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Old 01.03.2017, 17:34
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Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

My son is in Kl1 and we are having huge problems with him engaging and doing the work. They are already saying he will have to repeat. (I don't disagree with this right now). He shows sporadic interest in reading, right now being one of those times. We have the Biff, .Chip, and Kipper series at home and he now wants to look at them with us and try to read them. I'm reluctant because of his difficulties with German and don't want to confuse him. Are there equivalent books, very simple stories that children find funny, which are used over here? I'd ask his teacher for advice but as he chose the Sportwoche I don't want to contact her now!
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Old 01.03.2017, 17:49
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

I'm finding it a bit weird that they are already talking about making your son repeat Kindergarten, based on his reading skills. In our experience, they don't spend so much time focusing on learning to read/write, although there is some familiarisation with letters and simple words dressed up in games and crafts.

If you want suggestions of books aimed at young kids in German, have a look at the Globi books.
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Old 01.03.2017, 17:54
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

Sorry! He's not in Kindergarten, he's in Klasse 1.
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Old 01.03.2017, 17:59
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

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Sorry! He's not in Kindergarten, he's in Klasse 1.
D'uh, sorry - half a glass of wine cooking dinner and trying to do internetting at the same time.
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Old 01.03.2017, 18:06
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?



I'm thinking large print so he can easily put a finger under a letter, very few words on the page e.g. Get on Kipper. (next page) Kipper got on. That kind of simple!
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Old 01.03.2017, 18:18
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

1) They start later here than in the UK syllabus, the first 2 years are more considered development years for the following years

2) Don't compare your German learning skills to a kid; as an adult, it will be far harder to learn a language. Kids pick up very quickly, they compartmentalise far better than adults. My daughter aged 6 speaks 3 languages using Latin and Cyrillic alphabets.

3) Speak to your child in YOUR mother tongue, German is school language and withing months not only will be fluent, it may even become his principal language, especially in time to when he gets a bed mate
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Old 01.03.2017, 18:28
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

I wouldn't worry about confusing him. He can already keep the language separate verbally. Text isn't different.

We read with the kids in both English and German, one was interested in learning to read, the other not. I can't really remember what the really early 4-5 word sentence books were, but I do remember both being fans of both "Der kleiner Bär" and Dr. Seuss.
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Old 01.03.2017, 19:17
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

You can get the same series in German, so if he likes the English ones that would be a good way to transfer.

It's called Lesebaum - http://www.lesebaum.de

We've found the word repetition, gradual increase in complexity, and decent stories work just as well in German as they do in English. And the later books start to run as a series (i.e. the stories across more than one book).

If you get the higher levels, they're pretty good for adult German learners too!
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Old 01.03.2017, 20:03
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

Excellent! Thanks for that newtoswitz, they did not come up when searched for the series in German.

JagWaugh, that's an excellent point I hadn't actually considered. Although we have been asked to stop speaking our native languages at home and speak German to him (We declined!) We read to him in whatever the language of the book is. I draw the line at translating whilst reading. He does separate languages but is having difficulties at school. (Ed psych involved, he has 6 hours extra help) I don't want to confuse him but it's true he does always refuse to speak to me in German. He translates his homework, which causes problems when he's supposed to be writing words which begin with a particular letter!

I think we'll take a trip to the library tomorrow and see what we can find. It's useful to have an idea of what to look for.
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Old 01.03.2017, 20:38
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

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Excellent! Thanks for that newtoswitz, they did not come up when searched for the series in German.

JagWaugh, that's an excellent point I hadn't actually considered. Although we have been asked to stop speaking our native languages at home and speak German to him (We declined!) We read to him in whatever the language of the book is. I draw the line at translating whilst reading. He does separate languages but is having difficulties at school. (Ed psych involved, he has 6 hours extra help) I don't want to confuse him but it's true he does always refuse to speak to me in German. He translates his homework, which causes problems when he's supposed to be writing words which begin with a particular letter!

I think we'll take a trip to the library tomorrow and see what we can find. It's useful to have an idea of what to look for.
Lots of people (including teachers) told us how bad it was for our children to be exposed to multiple languages at home. My ex's mother tongue is German but she came here with her parents at 3 so she also speaks fluent Swiss German, my mother tongue is English, and the 40% babysitter spoke Spanish and Swiss German with them. I generally read in English, my ex in German. There were some German books that the kids preferred I read with them (despite my having an accent), but other English books which they preferred that their mother read to them (although she had an accent).

