School are holding my daughter back when it comes to reading

(95 Posts)
cakebake Wed 28-Nov-12 14:19:35

I know theres been quite a bit of discussion on this, but I have a 6 year old who is a very advanced reader. Towards the end of the last school year her teacher admitted they didnt know what to do so were going to hold her at the level she was at (she was a 2a). At the time this was fine, but now I'm regretting saying it was ok.

She has moved up to year 2 and hasn't had her reading level changed since July. Her teacher and TA keep telling me that she is a level 3 reader, but that the stuff they have at her level isnt age appropriate, The chapter books they are giving her she is reading (and understanding) in an average of 2 days, but she is only getting one book a week. They have as good as admitted that they are holding her back.

As a TA myself I have some idea whats what and as a mum I know that my daughter has really good comprehension and understanding of what she is reading. We are finding books at the library or buying them cheaply, but I dont know where to go from here.

To make matters a bit more complicated I volunteer in school and dont want to upset anyone, but I dont want this happening to my youngest who is turning out to be as good as her sister.

I'd appreciate any suggestions on what to do next.

CecilyP Sun 02-Dec-12 10:45:21

Yes, I can't see the problem either. From the OP, you would think that school was the only source of reading material. If she reads the book sent home from school in 2 days, there are 5 other days to read books of choice. You don't even have to buy them when they can be borrowed from the library and, these days, there is an abundance of books for young fairly fluent readers.

LaQueen Sun 02-Dec-12 10:06:37

I kinda saw what happened at school as a sort of loose framework which the DDs followed, just to tick the requisite boxes.

Their real reading happened at home - supported by DH and me, with the books we provided. But we also encouraged to them to read magazines, TV sub-titles, posters, menus, anything really - just to give them as much variety as possible.

We've ended up with two extremely strong readers on our hands - but their teachers don't especially revere them for it or anything - it's more a case of 'Phew, well that's one child I don't need to worry about.'

It's never really bothered me - I knew they were good readers, so didn't need it regularly confirmed by school. And, it's probably more fair/better that their teacher's time be spent aiding the children who aren't strong readers, and who don't have much parental support.

Tgger Sat 01-Dec-12 21:51:16

You beat me to that comment yellow. If said child is not enjoying any of the books she is bringing home (rather than just reading them pretty quick), then there is a case for asking for different books or not bothering with them.

yellowsubmarine53 Sat 01-Dec-12 21:43:48

It isn't, from the information that OP has supplied.

learnandsay Sat 01-Dec-12 21:40:33

There's a difference between "the school is holding my daughter back,"

and

my daughter is flat-lining in her reading. (The difference might actually be me and my library card.)

But the school shouldn't be letting her coast.

yellowsubmarine53 Sat 01-Dec-12 21:27:28

OP's dd has read 40+ books since September.

In no way, shape or form is she being 'held back' or 'stagnating'.

Llareggub Sat 01-Dec-12 14:56:27

I don't really understand the problem. I see school scheme books as providing my children with the tools for reading. The books they read at home are for fun. We write about both in the reading diary.

ThePlatypusAlwaysTriumphs Sat 01-Dec-12 14:41:33

Haven't read the whole thread, but I had the same thing with dd1 at age 6. The teacher told me "its important notto let her get ahead of herself"- eh?? I politely asked how she suggested I hold her back- did she want me to take away her books at home?

The next year they conceded that she needed extra stimulation and gave her extra comprehension homework, which she loved. Coincidentally this coincided with a school inspection, and was never followed up subsequently.

I let her read what she wants (well, obviously not 50 Shades etc!) What we did was to read them chapter books- dd1 would read on ahead, and then when we read to her the next night she could ask about words she didn't know, or any comprehension issues. That worked quite well.

Tbh, I don't expect the school to cater for my kids- I've always felt far more in control of their reading material than the school. The stuff they get from school they read for duty. The books we all read at home are for pleasure, and their reading is probably well above average, but I don't really know or care.

mrz Sat 01-Dec-12 14:32:01

Can someone explain how the OPs daughter is being held back?

Moredofbumsnet Sat 01-Dec-12 14:20:48

OP are you happy that the school is pushing your dd forward in other areas of the curriculum ?If it is only reading that she is being held back in maybe they feel that she is excelling and doesn't really need pushing.

choccyp1g Sat 01-Dec-12 00:37:49

oops probably and I mean OPs DD will do fine.

choccyp1g Sat 01-Dec-12 00:36:40

Yes Mrz, that's why I say he learnt from reading school books, and from school lessons, guided reading etc. What I am getting at, is that if he hadn't learnt it at school, he certainly wasn't going to learn it at home, despite that fact that we have a houseful of books and go to the library.

I think in his case, school could have "held him back" from achieving his potential by keeping him on a lower level or working with lower level groups. However her daughter is reading a variety of texts at home, so she will pribably do fine.

