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I am my daughter's worst enemy.

25 replies

Doodle2U · 10/01/2009 17:43

I'm losing the will to live.

DD is 5. She will be 6 in May. She's in Yr1.

She's articulate, fun, bright and her vocab is massive. Apparently, she's in the top groups in here class.

How or why she's in the top reading group is beyond me! I HATE reading with her. It's driving me nuts and I can't do it anymore. She'll do anything other than read the sodding book. She deliberately gets stuff wrong to see how I'll react (and I DO react, so it serves me bloody well right!). I have praised and praised her when she reads well. I give her my full attention. Honestly, I tick all the boxes but, for some reason, she gets summat out of peeing about with her reading.

We're on ORT Red books. Dunno what that means to anyone else but as far as I can tell, she's behind her peers, which is frustrating because I just know she can do this.

I am sorely tempted to throw money at this issue and pay a tutor to read the damn books with her because I have obviously NOT got what it takes.

Any advice? Anything - I'll take any advice and suggestions at all. Please.

PS - DS (now 7) was nothing like this.

OP posts:
Hassled · 10/01/2009 17:46

Just stop reading with her for a few weeks. You're in the situation where reading has become a battleground and stopped being fun. Read to her, but forget the school/her reading stuff for a while. It won;t do any lasting damage and if, in a month or so, she starts to enjoy reading again then she will probably make more progress than she is in the current battleground.

I've been there and it's not fun - sympathies.

LightShinesInTheDarkness · 10/01/2009 17:47

Hi Doodle. I have battled with this one, and those bloomin' 'Reading Records' where they bring a little book home and you are supposed to write what they do each day and sign it. Sod all, thats all we ever wrote and I have given up now.

I do not think my kids learning has been seriously affected by not spending 10 minutes a day reading with me, and your DD sounds as if she s getting along just fine as well. Don't beat yousrself up!

TheBayingBanshee · 10/01/2009 17:58

I would absolutely leave it for the time being. She is so young, it will make no difference in the long term and you don't want to turn her off reading and learning. If you wait till she is ready it will be far easier. Many countries do not teach children to read until later for precisely these reasons.

blametheparents · 10/01/2009 18:03

I agree that you do not want to turn her off from reading, which is a danger at the moment. We still have running battles with DS about reading, and I know he is quite good really.

We have tried a sticker chart, 7 days of good reading earns either Match Attax cards or Go-Gos. Works quite well.
Another tip is to ditch the school books and try something else. I did this with DS is Yr 2 and told his teacher what I was doing. She was in agreement and was happy that he was reading. We went to the library and he chose factual books mostly, often based on the topic he was doing at school. He much preferred reading these books.

BoffinMum · 10/01/2009 18:03

Gather round. I'm going to tell you a secret.

I am an educationalist and I don't listen to my children read their school reading books, because it's boring and frustrating. Nor do I bother helping them with their homework much, because I think their homework is pretty pointless a lot of the time.

They all have reading ages beyond their chronological ages despite being dyslexic, and being of widely varying intelligence, so I am starting to think this sort of thing doesn't actually matter and kids will learn to read when they want to, as long as they see you reading around the home, and you buy them the odd bright shiny book when you're out at the shops.

So I would stop reading with her and just leave it all to her and the school - I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised by the time she reaches 8!

cory · 10/01/2009 18:20

Agree with everybody else. Dd was the same: bright and articulate child but hated homework in Infants school. I just wrote bland notes in the homeworks book, like "dd was really tired" and left it. Just kept on reading aloud to her out of books she enjoyed, carried on talking to her, enjoying everyday activities that were educational without having WORK written all over the front cover.

By the time she had got to junior school, dd was ready to take responsibility for her own homework and now, in Year 7, she is positively getting excited at the projects they get to do.

sarararararah · 10/01/2009 18:21

And I will tell you another secret if you like?!

I'm a teacher and at our school we never, ever send reading books home. We just let them choose two lovely library books from our lovely library and encourage parents to read to their children - obviously with lots of discussion and doing things like wondering what will happen next etc. We take care of the other stuff in school and... the children read just as well, if not better, as other children I have taught in previous schools.

So.. I would stop reading with her and read beautiful books to her. The best thing you can do IMHO!

Miggsie · 10/01/2009 18:31

Oh this could be me!

I abhor and detest ORT.
I consider having to listen to my daughter read them an absolute and total penance. It's the unremitting thud thud of suject-verb-object of the incredibly simple and reptitive sentence structure that annoys me.
When DD wrote her own parody of them it put the tin lid on it for me. They are so po faced...

I then used the Red Nose Reader series, which has far too few books in it, alas...but the thought of working through the whole bloody ORT made me so brassed off I wrote to the school and asked if DD could read something else (like bus timetables) as an alternative.
I also disliked them as the drawings are so literal DD was guessing the words by looking at the pictures, and not by reading the words!!!!
I then had a super ding dong run-in with the school literacy co-ordinator (who obviously considers me an hysterical antidiluvian luddite judging from her letter) where she lectured me about the importance of ORT, how it was impossible to guess words from the pictures and the study of literature in general (she knows not that I am an English graduate I think).
I replied that the ORT it had no literary or artistic merit whatsoever...!

