My Daughter May Be Struggling in Year 1. What Do I Do?

Today’s post comes from an email we received from a concerned parent about her daughter’s literacy development. We have shared it here as there are some useful strategies that you may be able to utilise when dealing with children under your own care.

Dear Diana, My daughter is in Year 1 and is turning 7 in November. She is doing well in school, however there is a discrepancy between her spelling and other literacy work. She was reversing some of her letters and numbers in pre-primary and at the beginning of this year, but as she began to write (phonetically) in Kindy, we put this down to bad habit.

She had a history of ear infections as a toddler (we went to an ENT for a while-no grommets but some scarring on the ear drum). My main concern is, that when she sounds out words when writing or reading, she often says/writes letters in the wrong combination (eg. plnat for plant).

I have spoken to her teacher briefly about this and she mentioned she had also observed this. I am a primary teacher myself and am really happy with how she is going, I’m just wondering if this discrepancy is something worth checking out.

My stance when dealing with young children is always “when in doubt always do check things out”. Small gaps can grow into significant gaps and so always do check things out when children are young and the observations being made are very subtle.

A history of ear infections can impact spelling and so your observations are likely very valid.

I would suggest giving your daughter a spelling test which can be found on page 12 (and 19) of the document titled Implementing PLD’s Resources within a Whole School Literacy Strategy.

The first page is relevant to students operating within year 1. You will see the breakdown of term-based spelling concepts. If you find that your daughter is below her expected levels for a student entering Term 4, I would suggest the following programs: