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To think I cannot physically force dd to read! Sorry long!

(59 Posts)
bangheadhere Thu 28-Jan-16 21:20:11

Ok I will start this by saying that I am a total book worm, we have a house full of books, I have always read with dd when she was small and I always have a book on the go myself.

DD however HATES reading despite the fact she has always had a good reading age. She struggles phonetically and has devised her own methods entirely. (She has some learning needs)

Anyway dds secondary school has a reading scheme. The school rule is that children must always have a library book in their bags all the time. At the start of year 8 dd went up a set to a new teacher. Following the year 7 teachers rules she went and asked the library staff what her level was and chose a book as she had always been told to do (they had done a test the week before)

As I posted at the time DD was 50 odd pages into the book and enjoying it which was within her level range and simple when they had their next literacy lesson. Dds new teacher saw the book and bollocked her.
Basically in front of the class shouted that she didn't know why she had chosen that book and when she was scoring 100% on tests then she could chose which books she wanted. DD was scared of this teacher anyway as she had heard she had called other classes stupid etc.

DD was having self esteem sessions at the time at school and real issues with feeling stupid, was asking to leave the school already and really not coping and is not the kind of child to get in trouble at school and so was heart broken to be shouted at in front of all the class.

She was left picking a lower level book which there were few choices and she had read them all at primary where her reading age was assessed as above average by the people who came out to assess learning difficulties. Ironically she did score 100% on the next test!

I spoke to school and said that if she required a lower level book I had no issue with this but was upset with how she had been left feeling given school knew of the issues she was having. The teacher made it all about the book saying that she wanted them to start from scratch so she could judge them which I had no issue with, it was made all about the book and levels which was not my issue.

Following all this dd will not read at all, She is meant to read two books per half term. She has read one since September, it has made her more determined not to read, the teacher is obviously not happy with this and has wrote a note in her planner. Her reading age has for the first time ever dropped and she is lower now than she was at primary school.

I buy her books all the time, I am always encouraging her to chose stories to buy. We have mounds of books. She never gets more than a few pages in and then leaves it. She cannot stand reading. I cannot physically force her to read and I am a bit at loss of what to actually do or what they want me to do when they cannot get her to read either.

CocktailQueen Thu 28-Jan-16 21:23:15

Make an appt with her English teacher or form teacher. Discuss it and ask what they suggest.

Wolfiefan Thu 28-Jan-16 21:25:08

Bless her. That sounds completely awful.
Could she and a friend read a play out together (away from class) or share an appropriate magazine?
Audio book?

Tamponlady Thu 28-Jan-16 21:26:39

Yes anything that can read comics ?

Manga some can be a bit rude so you have to watch

Magazines perhaps

Wolfiefan Thu 28-Jan-16 21:27:51

And someone needs to give that teacher's head a wobble. She needs to understand what effect she has had on your DD.

bangheadhere Thu 28-Jan-16 21:32:22

We have audio books. She gets magazines every week. She likes the Beano, she gets young teen magazines but basically looks at the pictures of fashion clothes. I have even bought her those trashy 'That's Life' type magazines because she loves those.

I have spoken with school but don't feel I have any suggestion other than she needs to read. Latest note home basically says she has to read a book by next lesson and do a quiz on it and get another book started.

The only books she will read are David Walliams ones. We have the entire series of those including the newest one but she is struggling with motivation to read even that now. sad

lostInTheWash Thu 28-Jan-16 21:35:06

Graphic novels and audio books have stirred interest with mine - but I've also worked on the problems mine have with phonics work in background but they are still at primary.

Like the other posters have said the school is causing the problem so you need to talk to them about ways of stopping it and how they are going to work on building up her confidence again.

Imustgodowntotheseaagain Thu 28-Jan-16 21:37:44

Is it important that she reads novels? Could she read recipes to you while you cook, or have fun writing captions to photos? Maybe a bit of a break from novels would be good for her.

