Monday, May 14, 2007

Why does this bother me?

I was in the local bookstore a couple of days ago and I noticed a section titled 'Summer Reading Lists.' Hmm, I wonder if Monkey Boy has a summer reading list that he conveniently forgot to tell me about, which wouldn't be a huge surprise. I'm told that next year, as a 5th grader, Monkey Boy will have to read 20 novels. This isn't a huge deal as he read 26 novels during this school year. Wouldn't it make sense for them to get a jump on this over the summer? I fired off an email to his teacher asking if they had a reading list. Here is the response I got:
Good morning, thanks for asking about a reading list. At this time, we don't have one and probably if we did the books wouldn't be at a high enough level for him. My suggestion would be to join the summer library reading program and have him choose books on his level. He will be taking the STAR test today, so I will have a new level for him coming home in his folder. The important thing is for him to continue to read on his level throughout the summer. Thanks for all of your support. Monkey Boy is a bright, cooperative boy. Thanks, Ms. I'm Retiring This Year and It Shows

Why does this bother me? I know part of it is that they don't have a reading list and I'm one of those Nazi parents who feel that children should do something other than play videos and sleep during the summer. I'll make him read anyway because I am a Nazi, but why isn't the school district behind this concept? The other thing that is bothering me is the statement that implied if they had a list, it would basically be useless to him. WTF? I know that several other kids, like Monkey Boy, are reading at high school level. Am I being told there is no possibility of 2 or 3 different reading lists to fit multiple reading levels? I realize that I'm not a teacher yet and I don't know the teaching world, but this seems like commonsense to me.

Why am I letting this bother me so much? Is it because it's an example of why our state's education system is ranked as one of the lowest in the nation? Is it because it is an illustration of the inflexible nature of our education system? Or is it just my anal retentive/ADD/Type A personality flaring up?


Blogger Logziella said...

I completely agree with you!

It's like just a job to some teachers these days...go to work and go home. But a teaching job is MORE than that!

They should get paid more. (still no excuse).

4:00 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

Our schools do a huge disservice to bright kids. If you really want him to get a headstart, google for 'AP reading list'. These are all high-school level books that appear on the advanced placement exams that you take at the end of high school (these get you out of college classes - free money, I say). A lot of the classics are on there, as well as modern stuff that qualifies people as being 'well-read'. My only caution is that a lot of them have adult themes that you might not want him into yet. There are plenty of parent review sites that could give you more information about that sort of thing. Good luck with summer reading!

8:02 PM  

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