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- author Jackie French

Saturday 2 October 2010

Ask Sheryl: My Son's Home Readers are Not Difficult Enough

Dear Sheryl,
My grade one son is reading well above his age level but his teacher feels he should stick with the home readers sent home with him nightly. She says reading these give him the confidence to read fluidly but I think he should be stretched further. Should I push this or just let her do her job?

Dear Tracy,

This is a dilemma for you – i.e. do you ‘step on the teacher’s toes’ and challenge her methods, or do you follow your instincts and do what you think is right for your child?

It could be that you both are right – maybe the take-home readers will give him confidence because he can read them fluently. To stop him becoming bored with them, extend his experience of them. Ask questions to see if he fully comprehends the story. Get some paper and make a booklet similar to the reader’s format and extend it by making up a new story, with your son’s input, of course. Get him to draw the pictures or use photographs.

If he wants to read more challenging stories, provide him with them at home. Your local library (and the school’s library) have heaps of books for this beginning reading stage ... like Penguin’s Aussie Nibbles, Blake’s Gigglers and Sparklers series and many others. They’re filled with interesting, funny and challenging stories. Read lots of stories to him. Make reading fun.

The key is to extend children’s reading experiences without pressuring them and without them picking up your concerns.



[Ed: Tracy - see KBR's post on more great titles for young boys who read above their age level.)

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