Advanced search

Help with wording my concerns with DD's reading.

(16 Posts)
treas Thu 31-Jan-13 23:51:10

Just say to the teacher that your dd has stated that the books are too easy for her and that from your experience at home she is has been reading in advance of what the school have been giving her.

Then ask the reason why she doesn't get harder books, is it a comprehension issue? Also state that you are well aware that it isn't a race but that you want to instil a sense of reading for enjoyment in your dd and unfortunately she is not enjoying the books that she perceives to be too easy.

Please don't get hung up about appearing to be pushy you are just interested.

pigleychez Thu 31-Jan-13 21:53:01

Im not waiting for the school at all.. We already have a healthy collection of Biff,chip and Kipper and the likes and entire book shelves of story books.
We are regulars at the library too.

Of course we do our best to encourage her at home but surely the school should be too rather than just let her plod along at the others levels.
DD has commented today that the books at school are too easy so we have told her to tell the teacher if she gives her a book thats too easy and ask for a harder one.
Maybe it will be better coming from her!

Today the teacher has read with her (book with 3 letter words) and her comments in the book are that 'this was an easy book for A, she read with confidence and fluency'. She obviously knows that DD needs more but doesnt seem to be offering it.

PastSellByDate Thu 31-Jan-13 12:05:59


I understand your frustration and can only talk from my experience but this is my advice:

Your daughter is doing well. You're clearly happy with her achievements and proud. But chose your battles carefully.

This request will come across as you telling the school what to do and it isn't necessary. This really isn't worth offending the teacher/ school and coming across as PITA or 'pushy'.

We were in a similar boat - mainly because school rarely changed books and 3 weeks of Big Panda/ Little Panda nearly killed us all. A very sensible person on Mumsnet suggested that we simply read what we feel like. I never asked the school for permission but did write in the reading diary things like 'DD a bit bored with X after 10 days, so we're now reading Y at home and she'll write about that' (this was Y1/ Y2 I hasten to add).

Most schools just want kids reading and won't quibble about what. So if you don't like the school reading or it's just too easy - get yourself to your local library, buy in books or swap with friends and start exploring the wonderful stories out there. You really don't have to wait on the school's permission to do so.


simpson Wed 30-Jan-13 21:42:42

But reception classes have phonics sessions (although not long) so surely the correct reading book would complement that??

I have a placement in a reception class and yes there is a craft table to make a rocket, pirate boat etc etc, the free play area (Lego/dressing up etc) but the kids are also expected so sit down and do some more formal work (for a very short time) ie write a thank you letter to Santa, what they like playing with at school or did at the weekend.

It is done on a rotation basis so you don't have all 30 kids doing the same thing at any given time.

ByTheWay1 Wed 30-Jan-13 20:19:09

She is in reception - our reception class is mainly about learning through play, I didn't even know there was such a thing as "levels" til mine got their end of year report.... they were progressing through the year - I could see they were reading well at home.

Perhaps she is not showing the required level of comprehension in the guided reading?

One of my DDs was reading words way above her level of understanding for quite some time.... it is easy enough to read the words in a book, but if they are not getting all the nuances of the text, then it is not really reading at that "level".

learnandsay Wed 30-Jan-13 19:57:05

This teacher doesn't sound all that bothered about what levels her children are at.

simpson Wed 30-Jan-13 19:54:58

I would expect a teacher to know all the (correct) levels of where the children in their class are by this time in the school year wrt reading.

pigleychez Wed 30-Jan-13 19:47:15

We regularly visit the library and she picks some and I pick a couple of more 'reading' books at the appropriate levels. I happy to help her along at home. Im not pushy. Nursery records state that she 'thrives on learning'.

The only books she brings home from school are the self choosen ones from the trolley. They have no formal reading levels.
I see the point about guided reading covering other areas, but I would of though some time would be read at each childs own level. To be honest im not sure the teacher would know what level DD is. Yes i write in the book but could easily write that she's more advanced that she is.

Im concerned that if she's not being encouraged at school that her behaviour will deteriorate and her school work will suffer.

simpson Wed 30-Jan-13 19:47:15

Ah sorry, I thought meant per week blush

I would check this is the case first as maybe it's not being recorded in the reading diary.

Also maybe they are waiting until the children have all been taught to a certain level phonics wise (not helpful for your DD).

In the mean time it is worth looking at the Oxford owl website (free ebooks).

But yes definately have a word, I would in your situation.

ByTheWay1 Wed 30-Jan-13 19:42:40

I view it as being that I am responsible for my child's education, so I will do all the heavy lifting that is needed in order to get them ahead of the pack...

