The ‘New’ Curriculum advocates the introduction
of formal reading in Senior Infants
I think this is a good thing because…
When I started teaching in 1982,
we introduced the formal schemes after Halloween
whether the children were ready or not.
I love the change the New Curriculum brought.
One of my own children learnt under the old system
and the other learnt under the new.
I loved the way my younger child leared to read.
It was the ‘scenic route’;
a lot of parent or teacher reading to child in
Junior Infants and ‘shared’ and ‘paired’ reading.
It was a much more pleasant process
and less stressful for me as a parent
or teacher, and for the children.
I love how in Junior Infants,
without the pressure of formal reading,
one can concentrate on language development
and early reading skills.
In class I love the big books
and the wide range of library books.
The language the children acquire
from these ‘real’ books is so much richer
than that which is in a ‘reader’.
I realise there can be pressure to start the readers
but when the library books make their way home regularly,
parents should be reassured.
I used find, ‘back in the day’
when we introduced reading after Halloween,
I could have a child reading passably,
but they didn’t know their alphabet or phonics thoroughly.
The language development I had time for was very limited;
the child who thought a young cow was a puppy comes to mind.
(Obviously I don’t teach in a rural area :))
It came to a point where sometimes
I saw children trying to decode words
that weren’t in their vocabulary anyway.
How would that boy decode ‘calf’ for example
if he didn’t know that word.
I found introducing reading too early
gave children their first experience of failure 🙁
when they saw someone in the class
rattle up the reading ladder
and they were stuck on Book One.
With the ‘extra’ time on hand
we used be able to have a veritable ‘Book Club’
in class where the children really enjoyed talking
about how the ‘Gingerbread Man’ and ‘The Enormous Turnip’
were the same and how they were different.
‘Education is not a race. Enjoy the journey.’ 🙂