Reading in Infants – The Introduction of Formal Reading in Senior Infants :)

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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.’ 🙂

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