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to be confused as to why reading a book above a childs assessed level...

(78 Posts)
SundaysGirl Thu 11-Oct-12 16:48:44

Can in any way negatively impact their learning?

Received letter from school today saying children were not allowed to take a book a level above what they have been assessed for home reading as as this is not supporting the teachers in school.

My child takes one book at his level and one at the level above. He enjoys the challenge and has learnt plenty of new words this way. Been doing it for the last couple of years.

I'm pretty annoyed at the tone of the letter which actually implied that letting children take these books goes against the things they are being taught such as courage, kindness and trust at school shock which I take great exception to.

AIBU to go into school tomorrow and complain about the tone of this letter as well as the lack of discussion regarding this issue?

Also AIBU to think there is no way reading a book above your level can in any way negatively impact learning? Be good to hear from any teachers I just can't for the life of me see why children having a challenge in addition to their standard work is negative in any way.

CrikeyOHare Thu 11-Oct-12 17:01:34

I can see why you're pissed off - I would be too. The tone of the letter is unnecessary.

But (playing devil's advocate for a moment) learning to read isn't just about identifying words. It's about comprehension too.

When my DS was little, his reading ability got ahead of his comprehension ability. He could have physically read an adult book at aged 6, without understanding a blessed word of it. So, it's better to look at their comprehension level as well at their reading level.

SundaysGirl Thu 11-Oct-12 17:06:47

CrikeyOHare yes I totally agree with the comprehension point, it is about more than just learning new words, I should have said that in my OP.

I think more than anything it was the tone of the letter that annoyed me, and also a lack of explanation as to WHY they are saying this. They only said it doesn't support their teaching but they don't say in what way it doesn't, other than implying we are all not supporting the childrens moral learning that is hmm

CrikeyOHare Thu 11-Oct-12 17:14:24

I really can't think how they've managed to make a connection between reading levels and what children are being taught about kindness & courage hmm

Unless the next reading level up book is Fifty Shades of Grey, OP? grin.

I would be fucked off too. Have a word with the class teacher.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 11-Oct-12 17:16:23

Can you explain what you mean by "(it)implied that letting children take these books goes against the things they are being taught such as courage, kindness and trust at school which I take great exception to"

SundaysGirl Thu 11-Oct-12 17:20:22

JamieandtheMagicTorch - Yep the letter included a paragraph which said they enjoy teaching the children 'gems' such as trust and respect and they are concerned that children are placed in a difficult position when the info and guidance surrounding things like reading is not supported at home.

Implication being that parents taking it upon themselves not to stay within the reading levels are somehow not helping the children to learn these 'gems'. I think its a HUGE overreaction and take massive exception to that implication!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 11-Oct-12 17:21:00

I disagree that it can in no way negatively affect learning.

For some children, struggling to decode a book when reading aloud to their parents may demoralise them - home reading is for consolidatiing, sharing, and gaining praise from their parents.

This would be compounded if a parent was not terribly patient when listening to them - which obviously isn't relevant in your case but can happen.

OTOH, I think it is a shame if a child's love of books is stifled by them not being able to choose the books they want to read - which is why, at our school, they are given one book, and choose a second, each week

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 11-Oct-12 17:21:55

X post

I see. That's a bit heavy handed, I agree!

SundaysGirl Thu 11-Oct-12 17:22:19

CrikeyOHare I know! And also they say children can read their own books from home if they want to not just the school reading books when they were first given their reading records. Me and my son have been doing Harry Potter over the summer, I mostly read it and sometimes he reads a few lines..this is WAY above his reading level at school..so is this also an issue?

exexpat Thu 11-Oct-12 17:24:36

When I was five or six and getting bored with the books at my assigned level, I used to peel the coloured stickers off the much more interesting books I wanted to read and take them to the teacher, saying 'this one hasn't got a label, but I think it's a blue/green/red (whatever I was meant to be reading) one' so I would be allowed to borrow it. I dare say that might be seen as breaking 'trust', but I was desperately bored... Didn't do my comprehension skills any harm.

