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to write a note in the reading diary saying...

(191 Posts)
EvilTwins Sat 23-Mar-13 23:20:02

...that my DTDs are not going to read their reading books this holiday.

DTDs are in Yr 2. They each have 4 reading scheme books for the Easter holidays. At home, DTD1 is currently reading the first Harry Potter book, and DTD2 is reading The BFG. I am very very happy to listen to them reading these, and to write which chapters they've read in their reading diaries, but they find their school reading books so dull. WIBU to not make them read their reading books over the holidays but to listen to them reading their own choice of books instead?

LandofTute Sat 23-Mar-13 23:43:28

I think most teachers would agree with what you wrote above.

Startail Sat 23-Mar-13 23:46:31

Leave books in bags, write vague comment like the twins read well over the holidays. Let teacher assume they read dull books.

Dyslexic DD1 returned loads of dull books 1/2 finished or I read them to her. Life is too short for dull books.

YouTheCat Sat 23-Mar-13 23:49:54

Anyway, if your dtds are reading HP and BFG the books you describe that have been sent home are hardly likely to stretch them.

Startail Sat 23-Mar-13 23:50:09

DD1 now never has her nose out of a book, but she had to come to love reading (which even at 15 still isn't totally easy to her) in her own way. Through the familiar characters of the magic key and non fiction that interested her. 70 pages about football would have been an absolute non starter.

EvilTwins Sat 23-Mar-13 23:51:54

YouTheCat - they have come on so well with reading in the last 6 months - at the beginning of Yr 2, the school books were challenging, but now they're just not. It seems like the school is going through the motions. I'm quite sure that in other schools, they'd be termed "free readers". angry

tiggytape Sat 23-Mar-13 23:52:17

The sooner they get on and do this, the sooner they will become free readers and will be able to read their own books.

I always hated this aspect of reading schemes - that implication that books are something to be endured in prescribed stages that can go on forever. I remember the howls of disbelief the day we found out that the Oxford Reading Tree had about 5 more levels than we'd previously feared known about! And it wasn't just the kids howling either! I just let them read their own books from about Year 2 onwards. They are well past that age now and both very avid readers with reading ages years ahead of expected levels.

I didn't write snarky comments in their reading diaries, I just ignored the reading scheme books at home and wrote 'littletiggy read very well to page 15' and just failed to mention it was page 15 in a completely different book.

YouTheCat Sat 23-Mar-13 23:55:20

I was so lucky with dd's year 1 and year 2 teachers. She was free reading in year 1 as the teacher saw no benefit to keeping her on the reading scheme and let her choose her own book to bring home.

In year 2, the teacher did the same. By year 3 dd's teacher said there was no need for her to bring books home and she'd be satisfied with dd telling her about whatever book she was currently reading.

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Mar-13 23:57:01

I know what you're saying about encouraging your DC to feel what it can be like to totally escape into a book and it fire up their imagination, but if you think that schools are trying to bring a lot of totally different children to a point where they can be compared to each other/national averages, then making them go through the same kinds of processes has to be a part of that.

Lots of people don't like this kind of 'one size fits all', but how else can they go about making sure everyone, regardless of their ability, gets a fair shot at a relatively decent education?

Your DC have to fit into that, and some parts are going to be dull, it'll be less of a shock then when they realise that life can be fucking dull sometimes grin

WorraLiberty Sat 23-Mar-13 23:59:42

What AgentZigzag said.

AgentZigzag Sun 24-Mar-13 00:00:18

And I'm saying that as someone who won't finish a book if it's crap.

But I have had to read really difficult and uninteresting things in my time, working or studying, and you do have to learn how find things to keep your interest at some point.

I mean, nobody finds a business report interesting unless they're a total freak, but they have to be read and acted on by someone.

EvilTwins Sun 24-Mar-13 00:00:56

My concern is that the school is very keen on the reading scheme, and seems to like DCs to work through all the books before moving up (being in the unusual-ish position of the mother of two DCs in the same class, I know that they like them to work through all the books - it tends to go in the same pattern - fiction, then non-fiction, then some poetry, then some play scripts) I don't think they go beyond lime level, so the end is in sight, but I would love to be able to just send their own choice of book into school, know that when it's their turn to read to a teacher/TA, they could read a bit of that book to them, and then be able to enjoy sharing that book with them at home. It's not like at secondary school where they have to do a certain novel for GCSE or whatever, it's reading for the sake of reading, so surely HP/Roald Dahl/Enid Blyton/Laura Ingalls Wilder is just as good as Cambridge Towards Independence Level C or Oxford Reading Tree Stage 11.

