Wednesday, 6 November 2013
Reading Books - What the teachers don't see.
If only the teacher could see what happens at home when, in good faith, the reading books are handed out.
If you are lucky enough to have a child who actually wants to read their book and you don't have to go through the crying / screaming / bribery / attempting to think of innovative ways of making reading fun, then you have already passed the first hurdle. I have been known to read by torchlight; in a Yoda voice; inside cardboard boxes and even up a tree to persuade a child to read their book.
The next hurdle is attempting to stop the sibling distraction. Younger siblings are difficult to contain and while you are sitting down attempting to explain 'was' is actually pronounced 'woz' they are merrily taking their favourite cuddly toy swimming in the toilet or emptying the contents of the fridge into their mouths. Older siblings present a different problem. Their activities are fun - more fun than reading about Biff's latest adventures - and the reading child would far rather be with their older brother or sister.
Sometimes you come across the 'independent reader' who does not want you to even look at the book let alone help them. They sit as far away as possible, holding the book away from you as though it is a secret document. This makes for a long and frustrating reading session while the child stumbles over laugh, pronouncing it 'lowg', but will not, under any circumstances, allow you to assist.
The 'rolling around whilst reading' days are my particular irritation. Holding on to the book, they roll across the floor, kicking their legs, constantly losing their place in the book. Once the place is lost, you have to start the battle all over again.
As much as I promised myself I wouldn't ever do it, I have been known to say (in a very pious tone of voice) "What in earth would Mrs Baker think of your behaviour this evening?" and I have even written in the reading record book: "Said child has been very silly tonight silly tonight and has not concentrated well on their reading". I hope the teacher could read between the lines.
End-of-day tiredness has a big effect on the quality of the reading. Often, there is no opportunity other than when they are very tired at the end of a long day. Not only are they worn out, but so are you, and patience levels are low. Allowing them to sound the word out themselves when you are tired and really don't want to hear anymore about how Floppy the dog fell into the river, it's very difficult to contain yourself when you just want to snap the words out and be done with the whole thing. Tears, on both sides, are common at this stage.
Oh, if only the teachers could be a fly on the wall.