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Reception teacher told us not to read everyday

(347 Posts)
TeaJunky Fri 06-Dec-13 11:58:32

Ok, so dd started bringing books home. She initially brought the purple level with no words then progressed onto pink quite quickly. She reads her school reading (phonics) book to me everyday and as the reading book is changed only once a week, she began to find this boring quite quickly.

I wrongly assumed that she is perhaps ready for something more challenging and I wrote this in her reading record.

Dd's reception teacher called me in at the end of the day and proceeded to show me the whole reading scheme on the trolley and explain that it only consisted of 500 words and the whole point of it was to achieve fluency blah blah (I already know all this). She said dd had been tried out on some 'harder' books and struggled with them hence she stayed on pink.
That was fine by me, so I suggested that she perhaps needed a new book more often as she read everyday. The teacher said 'really, don't read everyday because it can get boring really quickly'.
I pointed out that it actually wasn't me pushing dd to sit down and read, it was her bringing her book bag from her room and literally dragging me onto the sofa to read - she said 'honestly, don't let her do it everyday' hmm

What ?!

The second thing that worried me about the whole conversation was the fact that the reading scheme only went up to level red, so the whole of the reading scheme was only three levels; purple (pre words), pink and red. She said that's the highest they can go in reception on the scheme.

Am I right to feel that this is a very limiting and pre-determined scheme with no room for differentiation or individual progression?

This is a highly thought of school and we are happy with everything else but the whole reading convo we had seems so bizarre.

thoughts ?

Galena Wed 18-Dec-13 16:34:47

I'm not denying that hot-housing happens. Of course it does and it isn't healthy when it does. However, I would also say that not every child who reads early has been hot-housed.

I agree that the child's happiness is paramount. DD is happiest when she is reading. So should I stop her from reading to avoid accusations of hot-housing, or should I allow her to read, and provide reading material at her level, to allow her to be happy?

columngollum Wed 18-Dec-13 16:06:58

Framey, you could join me in a brand new thread on your subject. It's interesting.

FrameyMcFrame Wed 18-Dec-13 16:03:51

My brothers and I were hot-housed, so I know it happens!

My eldest Brother read Latin before he went to school never mind the reading books, he went on to a scholarship to a top Oxbridge college at 16 after early A levels and won exhibitions etc. My other brother similar and to the same College 2 years later. I was hot housed in a non academic direction, went to specialist boarding school and further than that I can't tell you without outing myself too much, suffice to say that lots of my life since has been spent getting over the damage done.
Unfortunately I do not believe it brings happiness to do that to a child and sadly both of my brothers have died from substance abuse related illnesses (not the same substance), so something went wrong in their lives really.
I don't resent my parents but it makes me very cautious, happiness above all is the most important thing, not achievement.

raynecld Wed 18-Dec-13 09:28:12

PS I'm a Governor at a primary school, and I really, really encourage you to challenge this policy. It's just not appropriate. It sounds like the teacher is overwhelmed and needs more support and/or retraining in key areas if this is the message she's giving to parents.

raynecld Wed 18-Dec-13 09:26:45

I strongly suggest you write a letter detailing this conversation and the school's policy of restricting them to making no progress beyond an arbitrary level to the school's Head, to the Governing Body of your school, to the local education authority, and to Ofsted. A policy to deliberately hold children back in this manner is unsupportable. Our school tried it briefly several years ago, saying "They didn't want to make the other Reception children feel bad," but quickly backtracked and denied they said it when I challenged the policy. Children are entitled to an appropriate, targeted education at their level, and the school is required to monitor where they are very closely.

PastSellByDate Thu 12-Dec-13 16:01:14


Still I think raising funds for books may be a good legacy for Y6 - so I'll plant that seed into DD1's head.

Feenie Thu 12-Dec-13 14:36:59

Sorry, PSB, it ran for two years but finished in Oct this year. sad

PastSellByDate Thu 12-Dec-13 14:04:40

I'm incredibly heartened to see that reading often and anything/ everything is the general consensus. I have to admit that I haven't read all this and still don't completely understand who columngollum once was (but may have skipped something).

However, Feenie, I was really interested to hear about matched funding for early reading ('decodable' was the term you used) books. If this scheme is still going & you have information on match funding for decodable books could you PM me the info.

Although it is too late for my DDs (now Y4/ Y6) - I can at least suggest to the school that they could improve the quantity/ range of books for early readers at the school. There is a tradition at the school of Y6 having a fundraising project after SATs - and I'm beginning to think more books for KS1 might be a lovely legacy to leave the school.

mintberry Thu 12-Dec-13 00:00:30

Do your best to get her through the book scheme but get lots of books from the library/shops of your own to support it... She will get added benefits because you can give her more challenging books yourself to read.

CloverkissSparklecheeks Wed 11-Dec-13 23:40:14

grin yes it is, my son and he are close friends at school but they can never play outside of school as he's not allowed. They are the only family I know who are like it to that extreme.

TeaJunky Wed 11-Dec-13 18:28:27

Oops, I think I've made my point grin

TeaJunky Wed 11-Dec-13 18:27:46

Clover, that is very sad!

I've never known anyone who is like this with their children though, thank God.

TeaJunky Wed 11-Dec-13 17:57:42

Clover, that is very sad!

I've never known anyone who is like this with their children though, thank God.

TeaJunky Wed 11-Dec-13 17:56:34

Clover, that is very sad!

I've never known anyone who is like this with their children though, thank God.

