Bloody reading journals. AIBU?

(105 Posts)
InNeatCognac Mon 14-Jan-13 11:12:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

manicbmc Mon 14-Jan-13 11:15:36

It's only a signature. Sign it, send it back. It's not like they'll be able to check you have actually sat and listened to them read. It'll take you 2 minutes and it keeps them off your back.

twinklesparkles Mon 14-Jan-13 11:17:52


All you have to do is put a sentence about the kids enjoying the books and sign it

Takes less than 10 seconds

redskyatnight Mon 14-Jan-13 11:19:11

Yes, I agree. This annoys me too. But DD gets stickers and certificates for regular reading and DS loses golden time if he doesn't so I have to do it every day. BTW both schools insist that the child reads aloud to us regularly and I do think this is a valuable skill even in better readers so you might want to consider doing this at least once a week?

I have perfected writing "reading completed" with an illegible signature. Once a week I'll write a more detailed remark.

InNeatCognac Mon 14-Jan-13 11:19:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Catsdontcare Mon 14-Jan-13 11:20:16

Just sign it and send it back. No biggie

iamamug Mon 14-Jan-13 11:20:20

YANBU - I hate them! My DS is Yr6 and still has one. Shocking waste of time and effort for all concerned.
I make him fill it in and I try and remember to sign it once a week with different coloured pens.
It's just a bloody box ticking exercise... stop it!!!

Andro Mon 14-Jan-13 11:20:33


It must be clear to your DC's teachers that they read well for their ages. Personally I would write a note to the effect that both dc read extensively without prompting, would seek help if having a problem with comprehension or pronunciation and as such you see no reason to make reading at home a chore (it will probably become one soon enough when they get to secondary school if the lousy books we had to read is anything to go by...but that's another issue entirely!).

As you say, the diligent, concerned parent who have already taught their dc to read will be the one doing extra work whilst the one who don't care will continue as they have been.

Catsdontcare Mon 14-Jan-13 11:22:18

In that case just put "please be assured that dc reads everyday and the lack of signature is just a sign of forgetfulness on my part"

SashaSashays Mon 14-Jan-13 11:27:18

I fucking hate these, they make me rageeeee.

They know they can bloody well read because they read the note and tell the teacher you don't need to write that note.

I've caused a furore with the school because I have my signature as a stamp (for my business) and I've just stamped the bloody thing right the way through, I then sent a letter saying they are always reading and you know I have a life and the lives of 5 DC to deal with so I will write when they don't read because that will actually be a noteworthy event. Otherwise assume they are reading.

piprabbit Mon 14-Jan-13 11:27:26

At our school, when the children move to KS2 there is a real shift in the approach to reading.

The children are expected to take much more personal responsibility for their reading and for choosing new books. Parents are no longer expected to sign their reading journals (because reading is the child's responsibility rather than the parents IYSWIM).

Before the child can choose a new book they are required to complete an activity relating to the book in their journals, they have a list of activities (such as "write a book report", "write a description of a character", "design a new cover", "imagine you are interviewing a character, what questions would you ask them?" etc. etc.) Most parents are involved in encouraging their children to read, complete the tasks and get new books.

It seems to work well, although it does take a bit of getting used to at the start of y3.

Fakebook Mon 14-Jan-13 11:28:21

Just sign it to keep everyone happy. No big deal.

DeWe Mon 14-Jan-13 11:41:16

I agree. I wrote the teacher a nice letter saying that dd2 reads every day without fail, often when we're waiting for her dsis to come out of an activity, and I don't have the reading record. So not signing does not mean not reading. Was told that I had to sign three timesevery week.

I tried just signing, then got told I had to write down exactly which pages read and then when I did that was asked to comment.

On the basis that my main comment on the reading is that the books are way too easy and they don't pay any attention to that, I feel this is a bit silly.

So I'm not doing that, in fact that's one for the things I'm going to bring up with the head of literacy when I go in on a few related matters.

misscph1973 Mon 14-Jan-13 11:49:20

Oh, I am so glad it's not just me! I find it so pointless to sign these things, but I must say I don't recent it so much, I just get it done. But yes, it does seem that teachers love to send things home that involves a lot of fiddling an writing for parents. I guess they think that all mums are SAHMs and that all kids really want to spend their free time doing home work.

lljkk Mon 14-Jan-13 12:15:42

hahaha, I feel the same about DSyr8's planner which I am supposed to sign weekly even though I don't understand what signing it means, and I prefer a different system for being sure he's done his homework. I should be grateful it's only weekly signing, I guess smile.

landofsoapandglory Mon 14-Jan-13 12:20:24

YANBU I feel the same about DS2 Yr11's planner which I am supposed to sign to say he has done his homework. Well, as he has never had a detention, behaviour point or any other sanction for not doing his homework, I would say it is bloody obvious he has done it!

