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To read school books or own choice?

(44 Posts)
lovecheese Sun 05-Jun-11 19:36:25

Background, DD is in year 2 and is a very able reader, in the top guided reading/comprehension group and will probably come out with a secure level 3, not boasting, just facts. Her school has a long-winded reading scheme which goes way beyond lime band (band 11), and I really do mean way beyond. She is currently bringing home some frankly ancient books which are a struggle to get her to read because she wants to read her own stuff instead; her school does not move them up to the next level when they have read all the books in a box BTW, they have to be re-assessed by the teacher, and the emphasis has always been on the fact that the books that they bring home are for fun (hmm) and it is the books that are read during guided reading that are important. I know she is a great reader, so should I let her just read her own books and put a note in the reading diary saying as much, given that they are not moved on based on wading through book after book from school?

muminlondon Sun 05-Jun-11 21:00:23

You could mention it to the teacher but yes, let her make her own choices and read her own books. She can list what she's read in the reading diary (or you can, if you're still filling it in). She won't be the only one in the class to have reached this stage.

gordongrumblebum Sun 05-Jun-11 21:07:35

I always let the children read their own books when they reach lime, otherwise most will lose interest in reading very quickly. (Our lime+ choice of books is appalling!) Several of my boys are wading their way through Beast Quest at the moment! Unfortunately, some of the girls are fixated on the pastel-coloured pink and sparkly fairy series, but I guess they'll get over it!

Neutral1 Sun 05-Jun-11 21:26:24

Just gatecrashing this thread. What level would you put some of the early Roald Dahl's at - Magic Finger, Fant. Mr Fox etc. Seen some other threads but they seem to have different levels than some I've seen on the dyslexia RR levels site. Just wondered which was correct? We're just starting the step into real books and hoping to avoid Magic Fairies! Reading Stage 9 at school with ease but need expand vocab.

Neutral1 Sun 05-Jun-11 21:27:35

Just gatecrashing this thread. What level would you put some of the early Roald Dahl's at - Magic Finger, Fant. Mr Fox etc. Seen some other threads but they seem to have different levels than some I've seen on the dyslexia RR levels site. Just wondered which was correct? We're just starting the step into real books and hoping to avoid Magic Fairies!


Kat1111 Sun 05-Jun-11 22:49:40

I tend to let children who are the higher level books take home 2 books; one which is the correct level, and a book of choice (normally from my own collection).

Lots of parents are not secure in knowing how to move their children's reading on, and so the structured reading schemes are more beneficial for the children.

The best thing you can do, in my opinion, is encourage her inference and comprehension. Ask her to predict what could happen, or to understand different character's view points and the reasons for them.

blackeyedsusan Sun 05-Jun-11 23:03:33

how do you encourage inference?

seeker Sun 05-Jun-11 23:07:03

By letting her read books.

And possibly - if you must - by talking about them a bit sometimes.

An able reader is just that - a reader. So let them read. It's not like maths - once you've mastered algebra you move on to calculus. It's reading! Once you can read, you can read.

Kat1111 Mon 06-Jun-11 02:53:35

I'd say I completely disagree with Seeker's attitude. For one, talking about them 'a bit' is the best thing you can do. Lots of children can decode text, but understanding is a completely different skill. Also, no-one is a done and dusted reader. Reading is continuous. No-one is an expert reader; we are always learning. A child with great decoding is not necessarily a great reader.

Most stage books have different levels for the children to achieve. At a basic level, there is understanding of the story. As well as that, picture clues show a child what might happen next. Aside from pictures (which are not the fashion at the moment) then inference comes from prediction as to what could happen next, based on real life situations or on other stories of a similar theme. A classic fairy tale nearly always ends in the princess being rescued by a handsome prince, who becomes her husband. If a child predicts that, based on past story knowledge, then that's inference.

Inference is mainly about asking how it might go, not necessarily how it will go. What are the possible endings? If Biff's cake is ruined, then what? If Kipper breaks his leg, then what?.... etc. It shows a level of connection with the text which is outside of the standard decoding.

shitmagnet Mon 06-Jun-11 05:04:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DisparityCausesInstability Mon 06-Jun-11 07:37:06

I think developing a love of reading is the most important thing at this age. Love reading and you will read. Force a young child to read stuff they are not interested or positively detest creates unpleasant early associations, which I'm convinced won't improve ability to read or attitude towards it.

Have found some teachers approach to reading absolutely moronic - insisting kids read every single book in a scheme, feels more like a box ticking exercise than teaching - and some insist upon it like their lives depend on it. Have some faith in yourself as a parent - your child can read now allow your child to lead the way - even if the teacher doesn't.

Mashabell Mon 06-Jun-11 07:43:24

In your case, definitely own books at home. Put in the diary whatever will please the teacher.

