What to Do If Your Child Dislike of School Reading Scheme ?

Child School Reading Scheme

What to Do If Your Child Dislike of School Reading Scheme ?

Child School Reading Scheme

My child hates his school reading scheme… what can I do about it?

The first thing to do is to try and be sure why he hates it. Is it because he is reading books which are too difficult for him and so he gets frustrated and disheartened? Does he not like the characters in the stories) Does he not like the stories (or lack of stories; in any, all or some of the books? Do try and talk to him about it because you also need to be sure that it is a genuine aversion to the scheme itself and not towards reading in general or reading to you at home specifically.

The next thing to do is to make arrangements to see his class teacher. The best way of tackling this is to write a note asking if you could go and talk about your child’s reading on such and such a date or an alternative one if that is not convenient.

When you do talk to the teacher, don’t be surprised if she or he is not aware of your child’s feelings – children can often disguise the way they feel about something in front of teachers. Tell the teacher everything and do point out that you are concerned that your child is in serious danger of being put off reading altogether.

The teacher will then, in all probability, do one of the following things :

  • – try a different scheme or series of books with your child – perhaps on a temporary basis ;
  • – change books within the scheme if the major problem seems to be that the current reading material is either too difficult or too easy ;
  • – be very apologetic and explain that she has no alternative (for a variety of possible reasons) except to keep your child on the scheme.

Where does that leave you? Well, the first two options should solve the problem. The third is more difficult. The most likely reasons for not doing anything about it are either lack of alternative books in school or using the reading scheme as a focus for much of the reading and language work in class, which means that the children need to read the books.

Under such circumstances the best you can do as a parent is :

  • 1. Talk to your child and explain that you understand the problem but that he will have to continue using the books for the time being. If he dislikes the scheme because he thinks the stories and characters are silly you might like to follow what someone I know did. Their reading at home sessions of the scheme which her son loathed was greatly enlivened when he was permitted first of all to invent silly voices for the silly characters and then to invent alternative stories. That way a ‘necessary evil’ became not only tolerable but some fun too.
  • 2. Do your utmost to encourage your child to read other books as well and make sure that you do provide books by, for example, regular visits to the public library. The reading aloud by you of stories which are too difficult for your child to read alone is also important. Your child will then be getting three lots of reading experience: the reading scheme, the books you provide at his reading level and the books and stories you read aloud. This may sound a lot but it is important to ensure that he has lots of enjoyable reading experiences to offset the less satisfactory one.

There is, of course, the possibility that your child’s school is using a very outdated reading scheme and that he is by no means the only one who is not enjoying it. If you know this to be the case and there are several parents who are concerned, then the best thing is to talk to the headteacher about it. Perhaps you could ask if it would be possible to arrange a ‘curriculum’ evening for parents when the question of reading in the school could be discussed and explained.