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Primary- Reading at home pointless?

(31 Posts)
mumtobealloveragain Sun 02-Feb-14 20:41:23

Just after some opinions here...

Is reading at home a pointless waster of time? Are there any negative effects to the child who's parents don't bother?

My ex has our children for the school week every other week. He never reads with them. (one is in reception so just starting learning to read and the other can read but not well). Both bring home a book each day and parents listen to them read and sign their contact book. The teachers have started writing note in it like "please read" and "has x read this?" as well as "please practice xyz". They don't do this for me as I always do it anyway. He refuses to read with them after school or do homework. "That's what the teachers get paid for" hmm The notes in the front of their contact books states the school would like children to read every evening. The meeting we attended at the start of term emphasised the importance of parents reading and doing homework.

Anyway. Ex won't listen to me, ever, and he will do the opposite of what I ask him to. So, I was thinking of asking the teacher to have a word with him and explain the importance of it. Do you think the teacher will do this or will they think it's a unimportant matter (in guessing they must it's think it has some importance to have written the notes to him in their contact books in the first place).

Opinions appreciated.. Thanks.

Stopmithering Sun 02-Feb-14 20:46:03

Don't know if the school would approach him.
I would ask, though.
Because he's being a bit of a twat.
Has he no ambition for them? No desire to know they are learning, progressing and enjoying it?
I have never understood the "that's what school's for" mentality.
Why bother having children if you don't want to parent them?
If school can't / won't approach the subject with him, at least you know you are doing a great job.

daytoday Sun 02-Feb-14 20:46:21

Reading at home is essential. The school teaches your child the skills but they need to practise those skills to become good.

The bit of your brain that reads, develops as you read.

For some kids, reading is very easy to learn but for most its a skill they have to learn. For these kids, reading at home is essential.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 02-Feb-14 20:46:52

It has to be worth asking the teacher if they will have a word with him.

I help out with reading at DS1's infant school, and without exception the children who are the best readers and making the most progress are the ones who read at home very regularly.

The children who struggle are the ones whose parents never hear them read.

Obviously your DCs will be getting the benefit of reading with you during your week, but they would make better progress if your ex did his part as well.

Aelfrith Sun 02-Feb-14 20:48:26

Really important. (Used to be a teacher). Schools cannot possibly replicate the 1-1 time that parents can give. IMHO parents teach children to read and school back that up, not the other way round. (Lots of research to support this, but I said that on another thread and got shouted down....). Taught young children (4-8) for 20+ years. Children whose parents read with them daily do far better IMVHO. (SN excepted....dyslexic children need specialist school help and parental help), I think.

frugalfuzzpig Sun 02-Feb-14 20:50:55

Of course it's essential.

My DD's school is fabulous, but let's face it there's only so many times staff can hear one of thirty children read individually. The teaching has been brilliant but there's no way my DD would be as confident at reading if she hadn't been reading to us every night as well as at school. Just no way.

Your ex is being a dick but you know that.

School will agree it's vital.

Do your DCs enjoy reading at home? Do you think you could get them to bug dad every night they're with him "we need to do our reading daddy" etc

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Sun 02-Feb-14 20:56:34

I approach parents who do not read with their children (Reception) and explain how important it is.
I also make sure they know how to support the child - I give out "how to share books" and "how to support your child with their reading" sheets, as sometimes I forget that the parent may not have any idea what they are expected to do.

mumtobealloveragain Sun 02-Feb-14 21:41:02

They love reading. He's written a reply in their books saying "I work shifts and often can't read as I get him too late" he's not even a good liar. He works shifts either nights (he goes after the kids in bed and his sister babysits) or works a really early shift from 5am and his sister takes them to school but he is always there to collect them everyday and he's always at home with them from 3:30pm til their bedtime at 8pm. His lie is crap and the teacher must have though "hmmm...".

How bloody hard is it? Ten mins for the younger one and 5 mins for the eldest. They sometimes read to me whilst I bath the baby or whilst I cook dinner or even sometimes in the car on the way to Sainsburys/swimming lessons. He's just an arse. I know it, he knows it, kids are starting to realise as they get older and I bet the teachers know it. grin

KingRollo Sun 02-Feb-14 21:48:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

frugalfuzzpig Sun 02-Feb-14 22:10:59

What a lovely idea KingRollo smile

pointythings Mon 03-Feb-14 09:52:05

Reading is key - them reading out loud to you, but also you reading to them as you can choose books with more interesting storylines and varied vocabulary. Children who read at home and are read to at home do better - not just in reading but in maths too. Your ex is being an arse.

