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ha, never thought I'd be posting here - but some advice please!

(9 Posts)
readingwreck Mon 23-Jun-14 17:57:53

I've got two dds. Both summerborn. The second one is 4 - so in Reception. I don't think she's G&T, she just, like many children, really loves reading. I've not taught her. She reads to me in the evenings like her sister does, and as a result has become very good at it. In fact, slightly better than her older sister, who is a good reader in Year 2.

my four year old got to Level 14 on the school scheme - gold, lime? earlier this month (they kept putting her up, I never asked them to change her level), but clearly wasn't understanding the concepts (Treetops, ORT so designed for much older children). I suggested at this point that they found her something more appropriate, but they said that if she wasn't going to read those then she needed to choose from a box in Yr1. Which would be fine, but the books she brings home now have only one sentence on a page, because they let her choose whichever she likes. She can read them in seconds, so I've got her reading the Faraway Tree to me instead - which she enjoys.

I asked the teachers whether they could provide her with something challenging and appropriate, but they appear to think I am mad, and pushing her. I have never pushed her at all. She likes to go on Google after school and type in 'books for children' and then begs me to buy them - she is just obsessed with books (not always in a healthy way - I've asked them to ensure she spends less time in the book corner and more with her friends, as she clearly uses reading as a 'comfort blanket' when things go wrong).

Am I unreasonable to assume that they should provide her with a book that is at an appropriate level for her, or are they right in saying such a book doesn't exist? She understands what she's reading when its something like the Faraway Tree or the Selfish Giant, can infer and predict at a reasonable level, but level 14 and above Treetops are all about things like Victorian poverty and adaptations of White Fang - not really appropriate for a four year old. I know this, because her sister has gone through the lot of them.

They think I will turn her off reading by allowing her free access to fairy tales and Enid Blyton, and I think they will turn her off reading if they keep just giving her books that are too easy, or insisting on rigid adherence to a scheme designed for Juniors. And now I feel like I'm being unreasonable by asking them to make time to choose the right book for her? What do I do to ensure they don't just think I'm some kind of nutter, but make sure dd2 is well served at the same time.

claraschu Mon 23-Jun-14 18:10:33

I had one child like this. I never asked the school for books; just give your daughter whatever you think she will like. Mine loved Doctor Dolittle books, Beverly Cleary, Narnia books, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and many others. He would read things to himself which he only partially understood, but he was enjoying himself, so why not?

I haven't found it helpful to discuss this kind of thing with teachers. They will probably think you are boastful, pushy and / or deluded. Only a teacher who notices your daughter's enthusiasm, and takes an interest, is likely to come up with good suggestions.

tenderbuttons Mon 23-Jun-14 18:46:01

We were in exactly the same position with DD in Reception, right down to Book Corner being a comfort zone.

In the end we just ignored the school books - in your case if she gets the one sentence ones then she can read them in 2 min and then get on with the stuff that matters.

I think it's better if school and reading are kept apart as long as possible for children like this, then they can just carry on reading for fun.

There are lots of good threads on here in which people recommend books for early readers like this. Also, can you order books from your local library? We can for free, and did, and it was a godsend at this stage when she was getting through them like they were sweets.

MaryBennett Mon 23-Jun-14 18:53:02

Just enjoy 'real reading'! Mine loved Dick King-Smith's Sophie books, Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, Dorothy Edwards, Milly-Molly-Mandy and Jill Murphy.

Don't worry what school thinks. Just go to a good public library and let her choose.

School does loads. You can have fun with good books. Hope your dd has a lovely time.

readingwreck Mon 23-Jun-14 19:28:23

Thanks - I'll just continue ignoring them then and she can read the other stuff at home. I was just a bit sad that things haven't moved on from when I was a child (and basically was left to get on with it as a young reader)
I thought they were supposed to differentiate! I'll search for some more books for her.

I'm a rubbish(busy working) mother and though I do use the library we always find ourselves forgetting to take them back - which is why I tend to rely on buying endless book people sets, but you're right, I need to take her more often.

Thanks all.

simpson Tue 24-Jun-14 23:25:19

Personally I would just not get any school reading books <<yippee>> and provide the books yourself.

This is what I have been doing with DD (yr1) all year.

GoogleyEyes Sun 29-Jun-14 16:44:59

I've actually just asked dd1's teacher (via book bag note) for a list of suitable books to keep her going over the summer. She's in Y1 now, but we've had the whole ready for complex books but not for older themes issue since the end of YR. She's reading a lot of the classics, but I don't know enough of the modern authors (though there are some excellent threads on here with good ideas). I find her language gets a bit archaic on a solid diet of Enid Blyton, CS Lewis, E Nesbitt etc!

Anyway, I figured that this would give her teacher a chance to do a bit of research / ask a colleague and not be put on the spot.

BlackeyedSusan Wed 02-Jul-14 00:48:17

I suggest picture books. they have quite a lot of rich language and are at about white level (ten) you can do an awful lot with them. she probably needs to learn meanings of words and the subtleites of stories ... why they are feeling this that or the other or why did that happen, retelling main points, what does she think will happen next etc. I found at this point dd needed to do a lot of comprehension type work on langauge etc.

If she is beyond this then there are a few lists of easy, or not so easy chapter books that you could read with her. (ie listen to reading)

I have a few recommendations for sensitive four/five year olds.

ljny Thu 10-Jul-14 18:32:44

Don't worry what school thinks. Just go to a good public library and let her choose.

Yy. Mine were similar (sadly, it was pre-Interne). Def don't worry what the school thinks - your DD needs to read, sounds like she wants to read, and you'll be lucky to come across a teacher who takes the interest. Spend your time finding appropriate books for her.

YYy to Milly-Molly-Mandy and Jill Murphy. Mine were too sensitive for Roald Dahl. Oddly, all three loved Asterix/Obelisk and TinTin.

Some classics seem less distressing for very early/young readers. Mine enjoyed the Shoe books (Dancing Shoes, Ballet Shoes, etc).

Snow Treasure (Marie McSwigan) is an absolute gem or a book, and a great intro to WWII for a sensitive/young child (no atrocities).

We're a dual US/UK family so these might not work for your DD but mine also liked Laura Ingalls Wilder (Prairie books), Louise May Alcott (Little Women), and I'm ashamed to admit at age 6, youngest DD really loved the whole fecking Babysitter's Little Sister series. Again, could be too US-centric.

If you're in a city, have you tried freecycle? Sometimes families offload bags of outgrown books. Or school book sales. Just choose books for older children and censor out the scary ones, for now.

Good luck! I wish schools cared more to encourage early readers, whether they're clever, gifted or just interested - but despite the lip service being paid to differentiation, it doesn't sound like that's changed.

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