Forums  •  Classifieds  •  Events  •  Directory

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Three year olds MUST be able to read?!

  1. #1
    Newbie_hk is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    TKO
    Posts
    216

    Three year olds MUST be able to read?!

    My daughter is in K2 so the pressure of getting into primary school is starting to creep in among my fellow mums. As I’m only one of two expat mums in the school, I am surprised that my daughter’s classmates are taught to write and read even at home. We just play! When I asked the teachers how my daughter was in school(and I meant in the social sense, not academically), she said that compared to her peers, she cannot identify words as much as her peers.

    My husband and I have read to our daughter since birth, not because we want her to be smart, but because we would like to instill the love of books. She devours them. When she sees a bookstore she goes straight in and could stay there for hours! She may not be able to read yet but I’d rather instill the habit of making her enjoy books rather than kill the joy of reading by forcing her.

    Am I mad letting her go “free range” (and I use this term loosely) in this pressure cooker culture where kids must excel? How do you strike a balance in this academically focused culture when you don't want your kid to be behind?

  2. #2
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    1,623
    I don't know how to answer this. In HK, it seems that there is a general lack of understanding and appreciation for giving children age-appropriate tasks. If you want your child to be able to "compete" for certain schools it's probably true that she will need to be able to read by the time she start interviewing for P1--at least simple high frequency words (a, an, the, he, she, we, I, cat, dog) etc. I have a feeling that parents aren't really teaching their children reading skills at home as I've found many HK people don't really have reading strategies for English. Instead, they're teaching their children to memorize word sets so it appears that they "know how to read." But, this is going to come back to bite them later because true reading skills are so much different. The things you really want your child to be aware of at this age if you ant them to grow to be a strong reader are 1) phonological awareness (the understanding that letters have meaning and letters have sound, i.e. when they see "Aa" they know the sound is "Aaaaa" or "Aaah" or "Ayyyy" etc.) 2) sense of directionality (know that we read from left to right and that if a paper with print is held upside down they know to turn it around) 3) Different letters have different sound combinations (but this is still a bit advanced for this age). I recommend this PBS show: Word World. My son is going to turn 4-years-old in November but he started watching this show about two years ago and quickly learned his alphabet and sounds and is learning some simple words.

    So, it really is a balance. As for us, my son isn't competing for a top space in an international school so I don't feel the pressure of him having the "appearance" of being able to read in order to get into P1. I would much rather actually teach him the love and skill of reading at an age-appropriate rate than force him to memorize word lists which will only serve him in the short run. Instead I am starting to do things like spell the word with my son. He will pick a word he thinks is interesting on the page and say, "Let's spell this word, Mama" and then we'll spell it which gives me the opportunity to reinforce the letter sounds. I try to model good reading strategies while I'm reading to him (i.e. following the text with my finger, looking at the picture to try to predict what is going to happen, asking him to think about what will happen next in the story, reading with inflection). Later on I can start working on other strategies such as "chunking words" (splitting them in half to sound them out), "recycling" (finding word sounds that one already knows inside of a word one doesn't know) and looking for syllables etc. It's too advanced for him now at 3-years-old, I think.

    I think you're on the right track. It just depends one how hard you want to "compete" with the local parents here. For us, we've just chosen to opt out of that rat race and focus on foundational things. Best of luck!
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  3. #3
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    6,259
    i second WORD WORLD, it's a fantastic programme and my kids have learned a lot from watching it.

    although i have been teaching very young children for years here, i never went "whole hog" with my own kids. I let my kids choose what they wanted to do/play with etc. we have ALWAYS read to them and they see me reading all of the time. so, it kind of came naturally for us.

    but, like thanka, we are making use of the local school system here and have not gone for the "elite" schools just for their status. instead, we went for one that wasn't as much into force-feeding information into young minds....my son has just started P1, so i'll let you know how it goes...

  4. #4
    TNT
    TNT is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    159
    Í don't know about top local schools or the more Chinese international schools which may be different but in my limited experience at International Schools (from my child or close friends) 3 or 4 year olds are not expected to read. At least at Canadian, HKIS, French, ESF, Kellett, AISHK; ESF assess for language & social skills, AISHK similar (don't assess everyone) Kellett no assessment, FIS, HKIS and CDNIS assess but no expectation of proper reading at that age although there may be letter recognition and they have to be able to write their name. GSIS I think may be a bit tougher for P1, not sure but not for 3 to 4 year olds.

  5. #5
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    485
    My children started/starting to read from 4 1/2 years old or so, and just because of school. Nothing I've done extra. They're all in ESF. My oldest could read a little (knew sight words, sounds, etc.) prior to Y1, the others a few sight words, but not much more (they're young for their Y1 class), and that's perfectly normal. I know kids in their class (Chinese decent) reading books already, but first of all they're very strict on comprehension, ability to retell the story, smoothness, etc. plus ... I read the other day ... Just because you start earlier, doesn't mean you finish earlier ...

  6. #6
    Newbie_hk is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    TKO
    Posts
    216
    Thanks for your replies. I certainly have no intention of joining this academic rat race so much so that if my kid doesn't get into a school where the academic pressure is not the norm, we are prepared to pack up & head back to Australia. But the question is: which schools are they? Do ESF schools have a more relaxed learning culture? Is AISHK relaxed as well? (that's for you TNT - good to hear from you again)

  7. #7
    solidstars's Avatar
    solidstars is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    HK/BKK
    Posts
    516
    there are also some EMI local schools in hk as well, you'd have to do some googling around!

  8. #8
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    485
    Quote Originally Posted by Newbie_hk View Post
    Thanks for your replies. I certainly have no intention of joining this academic rat race so much so that if my kid doesn't get into a school where the academic pressure is not the norm, we are prepared to pack up & head back to Australia. But the question is: which schools are they? Do ESF schools have a more relaxed learning culture? Is AISHK relaxed as well? (that's for you TNT - good to hear from you again)
    I find ESF pretty relaxed although they do start at age 4/5, which is earlier than most (continental) European and Americans would start reading (Grade 1 = Year 2). Homework is building up nicely but nothing crazy, the IB tailors for a variety of children, ability, etc.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Restaurant recommendation for the 2-year-olds
    By Workingmom1975 in forum Parenting - Toddlers and Preschoolers
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-23-2010, 11:13 AM
  2. Do 3 year olds still use strollers?
    By southside852 in forum Preparing for the Arrival
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 03-06-2010, 03:31 PM
  3. Day Care for 1-year-olds?
    By instantnoodle in forum Playgroups
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-07-2007, 01:22 PM
  4. Vitamins for 2 year olds
    By mintycat in forum Baby's Health
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-12-2007, 12:56 PM
  5. Playdates for 2.5-4.0 year olds...
    By gourihello in forum Education
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-21-2003, 09:49 AM
Scroll to top