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Learning to read?

(32 Posts)
Sussexborn Tue 12-May-20 12:40:34

It has just dawned on me why it is suggested that the younger children return to school.

Once children can read it’s possible for their families to supervise home schooling etc.

Teaching children to read is another matter all together and for many parents it may be a daunting prospect.

If basic reading is not there these children will struggle long term.

MaizieD Tue 12-May-20 13:25:29

There are lots of good phonics resources on line. Many of the best programme developers have made their programmes available on line, free of charge. It's very easy stuff. There's no great mystique about learning to read.

It won't hurt children to leave it for a few months. though.

yggdrasil Tue 12-May-20 13:54:22

If a child wants to read, they will. (My daughter, age 3)
If they haven't much interest till they get to school, they will catch up, especially if there are books in the house (my son age 6)

Teachig a willing child isn't hard, read to them and point to the words as you go. Forget the phonics nonsense, look-and-say worked for ever.

quizqueen Tue 12-May-20 13:59:31

Phonics is NOT nonsense.

Septimia Tue 12-May-20 14:12:42

Fashions in teaching reading change - remember the Initial Teaching Alphabet? My opinion was that it meant that children had to learn how to read twice.

Anyway, I always found that a combination of look-and-say and phonics worked best, depending on whether the word could be sounded out or not.

MiniMoon Tue 12-May-20 14:15:45

My daughter homes schools her children. They can all read well, the youngest could read when he was three. Her 9 year old didn't take any interest in reading until just recently. He decided that it was a skill he needed (he has autism).

You are right quizqueen, phonics is not nonsense. My 11 year old grandson would not be reading without phonics, his word recognition is deplorable.

GagaJo Tue 12-May-20 14:16:50

Thank you QQ. Phonics are really necessary for children with a whole range of special educational needs. Those children will usually make up at least half of any class.

Look and say/look-cover-write-check work for children with no learning issues. But they exclude a lot of others.

If you teach every child as if they were dyslexic and use a range of teaching techniques (multi sensory/phonics etc), a much bigger percentage of a class population will learn well.

Calendargirl Tue 12-May-20 14:20:32

No idea how I learned to read 60+ years ago, Dick and Dora books come to mind, but I have always loved reading.

My own 70’s children learned with Roger Red Hat and family, just memorising words as I recall, but both always been good readers also, so it seemed to work.

GC, not sure about their reading as not so involved obviously, but good readers also so it all works out somehow hopefully.

growstuff Tue 12-May-20 14:24:05

My daughter could read ages before she started school. My son couldn't read until he was 7. Phonics were a disaster for him, but almost overnight he started picking up real books (not readers) and never looked back. I don't think he's ever been without a book since then.

They're all different. I never forced either of mine to read, but we did always read stories together before bedtime. Parents could do that with their children.

growstuff Tue 12-May-20 14:26:30

Unfortunately Gagajo Some will also get bored. I saw that with my daughter and her behaviour went through a difficult patch until the school let her read real books outside her year.

GagaJo Tue 12-May-20 14:28:41

Yes, in my experience, ALL children love being read to. I have lovely memories of a class of fifteen 16 year old boys having Sherlock Holmes stories read to them by me. They were REAL hard nuts. Violent. Foul language. Very unsocialised. But they were silent while I read to them and clamoured for more, turning the stories into a unit of work taught over a half term.

I have a family history of dyslexia and although I'm not dyslexic, struggled to learn to read although I was obsessed once I had. My daughter is dyslexic and loved being read to although completely turned off reading once she struggled with doing it herself. Hyperactive grandson also settles down very well to stories.

GagaJo Tue 12-May-20 14:29:29

With differentiation growstuff, children should always be encouraged to read at their own level.

growstuff Tue 12-May-20 14:33:59

Ahem! Not with the prescribed teaching sequence of whole class teaching at the beginning of the lesson they don't.

I am so glad I've left school teaching now and don't have to pay lip service to differentiation.

Mapleleaf Tue 12-May-20 14:34:42

Have you taught young children to read yggdrasil?

growstuff Tue 12-May-20 14:37:36

Ofsted want the younger children back because they're concerned about widening the attainment gap. It's already an issue that middle class, educated parents provide richer experiences for their children and teachers are reporting that it's these same children who are doing the work which is being sent home.

Alexa Tue 12-May-20 14:41:04

The very first step in teaching children to read is them enjoying the lovely cosy social thing of being read a story by somebody nice.

sarahh56 Tue 12-May-20 14:56:56

Phonics is most definitely not nonsence only if it not taught correctly. i.e 'Buh' for B etc. The system of look,cover, write check does work for some children,but it will not help a child to decode and unfamiliar word.
To help a child with reading, sitting together every day with a book or two and not forcing the issue if they don't want to. Also if they want to learn the alphabet do it by letter sound 'aah' for a, etc rather than the actual lettername, otherwise this will confuse a child when they start school.
I have seen a lot of children who 'can read' when they start school but it is just remembering words they have seen a lot of times. If you give them a slightly different word, they do not have the skills to decode it and decide if it is the right word to fit in the sentence.

MaizieD Tue 12-May-20 17:03:25


Must be the first time ever that you and I have agreed about anything! shock grin

Phonics rules! Yay!

I spent my last 10 working years working with KS3 children who were poor or non readers. Few of them would have been in that state if they'd had good phonics teaching from the start.

Wibby Tue 12-May-20 17:06:42

All my children and grandchildren could read before they went to school. They are all bookworms now.

GagaJo Tue 12-May-20 17:11:59

My daughter was 7 before she could read because her teacher only used the look/recognise system. She changed schools, got an older experienced teacher who immediately instigated the use of phonics. Bingo. Reading within the year. Later, we got her a tutor who introduced me to multi sensory learning. B in GCSE English.

growstuff Tue 12-May-20 17:19:31

But Maizie You worked with the poor or non readers. I've heard many times that phonics works well for them. However, there are others, particularly those with strong visual memories, who are bored rigid by phonics and actually find them confusing when they already know some non-phonetic words. I saw for myself how teaching phonics frustrates good readers/spellers.

growstuff Tue 12-May-20 17:25:32

My son was the exact opposite Gagajo, which is why I don't believe one method suits all. I don't really know what was going on inside his brain, but he certainly didn't learn to read or spell using phonics.

I had quite a heated discussion with his headteacher when he was in Year 2 because the school was claiming he couldn't read. I was puzzled because I knew he could. I had an interview with her and to try and prove her point she picked a book off her bookshelf and asked him to read a paragraph. It was some kind of dry educational theory book and he read it almost fluently.

growstuff Tue 12-May-20 17:26:23

I agree Alexa (not that I'm claiming to be nice wink).

rosenoir Tue 12-May-20 18:03:09

If primary school children go back to school in September they would have missed approx 14 weeks of schooling, not a huge amount overall in their school life.

Sussexborn Tue 12-May-20 18:10:19

DD2 taught herself to read well before she started school watching Sesame Street with DD1 and DS1. They decided to teach her to read and were amazed to find that they were too late.

Some posters seem to assume that all children are exposed to books and reading which sadly isn’t always the case.