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Am I wrong not to be pushy?

(32 Posts)
asdx2 Tue 29-Sep-09 19:13:40

DD 6 loves to read and reads as much as she can get her hands on,reading books, library books, home books, magazines anything.
The system at dd's school is that teachers assess periodically and give parents a colour band to choose their children's books from. Parents and children then choose books from that colour band until next assessment.
Because she started mid term last summer school encouraged dd to carry on along the level that she read her previous school.
Anyway because she is such a voracious reader we ended up just choosing books that appealed whatever the level seeing as she will read up to 20 school books per week.
Today she has been reassessed and has been put up to the books in the level that yr 6 children generally read. I wasn't surprised that she can read so well and these books aren't a challenge to her to read BUT I am wary that some topics may be too old for her. We tend to read to relax and so choose books that dd doesn't have to work at deciphering words or understanding vocabulary or plot.
So is it unreasonable of me to request that we carry on as we were just choosing books that appeal throughout the week and dd having one or two of the high level books at weekends.
Am I wrong to want dd just to enjoy reading rather than pushing her to perfect a skill and read these high level books.
I know lots of mums even in dd's class would be delighted that their dc were band W and probably think I'm nuts when I don't care if dd chooses low band books after all the story appeals to Lucy so that's what decides her choice rather than the level of the book.
Could I be doing her a disservice by opting out of the "reading book level competition" that seems to be rife everywhere?
Is there a reason for children to be directed towards books that are at the top end of their ability to read?
What's wrong with reading for fun?

LauraIngallsWilder Tue 29-Sep-09 19:17:05

I agree with you asd - let her read whatever she wants to read within reason!

Reading should be fun not a continual challenge imho
Plus you are right a lot of books aimed at 10-12 yos are unsuitable for 6yos - there are threads asking for suggestions for 'harder' books that would be suitable for 6yos, have a hunt around MN!

Hulababy Tue 29-Sep-09 19:22:57

You are not wrong. Reading should be fun. I would definitely go along as you are doing.

juuule Tue 29-Sep-09 19:24:57

If she's enjoying the books that she is choosing then I think that leaving her to do that is the best thing for her.

Why not have a trip to the library for her to choose books, too. Maybe look at the recommendations on bookstore's children's booklists to see what you might suggest to her.

Reading for enjoyment has to be the best motivator for reading that there is. That is the thing that should be encouraged if anything. The rest will just follow.

bigchris Tue 29-Sep-09 19:25:00

i would go to the library abd let her choose whatever she wants to read tbh

asdx2 Tue 29-Sep-09 19:33:16

We go every week to the library she has her eight books and as many on my ticket that are left too.
At dd's school the bands contain a mix of schemes but also general library books that have been banded too.
Dd doesn't often choose the reading scheme books tbh I give her free choice sometimes she chooses books with nice pictures sometimes books with chapters and sometimes fact books she has a nice mix every week. She can read up to 40 books a week because it is a passion of hers.

piscesmoon Tue 29-Sep-09 19:38:21

Keep just reading for fun. I wouldn't worry about it, if she likes reading she is always going to read. Use your local library. Ignore everyone else-the level doesn't matter-enjoyment does. You can't hold a good reader back!

noideawhereIamgoing Tue 29-Sep-09 19:38:46

Sounds like an excellent approach.

sarararararah Tue 29-Sep-09 19:40:56

I'm a teacher, and I think you are BRILLIANT! grin If only more parents were like you. Your lucky, lucky, lucky dd. I would think the school will be fine with what you suggest. I certainly would be.

piscesmoon Tue 29-Sep-09 19:43:37

I think it is much healthier-you get people on these threads who immediately want to know how a book compares with ORT and which level! I can't see that it matters. Can DC read it, and are they enjoying it, are the all important things.

planejane Tue 29-Sep-09 20:39:39

Why the need to post on here about it if you're really not in the "reading book level competition" wink
Your post - It's not that much of a dilemma really, is it?

notanidea Tue 29-Sep-09 23:27:34

My DD is 8 and reads anything everything and today took 2 books to bed just in case if she finishes one then she will have another on to readwink I had the same dilemma- do not push you know your dd is capable of reading certain level books and keep reading fun.I let her read whatever she likes as long as content is suitable for her.

Cortina Wed 30-Sep-09 07:09:14

I can see things both ways.

She's still so young that reading for fun is fine for now to my mind. That said, as I see it, there's nothing wrong with encouraging her to try to read different books that are maybe slightly more challenging/interesting for her at times.

My DD said she chose deliberately easy books so she could show off to the teaching assistant and parent helpers who listen to her read! She's scared of challenging herself and isn't yet a confident reader. This isn't good and whilst don't want to push her too hard don't want her to rest on her laurels either.