Your dd is clearly past the 'learning to read' stage which many children in her class are probably still at.
The different rates at which children learn to read make life quite tricky for teachers.

rainbowinthesky Mon 06-Jun-11 07:49:05

Dd is an able reader and is also in Y2. In Y1 she got all her reading books the upper classes. Since the start of Y2 she has always taken her own reading book to school and has never read a book from the classroom.
She hasnt been made to read a level book since reception.
Why dont you just talk to the teacher and suggest she just reads her own books?
Also we've never done the whole reading diary thing either.

seeker Mon 06-Jun-11 08:14:30

"I think developing a love of reading is the most important thing at this age"


And going on abut it, asking questions, 'working on inference and comprehension" at home is practically guaranteed to turn them off. That's what guided reading at school's for. Reading at home, once they pass the "learning the process" stage should be for pure pleasure.

Or, once they get a bit older and you want them to have a go at something you think they might like but they turn their nose up at because it's not Harry Potter or Lemony Snickett, for money!

redskyatnight Mon 06-Jun-11 12:25:42

They sound like the lime+ books at DS's school. He hated them too. For a while I made him read a couple of pages and discuss what we'd read. Then I had a chat with his teacher and pointed out that the books were so awful they were just putting him off reading. Turned out she agreed with me! We quietly agreed that DS would just read his own thing at home.

bigTillyMint Mon 06-Jun-11 14:56:52

I think Seeker is right.

DD is, and always has been, a voracious reader.

We didn't do much checking of her understanding - we focused more on helping her to choose quality books to read (plus the usual Jaqueline Wilsons, etc) She is achieving fantastically well now in Y7 - well above expectations.

So as well as doing the school books, supplement with as many other books as you can.

curtaincall Mon 06-Jun-11 15:23:44

Ask the teacher to get the school to buy more ORT. Have found out they are bringing out another series Stage 12+ beginning 2012 to follow on from the Time Chronicles (Biff, Chip, Kipper and friends a few years older in historical settings). She may be too advanced for these but DH and I love them!

cornflakegirl Mon 06-Jun-11 15:37:49

DS1's teacher has a stash of books for free readers, including Dick King Smith and Usborne simplified versions of classic literature (Shakespeare, Dickens etc). He brings these home with him, but we don't often make him read them at home - he reads so much that we don't see the point in making him read anything. But I do try to make sure that his library book choices include more than just Star Wars graphic novels, so that he has the option of reading proper books!

exoticfruits Mon 06-Jun-11 16:10:36

I agree entirely with seeker. A love of reading is the important thing. I read anything and everything at 6yrs, getting me to stop was the difficulty! My mother saying 'what do you think will happen at the end?' or 'what do you think Alice meant when she said.......?' would have put me off completely! It should be fun, not a comprehension test. Guided reading at school will give that (I hated guided reading when I was a DC)
Discussing the book afterwards, if you have read it yourself, and have something to discuss is fine. As an adult I belong to a reading group and enjoy discussing it afterwards-I would get cheesed off if someone kept asking me questions when I just wanted to read!
Speak to the teacher. If they are stuck on the reading scheme, just go through the motions-read a bit and then let her read her own books for pleasure.

exoticfruits Mon 06-Jun-11 16:11:47

More ORT is a horrible thought!

lovecheese Mon 06-Jun-11 16:44:09

Thanks for all the thoughts. She has brought a new batch home today, including one that she started to read on her own in class, and judging by the fact that she is 1/3 through already it must be appealing! I think we are going to have to filter out the crap unappealing ones that come home and juggle the best - sometimes things like Dick King-Smith, Anne Fine, Michael Morpurgo - with her own stash.

Only another ?6? levels, with sub-levels, to go...

seeker Mon 06-Jun-11 16:47:45

But make sure that it's her that does the filtering out - what appeals to children is often mysterious to grwon ups. For example, the ORT seems universally loathed on mumsnet - but I haven't met a child who didn;t love them!

exoticfruits Mon 06-Jun-11 16:53:24

I thought ORT was loved on MN! I have a go at it because it seems to be thought of as the only reading scheme in the country! Most DCs are sort of middle of the road with it-it wouldn't crop up as favourite book.

lovecheese Mon 06-Jun-11 16:54:04

(Seeker, she loved them in nursery and reception but wouldn't touch them with a bargepole now, thank God)

Marne Mon 06-Jun-11 17:01:14

Dd1 (year 2) reads what she likes, she brings books home from school which she has chosen (with help), most are not that great, she has loads of books at home and often wants to read the latest thing out (at the moment she's reading 'diary of a wimpy kid) so i tend to let her read what she likes (within reason), they also do group reading at school which is often a boot the teacher has chosen. School often send her home with girly books 'flower faries ect..' which she hates, she would rather boys books grin.

I hate ORT, luckily dd2 (5) does not read them, although they sent her home with all the Biff ,Kipper pictures when she started in september, i think we only had a couple of the books, we seem to get a mixture of books.

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