Ever notice how so many children's books are about animals (or more accurately "Manimals")? It's the story that hooks to their attention, if you inflict uninteresting stories on your child then that will also affect their attitude towards reading. If they don't like Peter Rabbit, then it doesn't matter what language the text is in. The main thing is that books and words don't get presented as a chore or a duty. Make a ritual out of it, but let them choose the book. As entertaining as "The Cat in the Hat" is, it can get a bit tedious every night for months on end, but eventually they will move on (and you will miss hearing them giggle).

I was a bit miffed when our children showed absolutely no interest in Schellen Ursli (it had been my favourite book when I first started to read in Canada). You can't force your child to like a certain kind of book, but you can allow them to choose stuff that they like enough that they voluntarily read it for the sake of the story.

Find some activity where you can plausibly say "But we have to speak German, the others won't understand us if we speak English." Swimming lessons?

The library is a good place. Go with him and let him choose, even if just by the pictures, what he wants to read with you.
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Old 01.03.2017, 21:14
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

I absolutely agree with Jag on this. The Troll grew up with 2 languages at home plus 2 at school. Of course there are areas where he gets confused, or where we don't have complete symmetry. For example he knows more fish names in Norwegian than in French, and German sometimes takes over at the dinner table when he talks about school. It's ok. We try to build on it instead of making an issue out of it (For those who read French, I can recommend the book Le Défi des enfants bilingues; great insights from a scientist and mother of bilingual kids).

He's not a super strong reader although he's in year 2, he's more interested in math and science. But as his interest for science grows, he's also getting the point that you need to read in order to learn new stuff, and motivation is increasing. He's learning to read in all 4 languages, his weakest currently is French (strongest are German and Norwegian, there are synergies between the 2).

For books, what we've done is colour coding them. I buy stickers and put them on the back of the book: blue for French, red for Norwegian, green for German and white for English. He knows in which language to read before he opens the book. He finds this useful. It also helps me when tidying up. He hates stories about every day life but loves documentaries, for us the important is that he likes books, not what kind of books he likes. But we have some classics, mostly books that we read to him (and make him read a paragraph here and there): Roald Dahl is super popular, so was the cartoon version of The Hobbit, and we're about to start and illustrated Harry Potter.

It works out well for us, may not work for you. You just have to find the system that works with your family.
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Old 01.03.2017, 22:12
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

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My son is in Kl1 and we are having huge problems with him engaging and doing the work. They are already saying he will have to repeat. (I don't disagree with this right now). He shows sporadic interest in reading, right now being one of those times. We have the Biff, .Chip, and Kipper series at home and he now wants to look at them with us and try to read them. I'm reluctant because of his difficulties with German and don't want to confuse him. Are there equivalent books, very simple stories that children find funny, which are used over here? I'd ask his teacher for advice but as he chose the Sportwoche I don't want to contact her now!
Let him read and support him if/when he asks for your support! Kids may never be stopped but need to follow their interests, the best base to learn anything.
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Old 01.03.2017, 22:32
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

He cannot read though, Curley, so letting him read by himself is just him flicking through books at high speed! He knows his letters but needs practice on making the word. So c-a-t has no link to cat yet. He is failing to complete his work at school. He is way off being able to read a paragraph of something.

He is not particularly interested in stories, current bed time reading (me to him obviously) is weather systems! The problem is, in these books the text is too small and if I ask him to read a word he can't follow the letter order. The Biff ones have large print which is easier to point to. The stories are silly and very simple, which he finds funny and we have the factual series too, which he likes.
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Old 01.03.2017, 22:42
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

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He cannot read though, Curley, so letting him read by himself is just him flicking through books at high speed! He knows his letters but needs practice on making the word. So c-a-t has no link to cat yet. He is failing to complete his work at school. He is way off being able to read a paragraph of something.

He is not particularly interested in stories, current bed time reading (me to him obviously) is weather systems! The problem is, in these books the text is too small and if I ask him to read a word he can't follow the letter order. The Biff ones have large print which is easier to point to. The stories are silly and very simple, which he finds funny and we have the factual series too, which he likes.
So what? Just let him do that. It sounds like he's an astute kid
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Old 01.03.2017, 22:58
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

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He cannot read though, Curley, so letting him read by himself is just him flicking through books at high speed! He knows his letters but needs practice on making the word. So c-a-t has no link to cat yet. He is failing to complete his work at school. He is way off being able to read a paragraph of something.

He is not particularly interested in stories, current bed time reading (me to him obviously) is weather systems! The problem is, in these books the text is too small and if I ask him to read a word he can't follow the letter order. The Biff ones have large print which is easier to point to. The stories are silly and very simple, which he finds funny and we have the factual series too, which he likes.
Look at the ladybird books (there is one about weather). Above his level at the moment... but curiosity will eventually get the better of him.