Lueji Mon 14-Jan-13 12:24:20


TBH, if they are fine with their reading, you can simply sign it as another ritual you have to perform every night or morning, like brushing teeth.

SashaSashays Mon 14-Jan-13 12:25:36

People buy a stamp. Such pleasure I had steaming through the various books and diaries and journals and other admin such small children apparently need.

autumnmum Mon 14-Jan-13 12:32:03

My children's school lets the fluent readers fill in their own reading record and they get team points if they do. My DD who is in year 3 has been doing this since year 2. Can you ask your school if they would do this?

EarlyInTheMorning Mon 14-Jan-13 12:35:48

Well OP, I used to feel peeved about this because my DS is a fantastic reader and a complete bookworm so couldn't see the point of the signature. I discussed it with his teacher who told me that for advanced readers, it wasn't so much about listening to them read or acknowledging that they had been reading, but about discussing what they were reading in terms of author's intention, comprehension, intended readership, inference, etc etc. My head started spinning and to this date I still don't know how I could discuss what my DS reads in such detail without first reading the book myself, and second researching on all of the above.

VonHerrBurton Mon 14-Jan-13 12:43:22

I did fill the bloody thing in, for years. Then Y3/4 came around and I knew they knew his reading was just fine. They choose their own books and a class asst or teacher reads with them weekly at least.

So why oh why do they feel it's important for me to think of some banal thing to write in and sign? I don't get and never have had a snotty note, but weeks can go by and I don't look at it, then I remember and go in and sign in out of a sense of duty.

It's a waste of time if all's fine with their reading. I know it's easy to do, and should be treated like any other task a parent with school-age dc has to do, but I just don't get WHY.

I write 'All ok' and squiggle my initials. YANBU.

CailinDana Mon 14-Jan-13 12:50:58

Welcome to a small taste of the acres and acres of pointless paperwork teachers have to do all the time! Absolutely everything has to be documented and recorded, even if it's totally unnecessary, that's what teaching is all about these days. Mainly to keep OFSTED happy, because as far as they're concerned unless there's a written record of every minute of work done, it didn't happen. The reading diaries are a case of teachers off loading a small amount of pointless admin onto parents, which isn't really fair but does give teachers an hour or so extra to fill in the thousands of other meaningless records.

It doesn't matter what you write, as long as you fill it in.

HelpOneAnother Mon 14-Jan-13 13:23:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CheungFun Mon 14-Jan-13 13:27:12

They need to learn to forge your signature, my brother and I both regularly forged DM's signature on our homework diaries so that we didn't get into trouble grin

HellesBelles396 Mon 14-Jan-13 13:39:39

just always write, this book did not stretch my child - make it a commentary on the books being sent home rather than on your dcs's reading.

cumfy Mon 14-Jan-13 14:03:18

Just pre-sign a month's worth.

elliejjtiny Mon 14-Jan-13 14:11:05

HellesBelles My DH wrote that in DS1's reading record. Now DS1 gets extra handwriting practice to do at home as well as the reading

MikeFlowersPops Mon 14-Jan-13 14:13:16

At DDs school they refuse to change the book until you've filled the diary in. I don't mind doing it but it seems a bit pointless.

AgathaTrunchbull Mon 14-Jan-13 14:19:03

For secondary school pupils, signing the diary/planner is more to acknowledge that you've seen any notes (good or bad) that they've had and you're aware of how much homework they're being set (not necessarily that they've done it - it's their responsibility).

I forged my dad's signature all the way through high school too grin

Vagaceratops Mon 14-Jan-13 14:19:09

I write in ours every night and because DS cant read, and will only listen to one of 2 stories my comments get a bit repetitive.


At DCs' school the teachers are happy for the kids to fill in their own books once they're no longer reading regularly to a parent. DS is in Y4 and just writes the title and what pages he read. He can always tell a teacher about his book if he's asked, so it's easy for them to check he has been doing what he says. I only write in it on the, now very rare, occasion he reads aloud. There really shouldn't be any need to write in your DCs' books, surely they should be doing that themselves.

DD is only in Y1 and is a long way from being able to do what DS does. I'm going to be listening to her every night for quite some time to come, so I do write in hers and can see the point of parental involvement when the children are still at this stage.

littleducks Mon 14-Jan-13 14:27:32

At least they get checked. My kids are you younger, at the stage when reading out loud is more important.