SoporificHobnob Thu 28-Jan-16 21:37:45

My dd is like this but will read a rick riordan graphic novel in no time at all, she loves them. It's the only thing that she will read hmm

ConesOfDunshire Thu 28-Jan-16 21:40:23

English teacher here. It sounds like the school is doing Accelerated Reader. All of the Walliams books are on the system; get her to re-read an old favourite and take the quiz.

lostInTheWash Thu 28-Jan-16 21:41:54

Could these help find books she might like - kindle if she doesn't have one? Have read kindle can be easier for some dyslexics so mine have those and it does restart their enthusiasm - when they get it and then when do some buying of books.

The school attitude doesn't sound very helpful - sometimes stopping pressure and letting them not read for a bit - mean they come back to it on the own.

NinkyNonky Thu 28-Jan-16 21:41:54

I went off reading at a similar age. I was also reading at a higher level, although I didn't have a horrible experience like your daughter to put me off. I'm not sure why to be honest.

My mum tried loads of stuff to get me reading. The only thing that worked was reading a really gripping book to me until I was hooked and then I'd finish it on my own. Would that be worth a try?

bangheadhere Thu 28-Jan-16 21:43:23

Thank you.

She has had massive phonics help but it does not seem to have worked much. She has learned entirely from full word memorisation and was already at a high reading age in primary.

Her favourite book is one about science facts and theories. It is an adult book and fairly complicated but it is in short bursts of 4 pages or so per topic which is probably why she likes it.

She likes things like How it is made, the Big Bang Theory and the Goldbergs on tv if anyone has any ideas. I have tried her with graphic novels.

bangheadhere Thu 28-Jan-16 21:47:23

She tried to chose a non fiction book the other day in her library lesson with the same teacher (they just read as far as I can gather in this lesson) and was told off for trying to chose a non fiction book and told to do it in her own time.

Thank you Lost will have a look. She has a Samsung so has a Kindle app on that.

Accelerated Reader sounds like it might be right.

LilacSpunkMonkey Thu 28-Jan-16 21:47:24

Can she read non-fiction instead or does it have to be a novel?

My DD is 14 and in Y9 and has more or less given up on fiction. She's also above average with her reading level. As a fellow bookworm who has always read to her and shared books it seems alien to me that she doesn't want to know.

DD recently read 'The Outsiders' and 'Rumblefish', by S.E.Hinton, a female, American author. She started writing when she was a teen herself, in the 60s, and based her early stories on what she observed at school. The Outsiders was published when she was 17 and is about a gang of boys from the rough part of town. It was my favourite book when I was 14 and DD loved it.

I think there was such a dearth of decent fiction for boys for awhile that we've now swung the other way and there are great books for boys but very little choice for girls. DD's friends are all into Twilight and the like. Supernatural balls where a girl discovers she's half-goddess/fairy/unicorn and falls for a bad boy. It's very formulaic.

DD also had a great book on feminism/geekdom for Christmas, that she's really into. She can really relate because she loves Doctor Who and is discovering her feminist side.

Hope you find a way forward.

lostInTheWash Thu 28-Jan-16 21:51:00

Found loads of good reference books with the book people.

The sound foundation people have very good phonics program - dancing bears and their spelling range apple and pears.

Having said that I didn't work the complex phonics code out and wasn't taught it but managed to do well at school - though spelling was awful and reading not accurate - still loved books Agatha Christie gripped me, partly got there via TV programs- and then learnt to love stories seen same with my eldest.

bangheadhere Thu 28-Jan-16 21:51:39

and thank you Cones, she would probably read the Walliams ones again so that is a good option if they fall within the right levels.

In fairness the teacher was ok with her last lesson and told her she could read the Walliams one she had bought herself as it is within the right level but this is going to be an ongoing issue now.

Chiggers Thu 28-Jan-16 21:51:56

I was, and am still where your DD is now. I hate reading books that don't interest me. I have read numerous books/novels etc and the only types that interest me are cooking/baking/science/factual books.

In school, I had to read many novels and do essays on what I remember about them. My essays were crap as I couldn't remember anything about the novels. They just didn't interest me at all, so as far as it went, they were just words on a load of pages with no meaning to me.

Now, if you handed me Stephen Hawking's book A Brief History of Time etc, I'd be reading them with gusto and could tell you everything about them. That's because I am interested in that kind of thing and love reading about it.

bangheadhere Thu 28-Jan-16 21:57:20

Sorry x posting with everyone but am reading thank you.

