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Are higher level reading scheme books appropriate for 5/6 year old son?

(40 Posts)
Lucky13 Fri 10-May-13 08:18:39

I know there are quite a few of you with younger children who are on higher level reading scheme books, so thought I would ask this. Does your child's teacher think the books are appropriate for them in terms of content?
DD isn't allowed the higher ones as her teacher feels that she wouldn't enjoy them as they are written for older children. I understand her point, but wanted to see what others thought?
How many 5/6 year olds have read their way through the reading scheme books, if so have you found many books which you consider inappropriate?

Lucky13 Fri 10-May-13 08:29:53

Sorry - silly auto correct on my phone - not sure where 'son' came from in the title - I don't have one of those!

MrsMelons Fri 10-May-13 09:20:36

I have never seen any that are inappropriate but I guess it depends on what level you are talking about.

DS was reading books on average for age 8-9 at age 5-6 and they were all fine. That said, some books not in reading schemes for 8-9 YOs may not be appropriate so you would have to check the content but stuff like Roald Dahl and the such like is fine if they don't find it scary etc (which some children do).

fanoftheinvisibleman Fri 10-May-13 09:22:52

Ds has hit them at a more age appropriate time but I guess it depends on your child and what you think they can reasonably grasp. As an example ds is in year 2 and some topics in reading books this year have been slavery, wars and deaths in disasters such as the titanic. I'm not saying that a 5 year old needs these topics hiding away but part of reading schemes isn't just turning out words but understanding and discussing content.

Lucky13 Fri 10-May-13 09:27:07

I was talking about purple/gold/white/lime levels. I think a lot was to do with the subject matter being aimed at older children so less enjoyable for younger ones rather than just scary.

Lucky13 Fri 10-May-13 09:29:51

fanoftheinvisibleman - that's exactly what she means - I was wondering then what others did if/when they had books of that nature?

ReallyTired Fri 10-May-13 09:30:04

I imagine that your child's teacher feels that your daughter's reading comprehension is not strong enough to cope with the higher level books. My son loved the magic key books at that age.

I think its a mistake to rush through the levels of the reading scheme too much. My son was not a "free reader" until year 3, but he did really well in his key stage 1 SATs and is predicted to do well next week in his key stage 2 SATs.

I suggest you get some books from the library and read them as a bed time story. Your daughter could read a paragraph and when she gets tired then you could take over. Books like "The Twits" by Ronald Dalhl or

Diary of a killer Cat

Dick King Smith or Jeremy Strong write some really fun books.

Let the teacher decide what reading level your daughter has and supplement with your own books.

fanoftheinvisibleman Fri 10-May-13 09:32:22

Gold, white and lime are what ds has just finished. He has just started bronze.

Some 5 and 6 year olds would be fine I'm sure. And its not that it is scary. It's just that the whole concept of things like slavery could be a little much for some 5 year olds to grasp and it has always been impressed on us by the school that understanding the story is as important as reading the words. You know your child best and which group they fall in.

ReallyTired Fri 10-May-13 09:33:17

Other books

any of the mr magieka books

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Fri 10-May-13 09:33:37

Speak to the teacher. When my dd was put onto lime level we were told at parents evening that as there r so many that they don't know what is in all of them and it falls to us to vet them. We are free to return any books we feel are unsuitable and if we let her know then she will make a note. Just tell the teacher that you will be the judge of what you feel is suitable and that you will check the books before your dc reads them. Being kept back is poor practice.

Lucky13 Fri 10-May-13 09:41:40

I should say that I am not arguing with the teacher at all. DD is going to be reading books from the library instead.
She is quite happy for DD to read chapter books for me at home, but I don't think she would have the time to vet every single book in the reading scheme to see if the content was appropriate for her - i.e. not war, slavery etc as mentioned above.
I was just interested in what others have found at this level.

noisytoys Fri 10-May-13 09:45:28

DD is 5 and has finished the ORT scheme I can't say there was a single book she brought home where the content wasn't suitable. Maybe the teacher checked for content before sending them out smile

spiderlight Fri 10-May-13 09:56:36

DS is just 6, in Y1, and is bringing home Rigby Navigator brown and grey books, each with three stories. Some of the stories he's flying through but others have been a battle. One contained a Native American folk tale about a woman being chased by a giant flying head, which he would only read if I covered up the pictures, and we've just last night finished one that we had to split over three evenings, purely because he couldn't relate to the subject-matter at all (it was about a football-mad kid getting into a sports academy and was clearly aimed at children of about 9). He can read and understand the material fine and rattled through the other two stories in the same book in one sitting, but he struggles to concentrate on stories that he can't relate to and I worry that it will put him off. He's reading the Magic Treehouse series with me at home and enjoying those.

freetrait Fri 10-May-13 10:10:33

DS got some books from "scheme" books from school at this stage but we sort of forgot about the "reading scheme". Hadn't been that attached to it in the first place smile. I think it's great when you get to the stage that a book is a book and some are more relevant and appropriate to your child's life experience than others.

I think there are some good age appropriate Blue Bananas at this stage. DS brought these home from school. Then all sorts of things in the library- not "great literature" perhaps, but things DS picked (Frank Rogers for example )and such like.