And if your DS isn't being sneaky about it, and is also reading the books he is meant to read, I can't see why there should be a problem. Are they banned from reading home or library books that might be at the 'wrong' level?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 11-Oct-12 17:24:38

... they sound pissed off that some parents are undermining school rules. But I don't think this is the way to word it, and I don't think reading books is the topic to hang this this heavy handed point onn

MsPickle Thu 11-Oct-12 17:24:53

I remember getting very bored with my school reading scheme (long time ago) and read anything and everything I could get my hands on at home! My parents let me be pretty much uncensored, a lot of children's fiction but also adult stuff. They could either let you continue to do what you do or accept that if he's interested you'll allow him to read things that they don't know about...my ds isn't at school yet but I've two sisters in law who are primary teachers and lots of friends who teach secondary and the bit they all want more kids to do is push themselves and delight in them doing so! And then, professionally, one of the main things which marks out able candidates is a curiosity about the world and an interest in stretching themselves into the unknown so I'm baffled as to the rationale behind this.

SundaysGirl Thu 11-Oct-12 17:26:06

Jamie I totaly agree with your point but I can hand on heart say I have never tried to push him into reading things he doesn't want to. If it's way too hard I read to him and maybe get him to try a line or two, but thats it.

I would not want to push a child so they get turned off reading or any other learning, but also I think having a bit of a challenge is totally fine so long as they do not appear distesssed by it.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 11-Oct-12 17:26:25

Are the school reading books from a reading program? ORT Phonics, for instance?

Hopandaskip Thu 11-Oct-12 17:27:56

Pish tosh. We have a house full of books, and I mean full... my kids have five bookshelves and still have a stack on the floor. They can (within reason) read whatever they like. Never hurt their reading one iota, in fact reading is something both of them are very good at and always have been. If your kid is struggling with reading then maybe they have a point but otherwise what they read at home is my business, not the school's.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 11-Oct-12 17:29:15

Hopandaskip

when I said home reading I meant "Home Reading" - reading scheme books sent home from school

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 11-Oct-12 17:30:12

... and yes, I agree this is more of an issue with children who are having difficulties with reading.

Hopandaskip Thu 11-Oct-12 17:30:47

Oh I'm sorry, I misunderstood.

My kids school didn't have a reading scheme so the only books that came home were ones my kids picked out from the school library. One year it was Bone almost every time. Le sigh.

WhenLifeGivesYouLemons Thu 11-Oct-12 17:31:51

This is almost funny... banning children from reading above the level that the school have decided they should be reading at! They should be grateful that there are parents like yourself encouraging their children to challenge themselves with their reading material.

Do they really think that all children of the same age should be put in the same box where only x amount of books are accessible?

It's almost Victorian to say that reading x material will damage the moral messages that the school is trying to teach through reading angry

YANBU

CrikeyOHare Thu 11-Oct-12 17:32:42

What they seem to be implying is that they have told the children what their reading level is & told them which books they can take - and a parent telling a child to take a higher level book pushes them into a position where they are defying school, violating the "trusting" & "honest" relationship!

Well, I suppose they might have a sort of vague point - but it's highly OTT, in my opinion.

Mind you - the letter will be a standard one. Maybe it has to encompass situations where kids are sneaking out books under their jumpers at the behest of parents.

But, seriously....is this likely?

Overall, YANBU.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 11-Oct-12 17:33:04

Yes, WhenLife. Ironic.

Spatsky Thu 11-Oct-12 17:37:37

Sounds very odd. Is it possible that there is a problem with children not being ale to find an available book at thee own level because others have taken them out as additnal books when they aren't at that level (desperate attempt to find sense in it). Even if that were the ce, they need more books if it is!

werewolvesdidit Thu 11-Oct-12 17:42:21

I am an English teacher and I am also a home educating parent. My DS1 could read when he was 2.5 and could read things like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when he was 5. My DS2 is 3 and can read very basic words. Our house is full of books - all kinds from Tolstoy to 'That's not my...' - my kids read everything and anything they fancy. The younger DS reads books about Romans and Vikings that he cannot possibly fathom, my older DS likes to read his little brother's baby books. It's all good. All reading is good. I say let them read WHATEVER they want and nobody should interfere with that process. Teachers are control freaks sometimes. Grrr!

Hopandaskip Thu 11-Oct-12 17:44:24

I still think it is crazy, what if said kid is obsessed about sharks, let them read about sharks if they want to read about sharks, even if they might not understand all the words they will be motivated to work them out or ask someone. If a kid wants to read, let them, why stand in the way of that??

I have to say that the things that have discouraged my kids about reading the most is when they have had a teacher that wants to actively manage what they are reading. Having the kids fill in reading logs actually meant they read less, not more for example.

Hopandaskip Thu 11-Oct-12 17:45:09

werewolves I think I just repeated you LOL.

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