Letters and Sounds

The boy wont be 5 until April but is already making great progress with his reading. It must be said a lot of this is being done at home, he gets “homework” every night in the form of a pack of laminated cards with words on that he has to spell out, say and then practice writing. Quite why we’re doing this at home when they actively watch Cbeebies at reception, I don’t know.

Scandalous? Maybe. What is scandalous though is the fight we had to get the school to give him the tools to do his letters and sounds. The school, like most I suspect, is set up to deal with the middle of the row kids, and has trouble dealing with the high performers and those lagging behind a bit. For some reason they’d decided the boy was lagging behind so he got to do his letters and sounds with the nursery kids. Since he’s taught by 3 teachers and a couple of teaching assistants, (the other class, for reasons best known to them only has one teacher) they couldn’t possibly know him well enough to know that he adapts to his surroundings. Put in with studious kids, he’ll work hard, put in with trouble makers he’ll wiggle his bottom at anybody and blow raspberries with the best of them.

So in the three weeks since the school deigned to let him have his purple letters and sounds book, his writing has come on in leaps and bounds and his reading has materialised from nowhere. If he’s not too tired now after school he can read simple 3 or 4 letter word books aided by the pictures. It’s just a shame that school doesn’t seem to want to teach them to read isn’t it?

I think his troubles are mirrored by his friend, who is a child genius. She’s his age but already demanding to read the bedtime story to her younger siblings. So obviously the school are trying to send her home with picture books to read and stopping her reading anything more advanced as her comprehension apparently isn’t up to it. Considering the boy can laugh and explain jokes in Roald Dahl books we read to him, I suspect once more they have this entirely wrong.

Coming home from work and seeing the boy kneeling on a dining room chair at the kitchen worktop, studiously spelling out words and writing them in his book that is already adorned with a couple of gold stars, I’m enormously proud of what he’s achieving already, despite the schools best efforts.