What I've found interesting is that some of the books we bought him at the end of YR he is now coming back to now and is more the right age for (end of Y1). Things like Jeremy Strong. He also loves Horrible Histories now and isn't put off by the scary stuff at all (he's 7 in October), but a year ago it would have been a different story.

DS chooses his books now (with a bit of teacher guidance sometimes I think). His teachers are great at saying if anything is inappropriate just leave. We've only done that once I think.

MrsMelons Fri 10-May-13 10:12:46

Lime level is fine from what I have seen, its sounds a bit odd unless the teacher doesn't feel your DD is quite meeting the criteria. There is a lot to the higher level reading criteria, not just the ability to read the words.

Ds has always been a good reader and could read Roald Dahl books when he started school however was started on a lower reading level to ensure he had all the comprehension/grammar/puctuation etc. He could read any word pretty much so he read harder stuff at home.

IMO this was good for him as he has excellent comprehension now so I don't think it hurt him.

Periwinkle007 Fri 10-May-13 10:14:08

my daughter is in reception and on Book Band 10/white. We haven't had any that haven't been appropriate as such but a couple about kidnapping I was a bit worried what questions it might raise. she had one about Cocos island treasure where they were killing people and ending up in prison which again I was a bit concerned what she might say but she seemed ok with it, I just did very simple explanations to accompany it. We had 1 she didn't enjoy so much because the humour wasn't her kind of thing (but then she has just read a much harder book at home with more complex humour that she loved so I think it was more her personal preference than anything else). My daughter likes the non fiction ones though so we have had quite a few of them, some of which would have bored many 5 year olds to tears but she was fascinated.

Certainly the ORT say on their listings that Treetops books are written for KS2 children and therefore may not be appropriate for younger children so perhaps she is covering herself with that. also some children wouldn't like the Biff chip and kipper one about evacuation potentially because the topic is obviously war and being sent away from mummy and daddy (well I am guessing at that as we didn't get that one sent home) but others would be fine with it. As I say we have had some I personally have been a bit concerned about but have just glossed over a couple of bits or given as little detail as I can get away with but my daughter is quite sensitive normally.

I would think it is a minority of books that aren't suitable. Had the teacher not been able to move my daughter up then there is no way she would have agreed to read her school books because she found them quite dull and felt they were stopping her reading books she wanted to in the evening instead. She is much happier with the harder books but perhaps she is just quite mature with her subject choices?

learnandsay Fri 10-May-13 10:18:17

I'm not sure about scheme books but my daughter hasn't found books written for adults to read to children or Horrid Henry type books unenjoyable. Maybe if the theme was about something she knew nothing about she wouldn't like books not specifically written for infants. But it hasn't happened yet.

Tiggles Fri 10-May-13 10:24:24

I think some of the higher stage books are fine, and some aren't. DS2 had one in gold level, I think, that was all about different killer viruses AIDS, Ebola etc. Which would have been fine except that it showed lots from Africa where DH spends lots of time working, so he found it a bit scary.
Equally he has just finished one in white level all about the film industry and the different jobs involved and has absolutely loved it, nothing scary about it. Ne now wants to be a stunt man.
The only difference I think between reading these books 'early' as opposed to the 'expected' age is the level of discussion and how it applies to the child. e.g. DS in year 1 has lots more experience of films (as opposed to cartoon films) than he would have had in reception so could relate a lot more of it and we could have really good discussions about the book.
He brought home a level 14 book when he was in reception (by mistake) he could physically read the words, but large amounts of the plot went way over his head.

freetrait Fri 10-May-13 10:26:04

Yes, DS started Y1 bringing home some Treetops. He could read them fine, but we found ourselves doing a lot of explaining about some of the stories (eg one all about a cricket tournament, he had NO experience of cricket smile). It was good when he moved onto other things that he could relate to better.

I think your DD's teacher is being a bit cautious/cop out. Yes, some books are not suitable for 5/6 year olds but there are a lot they can access, and certainly when they are getting nearer 7 all sorts.

Periwinkle007 Fri 10-May-13 10:26:15

ok if my daughter had brought home one about killer viruses I wouldn't have been happy and she would have been hysterical

freetrait Fri 10-May-13 10:28:18

Shows you the difference a year or two can make and how perhaps a bit of caution is needed for 5 and 6 year olds. DS would be really interested in killer viruses now (he's 6.5) but a year ago he may have freaked out/not been able to relate.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Fri 10-May-13 10:38:58

Surely teachers will quite happily issue another book if one wasn't really suitable?? I always check the books first.

Periwinkle007 Fri 10-May-13 11:44:58

I am not sure my daughter will ever be ready for killer viruses but perhaps that is just her smile

we returned a book half read once because my daughter said it was scaring her and the teacher just changed it. it was a nice story about dragons....

Lucky13 Fri 10-May-13 19:34:35

It's interesting that a lot of teachers will go through the books prior to issue.
We are quite happy to stick with library books until the end of term. We have lots of suitable books at home too.

I'm not sure I'm ready to discuss killer viruses yet either!

Maybe once she goes into Yr1 we'll discuss it again with her new teacher.

learnandsay Sat 11-May-13 11:53:17

It also depends on how well the book explains a completely alien subject. The Usborne books are frequently brilliant at doing that. Other books are sometimes not so.

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