Dd got told off for filling hers in (I thought it was good handwriting practice).

My passive aggressive comments are ignored in DS's. for some reason reception have the worst selection of books, a mixture of old scheme ones that are too hard for new readers who haven't been taught sight words and are supposed to be using phonics, the crappy wordless or repetitive ones. The books get better as they get older but it is such a bad start.

Catriona100 Mon 14-Jan-13 14:45:22

Me Too! SNAP!

My DC are in years 4 and 6, both are proficient readers, both read texts for fun that are way ahead of what they are given at school, both read aloud as well as any adult and yet they both still have reading diaries which I am supposed to complete daily.

Sometimes, I forget to fill in the books, sometimes I do listen to them read (just in case they have forgotten (how??? hmm) but usually when i remember I fill in a weeks at a time.

I don't know why schools do this. I could see a point KS1 but not now...

CocktailQueen Mon 14-Jan-13 14:47:07

'Wouldn't it be better to target the children who do need help? The teachers all know that my DC are fluent readers, they don't need a signature from me every day of the week to say they've read.'

How else are teachers supposed to target children to do need help? If they single them out, people say it's not fair. They have to treat all parents - and children- equally.

Just squiggle your signature on there - it only takes a few seconds.

BlackBagBorderBinLiner Mon 14-Jan-13 14:52:08

YANBU - Due to the school ticking boxes DD1 can no longer fill in the log, it's my job and 'homework club' for her if I fail to.

She reads too much when supposed to be having breakfast, going out etc we use the threat of book removal as an effective motivation. DD2 still need to be listened to, so fair do on that one.

Different pens and I amuse only myself in the comment section
'Just when you think Jacqueline Wilson could n't get anymore miserable'
'Can't wait to see what evil plan Jack Frost will come up with next week'
'Nikita the Nuclear Fairy- the final Magic Fariy book'

Don't be afraid to make up book titles and obviously fill in all in one go a week ahead but use different coloured pens.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 14-Jan-13 15:18:20


And I say that as a former teacher. It's exactly as you say - the ones who never, ever get read with/to at home are the ones who need this the most, and the ones who love reading and read off their own bat who need it least. A teacher should be with it enough to gauge which children are which.

However, if I were you, I'd just sign the damn thing. Or else put in a really florid and over the top comment a few times.

whois Mon 14-Jan-13 15:30:17

I think you are B U to not read to your kids at all, well not U, it's just a shame they don't enjoy having you read to them any more! I enjoyed snuggling up with Mum to have a chapter read to me, good bonding/relaxation time at the end of the day.

cumfy Mon 14-Jan-13 15:36:56

whois they are year 4 and 5.grin

Andro Mon 14-Jan-13 15:44:05

and 'homework club' for her if I fail to.

What the... They will actually give your DD a punishment for something YOU haven't done? Words fail me!

BackforGood Mon 14-Jan-13 15:45:44

YANBU. My 3rd dc is now in Yr6, and I've never signed these on a regular basis (after each dc got over their initial enthusiam in Yr3). It's never been an issue as their teachers have all been able to tell they are all avid readers - like you, I've had conversations with various teachers over the years about how it was so difficult to get ds's head out of a book at times, and how they can tell by what they contribute in discussions and what they write in their writing tasks how well read they are - it doesn't need a signature from me each day to demonstrate that. My dc all read / have always read for pleasure, and the very act of then coming to find me to get a signature makes it into some kind of a 'homework task' which is not something I've ever wanted to encourage. I've always wanted them to read, because it's a pleasure to read.

Oh, and I speak as a teacher too.

ipadquietly Mon 14-Jan-13 16:58:04

I bet parents would soon get pissed off and start moaning about lack of communication if I didn't sign and comment on all 27 of them each week. You, as a parent, have one or two to sign. What's the big deal?

FWIW it is really important to keep on hearing children read out loud, as it helps them to read accurately, and to think about the expression they use - almost like giving a performance. It is totally different to reading in your head.

DumSpiroSpero Mon 14-Jan-13 17:23:17


My DD is 8yo (yr3) avid reader - Jacqueline Wilson, Roald Dahl and the St Clare's books being her current faves.

We don't have to fill in the books daily, but our school pile on the pressure with certificates, lucky dip 'prizes' and names in the newsletter so I get DD nagging me to death to fill it in, and because she reads bigger books they have to be broken down into what chapters she's read on what date.

I currently have about 6 weeks worth (so about 5 'proper' books worth) to enter. 'Tis a royal pita.

