dd 'bored' with reading scheme books.

(62 Posts)
We3bunniesOfOrientAre Fri 28-Dec-12 20:24:37

She is yr 1; on orange level and has been for a term. She seems to have worked through all the yawn magic key ones and most of the other story books, latest offerings was a book on leeches and meals. She says there are no other interesting books there which she hasn't read and she doesn't want to read them but she has to take two home each week. When she is bored reading then she just sucks her thumb and rolls around, then says she feels sick etc etc... Over the holidays, as she has no reading books she has chosen to read some rainbow fairy books I know it is the same story 80 times but at least she is engaged she reads a few pages, then I read back to her for however long she read to me. We have the same agreement for school books and works well for us.

How can I approach this when we return to school. I understand if the teacher doesn't want to put her up a level, but they aren't about to come and listen to her read and I don't want to battle with her every night to read books she has no interest in. I don't think it will be a problem when she goes up a level as there will be new books, but she won't go up until she reads more. <we have seemingly inexhaustable supply - 80/90 rainbow fairy books as that was all dd1 would read/listen to for about a year before discovering Dahl/Walliams, etc we won't run out of them in a hurry>

Cortana Fri 28-Dec-12 21:12:51

This was an ongoing battle for us. They need to read the books given to demonstrate understanding of the texts and comprehension, also trying books that are too hard can sometimes knock confidence which is obviously not good when learning to read. Doesn't make the battles any easier though.

I would just explain to the teacher exactly as you have here. You understand why the books are set but you are concerned that by rolling around sucking her thumb she is saying she is ready for more and you do not want reading to become a boring chore for her, potentially putting her off.

In the meantime keep on buying her books and taking her to the library if you have one local to you. Keep on with Rainbow Fairy and Walliams and Dahl so she doesn't lose sight of reading being fun.

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Fri 28-Dec-12 21:27:58

Strangely she seems more fluent with RF, even though the language is (to my untrained eye) a similar or more challenging level. I don't know that she is ready for more though, I think she has just exhausted the supply that the school has at that level - at least of the books she likes to read. She is very keen to read chapter books, which is why she pays attention when reading RF. We do go to the library but thanks to the book people we have enough Rainbow Fairies to keep us going for ages. What did you do about the school books? Do you keep reading them, or leave them and let them read with them at school? I really don't think I will be able to make her read the school books and RF books.

We had a real battle with dd1 at the same age. In the end we barely read with her for about 6 months (we read to her but she didn't read much to us) as she just refused to read - I told the school and she read there. I don't want to get to that stage with dd2 (dd1 is now yr3 and reads loads and is fairly fluent, so I know that it will come).

learnandsay Fri 28-Dec-12 21:38:05

There are some brave parents out there who just say fu** the school reading scheme we are going to read real books. That may be a good idea. (It also might not be.)

I have tried many times to find appropriate books from the library. But our library, although it has a sweet and responsive early learning staff member, still has a rather random approach to reading books. In the end I gave up on a search of correct books and just let my daughter read any children's books she could see. There is no shortage of them. It's a radical step and I don't know how wise it is. But it seems to be going OK so far.

Cortana Fri 28-Dec-12 21:43:43

We moved schools. DS was bored to tears at his old one. At new school he got moved up a year and the new teacher just lets him read what he wants to.

While at the old school we pushed on with the books and I have to admit we did undermine the school a bit with the line "Yes, these books are boring, but they're like cleaning your room. If you clean your room you get to play in it. Read the boring books and we'll buy you nice ones."

If she's reading the books at school with no issue (as your DD1 did) I'd be tempted to let her be for a while. Obviously if her book comes back with notes from teacher saying she struggled I'd rethink.

mercibucket Fri 28-Dec-12 21:45:33

they are boring. this is a life lesson. my approach is to read them together as little as possible and move on to better, real books which we read together or i read to them.

