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To think my son is not being challenged enough

(40 Posts)
BeautifulBlondePineapple Wed 31-Aug-11 16:59:25

DS (6) has just started P2 (Scotland). He got a reading book on Monday and could read the entire book without error on his first go. He could also answer all my questions on the book. Today (Thursday) he still has the same book in his bag for homework.

I think he can read at a higher level than this book (he does at home) and I also think he should be getting more than 1 book a week esp if he can read it all without making mistakes.

AIBU to think that he is not being challenged enough at school? And if so what do I do about it? I don't want to get off on the wrong foot with his new teacher or look like a pushy parent - just want him to be working to his ability.

Advice welcome...

AfternoonDelight Wed 31-Aug-11 17:05:30

Well all the children are going to be taught the same. How about not stressing about it and if it bothers you do your own thing at home.

LIZS Wed 31-Aug-11 17:08:58

Perhaps they are still settling them in after the break, some revision is the norm. Give it a week or two and then ask what the system is ?

Groovee Wed 31-Aug-11 17:09:20

I had the same problem with Dd so we read challenging books at home and left the school to do their job. Usually the reading books have language work in class. They're now in P7 and the child who was ahead is no further ahead than the other children she liked to wind up about how much better she was.

Limejelly Wed 31-Aug-11 17:13:19

It may be that your son's teacher hasn't finished assessing all the children yet and put them all on the correct book band (it usually takes me around 2 weeks to do this).

In regards to changing his book, all schools have different policies. My class are able to change their books every day if they wish. Ask the teacher what their policy is. Just say you wanted to check it wasn't just him being lazy and not changing his book! I don't see why the teacher would have a problem with you asking.

Good luck x

beckybrastraps Wed 31-Aug-11 17:14:36

I'd give it more than 3 days.

abcdangel Wed 31-Aug-11 17:15:55

I went through this with both of my children.

When I pointed out that the books were far too easy I was told that it wasn't so much to do with the words, more the "phonics" and word construction. I never got anywhere, so in the end I moved them away to private school and they are streamed from a very early age and challenged much more than they ever were before.

At the school my DCs went to the teacher's aim seemed to be to get all the children to a certain (and fairly basic level) so that she could demonstrate that she had achieved her pre-set targets. Inevitably the children who weren't so able got loads more attention than those who had already ticked the box.

There's a lot you can do at home.

handsomeharry Wed 31-Aug-11 17:16:28

I think it would be sensible to wait for a couple of weeks until the class is fully settled. If the situation still hasn't changed the best thing to do would be to speak to the teacher.

I am sure you already do but in the meantime take a trip to a library or book shop and spend some time enjoying books together.

It is still quite early on in the term and if your DS has a new teacher it may take her a couple of more weeks to make her own judgements about the individual abilities of the pupils rather than relying on information that has been passed on by the previous teacher.

abcdangel Wed 31-Aug-11 17:17:37

Ditto what everyone's said about waiting to see how it pans out though - it's early days.

PreviouslyonLost Wed 31-Aug-11 17:18:34

BeautifulBlondePineapple I'm still struck by the fact DC1 started school last week, and the books so far brought home have NO WORDS in them. Was going to be a whole new AIBU from me until I saw your post!

Not claiming child prodigy but DC can read everyday words already...and after years of Nursery learning ABC, why is it now AH, BUH, KUH?

Is this the Curriculum for EXCELLENCE I've heard so much about?

Whatever happened to Janet and John? grin

LineRunner Wed 31-Aug-11 17:20:45

Have plenty of challenging books at home. And fun books. And Classics. And magazines and comics.

And encourage your child to write about them. Lots of kids are ace readers but need help with their writing (handwriting and content) and that can be lacking in focus at school.

tabulahrasa Wed 31-Aug-11 17:21:29

He'll have a book a week because his teacher will only check Reading homework once a week - it doesn't mean that's all the work he's doing on reading in that time

buzzsorekillington Wed 31-Aug-11 17:24:21

Part of the point of the sending books home is to encourage the child and to develop a love of reading, so quite often there will be easy books simply to enjoy rather than to challenge.

I think you should wait and see what the classwork is like when you go in for a parent's evening later in the term, not judge it on the first week's book.

MillyR Wed 31-Aug-11 17:26:59

POL, children learning to read should mainly be learning AH BUH KUH, not AY BEE SEE. That is the basis of phonics and was at the time of Janet and John as well! But perhaps I am misunderstanding your post.