BlackBagBorderBinLiner Mon 14-Jan-13 17:37:37

homework club is tricky, it's supposed to support those that are n't getting input at home but the rule is strict if there is no parent comment on Friday then the child must attend the next week.
Year 3 The top studious girl was caught out, mum had managed to get the twins and dd into school on time, with lunch and PE kit before trying to get across town to her teaching job and failed to sign book, poor kid was in tears when it was 'mum's fault.
Year 1 have to read 5 times a week, date, comment sign.
I do a minimum to pass the books every Friday evening in advance <<polishes good girl badge>>

The TAs juggle amazing amounts of paperwork and are still lovely and never shout at the kids. I am not a TA, I find the shouting helps once in a while.

MikeFlowersPops Mon 14-Jan-13 17:41:19

The teacher has never signed or commented in my DDs book ipadquietly

I don't know if / how often the teacher hears my DD read or whether there are any problems. She has also never been moved up a book band without me requesting it first hmm

Andro Mon 14-Jan-13 17:43:15

BlackBagBorderBinLiner - that is wrong on so many levels!

DizzyHoneyBee Mon 14-Jan-13 18:24:04

I sign them for primary school, once they get to high school they have to remember to ask me to sign it - if they forget they get detention, I think that is reasonable for high school age once they have got the hang of the routine.

EyeoftheStorm Mon 14-Jan-13 18:50:30

This is an interesting thread. DS1 (8) would never pick up a book if he didn't have to sit down with me and read for his reading record book. He's a good reader but he does not do it for pleasure.

I think if he's not going to read for pleasure then he can get a crash course in reading skills from me so I fill his reading record with inferencing, character motivations, predicting story lines, author's language etc. I probably wouldn't do that without the reading record.

In fact, DS1 probably wouldn't read at all without it. And he lives in a house with wall to wall books.

pointythings Mon 14-Jan-13 18:52:03

I sign Dd2's (Yr5) occasionally. I never get nagged about it. I think I must be very fortunate. The log is more for the teacher to record that DD has read out loud to her.

I do sign DD1's planner diligently as she gets in trouble if I don't. Which is fair enough, and it also allows me to check on her homework.

JusticeCrab Mon 14-Jan-13 19:19:31

This sounds like shitty admin, like bloody maths teachers who insist on 'showing working' (piss off - if the kid can do the sum in their head, they can do the sum in their head). I won't do it for our DD unless there's a good reason.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 14-Jan-13 19:22:39

I ask to see working in Science because there's often a mark for stating the equation, and if they think they can do it in their head but can't, I want to know where they've gone wrong.

Dancergirl Mon 14-Jan-13 19:52:19


Same here, the school reading book is a drop in the ocean of the many, many books my lot read over a week.

I just write 'good reading' and sign the book.

Arithmeticulous Mon 14-Jan-13 19:54:29

I haven't seen my 8 year old's reading diary in ages- thinking about it, I presume he's writing in it at school. We don't have to sign, just write a comment about how much they enjoyed the book, where they struggled etc - which I hate because it's so open ended. DD is a free reader but still on a band because the teacher hasn't listened to her in months her comprehension was lacking in September. She's reading Secret Seven constantly and wants to discuss the plot, what comes next etc.

Yfronts Mon 14-Jan-13 20:49:01

Just write 'my children read everyday this month' - then sign it once a month

pointythings Mon 14-Jan-13 21:49:05

Actually I think I may have 'aversion trained' the DDs' primary with journal comments - I used to write entries about everything they had read - including their library books, the books they had in their bookcase - everything. We'd go through a reading journal in about 6 weeks. Perhaps that is why they aren't nagging me about it?

DD2 also has two very good teachers who know exactly how much she enjoys reading because she constantly wants to talk to them about her current book and is nagging her teacher to get 'Inkspell' for the school because she's nearly finished 'Inkheart'.

SminkoPinko Mon 14-Jan-13 21:54:21

YANBU. Ticks all my boxes for irritation- pointless in the general scheme of things, super easy to forget, unfair on children as they have no control over whether they have parents who read with them, parents who are too disorganised to sign etc. Not looking forward to re-starting them when my youngest goes to primary.

motherinferior Mon 14-Jan-13 21:59:41

I refused to have anything to do with reading journals. I went on and on and on about how reading is a primal pleasure and shouldn't be tied down in this way till eventually they begged me to shut up and go away agreed to waive it for my kids.

Who are quite good readers, dammit.

ipadquietly Mon 14-Jan-13 22:09:21

sminko...'unfair on children as they have no control over whether they have parents who read with them, parents who are too disorganised to sign etc.'

This is exactly why they're useful, as checking on them weekly enables the teacher to focus any available help on children who don't read at home.