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Fri 28-Dec-12 21:47:43

Not sure I could categorise Rainbow Fairy books as real books! How has the school responded? Do they still make you feel guilty send home books? Dd2 is a stickler for rules, it is the only way we get her to read the school books - by telling her that her changing day is in x days so she needs to read otherwise she won't be able to change them. Not sure how she will feel about going against the prescribed books even though she hates them. However she seems happier reading about fairies, which is one of her obsessions not many reading scheme books about Ancient Egypt and mumification

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 28-Dec-12 21:54:45

My DS is in reception and we read the reading scheme and we read other things.

He reads whatever is around - picture books, bits of chapter books. This evening he read dear zoo to his little brother.

We read Dahl, Flat Stanley, Winnie-The-Pooh, Wind in the Willows, Thomas the tank engine to him - the Thomas books he is starting to read to himself.

Variety is the key I think, I'd be sceptical about ploughing through 80 (did I read that right??) books from the same series.

exoticfruits Fri 28-Dec-12 21:57:52

Make sure you use your local library- go every week and let her choose.

Do you talk around the text or just read the words?

I did many years as a parent helper listening to the reading scheme (as well as hearing my own three children read it!).

A surprising number of children would tell me it was boring or to easy yet could not name the different punctuation for example. I used to make them start with the blurb and then predict the story (or the facts it might tell them in non fiction). Then as we read I would point out different punctuation, or when I knew they had probably learnt some get them to pick it out for me. Then we would try different voices for the speech and work on expression. We talked about what might happen next, what was in the pictures etc, pick out words in spelling tests (if I knew them for that class).

I was just so enthusiastic about the books they kind of picked up on it. I normally finished the session leaving a few pages for them to read to mum at home so they could tell me what had happened next time we met.

I know the books can seem dull, it's just how you sell then (when you think you have heard "oh floppy, no Floppy" for what seemed like 100+ times this can be trying). I did used to tell the teacher if I thought they might be ready for another level as there was no point keeping them on a level just to finish it if they had made lots of progress.

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Fri 28-Dec-12 22:12:42

Believe me, not our wish to read them all, but both girls are obsessed with fairies, <thanks for that dd1 reception teacher> and I guess it worked for dd1, as she wanted to read them, now she has much more sophisticated tastes which are fed by the library. We do go every week to the library, and do the reading challenge, but dd2 doesn't seem to be at the point that she could pick up a book (other than picture books which she has no interest in) and read it. The library books appropriate for her reading level also don't seem to inspire her either.

She does like the biff, kipper stuff, basically anything magic, but the school don't seem to have any of those which she hasn't already read. I realise that Rainbow Fairies are probably the literary equivalent of a chinese takeaway, but I know from dd1 that she won't want to be reading them in a few years time, there is plenty of time for her to develop a wider love of literature when she can read. We read various different books to her, depending on what she wants us to read.

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Fri 28-Dec-12 22:21:45

We do talk about the story and her comprehension is fine, but I think that is the problem, she (well all of them) have incredibly vivid imaginations, and I think that reading about leeches is an anticlimax for her when they have been reinacting Narnia or being Santa and the Elves etc. All the teachers comment on their ability to make up stories / games etc. She loves history particularly ancient history, but they don't seem to have any history books at that level. She does do expression when she reads, but I don't think she is ready to move up a level, she really struggles with longer words still.

learnandsay Fri 28-Dec-12 22:44:45

I don't know how much time you have at your disposal. But when I come across such a problem I grab a few sheets of A4 paper, fold them over and start making a book. I draw what needs to be drawn and write what needs to be written. I don't fear reading scheme books because they lie smitten before me
....sorry, thought I was Abraham for a minute, there.

Err, no. All you need is a marker pen and some paper.

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Sat 29-Dec-12 06:47:58

I did do that for dd1, probably still have the 'book' on my hard drive! I guess it is mine and dd2's fear of going against the authority figure which I am battling with. Dd1, like dh has less regard for such social ettiquette. When dd1 got bored she stuck two metaphorical fingers up and refused to do it.