Meglet Mon 03-Feb-14 09:56:52

Your ex is being a twit.

I'm a LP and I work 3 days a week. I still manage to read with both the DC's I hardly do housework though. (the DC's don't see their dad so I don't get any problems with anyone messing up their homework routine).

DS was a free reader at the start of year 2, I'm sure reading together helped him do well.

I'd speak to the teachers and see if they can have a word with him.

callamia Mon 03-Feb-14 09:59:29

There is so much research to suggest that reading at one is associated with good outcomes, not only directly related to reading, but also language skills more broadly.

I think it's not only about skills development, it's about setting a positive example about reading, school and being together enjoying something like a book. It's a great way of calming down at the end of a day, and spending some quality peaceful time together.

Maybe he didn't like school and resents an intrusion of school on his time, and it would be sad to be like that - but I know many parents who harbour a fear and mistrust of school, usually based on their own experiences. May be some suggestions about how to read with children might be helpful? Maybe your children's teachers might be able to help?

ShadowOfTheDay Mon 03-Feb-14 09:59:34

reading at home is essential, reading at home every day is not...

if he is being an arse about it, then there will not be much you can do without making it a huge issue for the kids... I should imagine they don't want to do battle with their daddy over this kind of thing.....

they will learn just fine from your input alone every other week... I also love KingRollo 's suggestion...

mumtobealloveragain Mon 03-Feb-14 10:05:47

Thanks everyone. Yeah KingRollos idea is fab. They don't actually need any encouragement and thy do ask him but he says no, so I won't do it for them to include time with him as it's out of heir control- we shall do it at home though.

Grumpykins Mon 03-Feb-14 10:17:54

Reading is important. It helps to widen a cjild's vocabulary. Children that enjoy reading are almost always good at spelling.

We read to our dc every night.

Grumpykins Mon 03-Feb-14 10:22:28


throckenholt Mon 03-Feb-14 10:26:42

Tell them to just get their books out and start reading out aloud. Either he joins in and helps them, or they do it on their own - at least they are still getting some practice.

Not much esle you can do really.

Clutterbugsmum Mon 03-Feb-14 11:03:20

My DC school makes a point of explaining to parents at the meeting prior to dc starting school that although teachers are there to help children learn theu are not the 'primary' teacher we as parents are, as we are around our children more then them.

How much of an age gap do you have. I have a reception child and a year one (as well as year 5). My yr 1 child loves reading (is known to go to bed with a dictionary/atlas) makes reads with the reception child, as he refuses to read with me. Could they help each other, I know not ideal.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 03-Feb-14 13:37:48

How many nights a week reading do the children miss due to your ex? My year 1 DD can change her book everyday if she wants to but the teachers don't expect her to read every single evening. I would say 4 times a week would be fine. It's not OK that your ex puts that on you but if you can manage it it would mean you're sure your DCs are not missing out and any reading your ex does with them is a bonus.

Could you and your ex go to parents' evening together? Could you ask the teacher beforehand if she could mention the importance of practising reading with parents?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 03-Feb-14 13:41:51

I don't think they have much time at school reading, although I know this varies between schools.
if they don't read at home some dc are not learning at all.
Your x is the problem here, he should do it every night.
There isn't a lot expected, just a page or 2 usually.

MomentForLife Mon 03-Feb-14 13:46:49

It is definately important. With the exception of dyslexia etc, I find it very easy to identify if a child reads at home. Even really good readers sometimes struggle with fluency. As they get older they read aloud as a class and it can be difficult for them.

frugalfuzzpig Mon 03-Feb-14 20:53:52

Clutterbugsmum my DCs sometimes read to each other too! (Well the 4yo "reads" ie recites his favourite books rather than reading but close enough) - it fills a gap on the evenings when I'm too unwell to do it with them. I wouldn't want them to only do that as obviously it's important to have adult input but I think it's quite sweet really.

Not that it's an excuse for OP's ex to shirk his responsibilities, mind!

mumtobealloveragain Mon 03-Feb-14 21:19:59

Thanks all. They are with him for a whole week then me for a whole week ( a whole other story) but full alternate weeks. He usually doesn't read at all, all week, a whole 7 days, once at most though. X

Clutterbugsmum Mon 03-Feb-14 21:39:36

OP I think all you can do then is speak to the school about the situation. And see if they can help.

Frugalfuzzpig my dd2 gets her white board out and makes him sit and do her lessons with her, complete with her Learning objective written at the top.

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