TBH I think it's a bit lazy if a parent can't be arsed to sign a book to acknowledge that their child has read at home. Perhaps I say that because I can be arsed to sign and comment in each child's book every week?

I hate them, as dd1 reads to me and then I read to her in her bed at bedtime, I don't have a journal and pen to hand to complete and if I did we'd then forget to put it in bag for morning I just put the bare minimum 'read Huck Finn 10 min', though we do discuss it etc I reckon if the teacher is too worried they can quiz her, otherwise is an admin issue.

Think will have to teach her to forge for secondary, but worried she would abuse the trust (not in a my child isn't trustworthy at the moment way, but a what will happen when she is 15 and wants to skive off to get a tat done and she is used to signing for me).

theredhen Mon 14-Jan-13 22:15:27

Whilst I agree reading records aren't necessary for some children and the teachers should know which ones they are.

However, to all of you suggesting that op should just sign the book to keep school off her back, what is that teaching the children? It's ok to lie to shut people up?

Either do the reading and sign the book or write a reply to the snidey comment. Don't teach your kids to lie.

ImagineJL Mon 14-Jan-13 22:21:11

I suspect it's an Ofsted thing and the teachers don't like it any more than you do OP. But these days their hands are tied by government bureaucracy. They either play the game or they lose funding.

ipadquietly Mon 14-Jan-13 22:25:04

The OP's school is obviously trying to encourage children to read at home. They require a daily signature on a passport to confirm each child has read. Wtf is the problem with that?

The reading journal/diary is a form of communication between school and home. If parents can't be bothered to sign their own child's diary, why should the teachers be expected to bother?

LivingInAPinkBauble Mon 14-Jan-13 22:39:43

I teach primary and have fluent readers. I ask children to fill in their own reading but do ask parents to sign once a week to say they have seen the diary-spellings go into it as does homework details. Older fluent readers still benefit from discussing a book though, looking at things like author's choice of language and inferring from the text. Eg about characters' feelings, what might happen next and why. When we level children evidence of regular reading helps, diary is another way of showing the level of books children are reading.

EarlyInTheMorning Mon 14-Jan-13 22:53:17

LivingInAPinkBauble I'm glad you said that. So how is a parent supposed to have that discussion with a child if they haven't read the book themselves? And what if the parents reads the book and they're still clueless as to what to infer, whatever that means? (what does it mean?) and is there another way of doing this differently say with comprehension texts for example, which come with the questions AND the answers, so parents don't feel like they're winging it?

Viviennemary Mon 14-Jan-13 23:04:11

It's a pain. Just sign it when you remember. If you forget well too bad!

muppet1969 Mon 14-Jan-13 23:07:51

My children forged my signature from year 3 onwards!!!! Just teach them to do it!!

littleducks Mon 14-Jan-13 23:17:53


"I bet parents would soon get pissed off and start moaning about lack of communication if I didn't sign and comment on all 27 of them each week. You, as a parent, have one or two to sign. What's the big deal?"

I might show a little more enthusiasm then, dd (yr2) has hers looked at by TA who ticks my comments to show she has seen them (I dont think she reads them but tbh its all the same 'read well to page X' so fair dos. Ds is never written in by anyone other than me, as dd's wasnt for the whole reception year. its just homework for me, which I dont need as im having to teach ds to read properly with interesting books as the school are just turing him off reading.

I sign it each night, so DS1 gets a team point- he is yr2 and a free reader. Yet the teacher hasn't even noted that she has heard him read in months.

I get sarky comments when I don't fill in the parental comments section in maths homework, I get tempted to tell them to fuck off. He did the homework, I didn't feel the fucking need to comment to say it when it is in ink on the same page!

fishcalledwonder Mon 14-Jan-13 23:25:58

Ten years of teaching KS2 and I loathe them! Never found them remotely useful. For children who read for pleasure, they serve no purpose. For children who are reluctant to read, they just make reading seem even more of a chore.

BackforGood Mon 14-Jan-13 23:32:10

See ipadquietly this is where you are making a huge leap from reality.

This is exactly why they're useful, as checking on them weekly enables the teacher to focus any available help on children who don't read at home

Assuming that 'not faffing around with the chore of writing in a reading record each night' equals the 'child not reading'.
Couldn't be further from the truth in this house.
See posts above.

Startail Tue 15-Jan-13 00:04:52

Having had the dubious pleasure of being the parent of the worst and best readers in the class I feel free to shout.


Truthfully there are not enough ways to write "Awful" and "Brilliant" to last one week let alone four or five years.