Dd2 is a different creature, she is more like me, sees a rule, tries to follow it, even when the rule is stiffling her. I think, that this rule based approach to life is the barrier in that both of us would hate to tell the teacher that we didn't want to read their book on leeches, so would plough on and do it, even though it stiffles any pleasure and it doesn't do much good as each word is like blood from a stone. I also think that her rule based logic means that she finds it hard when words aren't phonetic, or at least beyond the level of phonics that she has been taught. On the plus side she is very good at maths, and it won't be long before she is ahead of dd1 on rush hour.

It has really helped to put these ideas down, I think I will see if she goes up a level after Christmas and opens up access to a wider choice of books, otherwise will see what the teacher suggests (she is fairly newly qualified and seems to be fairly rule based too, so we'll probably all sit there agreeing that the situation isn't ideal but plough on anyway!)

Houseworkprocrastinator Sat 29-Dec-12 09:41:09

I had this on orange level too, i just went to the library and got different books and signed the reading diary anyway. She stayed on orange for Ages.

Quick update, dd2 read every day in the second half of the holiday and she has just gone up a level and is very excited about opening up a new range of bloody magic key books. She read half her first book tonight, think reading might have clicked for her.

drivingmisspotty Sat 12-Jan-13 21:40:12

That's great. Poor girl stuck with leeches book!

Tgger Sat 12-Jan-13 21:55:40

Hooray! Only x however more Magic Key to go....... the kids do seem to like them though so they must be better for kids than parents! grin.

itsallscone Sun 13-Jan-13 01:00:46

I was hit with the old 'duty of care' rubbish when Ds was not being read with at school last year, he had been stuck on the same really low level for a very long time until he gave up and refused to read at school when he did get the opportunity, I spoke to the TA, left polite messages in his reading diary that he was becoming bored with his book (which he had for over a month!) tried sending him back in to change it but the TA had an office with the books in so this was a useless idea (it was locked up at the end of the day)..in the end we ignored the schools reading scheme and hit the library then we were blamed for his non-enthusiastic approach to reading at school because we were not reading the daft bloody books at home with him! What did help us was to find books from Ds's reading scheme which were a couple of levels higher to give him a taster of what was to come, this seemed to make him realize that if he just read the darn books eventually he would get to the more interesting ones. Sadly he has the same TA from last year and now he is reading a book a day she is giving him every possible extention book she can find on the same blooming level...damned if you do, and damned if you don't. hmm

My dd ended YR on this level and stayed on it for ages as well. I was very frustrated with this level too! She has moved up 2 levels I think in the last few weeks so after you get through it, progress seems faster.

Use this to get alternative books at the library, you should be able to order titles into your branch www.essex.gov.uk/Libraries-Archives/libraries/childrens-library/Documents/Books_for_children_beginning_to_read.pdf

Also even when DD had finished Kipper books, we have been getting other ORT books still levelled 6 and 7 but they are actually higher levels than Kipper 6 and 7.
www.oup.com/oxed/pdf/ORT_bookbands.pdf

Thank you for your encouragement, and the links. She seems to be more fluent on turquoise than she was on orange. Fortunately her teacher is fairly good at listening to the read, so hopefully she will progress ok. It seems to have clicked for her, think it is practise now.

learnandsay Sun 13-Jan-13 10:05:07

I think if a TA or teacher was actually tracking down books to keep the same level of the scheme lasting for ever I'd first complain and then stop reading them with my child.

mrz Sun 13-Jan-13 10:44:44

even if that was the level your child was working at and needed to practise because they weren't ready for the next level ?

simpson Sun 13-Jan-13 10:51:34

DD's level she is on now, she is going to be on for a while. Her school are tracking books to match that level so she has more to read, I don't have a problem with it. Tbh she seems to be getting some decent stuff ATM (keeps fingers crossed).

