was daily phonics as it was "boring and I know them" but that was only 20 mins out of the whole day.

Her teacher did a lot of work on her writing which was not as good as her reading to keep her engaged.

Worriedandlost Sat 01-Mar-14 00:38:56

My DD started Reception on level 8. But, when her teacher home visited I asked DD to read in front of her.

I now go to school and help with reading and I can see that whilst the majority of children are on adequate levels, some could be a bit higher and some are struggling. So, I think teachers may misjudge. And I think it is important to recognise child's ability smile

wantsleepnow Sat 01-Mar-14 23:35:21

Thanks all, that's very reassuring.

Reading is the only area where he seems ahead of the game but quite possibly only because of spending so much time with his online reading programme so I was more worried about being labelled a 'pushy mother' by the school. Sounds like a plan to mention it to the teacher before school starts though.

sanam2010 Wed 19-Mar-14 22:40:00

wantsleepnow, out of interest, which online reading program are you using?

NewShoesTwoShoes Mon 14-Apr-14 20:37:26

Hi, do you have any meet-and-greet sessions with the teacher this summer? My son could read fluently before Reception but had good handover from school Nursery so teacher was aware. She took time to measure his reading levels over the first half term and worked with Yr1 + Yr2 teachers. He loves his friends and teacher so wanted to do phonics with them, even though he could read - and it helps his writing and spelling. Key is checking if your child gets bored and/or disruptive, ask for extra chats with class teacher if you need it.

EdithWeston Mon 14-Apr-14 21:03:34

I wouldn't be too concerned - a typical reception class will have 3 or 4 children reading at this level, and should easily be able to deal with this.

Are you confident about which school you wil, be getting at allocations day this week? Or conversely, do you know you are likely to be stuck with one with a recent track record of incompetent differentiation?

wantsleepnow Tue 22-Apr-14 22:48:14

DS has been allocated the same school as DD but all the infant teachers are now different so I don't know them at all, although generally I'm very confident in the level of teaching. However, the school has a catchment where lots of children have English as a second language and/or not much support, reading etc going on at home. So it may be that the focus is at the other end of the spectrum?

It also makes me think that DS will not be one of several in the same situation. DD didn't read at all before starting school, made reasonable progress (although nothing like DS) and was held up as a shining beacon of achievement for her first couple of years. But DD remains engaged and is still progressing well so I guess they must be pitching it right for her.

Incidentally, the reading programme was Reading Eggs. It sometimes surprised me with the inconsistency of the progression (sometimes v easy lessons, other times we seemed to be jumping forward way too fast) but it clearly worked so they must know their stuff!

Meita Wed 23-Apr-14 11:50:39

We're in a similar situation. DS also August born and 'learned to read' with Reading Eggs. However he didn't get as far as yours did apparently, got bored after lesson 40 and stopped after lesson 50. (at least it meant we never had to buy a subscription, as managed so far on free trials and voucher codes) He's around level 3 atm I'd say so not as far as yours, but judging at how fast he picked up stuff when 'being taught' on Reading Eggs, I'm sort of expecting that when he is taught the stuff he missed out on by no longer continuing with the programme, it will be similarly quick.

I'm sure he will fit in well with his reception class and I'm not worried about the school's ability/motivation to differentiate appropriately. I think he will actually enjoy doing all the phonics stuff along with his class, and 'learning it again' like this will surely provide him with a very strong foundation. When you go over something you have already learned, you tend to pick up so much more than first time round.

The one thing that does worry me a bit (not very much, simply meaning I will keep an eye out for it) is that sometimes schools/teachers have low expectations for summer born boys, maybe especially in reading (as opposed to maths). And low expectations can be self-fulfilling prophecies. So I'll watch and if necessary I will swallow the bitter pill and become 'pushy mum' if I notice this happening.

The other thing I want to say is that EAL kids can be early readers too you know? DS is EAL. His other language may have slowed certain things down but has given him an understanding of 'words' and 'meanings' such as when one language has one word for what are two separate things in the other language. So what I'm saying is, I wouldn't worry per se from the fact that the school has a large EAL intake.

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