Should I ask teacher NOT to choose my dd books

(16 Posts)
lisad123 Mon 08-Oct-12 22:17:11

Full story not to drip feed.

Dd1 is in year 5 and just started a new school. She has autism on the high functioning end, is very bright and able but has other stuff going on linked with her autism.
She has always been a great reader and really found a love of books about two years ago. She loves famous five, magic kitten and magic garden type books.
She came home with a new book last week and told me her teacher told her she's not allowed to choose same author more than once.
This book is age appropriate but has a lot of idioms and certainly not a setting she has a clue about (set in a mental hospital).
We have tried reading it together but she ends up stressed and I'm worried she will fall out of love with reading if its not enjoyable for her.

Should I just email her teacher and tell him she will choose her own books?
Even as an adult there are certain authors and story lines I prefer over others, why shouldn't she.

He says he wants her exposed to other authors, but tbh I couldn't care less!!

Opinions??

Goldmandra Mon 08-Oct-12 23:43:31

I can see the point of exposing her to other authors but it needs to be the right authors. Books full of idioms will just frustrate her and put her off reading.

I would email him, explain the effect this is having on her and suggest that someone selects books for her which she will be able to understand and enjoy. He may then decide it's easier to let her choose her own.

I would also get her to the library and help her choose some books by other authors which are similar to those she enjoys.

My DD who is also 9 and has AS and loves Horrid Henry, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, anything by Jeremy Strong or Dick King-Smith and My Secret Unicorn books if that's any help.

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Mon 08-Oct-12 23:44:07

Go in and see him. What a silly rule! Not to choose the same author more than once!

Tell him that DD wants to choose the author she wants...and there is no reason why she should not at her age! Don't email though....do it face to face.

trinity0097 Tue 09-Oct-12 07:23:56

I can see the teacher's point though, I sit and listen to some children read, some of them have read 3 Mr Gum books this term and I've said that they need to choose a different author next time to get more variety in what they read.

There is also nothing to stop you having different books at home to the school reader! However it sounds like the book the teacher has sent home is designed to challenge your child rather than the rather easy books they are currently reading. If a child only reads one style of writing then they will find it hard to learn to write interesting things themselves!

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Tue 09-Oct-12 08:28:31

This is a year 5 though...nobody's listening to her read!

DeWe Tue 09-Oct-12 09:31:44

I would go and talk to the teacher. It may be that they said that they wanted her to try a different book this once.

Dd2 (year 4) is frustrating me because she always chooses books she can easily read. Then gets remarks of "brilliant reading" etc. in her reading diary. But she will tend to choose books/authors she knows. At home I get her to branch out by reading the first chapter, then she usually goes and reads the rest. But she won't ever choose a different author. I would appreciate the teacher getting her to choose a "different" book because she would probably enjoy it when she got it, and she'd then have a different set she would read.

I did object when dd1 brought home "Flour babies" in year 3, given by the teacher. As you say, the vocabulary isn't an issue. However, a year 3 girl is not very interested in year 11 boys, and some of what they were doing was not appropriate for her to read about.

Chopstheduck Tue 09-Oct-12 09:38:37

I'm a bit on the fence with this one. If she isn't ever exposed to idioms how will she ever learn them? ds1 is on the spectrum somewhere (jury still out on whereabouts) and he is perfectly capable of understanding idioms on an intellectual level once they are explained to him. It is time consuming, and he is still easily tricked, but it is something we have worked with him on.

being fixed on certain authors I think is fine, personally, ds def went through fixations with different authors or mediums, and it doesn't last forever.

The setting sounds a bit odd, what was the book? ds1 is year 6 and I would feel the topic too mature for him, as he is socially delayed and jsut wouldn't be ready to tackle that kind of topic yet. It would probably go completely over his head and confuse him.

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 10:12:48

A lot of publishing for that age group is based around 'series' (I have a couple of friends who are very successful authors of childrens' books - their publishers do like a series. Much more than a standalone book). I think it would be a mark of total disengagement with the book if a kid finished, say, Larklight or How to train your dragon or Inkheart and didn't want to read on to find out what happens next. This teacher sounds very strange. The topic of the book that your DD was sent home with also sounds a bit suspect. Grim-lit is another feature of the publishing market aimed at that age range but it's just not a good idea for some kids.

I have a same age child on autistic spectrum, we don't read school books for same reason.

crazygracieuk Tue 09-Oct-12 10:28:51

I understand where both of you are coming from.

I tell my kids it's perfectly fine not to like a book that they have chosen but I expect them to read at least one chapter then explain why. I enjoy reading but definitely favour some genres over others and even within that genre, I like certain authors over others.
When my son was in y5 he only reads scary books. My daughter is currently in y5 and seems to always pick funny books. They both seem to have phases with books. My son is now in y7 and mainly read adventure books in y6 and now seems to only read funny books. His sister favoured Jacqueline Wilson last year and information books before that. They are both NT and I think it's fine.

I don't think you should "email and tell him she will choose her own books", I think you should go in and talk to him in person about the issues she has with some of his choices, and how she gets stressed by things that wouldn't worry other children. Then you can discuss how to get around that, while giving her a range of authors and styles.

He has a point, and for NT children I'd say he knows best. But he doesn't know your dd very well yet and would hopefully value your insights into what things cause her problems.

But it needs to be a co-operative effort, not you telling him he's doing it wrong and that you're going to overrule him, as that never goes down well.

zipzap Tue 09-Oct-12 10:36:50

Could you ask the teacher to compromise so that your dd reads a book the teacher chooses and when she finishes it, she can choose one of her favourite books/authors.

Sell it to your dd as having a favourite book coming up as a reward for reading the first book. And remind her that at some point she had to read her favourite books for the first time - if she didn't teas them as a 'new' book or author she wouldn't love them now, so this is a good way of finding some new favourites too.

I would also talk to the teacher and see if he can start off gently when choosing books for your dd to try to get her used to trying new things, so she gets used to trying them first (and hopefully finding a few new favourites or at least a few quite enjoyable reads) before jumping straight in and making her things that will challenge her, particularly things that you think she will actively struggle with.

lisad123 Tue 09-Oct-12 18:48:11

I couldn't talk face to face as she gets the bus to school. He agreed to change her book to a different one and she was already reading the far away tree so said she could carry on with that one.
The old book was called "The Stone Menagerie"

It's really hard because normally I would happily sit and go though all the idioms but there were countless and just way too many for her to understand.

I'm hoping they don't think I'm a nightmare parent now blush

StillSquiffy Thu 11-Oct-12 15:22:55

Having been very hands-off with my DC's over the years, I have this term been in 5 times about various things, and it's not something to be concerned about - in your DD's setting, they expect parents to be involved. You'll start getting a reputation when you start writing to the head suggesting uniform changes and complaining about the term dates, other than that, you're safe. My most interfering moments so far this term have been much worse than yours (they include telling ICT teacher that he's not doing enough to support a certain group of kids in their learning)...

As an aside, how is DD settling in? I presume by now you've had parents evening/school reports? Glad you made the move?

lisad123 Thu 11-Oct-12 15:52:53

Haven't had parents evening yet but all reports are good. It was a huge decision to move her but was, so far the best choice smile

StillSquiffy Thu 11-Oct-12 15:58:31

Marvellous. I remember all the stress you went through earlier this year about it all.

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