Iirc DD found the jump to orange harder and to yellow (when on that stage) the other stages have not been so hard for her (so far anyway...)

learnandsay Sun 13-Jan-13 11:06:38

I suppose it depends on the child. But I can't imagine a normal child without any learning difficulties needing to remain on the same level for ever. Keeping the child there suggests lack of imaginative teaching to me.

mrz Sun 13-Jan-13 11:07:42

Then your imagination doesn't reflect reality

learnandsay Sun 13-Jan-13 11:11:52

Does that mean that the correct way to teach children is to bore them to death with repetition? If so, then I'm grateful for my imagination.

simpson Sun 13-Jan-13 11:16:13

But hopefully the school will have a variety of books for each level and not just ORT...

If my child was going to be on the same ORT level for months and months I would agree. Luckily DD's school seems to have recently invested in some new books and is getting a few different schemes which make it more interesting. She hasn't refused to read one yet...

I think for dd she had just plateaued for a while, I reckon that she had read about 28 books on orange level, and bearing in mind that other books from their supply were in other children's book bags. I found with dd1 that sometimes she stayed on one level for a while then whizzed through the next few, I think dd2 will do the same, she is reading turquoise better than the orange so far. I don't mind them staying on the same level if they need to be there, but she wants to read interesting books, fortunately she finds magic key books fun! won't tell her that they disappear further up the scheme otherwise she might stagnate again!

Tgger Sun 13-Jan-13 12:36:16

There are definitely plateaus, having different sorts of books certainly helps. Other than that you might wonder why they are staying at that level. Lack of some phonics sounds/ maturity re understanding/stamina needed for a longer book. In some ways DS has "plateaued" but in other ways he has progressed. Some of his books are easier to read per se than 3 to 6th months ago but his reading is fluent now and his higher order skills are improving. I don't even think about the "level" of the book now which I find liberating. I'm guessing they are all around lime but some may be easier and some harder.

mrz Sun 13-Jan-13 12:38:35

The correct way to teach children is to provide work that challenges without being beyond their capability and consolidating learning at each step.
As simpson says children using one reading scheme rather than providing a breadth of material isn't the most effective approach.

bunnies you are not the only one trust me. Have also been battling these dam books for a year . Her teacher is lovely and has really moved her on and has stopped giving her books including biff and chip at least but sounds like your dd does exactly what mine does. Gets moved up, gets excited for the first few provided b&c aren't in them then gets fed up once again at the repetition and starts with the whining and fidgeting and sometimes even tears.

It's so hard isn't it sad I hope your dd enjoys the next level more!

She actually enjoys biff + chip, I think the Leeches was the final straw for her, but there had been a number of other different types of books which had come home before, but magic key ones are her favourite. I don't think she was bored because she was underchallenged, however her comprehension is always really good and she reads her reading books because she wants to find out what has happened, if she thinks a story is boring, she looses the will to bother decoding. It's not just a fiction/non fiction thing as she always takes non-fiction out of the library, and loves facts about Egypt and mummification just not about leeches! She is reading much more around her now, so I think it is becoming automatic.

simpson Sun 13-Jan-13 22:16:38

You could try the Oxford owl website which has loads of free ebooks online...

Also I would keep trying different books from the library that she might like...

I forget what level is she on again??? (ORT wise)...

My DD is getting into the Happy Families books (Mr creep the Crook etc) she is also all consumingly obsessed with Biff et al but has now transferred that to Topsy and Tim so it might be worth giving those a go...She also likes Frog and Toad and Mercy Watson the Pig stories (these are basic chapter books but each chapter is only 4 pages long so she reads a chapter a night)....

simpson Sun 13-Jan-13 22:21:06

Also forgot to mention the "start reading books" that my local library have which are book banded (colour coded) to fit with current NC levels ie red, yellow,green, blue etc etc....

I think they go up to level 9 (although I cannot be sure as DD did not read any beyond stage 6) but she did seem to like them....

Jux Sun 13-Jan-13 22:21:42

They are supremely uninteresting, aren't they?

