One of the chief concerns that a K2 parent has is the reading ability of the 6 year old child. Yes! In fact, I would say it is a PRIMARY concern for most parents. You see, the reading ability would somewhat determine how the child copes in Primary School. Somehow, we’ve come to equate READING with preparedness for school.
Our experience with reading was quite varied. Nicole could only read half of the 100 sight words when she graduated from K2. When she entered Primary 1, she suddenly could read. And I mean suddenly. At Christmas, she was still trying really hard to sound out the individual letters and blending them into words. Then in end Jan, she could suddenly read. And she read quite well too!
For Nathan, he was just one of those natural readers (if there’s such a term). At 5, he could read all 100 sight words. At 6, he could read simple Berenstein books. Now at 7, he enjoys reading anything—newspapers, magazines, books, advertisements etc.
So with Nadine, I was armed with more experience. She wasn’t a natural reader like her brother, and I didn’t want to take the risk of her being like Nicole. She’s 6 now, and she can sound out individual letters pretty confidently. But that’s it. Her blending of the sounds is weak, and she can only read up to 10 sight words.
At the recent Jan & Elly Pop up Picnic, we saw Nadine performing some amazing tasks! She could blend some sounds and read simple words! All this after a couple of hours with some really very enthusiastic teachers! (I was blown away by their energy and creativity!)
We did a simple but quite thorough assessment of Nadine’s reading ability at the picnic, and we signed her up for Phonics Classes at Jan & Elly! The kids are grouped according to their reading ability here, so you can be assured that the child is learning at a pace he/she is comfortable at.
We’ve attended two lessons and it has been very good! This is what the school uses. If you look carefully, there are weekly worksheets and workbooks for the kids. Every week, parents have to follow up with ‘homework’ (some simple fill in blanks activity) and practising a list of words with them daily.
Nadine’s been looking forward to the classes and for two weeks, she always starts rattling off the words she learnt as we make our way home! In the past, whenever we asked her what she learnt or how was school, her reply was always “I dunno”. This is a FAR FAR cry from that! I’m so so happy that the teachers at Jan & Elly are engaging her to learn, and more importantly, giving her the confidence needed to read aloud.
Do check out Jan & Elly website for more information on the Phonics Readiness Class. There’s time to allay those Reading fears!