Bonsoir Wed 31-Aug-11 17:28:18

Don't bother the teacher until after the first half-term - give her time to get to know your child/her class and for them all to find their feet. You may feel quite differently by October - or, then again, you might not and you would have several weeks of your DS not being challenged as a basis for a proper conversation about his progress.

In the mean time, ensure your DS has plenty of reading material that he enjoys and helps him progress at home. It is more important for him to read a lot than to move levels at a fast pace.

PreviouslyonLost Wed 31-Aug-11 17:41:06

MillyR It was rather a long time ago I was in P1 but Janet and John, and see the Dog (red setter?!) catch the ball, is stuck in the mind! I do understand the theory of phonics, but DC is used to ABC, from DH and I, and Nursery, so it appears a bit of a backward step (and possibly confusing to DC) to have to unlearn knowledge already gained/used everyday.

TheArmadillo Wed 31-Aug-11 17:47:05

POL - that's why most schools ask you to concentrate on teaching children things like how to get dressed/use the toilet/how to sit and listen alone rather than teaching them stuff wrongly that they then have to unteach - plus the getting dressed etc is harder to do and disrupts learning so is more useful to the teachers.

The phonics systems has been in place for over 2 decades so not exactly new. If it was the nursery who taught him then it is them you should be having words with not the school.

BeautifulBlondePineapple Wed 31-Aug-11 18:01:06

OK - points taken. I'll wait until October hols to see how things pan out. I guess I'm jumping on it early this year as I didn't think he was challenged enough last year and I don't want it to be repeated this year.

I'll just do as we're doing at home for the moment. As long as he's enjoying books that's the main thing!

pranma Wed 31-Aug-11 18:11:37

Learrning the sounds of the letters [ah buh kuh] is much more useful in learning to raed then the names [ay bee see].After all c-a-t spells cat not seeaytee.

pranma Wed 31-Aug-11 18:11:53


MillyR Wed 31-Aug-11 18:16:33

POL, I have not heard of a way of teaching phonics through teaching Ay Bee See sounds, but I am not a teacher. A teacher would be able to advise you.

Phonic teaching is usually through teaching Ah Buh Kuh and the other sounds like th. The sounds are taught so that they would know that the sounds Muh Ah Duh makes mad. But because you are then taught vowel sounds you know that when there are two vowels together, you only say the first one as the vowel, so Mead is Muh Eee Duh. And if you put an e on the end of the word, the vowel in the middle becomes a vowel sound so made is MUh Aye Duh.

I don't know how you would teach reading by learning Aye Bee See because that isn't the basis of how we pronounce a lot of regular words.

But as I say, I am not a teacher. I am just basing it on how my children were taught to read in school and how I was taught to read in school.

MillyR Wed 31-Aug-11 18:19:33

POL, they will not unlearn it. The Aye Bee See sounds are still useful because they are taught often as the alphabet song to teach the order of the alphabet.
Your child will now just need to learn Ah Buh Kuh so they can form a lot of regular words.

PreviouslyonLost Wed 31-Aug-11 18:21:05

TheArmadillo Like many things in the trials and tribulations of never know what the next stage is until it's upon you - hence the taken aback'ness about wordless books when DC1 started school!

In the Scottish Education system most children are @5 years old when they begin school so if they haven't mastered the 'get dressed/use the toilet/how to sit and listen alone 'stage I would be a bit shock 'ed...unless other physical, emotional, or cognitive problems were present.

It's all a learning curve for DC1 and us, I trust some teachers grin and am willing to go with the flow, but admit to surprise at no Janet and John.

NormanTebbit Wed 31-Aug-11 18:24:46

Our state nursery in Scotland would not teach children to read and would only allow them to write their name precisely because learning ABC instead of phonics is confusing.

DD1's reading books are much easier than the Harry Potter books she reads in bed but they do help pin down specifics and highlight words she has difficulty with.

I'm sure the teacher will hear your child read a few times and put him up a level or two. thing for sure is reading schemes are a damn sight more interesting than bl.oody Billy Blue Hat which is what I had to endure.

NormanTebbit Wed 31-Aug-11 18:26:09

"In the Scottish Education system most children are @5 years old when they begin school "

Are they? That's not my experience

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