The teachers want to make sure everyone reaches a certain level of competency, has a good grounding in the basics, the building blocks for further progress - sometimes this will seem a backwards step - like the child is coasting or not being stretched - I see that as consolidation - we can do the stretching ahead stuff at home.

When they get to Y1 things start to move along a bit more when they sit to do their work at different tables - usually set by ability - not just at the subject, but ability to sit still and not mess about whilst others are working hard. If the teachers lay a good groundwork for this in reception then progress in any subject through the rest of the school can be rapid for those who are bright.

If the foundations are not laid, then soooo much time is taken in fixing them, not progressing.

learnandsay Wed 30-Jan-13 19:14:03

I do see the problem. I've been there. The problem is that the mum wants the school to appreciate what the child can and can't do and to teach her to do the things that she can't do (not the ones that she can.) Otherwise what's the point in sending her to school?

Of course we can all ignore the school reading books and provide our own. We can all go to the library and pick books and I'm sure most of us do. But if we're doing all the heavy lifting what is the school doing? And after we've done all the heavy lifting we really don't want some smart-mouthed cow telling us that reading isn't a race. Well, clearly not if she in charge of it.

ByTheWay1 Wed 30-Jan-13 18:55:01

Don't see the problem - choose books to read at home that are fun and interesting and of a level that stretches but does not seem too hard and write them in the reading record. Look through the school provided ones with her.

She's in reception, sounds like she can read, you read with her at home, you can provide her with challenging books... forget about levels - she's in reception.

But remember that guided reading sessions are not about just reading, they are about opening up discussion points, about comprehension, about getting the kids to open up and talk - about what is happening in the story, how it may relate to real life and how they would change the ending, certain words etc to make it different.

pigleychez Wed 30-Jan-13 18:45:44

I meant read with a teacher/TA a total of twice.
The class doesnt appear to have any reading levels at all. Only stage books are ones they self choose along with picture books and story books.

They dont seem to appear to know what level she is actually at... only what I write in the reading record.

Im guess im more concerned that DD isnt reaching her potential at school. Happy for her to choose whateverbook she wants from the trolley and have had simple one word books as well as stage 6 books.
Its the lack of levels ect and the guided reading at school being too easy for her.

Im not expecting her to have one on one reading but surely the more advanced readers should be grouped doing harder books.

redskyatnight Wed 30-Jan-13 18:37:35

I think you need to think about what your concerns are and ask the teacher to address them. I'm not clear from your post what they are so that's worth getting clear in your mind.

Are they:
- that you would like your DD to have more challenging books to read at home (if they pick themselves, not sure how you could enforce this - you could always provide your own books)

- that you think she is not progressing as guided reading is too easy (bear in mind that guided reading books are not always meant to be "hard" - sometimes the teacher might have chosen a particular book to e.g. discuss the characters)

- that your DD is not achieving her potential? (do you think she is progressing, does she know all her sounds, does she understand what she's read, read with expression?)

simpson Wed 30-Jan-13 18:30:26

I think you need to think about what it is that you want.

Is it harder school reading books home??

Harder guided reading?? (but that might be hard if no other child is on the same level as your DD).

Do you mean she read once or twice a week? That seems pretty good IMO.

My DD is in reception and does guided reading at ORT3 which is far too easy for her but she enjoys doing it and the school provides the correct level book for her to bring home.

pigleychez Wed 30-Jan-13 18:13:57

Looking for some help in what to say to DD's teacher about her reading.
Due a parents evening soon and find her teacher quite intimidating and she has a habit of talking down to you.

DD1 is 4.5 and in reception. She was reading before she started school and seems to pick things up really quickly.
They bring books home from the book trolley that they choose themselves. DD picks the harder books (Stage 6 books which are aimed at 6yr olds) and reads them with ease.
I write this in her reading record which gets comments back of 'well done'.

In class they do group reading which gets recorded in her book too but its always books like fat cat which are far too easy for her. Think shes read alone with the teacher/TA twice.

Ive mentioned DD's reading with the teacher before and just been met with comments of 'its not a race'. Im not trying to race ahead with DD but surely if she is capable of reading much harder books then she should working at that level at school too, not just plodding along with the others because its easier for the teacher.

Anyway, Want to bring it up again but dont want to be fobbed off with the Race thing again. Im pretty shy and find it hard to get my point across the best of times without the teacher being very standoffish. (im not the only parent to feel like this about her)

Anyone help me get my views across without sounding like a pushy mother. Im pretty sure she already has me marked as one!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now