Luckily DD's teacher is a bit more flexible then the literacy co ordinator and started DD on "The Oxford Literacy WEB" which judging from the battered state of the books was the one before ORT. It has more interesting stories, and some complex sentence structure and DD and I are both much happier. As DD has very good comprehension skills her teacher also sends home the Oxford Reading Tree Poems books, which really are worth reading.

DD also gets to choose library books each week which she enjoys very much.

Doodle2U · 10/01/2009 18:34

Gawd, I could weep reading all your replies.

Honestly, we read the ORT book just before I started this thread and if you were a blind person, you'd've been hard pressed to say which of us was the adult and which of us was the child!

We do read to both children and they both love it. We love reading to them and even though DS reads perfectly well and enjoys reading on his own, he still likes to be read to. So I'm delighted to keep going with that.

Right, I'll take a break from reading the books when they come home and let her choose a book from her shelf to read TO me just to see if it's the boring ORT books which are the issue. If she still acts up, I'll leave it all together and just read TO her.

I'm lovin' this "Gather round..." approach from the educationalist and teacher on the thread!

Thank you all.

OP posts:
BoffinMum · 10/01/2009 18:34

You sound like a super teacher sarararararah.

It is very liberating when you realise the Reading Scheme police don't come around your house to kneecap you if you opt out of the reading torture.

quint · 10/01/2009 18:34

Thank God - I thought I was the only one who hated reading homework, I always feign an interest if I have to do, TBH I leave it my husband who is so muuch better at it than me.

BoffinMum · 10/01/2009 18:36

Sounds good, doodle. Happy parents make happy children.

Doodle2U · 10/01/2009 18:37

Miggsie, sorry, crossed post.

Bus timetables....there's a thought!

OP posts:
Doodle2U · 10/01/2009 18:40

Thanks Boffin.

Quint, my DH has more patience than me when it comes to reading with her and she does act up a little less for him but not much.

Thing is, it's turning homework into a right trial and I get really narked - not just with the homeowrk but with everything else we try and do after homework has finished.

I obviously need to work on my temper/frustration levels etc. Funnily enough though, I can do other stuff, with both the kids, and I have far more patience and we all enjoy working things out. It's just this reading with DD thing that we can't crack.

OP posts:
LightShinesInTheDarkness · 10/01/2009 18:43

Thanks for all the reassurance, particularly from the experts!

Now can we all make fab suggestions about what to read a 6-year old daughter?! Here is mine : Can You Catch a Mermaid? by Jane Ray Truly magical, and inspired us to build many beautiful seaside mermaids over the years!

Miggsie · 10/01/2009 18:47

Oh yes, DD loves "can you catch a mermaid", in fact all mermaid books ever written....and all the Roald Dahl, she has them on CD and listens continually.
Simon Callow should be knighted for his rendition of "The Twits", it's played endlessly!

sarararararah · 10/01/2009 18:47

Oh thank you :-) BoffinMum What sort of educationalist are you if you don't mind me asking?

Now can I use this thread at my school to show to the parents (few admittedly) who want me to send reading books home and can't understand it when I won't!!!!!

Seriously though, there is research to substantiate the view that reading to your child, even when they are old enough to read themselves, is the single most important thing you can do. Just can't remember the author, but promise it's true!

mrspnut · 10/01/2009 18:48

My oldest child is now at secondary school but I almost never made her read her school reading books.

It certainly hasn't hampered her in any way and now she knows what it is to read for pleasure because she was able to do it in her own time.

She discovered a whole genre of books quite by accident and has been steadily reading her way through them ever since, usually at the rate of 4 a week so there is life without ORT.

Littlefish · 10/01/2009 18:50

I'm a teacher too and completely agree with the others. Read to her, but lock the horrible reading scheme books in a big cupboard and don't bother with them! Take her shopping with you and ask her to read things off your shopping list, ask friends or grandparents to send her postcards and I guarantee she'll want to read those etc. etc. etc. You get the picture - find things for her to read that she wants to read, and all of a sudden, there's a reason for her to read.

Sit down on a comfy sofa, cuddle her up close, read to her and get lost in the magic of a book. That's how to inspire her to want to read.

BoffinMum · 10/01/2009 18:50

Lecturer in education (half teaching, half research) - published widely on education as well.

We are quite good about reading to the kids in this house, btw, so obviously this has been a good thing to do.

sarararararah · 10/01/2009 18:52

Hooray fol Littlefish's last sentence!!

sarararararah · 10/01/2009 18:53

for obviously

cat64 · 10/01/2009 19:15

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

Doodle2U · 10/01/2009 20:40

I was wondering about talking to DD's teacher and telling her we've decided to leave off reading for a while.

I confess to feeling a bit apprehensive about the conversation because I'm sure the character of Vera Bennett (Prisoner Cell Block H) was based around this particular teacher, however, given the number of teachers on this thread who've not battled with homework reading, I'm thinking, DD's teacher will be quite OK with the idea!

Thank you once again. We've had a lovely bedtime. I'm actually feeling like a huge weight has been lifted!

OP posts:
samanthar · 11/01/2009 21:10

You could try the trial at if she likes the computer. the literacy activities seem good and if she copes with the year one level you can alter the settings in your account or by ringing them during the trial and do Yr 2 instead of year 1

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