I was really, really, really late to start reading. She told me she was very worried. I eventually became a bookworm. I wasn't allowed a bedside light or a flashlight at one point.
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Old 01.03.2017, 23:26
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

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Look at the ladybird books (there is one about weather). Above his level at the moment... but curiosity will eventually get the better of him.

I was really, really, really late to start reading. She told me she was very worried. I eventually became a bookworm. I wasn't allowed a bedside light or a flashlight at one point.
Yeah, I used a lot of flashlights in my time And so many fotos of me as a kid are ...... me reading. I started early though, before school.

PS and nobody watched over what I was reading
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Old 02.03.2017, 07:59
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

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He cannot read though, Curley, so letting him read by himself is just him flicking through books at high speed! He knows his letters but needs practice on making the word. So c-a-t has no link to cat yet. He is failing to complete his work at school. He is way off being able to read a paragraph of something.

He is not particularly interested in stories, current bed time reading (me to him obviously) is weather systems! The problem is, in these books the text is too small and if I ask him to read a word he can't follow the letter order. The Biff ones have large print which is easier to point to. The stories are silly and very simple, which he finds funny and we have the factual series too, which he likes.
We have the same situation, he had and still has zero interest in books that are easy enough for him to read alone. And frankly, I kind of agree with him, most of the stories are pretty boring. And don't get me started on the reading assignments he gets from the Norwegian online school. We try to alternate between easy readers that we borrow at the library and his own books which are more difficult.

One thing is certain, he'll never pick up an easy read book on his own, so reading is still a common activity. Either we read the easy books together, i.e. he reads and I coax/correct, or we read something he likes, alternating paragraphs, having him read the titles and me read the texts and so forth. And he spends an awful lot of time with his precious books. Am not worried, he'll be bookish enoughnin his own time, like Future-X and me.

Did you know that there is at least one book entirely devoted to jellyfish? We might be the only one to own that book.


Question for you, have you had his eyesight properly checked? Many kids struggle with reading because of eyesight problems. We discovered last year that the Troll needs glasses when reading and doing homework.
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Old 02.03.2017, 08:08
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

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He cannot read though, Curley, so letting him read by himself is just him flicking through books at high speed! He knows his letters but needs practice on making the word. So c-a-t has no link to cat yet. He is failing to complete his work at school. He is way off being able to read a paragraph of something.

He is not particularly interested in stories, current bed time reading (me to him obviously) is weather systems! The problem is, in these books the text is too small and if I ask him to read a word he can't follow the letter order. The Biff ones have large print which is easier to point to. The stories are silly and very simple, which he finds funny and we have the factual series too, which he likes.
Has the teacher mentioned the Antolin reading system yet? My son enjoyed collecting points with the books he read but I think the teacher didn't start them off until later in 1. Klasse, maybe just before the school holidays.

Still, you could have a look together now, get some ideas and get inspired on how you can accumulate your points.
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Old 02.03.2017, 08:46
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

I presume the boy is 4-5 years old view he's in K1

Maybe your expectations are a little too high ? They do start later here than in the UK system anyway so his friends won't be reading yet, probably, so he will reason, why should I !

Obviously keep an eye on it, but also consider the child is perfectly normal development, just you feel he should read by a certaqin age and as he isn't or shows not much interest, there is a major problem.

Maybe try and emphasise on things he is interested in and develop these subjects by reading from a book to stimulate his curiosity with an objective he learns books are good and will start to take more interest.

There is a lot of pressure these days to "fit the mold", let the guy enjoy a bit, it is still very early days and after all, we are all different and develop differently.
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Old 02.03.2017, 09:19
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Re: Starting to read. Biff, Chip, Kipper equivalents?

Is there a way to edit posts?

My son is 7, he is in Klasse 1.
He is not completing his school work e.g. when they have to match the word to the picture or write the correct noun for the picture from a jumble of letters.
His tests are coming home marked "ungenügend".
It may be early days, but he is now far behind the rest of his class and he is noticing, the other children are asking why he can't do x,y and z. So he refuses to try because he doesn't want the others to see he can't do it. I do think, and so do his teachers, that it is becoming a problem and I also don't believe he's just going to wake up one day magically being able to read.

Sandgrounder, the teacher hasn't mentioned any reading system yet. She was astonished when I said he tries sometimes to read words at home because he won't at school. He also refuses to even try to read anything when he's at logopedie. He will sometimes try with the teaching assistant 1:1 but its hit and miss (and she is quite against me doing anything with him in English)

Trollemor, his eyesight seems fine for distance and detail in books. He has just been referred for an appointment with an Augenarzt in May to rule anything out. Details of the jellyfish book?
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