Find her some books she's interesting in, read them together and she'll enjoy reading more. Meanwhile, do no more than 5 mins on the boring stuff each day, and follow it up with 10 mins of the good stuff.

I'm hoping that she is over the hill now, she will have loads of turquoise (level 7), and then not too long until she can read dd1's rainbow fairy library. Can't stand rainbow fairies either, but the girls like them, and if it get's them reading I'm not going to complain. Just got to go through this one more time with ds!

Smudging Mon 14-Jan-13 07:18:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Mon 14-Jan-13 20:39:41

DS is in this situation! He has been stuck on the same level since just before summer. I have approached school and we were told he needed to work on his comprehension. So we did. I am still being told he doesn't comprehend what he's reading, which would be fine if it weren't bollocks. He reads his book, we talk about what happened and can tell you a week later what the book was about, pretty much cover to cover without opening the bloody thing! At home he reads harry potter, roald Dahl, national geographic FFS! We have somewhere in the region of 600+ books, about half of those are childrens so we don't need to hit the library too much. He is just so bored at school! ARGH!

learnandsay Mon 14-Jan-13 23:01:53

Comprehension schmomprehension to be honest. It's one of those how long is a piece of string? questions. If I thought some teacher was giving me the comprehension run-around I'd just tell her that we've come to the end of that route and either we up the level a bit more or we're going to ignore school books from now on.

Here's a breakdown of comprehension tasks throughout school
www.mewan.net/curriculum/english/getfile.php?src=25/a_guide_to_pregression_in_reading_skills.pdf

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Mon 14-Jan-13 23:14:07

Thanks learnandsay, we're in one of the adjoining boroughs to that on the PDF.

Jux Tue 15-Jan-13 12:31:37

Oscar, that's what happened to dd in Y1 of her first school. i knew it was bollocks, she was readingmuch more advanced stuff and comprehension wasn't a problem at home. Her teacher insisted that dd didn't understand, and I suggested it might be because she'd read those books in nursery several times and was bored with them. Apparently this was not good enough, or not true pr something.

I let dd choose whatever she wanted to read. Then I would read her schoolbook quickly to her, and lie in the reading record. Very naughty I suppose, but dd was getting turned off reading and I wasn't going to let that happen just for the sake of some bloody tick boxes at school.

We moved 150 miles away. DD was tested on reading in her new school and put straight onto free reading. Never looked back.

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Tue 15-Jan-13 13:47:47

Great to know, I think we need a chat with DS teacher. He's in Y2 and at his October parents evening we were told he will make 3C for his reading this academic year. I am wondering if they have decided that is "his level" and aren't keen to progress him past it.

I have friends who teach in this area, but not at that school, and that is the practice at their schools. This is not heresay, but fact, they are even trained on it!

We r stuck in a vicious circle of books bore her so she can't be bothered and there fore has no interest in talking about story/predicting and all the other stuff they require before allowing them to move on. She there fore gets even more fed up, stops wanting to read anything even her books at home. Yet reading her books at home is the only way obviously of getting her doing what they need her to do. sad

learnandsay Tue 15-Jan-13 13:54:31

How do you train teachers to be obstinate in not allowing children to progress beyond their predicted expectations?

learnandsay Tue 15-Jan-13 13:56:48

Caffinedrip, if school books made my daughter cry and stop reading then I'd throw them out of the window.

It's much better than it was but we r still leaving bits of some and sometimes entire books. I just lie in reading diary. Thankfully we aren't getting the terrible trio books which did leave her in tears. Teacher says she happily reads them in school hmm

DoodleNoo Wed 16-Jan-13 10:52:31

I had the same problem with my Y3 DD and ended up just signing off the books they were given at school with a curt "finished on [date]" ( not asking her read them unless she wanted too) - and then writing a gushing sentence about how DD has also been reading X at home , loving it, can't put it down, read 4 chapters beautifully to Grandad" etc etc and eventually they got the message. As the second DD in the family, we have a seemingly inexhaustible supply of interesting books at home, unlike the school reading shelf, where pickings are pretty thin.

learnandsay Wed 16-Jan-13 10:57:16

At the beginning of last term I tried diverting my comments in the reading diary onto books from home because the school books were far too basic. But the teacher told me not to.

survivingwinter Wed 16-Jan-13 12:27:03

Why did the teacher tell you not to do that learnandsay? Surely it's about the breadth of reading a child is doing and the progress they make at home too?!

