I go into my dd's school twice a week to listen to some of the children read. The ones on my list are really far behind - they're year 4 now, but these kids are reading stuff that my dd was reading in nursery, and still have difficulty. One of them I am certain is on the autistic spectrum, but the others are OK. At least one of them simply doesn't get any practise at home but told me he is one of 8 children, so I'm not surprised. One of them is new in this school and told me they didn't read in her last school (!); she's doing better now, and I see her improving from week to week.
I am the only volunteer. I can't go in more often. Their teacher does hear every child in teh class read once a week, and these children she hears every day except when I come in.
I am appalled that some parents simply don't read with or hear their children read - not even once a week. I don't understand why. Can anyone enlighten me? I don't want to jump to the obvious conclusion that the parents simply don't bother - there must be reasons, mustn't there?
Some don't care, some are too busy I guess. I always try to make the time myself, even if it's for five minutes before bedtime.
I used to listen to Year 4 readers last year and I was shocked at how many of them had never read a single page of their book apart from when they read to me. I think some people's lives are so chaotic that they just don't manage to factor reading into their lives.
Do you come from Barnstaple, btw?
The parents might not be able to read themselves, barnstaple . Or have very little time left over after doing what's necessary to survive.
It used, once upon a time, to be possible to improve your social status through education and hard work despite coming from a very large and not very wealthy family - I've seen enough examples in my family history research. It's getting harder now, which is a disgrace. Too much is being put on parents, with no thought to whether they can actually do all that is demanded of them, and there's nothing in the system to pick up those who fall through the cracks.
(I was pleased to hear your school's ensuring teachers listen to all the pupils reading - I've had some Year 5 readers with problems with basic phonics over the last few years, and I've been the one who pointed that out to the teacher - aargh!)
It could be that the parents can't read or that they think it's the school job to teach the children not theirs.
Do you know for definite that the parents don't read with their children? I also think you are being a bit judgemental with your statement "but told me he is one of 8 children, so I'm not surprised". I have 9 children, they seem to do pretty well with their reading. And no I don't sit with them every night doing reading with them. So I think there is something else going on here aswell.
By year 4 (8/9yo) surely the children could pick up a book and read it themselves by now and if the teacher or you is reading with them every day then I can't see that lack of instruction would be the problem. Have you suggested that the y4 children might like to choose a book/comic to read? If they have access to the school library aren't there books that they are interested in?
I do understand your puzzlement about how they can be so far behind but maybe it's a case of late development for them in that area and as long as they are not made to feel 'dumb' (and give up, thinking they can't ever read) by being where they are perhaps they will progress at their own rate.
There may be other reasons why these children are behind with their reading, rather than just a perceived lack of reading at home.
It's great that you give up your time to hear children read but I would be wary of making these kinds of judgements when you don't have the full picture.
I expect that the children have not been taught properly. Or maybe they had glue ear when they were young so struggled with phonics or prehaps are dyslexic. Prehaps the children are the victims of dysteachia. Ie. They have been taught by look say methods instead of phonics.
Most children will learn to read by whatever method is used, but there is a small minority of children who find it VERY hard.
I don't think that the blame had be solely put on the parents. By year 4 the school has had plenty of time to teach them.
The school I work at has 15 year old children on the equivalent of the Oxford Reading Tree Stage two. Its a special school though.
Join the discussion
Please login first.