We were told to choose books that had a least 3 words on the page we'd struggle to read or understand but think we must have been around 8 or 9, from memory, by then.

piscesmoon Wed 30-Sep-09 07:56:09

I can see the point of posting-it is a dilemma, because as well as reading for pleasure you need a bit of a challenge-I still set myself challenges as an adult with books. I think you need a mix-by all means read for pleasure (the main reason)but it doesn't hurt to try a more challenging book once in a while. I discovered when very young that you need to keep going beyond the first 2 chapters and not to give up immediately.

asdx2 Wed 30-Sep-09 11:03:32

It is a dilemma for me though. We have moved from a school where the children plodded through the ORT books, the teacher controlled how often these were changed and the year the child was in determined how far a child could progress.
Now there is this new system that Lucy is enjoying immensely even if we aren't strictly adhering to the rules. Lucy proves that she doesn't really enjoy ORT by rarely choosing to read any of the books available and choosing more general library books.
I asked for people's thoughts because I wanted to know whether there was a reason to just push the books at the top of her ability to read.
It is further complicated by Lucy having autism so she is a very very young six and these high level books might have topics that really frighten her.
Her head is filled with fairies and talking animals and toys that come to life at bedtime.
I don't imagine that the year 6 books would have such gentle content.
If you feel I was in fact bragging by the back door then you are sadly mistaken. My dd has significant difficulties in all areas, yes she loves to read but does in fact have a statement of SEN so is unlikely to ever achieve academic brilliance that I would hazard a guess that you think I am hinting at

katiestar Wed 30-Sep-09 11:12:04

I am surprised that there is a YY book band. I thought they were free readers generally long before that ? What is band 'w' and what sort of books ?

katiestar Wed 30-Sep-09 11:12:48

sorry meant I am surprised that there is a Y6 bookk band (not YY Doh !)

Cortina Wed 30-Sep-09 11:16:29

Lucy sounds delightful Some suggestions, from what you've said that she might enjoy and welcome her to the wonderful world of reading for pleasure!:

What about The Enchanted Wood, Enid Blyton? Far Away tree, The Wishing Chair etc?

There are some wonderful Enid Blyton books which you can find on Amazon (second hand). The Five Find Outers are excellent and The Adventure series unsurpassed.

The Secret Series - Moon Castle, Killimoonin, Spiggy Holes are brilliant! The Secret Island was Enid Blyton's eldest daughter's favourite book of all time, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, yet hardly known.

School stories - Malory Towers, St Clares

The Barney Mysteries - The Rubbadub Mystery, The Rockingdown Mystery etc all great too!

Famous Five and Secret Seven are dull in comparison and 'younger'.

Children's classics? The Little Princess, Secret Garden, Black Beauty, Charlotte Sometimes (Not a classic but should be) A Traveller in Time (Alison Uttley) Serialised in the 70s when I was her age, brilliant, brilliant brilliant!

The Princess and the Goblin (the book that inspired Enid Blyton) George Macdonald (?) From memory? Really interesting read even as an adult!

katiestar Wed 30-Sep-09 12:28:42

OOh I've just read 'Charlotte Sometimes' .Great book !

Cortina Wed 30-Sep-09 12:30:17

Penelope Farmer, is the author, just flashed into my head.

All the great children's books are out of print, I think this is.

A Traveller in Time, Alison Uttley is also brilliant in every respect!

A 9/10 plus year old would love it.

Cortina Wed 30-Sep-09 12:30:48

Oh, almost forgot Moondial!

colditz Wed 30-Sep-09 12:37:10

Enid blyton, the original Winnie-ther-pooh, The Hobbit - all are good tricksy reads with a fab story but not miresome preteen subject matter.

colditz Wed 30-Sep-09 12:38:07

Famous Five are younger, but remember, the child is six. Younger books would suit her well.

colditz Wed 30-Sep-09 12:41:32

Ahhhh Lynne Reid Banks wrote the most WONDERFUL book about fairies! Black beauty is ace, but has upsetting scenes re the death of Ginger.

I think in Enid Blyton's era, children did read more from a younger age, and were expected to stay innocent for quite a long time, so the subject matter is ideal for a young 6 year old - my son finds "Naughty Amelia Jane" hilarious.

I think YANBU - and I also would be steering my 6 year old away from books aimed at 11 year old girls. They'll be all about periods, bullying, spots, boys and angst.

sitdownpleasegeorge Wed 30-Sep-09 13:15:42

I think the teacher may be wanting Lucy to keep expanding her vocabulary and practising her reading/decoding skills

I share your dilemma to a certain extent but without the added complication of SEN.

Ds, who is 6, is losing all interest in reading for himself and just wants to be read to (enid blyton, roald dahl etc). His current teacher knows he has a reading age of a 10 year old and tries to steer him towards library books with a few challenging words on each page to keep up the progression of his vocabulary and decoding skills but he seems reluctant to accept any help with these new words which sometimes also need explaining in terms of their meaning as well as pronunciation. He gets stroppy if I try to help and won't read for more than 5 mins a day when we are supposed to be doing 10-15 mins. He does read lots of other things around the house but getting through the school reading books is becoming a struggle.

We can't even get through one school reading book a week at the moment. We initially thought it was because he still wanted nice colour pictures to look at instead of small black and white illustrations in chapter books but nothing is working at the moment. sad.

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