An invitation to opt-in to a home reading program arrived from my daughter’s school this week. Not only does it send home a book on my child’s reading level every day, but it states that it “has proven to be successful in improving the reading skills of every student who participates.”
So why would any teacher/mom say no to such a program?
While there are some other concerns I’ve been mulling over, the most important reason comes down to this:
Because my daughter wants to choose her own books at home.
I sat down with her, explained the program, and asked her what she thought about it. And that was her response. She told me she had some other reasons that were hard for her to explain, but this was the one she gave, and you know what? I don’t need her to explain more.
Because she already loves reading.
Because one of her go-to ways to spend an hour is to plop down with a stack of books, or to make up her own stories.
Because we continue to discuss her love of Get Fuzzy (our most recent Get Fuzzy-inspired discussion hilariously centered around King Henry VIII).
Because library day is a kind of weekly Christmas for her as she adds our new books to our designated public library book shelves.
Because when I ask her if she’d rather go to the weekly library junior reader’s club, or spend that time playing with her friends, she chooses the reader’s club.
Because when I suggest a book that I think she’d enjoy and that might push her abilities a bit more, she’s willing to give it a try.
And when it comes down to it, what good would it do for her anyway to accelerate her progress in the guided reading levels charts if it diminishes her love of reading?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m sure this is a fine program that has worked very well with many families at her school, and will continue to do so. I’m so grateful for the many educators that work to provide these kinds of resources to reach all our kids, and I recognize that we are privileged to enjoy the opportunities I’ve listed above.
But at the same time, I’m going to trust my daughter’s instincts on what would be best for her personal reading journey.
featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto
2 Replies to “Why I’m Saying No to a Home Reading Program #TeacherMom”
Good on you, Mum! Real pleasurable reading beats levelled reading every time! There is no quicker way to kill a love of reading than a diet of books written to teach kids to read.
Thanks, Norah. I completely agree. I feel like even young kids feel the sense that their intelligence is being insulted by such formulaic text. Between the choices of complying with “the system” vs my protecting my kids’ intrinsic love of reading/learning, I’ll pick the latter every time!!