DD1 eventually taught herself to read aged 11, just in time for her SATs and just ahead of the school finally admitting she was dyslexic. This had been blindingly obvious since she was six.

That is a very long time to try and think of encouraging comments especially when your little sister (3years her junior) had been correcting her for years.

LivingInAPinkBauble Tue 15-Jan-13 06:22:55

EarlyInTheMorning I know it's hard, which is why we do regular reading workshops with children and parents to model inference and possible questions. Happy to send more info if it would help.

sashh Tue 15-Jan-13 06:39:36

Just sign all the pages.

Or get both children to write their own comments

I am reading X, I read page 1-12, Bilbo Baggins is a Hobit. That kind of thing.

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Tue 15-Jan-13 06:39:59

I hate reading logs. Both my kids said reading logs and having to write about what they were reading made it much less fun to read. We don't have ofsted here and the teachers don't have to have signed paperwork but they do it to encourage reading. IMO if a child is reading extremely well then don't mess with it in any way. Luckily some of the teachers understood and didn't bother me, some of the others gave up sending notes home that I hadn't signed it. One or two were persistent and I made something up. DS aged 16 1/2 still has to do them , he says it sucks the fun out of it because he now has to read so many pages.

For one of mine it was particularly bad because he did something like 90% of his reading during weekends and especially school holidays and almost none during the school week.

EarlyInTheMorning Tue 15-Jan-13 06:52:24

LivingInAPinkBauble I really would love some more information please.

picketywick Tue 15-Jan-13 12:27:36

some Heads do push things a little far with parents.

sherazade Tue 15-Jan-13 12:32:02

As a reception teacher, I expect the parents to sign/comment 1-2 times a week. I know some parents find the comments pointless so I am pretty flexible and have said if there were no issues/problems, just sign 9no need to comment) so we know you've read with them. There is generally a marked difference between the kdis whose rj's are signed regularly and those whose are barely touched.
But this is reception where focussed reading and teaching reading is important.
DD2 is in year 1 and is reading the chronicles of Narnia. Her teacher knows she is an advanced reader and I don't comment or sign her rj, I just tick it to show she had read. DD2 is in year 3 and they fill in their own rjs with a short review of what they have read.
I think there should be flexibility with rjs but some TA'S are really anal about it.The children in my class who really do struggle- if their book hasn't been atleast signed i will raise with the parent. We are supposed to work together at this stage to ensure progress in reading. Those who are doing fine, i won't make such an issue.

sherazade Tue 15-Jan-13 12:34:24

and YANBU. DD1's year 2 teacher last year made the biggest fuss about her rj if there wasn't a detailed comment re her progress and it drove me wild. (Her reading was several levels up from most of the other children so I failed to see why me ticking off that she had read the least stimulating, inspiring literature I have ever come across was so necessary)

snowybrrr Tue 15-Jan-13 12:37:44

YANBU but you should occasionally still hear them read aloud.It is a different skill IMO

NicknameTaken Tue 15-Jan-13 12:49:31

I have a totally different problem with this - my ex collects dd(5) a couple of times a week and twice so far he's either lost the bloody book or is withholding as part of a stupid vendetta he's pursuing against me. DD is well ahead of her age with her reading and almost every night she reads a library book - more challenging than the school one, which she memorizes and rattles off after a couple of readings. I cringe about how we must look to the teachers about the lost books - I'm an obsessive reader myself and I can't stand the books getting lost.

Catriona100 Tue 15-Jan-13 12:51:22

I just spent a whole morning listening to a whole class of year 2 children read and I noticed a very strong correlation between good reading (expression, comprehension etc) and the frequency with which their parents read with them according to the reading journals.

I can't really see the point once the child can read (say in years 4/5/6) but I think it must be almost vital in KS1

I have no problem filling in dd2's record, she is still working through the book bands, fair enough, plus we just have to say whether she has read it, and can add comments if we want to. Dd1 (yr3) we have to put how long each night she has read to us plus comments. She does still read with us, and it is useful, especially as her current book is quite challenging with 19c Southern American language. I'm sure that she wouldn't understand bits if we didn't discuss it. I just don't feel the need to fill it in in detail every night so do 5 or 6 nights in a row when I think about it .

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Tue 15-Jan-13 13:31:07

It doesn't work that way in my family. I was totally crap at signing anything and reading has always been each kid's most advanced skill at school. I also read very little to DS#1 when tiny because he hated it. Ds once told me he read a lot because it is very boring at our house and we didn't allow hardly any TV or computer games compared to other families LOL.