I'm going slowly mad as dd has been on the same book band since Sept and we had finished all the books in that box by last half term. I have been either buying books for her or getting them out of the library since then!

learnandsay Wed 16-Jan-13 12:36:55

She said I was going to fill the reading diary up too quickly. Back then the problem was that she hadn't done any assessment of my daughter's reading and the books were too simple. She still hasn't done an assessment (as far as I know) but what she said was that she'd give my daughter a random assortment of books and then move her up a couple of levels. (Maybe that's how she does her assessments.) The books have been pretty random, it's true. But pretty much anything is better than what we were getting. This term we've been getting Miff, Chops and Chipper books again, boo. Luckily my daughter loves them. I don't know who wrote the damn things but I'd love to get my hands on them.

survivingwinter Wed 16-Jan-13 12:43:36

grin glad your dd likes them learnandsay! Some of those Magic Key stories are seriously bizarre I'm sure there must have been drugs involved during the writing of them!

The secret room
Where they found the dolls house and the key reminded me of the haunting in Connecticut grin expected some truly sinister goings on.

We've never had the first one, maybe will strike lucky when ds learns to read. Have just read the one where they damage the roof of the play house and go back in time to see the dolls house and their house when they had just been built and the children who lived there. I didn't realise that the toy house was a replica of their house, although I do remember them moving from their terrace house. I reckon they wouldn't be so bad if they came in order rather than some random selection based on what's in the box when your 5yr old happens to change their books. Maybe I should train ds to borrow to order!

learnandsay Wed 16-Jan-13 13:16:39

Girls, the reading books aren't for you, you know!

Runoutofideas Wed 16-Jan-13 13:30:54

OP - my dd2 is yr 1 and reading turquoise level too. She really enjoys these Jill tomlinson books She can read pages alternately with me, the stories are suitable for 5 yr olds and they have occasional pictures too, but they are chapter books so seem grown up. Just wanted to recommend.

I have to I'm very happy I no longer have to hear the words " the magic key began to glow" William and hamid were slightly more enjoyable than biff and chip

Thank you run she is currently fairy and egypt obsessed, just this morning she was saying that she thinks she can now read a rainbow fairy book at night while she tries to get to sleep poor lamb doesn't realise that almost every night she is asleep before I've finished reading her story . I don't think she'll be on this level for long, she is reading it better than orange, and, more importantly, she is enjoying reading again.

simpson Wed 16-Jan-13 17:24:01

Birthdaybunnies - that was my argument for DS when he was in yr1. He jumped straight into the magic key books but had not read the books leading up to it or the first magic key book so did not know what was happening...

DD has read the ones building up to magic key adventures so she is fine...although she is getting loads of non fiction ATM...

I was also told not to put anything else in DD's reading diary (as it would fill up too quickly -just to put her school books in)...

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Thu 17-Jan-13 00:04:31

Progress! Admittedly it was a school error that it ds moved up.

Someone had mixed the books up and ds brought home a level 24/white band book. Which we read, he stumbled over 1 word, we discussed the book and wrote the appropriate comments and sent it back. He was moved to gold/level 21 today. He's so pleased with himself and so exited to be finally allowed to bring more interesting books home from school! grin

learnandsay Thu 17-Jan-13 10:03:50

Ah, the method is to bring home the wrong reading books! I knew there would be a system somewhere.

OscarPistoriusBitontheside Thu 17-Jan-13 15:38:17

Yep, turns out this is the way forward! Who knew? I sound like one of "those" parents, I'm aware of that, but I just want to do what is right for DS1.

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