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Accelerated Reader

(10 Posts)
user1498927651 Fri 10-Nov-17 21:18:02

My year 7 DS has been given a reading age of 15 years 6 months on an accelerated reader test. i know he has to read books and do quizzes on the books.

I've looked up the books he has recently read on the AR book finder and they have come up as mostly upper years and 5 or 6 point something. Some books he has read in the last few weeks are 'Ready player one', 'the book of dust', and he has re-read the 'his dark materials' series. Other books like 'children of time' and 'a long way to a small angry planet' were not on there. I looked up what was available at the higher levels and I don't see him wanting to read most of it.

So, should he just keep reading what he is already reading? What is this program meant to achieve?

alsteff Fri 10-Nov-17 23:36:15

Hi,
The accelerated reading programme has caused a few issues here! Similarly DD now in Y8 with "adult" reading age but always worried whether any book she's reading (and enjoying) is in the appropriate category. She's been known to take an alternative book, she's not really interested in, for library sessions. Obviously I'm thinking kids should have some freedom of choice on this & not be stressing if they're enjoying a book regardless of quizes, raffles etc... I'm sure it works for some but for us it's self-defeating!

mmzz Sat 11-Nov-17 08:01:19

Just let them read what they like, subject to appropriate content.
Appropriate content is the main issue you will face IME.
In a couple of years though it will be easier and there are some books or there that will match his reading age to his maturity.

Teddygirlonce Sat 11-Nov-17 08:58:41

Ha, I've got a different type of issue with DD. She's got a reading age that matches her actual age. She doesn't like reading (even though she did when she was younger). She picks books from the school library that she could have (and sometimes did!) read when she was 9!! And shows no sign of wanting to be bothered to read anything more challenging. We have more interesting and challenging books we've bought her as presents that she could be reading (including the Wonder sequel). However, they're not on the AR programme so she doesn't feel it worth while reading them (as she won't get any points and the school won't be aware that she's done so).

We were reading Agatha Christies from the age of 12/13 and progressed quickly onto other grown-up novels (Daphne du Maurier another favourite as a youngish teen). There were very few YA books around back in the day, so not much other option. Some weren't entirely appropriate, with the benefit of hindsight, but it certainly improved our vocabulary no end and made us the avid readers we continue to be to this day.

user1498927651 Sat 11-Nov-17 10:19:30

alsteff, it is reassuring to know that other parents worry that this program will be self-defeating for some kids. I am a little worried that this will restrict his choice as to what he can borrow from the school library. It is well resourced and I would be disappointed if he could not take full advantage of that. It is a struggle keeping up with his reading with our local library, so I have had to buy him quite a few books in recent months. I am also worried that he will simply not bother to participate and get on the wrong side of the teacher.

mmzz, we have already hit the 'appropriate content' hurdle. He reads some science fiction and fantasy written for adults. I have had to trust that he will stop reading if the book has inappropriate content as I can't find any content based age recommendations for these books. The AR levels seem to be based on language difficulty though, and it looks like you have to turn to the classics to get to the higher levels. He is reading books with increasingly challenging themes but the language is not difficult.

Teddygirlonce, I guess I am conflicted because DS does seem to be reading books that I think are more challenging, but many of these books don't seem to be in the AR system. Some are award winning or bestseller science fiction so I don't know why they are not included.

Teddygirlonce Sat 11-Nov-17 10:36:43

Strikes me that the AR programme is a bit of a blunt instrument, particularly if not properly 'policed' at the school end which it doesn't necessarily seem to be. The last out of school book she read - over the summer hols - was Wonder which I would consider the right level for her and suitable reading matter. However, now she's back on Dork Diaries which I thought we'd seen the back of yonks ago hmm.

We have three more challenging choices that DD could be reading from her own bookshelf but can't because they're not included, so she continues to read books that are not accelerating anything other than my annoyance!!!

Oh and apparently many of the girls get older siblings to answer the end of book online quizzes (to test their knowledge of the book), so they're cheating the system anyway...having not read them at all but busily looking as if they are and gaining points into the bargain???

Tulipvase Sat 11-Nov-17 10:39:32

My daughter has just started year 7 and the school appears to do this scheme. My daughter has always loved reading and has a reading age of 16.5 (apparently). She doesn’t seem to bother with the scheme though - no one has said it’s a problem, yet! I assumed it was optional and more designed to encourage reluctant readers?

user1498927651 Sat 11-Nov-17 10:53:27

Tulipvase, they have been told they have to do two quizzes per half term so it seems it is not optional. This is a grammar school so I assume the majority would be reading above their age.

DinkyDaisy Sat 11-Nov-17 12:48:12

My ds does AR reader at school and has occasionally chosen books not on system. Irritates him that won't get points but reads them anyway and we check next book along is on system. History fact books often not on system. An old Dr Who novel wasn't. Some up to date stuff not on. Hitchhiker's Guide books are all on there so did some of them.
His teachers only mildly disapprove when he goes offpiste...
He is year 8.

elkiedee Sat 11-Nov-17 13:12:36

Thanks for this discussion. DS1 is year 6 and we've just done application for secondary school. We looked at 2 nearest schools and both do the programme. Think DS is already a bit put off, because he enjoys reading but likes to be free to choose, and I think he will face this issue. I read lots of age-inappropriate books from about 12 or so.

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