DS needs me to sign that he's read 3 x a week in order for him to get a credit and privilege time on Friday afternoon. We vaguely try to remember which nights he may have read, but the 3 signatures are sometimes slightly randomly distributed over the weekly diary !

DD is at secondary school and doing really well both generally and in terms of organising herself to do her homework with only a few general prompts from me, you know, "Have you got any homework tonight MidiJuggling ?"
The school still expects and asks us to sign her planner each week. She came close to getting a detention the other day because it hadn't been signed for a few weeks blush So, I signed several weeks all together, including over the XMas hols ! I really don't know what those signatures are meant to represent !!
But if it keeps them happy ! And DD out of detention !

Just be glad I reckon that your children are as independent as they are, either with reading or homework or whatever. I'm glad mine don't have any serious issues about school or learning, and that I don't have to be on their case all the time. (Except for getting dressed, eating breakfast on time, and packing their bags - does that ever end ? grin) I guess from the school's point of view they are just trying to get some home-school interaction going. But it does seem a little pointless sometimes, so No, YANBU !

ledkr Tue 15-Jan-13 15:35:41

My dd is year 6 and enjoys reading but always has something better to do.I find it failry easy to get her to curl up with a book after school but she doesnt always enjoy the recording that shes read etc. I think it can spoil the whole reading experience for them and turn it into a bit of a chore.

Sometimes I just wish theyd let them enjoy the book.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 15-Jan-13 15:50:54

I didn't used to sign any and also refused to sign a home school agreement. It is not up to the teacher, you are allowed to decline all of it if you wish. They may be the school policy, but you don't have to make them yours. If your child loses out because of this I would and did complain.

However, don't listen to me as I now H.ed and find such a relief from the bureaucracy associated with the teaching at a school.

CruCru Tue 15-Jan-13 16:08:46

I remember homework diaries. My Mum signed every page for the next year and my form tutor was really unimpressed. It was pointless; I always did my homework.

SminkoPinko Tue 15-Jan-13 18:56:53

I think it's utterly hideous how much administrative crap parents and teachers have to do these days. Tick box approach which sucks the joy out of reading and life! Does it teach children to read? I doubt it. I bet the "reading journal filled in - good reader" correlation noted by some teachers here is in no way causative but merely reflects the kids who are reading at home with conscientious parents already. When did all this reading journal filled in by parents come in? My parents never had to do any of this shit

TyrannosaurusBex Tue 15-Jan-13 19:40:29

YANBU, My dds are keen and fluent readers but those books just makes reading a chore and I never fill them in any more. My HEd eldest loves books even more now that she's free to just enjoy them, and the teachers have conceded that dd2 obviously reads plenty and don't give me any grief any more.

Llareggub Tue 15-Jan-13 20:09:30

I am the first to moan about pointless bureaucracy but as the mother of a yr1 boy who struggles with reading, I like the discipline of the reading diary as a way for us to sit down together and discuss his reading. I use it to praise him and record his progress rather than a means of communicating with the teacher. My son is ridiculously opposed to reading - it is the first time in his life he has not been able to do something and he responds really well to the comments in his book, particularly from the teacher.

ledkr Tue 15-Jan-13 20:28:17

I've just unpacked the latest pieces of homework from dds bag. We were at it till late last night, learning spellings in the car in the way to school and she still has a project to complete by feb. thus us a child who isn't that great on her tables but all the other stuff leaves us little time to practice!

Startail Tue 15-Jan-13 20:31:01

Now at secondary my DDS have me sign their HW diaries months in advance.
There tutor never turns over, so it doesn't matter, but the get moaned at if it isn't done.

I certainly don't look at them. I couldn't read DD1's writing if I did.

Xenia Tue 15-Jan-13 22:03:15

Comments are normally voluntary. A signature takes a few seconds. Most children forge them on a regular basis surely if the parent has chosen to ensure the child is in trouble at work by refusing to sign and what sort of parent would do that? Just get on and sign the thing. If they are insisting on a comment put - v good.

I think there is a principle here of supporting the school even if you don't internally agree with it.....

I also think it is a good reminder to check they have done their homework, check their bag for notes, touch base with them so it is not really that big a chore surely?

Practice - noun - the practice
Practise - verb - to practise

Make sure they learn that. Even adults get it wrong.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 15-Jan-13 22:07:14

YABU, just sign it. And I don't see anything particularly snide about what they wrote to you, to be honest

DeadTall Tue 15-Jan-13 22:29:37

YANBU. DS is an avid reader and we both hated the reading log he had in Y5 & Y6. He devours books and I have trouble finding the time to take him to the library enough times to keep him in books. He's top set in English and reading age 4 years above average. Having to fill in the page numbers, author and book name is a chore which puts him off reading. I couldn't constantly monitor which page he was on, he could never remember, we both got stressed and were very relieved when they disappeared in Year 7. However, DD says she will be getting one soon. hmm

happynewmind Tue 15-Jan-13 22:37:42

I also find it pointless, dds went missing and despite putting a note in to say can't find log but have read book wasn't swapped for 6 weeks until it turned up as I hadn't filled in the log.