LatteLady Sat 01-Dec-12 00:12:34

When I was in the first year of juniors... Yr 3 to you youngsters, I was given a school prize... The Magic Primrose, I was insulted, I read it through by the end of the prize giving... it was so puerile. From then on, I ignored whatever books the school gave me and just raided my local library, I read so quickly and so much. OP your child will read to their level regardless of what the school does, they will pay lip service and move on without them.

pinkpeonies Fri 30-Nov-12 19:23:39

At the school my DC go to children change their own books as and when they need/want to. They are trained to do this in YRec and it continues. They have a book bag in which their home link book is kept at all times. Books are kept centrally and teachers have magazine type boxes in their classrooms which they keep stocked up with the various colour banded books appropriate for their cohort. Children know which box to select from and simply pop their old ones back and select a couple of new ones. Colour banded targets both for decoding(tool box type) and suggested inference questions are glued into the children's books to aid parents. The teacher writes very little in the home link book unless their are issues or they are moving them up a level. They are heard routinely in guided reading anyway teachers keep meticulous notes and obs during these sessions anyway. I don't know why more schools don't do this...it would take so much angst away from the parents at the gate who routinely check book bags as soon as a child leaves school.

mrz Fri 30-Nov-12 19:00:59

Did the school not teach the higher order reading skills in class through the study of literature choccyp1g?

choccyp1g Fri 30-Nov-12 17:49:49

Mrz, to answer your question, my son was a v.good reader at KS1, but would never have chosen to read a fiction book of his own accord. At home he would pore over Top Gear annuals, Dinosaur books, football comics.
His fiction skills (the inference, guessing what's going to happen next, characters feelings etc) came from reading the school reading books, which he read grumpily, and never admitted to liking them, but sometimes he would get engrossed.
That's why I would have got cross if the books weren't changed regularly, and moved up the levels when he was ready.
He does read a bit of fiction now, though not as much as I'd like him to.

GobHoblin Fri 30-Nov-12 10:08:36

My opinion in the 'why are parents so hung up on reading books and levels' is that it is usually the only thing that comes home that we have any guide to how our children are getting on. So some parents unfortunately get fixated on it.
I can sort of understand the OP's frustration, but as she is getting a variety of books etc through you at home, i really think you are in a good place and i would simply carry on doing just as you are.

BeerTricksPott3r Thu 29-Nov-12 19:23:16

Reading at school is largely to make sure the nuts and bolts are in place. It's not like whole days are taking up with that reading book in the bookbag. Enjoying books outside school is when the machinery of the imagination really takes flight.

yellowsubmarine53 Thu 29-Nov-12 18:08:05

I'm still not sure what the teacher is supposed to do.

Sounds like your dd is doing great, OP.

PolkadotCircus Thu 29-Nov-12 16:53:48

Exactly Mrz I don't see how school is holding the op's dd back with just 1 book a week. Sometimes it's quality not quantity and there are 101 places for a child to get reading material from.

Having said that re these early readers I do think more could be done but it isn't a case of sending more books home.

I think schools need to send book lists of recommended reading material coupled with reading targets and questions/focus to concentrate on for parents when hearing said able reader read.

I also think schools need to up their game re reading material in schools(but it costs money)and have more involvement in what able readers read.At our school you're just left to do your own thing which is fine for me but not for parents who have zero background in literacy.

SunflowersSmile Thu 29-Nov-12 16:49:56

My ds year 3 enjoys reading and mainly ignores school books [which are not pushed at all with him] and puts own book/ library book whatever in his book bag. He is read with rarely and as he 'can read' I think that is fine. He has guided reading still [I think].
He is allowed to pick any book from school library and last week came home with a simple flap book! Who cares- he wanted something fun and easy...

I have to confess to being more stressy in Reception with ds1 and I am much more relaxed with child 2.....

mrz Thu 29-Nov-12 16:28:35

Why do people believe that books have to be provided by the school?

Moredofbumsnet Thu 29-Nov-12 14:07:30

I have dc2 who is 6 in y2 and is on 'juniors' which means anything they fancy from the library if the teacher okays it. She reads only about one school book a week but tons of others that I don't really keep track of. The reason she only reads one school book a week is that she is supposed to read aloud to me and I ask her questions and meanings of words. I wouldn't have time to sit through more than one Steve Cole or M.Morpurgo a week as dc1 also reads the same sort of thing aloud to me. I think one paperback a week is fine. About one chapter a day.

Tgger Thu 29-Nov-12 12:15:56

I would be a bit shock at that comment too, re the "no point" comment as I think this is definitely the WRONG attitude- if that's exactly verbatim what the teacher said. It's great your younger child wanted to read it and did smile.

The other points re 50 books, 10 from school, 40 from home doesn't sound so bad. Just checked in DS's diary- he's only Y1 but similar level. He has read 16 school books since start of term. He's enjoyed some of the easier ones more than some of the harder ones actually grin- I think some of the "harder" ones he is not that engaged with the story lines, perhaps not mature enough yet. He doesn't ever seem bored or refuse to read the books, just I can tell when he is excited and wants to read on or is happy to stop after a few pages!

LaQueen Thu 29-Nov-12 10:28:48

Agree with Soup I always said to my DDs that each time they pick up a book, any book, there is a whole new world hidden inside its pages smile

Every book has something to tell.

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