AgentZigzag Sun 24-Mar-13 00:01:58

I was thinking that strayed over into 'you're taking this a bit too seriously' territory worra grin

Yfronts Sun 24-Mar-13 00:03:27

I think the most important thing is to foster a love of reading. With a love of reading, kids will easily master the regular phonetics. We stayed away from Biff and gravitated towards other books too and my DS aged 10 has absolutely blossomed over the years. He often has a book in his hands at home. His teacher says he writes like an author and about 4 years ahead. Avoiding boring Biff in year 2+ hasn't been an issue for him.

WorraLiberty Sun 24-Mar-13 00:05:10

It all sounds very idealistic and lovely OP but I do think you're over thinking this a tad.

Kids need to learn from an early age that some things they'll like doing and some things they won't.

They won't like this particular aspect of homework but once it's done they can then relax and read for pleasure.

I read for pleasure last night before going to sleep.

This morning I woke up and read a 400 page report.

That's reality for you.

christinarossetti Sun 24-Mar-13 00:05:26

In a similar position here, and planning to discuss at parent's evening next week.

I've given myself a little break from trying to persuade Y1 dd to read her school books and listen to her read whatever she likes - she's just finishing 'The Twits'.

Aside from not being particularly challenging, I agree that books about sheep playing football or whatever feel very much like reading books because they 'have' to be read not for any pleasure or enjoyment.

It's not the same as 'they may not like Shakespeare although they will have to read him' - a Shakespeare text will be chosen and studied with thought and care, not randomly plucked from some book box.

AgentZigzag Sun 24-Mar-13 00:05:49

Did you read the chip and biff thread posted recently ET?

Brought back horrible memories for me grin (and reminded me having DD2 means I've got to go through it all again hmm) but the OP thought along exactly the same lines as you.

EvilTwins Sun 24-Mar-13 00:06:35

Agent - I disagree that DC have to fit into the "one size fits all" approach. Teachers differentiate for different levels of children - it's part of the job. I don't think my DTDs should have to work through the reading scheme when they are more excited about reading better books, just so that the school can see where they fit against the national average. We had parents' evening this week - their teacher is very well aware of their abilities as compared to the other children in the class and national expectation at this stage in Yr 2. She knows what they are reading - the girls talk about it and she listens.

WorraLiberty Sun 24-Mar-13 00:09:13

Have you considered home schooling OP?

Only it might be better than telling the teacher that you know best and going against what the kids are being asked to do...which is basically what every single child in the class is being asked to do.

Just a thought.

tiggytape Sun 24-Mar-13 00:09:55

Agent - I am not sure why one child's reading ability needs to be compared against another child's reading ability or why they would both need to read the same books in the same order to do this.
Many tests including the Year 1 phonics and the Year 2 SATS exist for those who want to compare each child against a standard measure or against each other. They aren’t reliant on a child having read a certain stack of books in a set colour-coded order.

Ability to read should be quickly followed by establishing a love of reading which in turn naturally enhances existing skills.
The ability to read dull texts is a specialist skill that should never be introduced before the love of reading is totally secure and the skills advanced enough that they do not stall or regress when exposed to deathly dull books. There is no advantage to a sticking to a prescribed reading scheme that isn’t hugely outweighed by the damage it will do if it turns a child off reading or makes reading a chore.

EvilTwins Sun 24-Mar-13 00:10:44

Haha. No, I'm not going to home school. That seems a bit of leap from "I would rather my kids read the books they like that the dull book about a football-playing dog I found in their book bags".

WorraLiberty Sun 24-Mar-13 00:12:12

Oh well 'I would rather' is totally different to 'My DTDs are not going to read their reading books this holiday.'

Isn't it?

AgentZigzag Sun 24-Mar-13 00:13:50

I'm not saying this is always the case, but I wonder how much of it is just a taking easy way out decision? (which I'm not averse to doing myself of course)

That it's easier to let them off doing something the school's asked of them when you've got the justification of knowing as an adult the amazing things books can give you, at the same time as knowing what a stink DC kick up when they're made to do something they don't want to.

EvilTwins Sun 24-Mar-13 00:14:03

I am not going to force them to read the books they have brought home. It doesn't follow that I think I know best and that I should home school.

Feenie Sun 24-Mar-13 00:14:09

You'd have been better posting this on the Primary board, Eviltwins. Posters here are arguing about a principle, when it is clearly counter productive ti the ultimate aim of getting your dds to read and enjoy reading.

Feenie Sun 24-Mar-13 00:14:31


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