CloverkissSparklecheeks Wed 11-Dec-13 14:25:52

Totally agree unlucky if ther is a choice between two children or even adults who have similar academic ability for a scholarship/place in a school or uni/job then the person who has the most rounded ability and interests will always come out on top.

unlucky83 Wed 11-Dec-13 12:16:42

I agree hot housing does happen ...and I don't think it is a good thing!
I took my DC for a play date, left out on kitchen table was a maths workbook exactly like the ones at school except at school they were at the end of the one before the one on the table...
I think that is not doing the DCs any favours - the same as getting children into selective schools by intense tutoring - at some point it is going to catch up with them if they haven't got the natural intellectual ability to back it up. As they get older, they will spend their school life struggling to keep up, hardly a confidence boost. And at some point they are likely to fail (you can't do GSCEs for/with your DCs!)
Being academically bright or advanced is not the most important thing in life...being happy is!

CloverkissSparklecheeks Wed 11-Dec-13 10:40:33

Teajunkey there is another quite able child in DS1s class, they are pretty much the same level but there is clearly 'hothousing' going on there. I make sure DS1 does his homework and the minimum the school requires but nothing more, he has out of school activities he wants to do which take up lots of his time but to me it is important to have a variety of interests rather than just academic stuff.

The other child, who is also 7, is not allowed to do anything other than school work, he does about 2 hours a night of school work and is not allowed to go out to play with other children or go to parties etc. His siblings were treated the same and they are all always winning academic awards at school but it is clearly hothousing as although they may be naturally clever they are pushed so much.

I believe it does exist but what you are talking about with your DD is so far from it . . .

CloverkissSparklecheeks Wed 11-Dec-13 10:31:53

Framey I completely disagree. DS1 read before he was 3, he just wanted to read and would read everything including signs, the Sky Plus planner, instructions on video games etc. He just understood how to blend, they had done the minimum pure letter sounds at pre-school and it just clicked with him. We never pushed him, we always read to him every night and never asked him to read to us, he only did if he wanted to. He had access to lots of toys and played with everything but sometimes would choose to sit in the corner with a book. We were always told not to push him with his reading and to 'stretch' him with other activities, we do this but he still loves to read.

He is very knowledgeble about the world, sociable and does very well at school (he is now 7). Reading early has not stopped him participating in lots of other activities, he is very sporty and he has always had lots of toys available to him. He doesn't always choose to read of course, he mainly reads at night time. His teacher told him he needs to read less as he is reading a 200+ page school book a night which we both agreed was too much, she told him he couldn't take a book home at the weekend and to have a break and sleep, instead he chose to read 4 junior Shakespeare books over the weekend, no one is pushing him, its what he enjoys.

DS2 couldn't read before school, he had the same access to everything but is a different child. He is in Y1 and has only just started to attempt to read things other than a school book such as stuff on the tv, signs or labels.

Back to the original post - limiting to red level is absolutely ridiculous, red is a low target for the end of YR, DS2 was on red at the end of the year and really could not read very well at all, DS1 was higher than red level at age 3. I would say it was the low side of average which is fine but to limit a child who is able is not good IMO.

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 10-Dec-13 22:57:45

Framey - some kids are just bright and quick to pick things up. Some can manage to read a book for 10 minutes by choice and then choose to play an imaginative game they have come up with and then choose to build with lego and then choose to write a story and so on. They can manage to make these choices because they are intelligent individuals who are fascinated by the world around them and want to find things out but they are also more than capable of playing. my kids learned to read before they went to school because they taught themselves, we read a lot to them, we had suitable books around, they were keen, they started to do it so we encouraged them. I can assure you they have no shortage of toys and actually I would prefer they played with those than asked me endless questions about everything but they CHOOSE to learn...

Galena Tue 10-Dec-13 22:36:57

I don't think you can generalise quite like that, though.

I had a childhood where my parents were very involved in my education, interested in me, nurtured my interest in life, etc. I also read before going to school. I have 2 degrees and a postgraduate qualification.

Some people with my upbringing would follow the same path with their children, others would rebel. Some people with indifferent parents become indifferent parents, some rebel.

Everybody parents the way they do because of their life experiences to that point. I'm not convinced, however, that all parenting choices can be attributed to your own childhood experiences.

TeaJunky Tue 10-Dec-13 22:33:01

Framey, yes I did mean I am a completely interested and involved parent probably because of my own different childhood experiences.

But at the same time, I do feel that had I the support and guidance from home at the time, I could have achieved more and had some direction in what I wanted to do. So
I didn't actually mean I'd achieved despite my experiences, IYSWIM. That's why I strongly believe there is no such thing as hothousing really. It's just support in different ways, with the crucial element of it being child-friendly and the result is a happy, confident and interested child.

TeaJunky Tue 10-Dec-13 22:26:54

What do you mean, framey?

FrameyMcFrame Tue 10-Dec-13 22:16:00

But TeaJunky, don't you think you are what you are today BECAUSE of your experiences rather than despite them????

TeaJunky Tue 10-Dec-13 14:58:47

It's ok galena, I know the nature of MN wink

Yes we have songbirds and have continued to read as and when dd wants to read (which is every day, sometimes more than once!).

She's happy and so am I smile

Galena Tue 10-Dec-13 10:57:40

Sorry TeaJunky - your thread has kinda moved off the issue you wanted to discuss.

I agree with various PPs - If school are going to be awkward, get hold of some songbirds books (good ol' Bob Bug!) or go to the library and see what they have, and let DD read as much as she would like.

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