I too find it alien. I LOVE books. I have a pile on my bedside at the moment. I find it frustrating as I know her writing and English would improve if she would read as she would gain ideas and imagination.

ConesOfDunshire Fri 29-Jan-16 00:47:00

and thank you Cones, she would probably read the Walliams ones again so that is a good option if they fall within the right levels.

Actually, IMO it doesn't matter whether they do. Here's why:

I've used Accelerated Reader a lot and I find it to be an excellent tool to monitor reading and manage interventions. Like any system, however, it has its faults, and for me these come when it is used too dogmatically.

I don't know how familiar you are with the process. The child takes a reading test, which generates a reading age and what they call a 'zone of proximal development', or ZPD. Books are given a numerical code depending on how difficult they are, and pupils are guided to read books within a fairly narrow range. The idea is to maintain the perfect level of challenge - hard enough to develop skills, but not to hard as to make the child disengage.

This is all great in theory, but it doesn't account for the fact that we all only really make progress in our reading if we enjoy and are interested in the reading material. Unless you have an enormous library with almost endless stock, it is virtually impossible to find books which will engage the full range of children within an appropriate range. Schools which insist that the child only read books within their ZPD, as I think your DD's school is doing, risk disengaging reluctant readers further by seriously restricting their reading options.

I am of the opinion that engagement and enjoyment will go a very long way in overcoming the challenges of a difficult book, and if a child wants to read something above their ZPD which I know they will really love or are really keen in, I always let them. Your daughter's confidence has been really shaken, which is why I suggest going back to the Walliams - she needs the literary equivalent of a comfy old pair of slippers to help her to get her mojo back. There is absolutely nothing in the system to stop her taking the quiz at home, and if she does well (which I'm sure she will) you will have clear evidence to show the teacher and the head of department that their approach is not working for your DD.

Incidentally, there are non-fiction quizzes within AR, and the teacher should consider bending the policy on reading fiction if it might help to re-engage your DD.

Finally, you don't say what your DD's learning needs are but do talk to the SENCO to ensure that they are being met. Does she tire easily when reading? Has she tried using different coloured overlays, for example? Has she had a recent eye test? No matter what her earlier problems with phonics, phonic intervention is unlikely to make much difference now - the most able readers very quickly move on from phonetic decoding to sight reading, and many children learn to read without phonics at all.

I hope that this might help. Wishing you and your DD masses of luck!

IguanaTail Fri 29-Jan-16 00:52:00

What does she do instead of reading? A lot prefer to chat on their phones rather than read at that age.

bangheadhere Fri 29-Jan-16 03:24:53

Thank you that is very helpful. It does sound like the same scheme. Dds teacher will not let them read outside of the level. Her first issue occured because dds range was something like 4.7 to 7. Something (not sure of numbers but just to give an idea. Dd picked a 5.4 so within range as she had always done before and got in trouble because the new teacher wanted them to pick the first book of the new year from for example the 4.8 range to see how they read and so made dd put back the within range 5.4 she was reading and enjoying and made her pick from a limited number of 4.8 books she had no interest in.

She uses coloured overlays as the words were 'jumping on the page' . She is Dyspraxic, has sensory processing disorder and has receptive language issues.

Currently waiting to see camhs as she is really struggling. Possible asd at play too.

Iguana she doesn't really have friends to chat to. She plays minecraft (got the annuals for that too!) lego , watches Stampy on youtube etc

ChalkHearts Fri 29-Jan-16 03:49:54

If she uses coloured overlays there are 2 things that might help:

Barrington Stoke books, which are all published on cream paper.

Playing Engaging Eyes which is a vision training game for people who are helped by coloured overlays.

bangheadhere Fri 29-Jan-16 03:51:31

Thank you. Most helpful!

MrsUniverse Fri 29-Jan-16 04:10:33

As an English teacher I am familiar with the kind of scheme you're talking about. Your DD's teacher has monumentally fucked up. Check the book against the reading range (or zpd) for your daughter, she is entitled to read anywhere in that range.

I would be tempted to write a note back to the teacher asking what methods she would suggest given she is the reason your DD is struggling. What a nerve on the woman.

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