The comments aren't read as I have queried stuff and no reply.

I hate school reading schemes full stop for older primary, the books we have are the most likely to batter any passion for reading and are mostly from the 60/70s although dd currently has one about Mel Bs rise to fame...

Skinnywhippet Tue 15-Jan-13 22:46:24

Perhaps the children could write in them. 6 and 7 year olds at my school do that on occasion. It can be nice to see their opinion of the book-like a concise chapter/ book review. That way it has some educational value. You could still sign their comments.

Tgger Tue 15-Jan-13 23:06:35

I ask DS what to put now, and if he hasn't got anything of note to say it's "Read Well" grin.

AmberSocks Tue 15-Jan-13 23:12:22

fucking schools.sigh.

SausageSmuggler Tue 15-Jan-13 23:18:08

Well if it's any consolation I have to mark 30 of the buggers. Yes we can tell who reads at home and who doesn't but you can't tell some children they have to get them signed and some don't. You need to be consistent across the class.

Jux Wed 16-Jan-13 08:12:34

DD was like your two, op. Her teacher wasn't worried about her reading but said boxes needed to be ticked. So I just made things up about dd's reading as I thought the most important thing was ensure reading didn't become a chore.

I did read to her though. While she was in the bath, every evening. I stopped when she was in Y8 (only last year!). It started off as 'leading by example) but in the end was a good bonding process for us. Harder for you with two children though.

booksteensandmagazines Wed 16-Jan-13 11:40:16

Reading records are the bane of teachers lives too. But ultimately the idea is to create an atmosphere where reading is seen as a positive thing for children to do and that parents support it - hence the signing. Its frustrating when you know your child is reading and is a good reader but if a school has a policy about reading records then it applies to everyone equally.
As children grow up and become more independent in their reading then they can provide the comment that you write - in effect this shows not just that they are reading but that they are comprehending what they read and are able to comment on it which is equally important.
Reading aloud should be done by children of all ages in primary school - its a skill they should develop and is very different to reading quietly to themselves.
However life is busy and reality is you're not going to remember to sign every day, you're not going to find time to hear your child read aloud every day and you're not always going to have a clever comment to make. Don't take offence at the teacher's note - she's just doing her job and she has to show her head teacher she is doing her job - just do what you can and remain positive about reading in front of your children. However annoying it is, its much better to have a school that monitors reading than one that doesn't.

DizzyHoneyBee Thu 17-Jan-13 22:52:12

Try writing in there that your child has been enjoying 'Fifty shades of grey' and see what happens grin

hrrumph Thu 17-Jan-13 23:34:06

My dd is a good reader but even though she reads things like Narnia there are loads of words she doesn't know the meaning of, she often misunderstands the point of a joke. I think it's still valuable to do a bit of reading with them just to help with the understanding. Reading records - we are now very bad at writing in them I have to confess. But we generally do a bit of reading together at bedtime.

BackforGood Fri 18-Jan-13 00:19:29

You need to be consistent across the class
No you don't sausage - why would any child need to know what is going on in any other child's planner? confused. 3 out of the 4 teachers ds had in Junior school were confident enough in their own professional judgement to be able to understand that there was nothing to be gained - but potentially a lot to be lost - by making reading into a homework chore for him, when it was something he did extensively if he wasn't made to write in his planner. You don't set the same work for all the children in any other area,(I hope) so why in this ?
I agree reading aloud is a valuable skill to learn, I agree reading to different audiences is a valuable thing to learn, I agree it's good to discuss with your dc what they read - indeed, things you've read, as they get older, particularly - no-one's questioning that, it's then "recording" that you've done it that is a pain in the bum. Good parents do stuff all the time that helps their child's development... from the first games of 'copy me' when they are a few weeks old, all through their lives - talking to them, listening to them, pointing things out as you walk or drive places, taking them places, answering questions, indeed posing questions, shopping with them, cooking with them, letting them handle money, looking at clocks and time with them, going over times tables, etc.,etc.,etc., but there wouldn't be enough time in the day to write down each time they do learning at home, so why - if all is well and they are making good progess, do some schools feel this need to record if a parent has heard them read that day?

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