Marriott asks:

My 6 year old daughter loves reading but is bored with the books given in school. Please help!

Member Added on Jun 15, 2009
I have, eventually, been able to talk to the teacher and the school's literacy co-ordinator.  Apparently, her reading level is based on some instructional level assessment(do you know what this is?) Her reading book has been decided according to her ability to answer comprehension questions,  on the reading book in a grammatically correct manner! This is not consistent in the school - our son, year 1, has been moved up from level 4  to level 11, because the teacher realized his reading books were too easy.  Our daughter was assessed in at the end of Year 1 and was on level 25 yet was only given a book at level 8 at the beginning of year 2.  Since our meeting, she and all but three of her reading group were moved up two levels to level 20.  All the books used are from Oxford Reading.  The content of  the books is still too easy.  She loves reading all kinds of books and wants a more difficult, challenging reading book.  What questions do I need to ask?
Does anyone know what this "instructional level assessment" is?

Also, is it only optional to have individual parent/class teacher meetings?  We have not been offered an end of term meeting with the teachers.  (We do not need one with the Year 1 teacher, because she has kept us informed of his progress throughout the year.)

I desperately need help, thank you.  
In Topics: Helping my child with reading, Motivation and achievement at school
> 60 days ago



Sylvia HS
May 24, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Dear Marriott,

In thinking about your question, I'm trying to picture the reasons why reading at home might be different from reading at school.

Your daughter's reading level may be above the level of the books that are being given to her at school.  That could be one reason why she feels bored.

At school, if the class is discussing a particular story, they might be spending a lot of time talking about it, and less time reading it.  This could be boring to your daughter.

Many times children say they're bored when, actually, something is too hard for them.  I don't know if this would be the case with your daughter.

At home, she chooses the books she wants to read.  At school, they are often chosen for the students.

At home, you and she have time to sit close to each other, to read and share a book.  At school, she's with a group of people (large or small) and she has to wait her turn to say what she wants to say and read what she wants to read.

You could ask for an assessment of your daughter's reading levels, by a reading specialist.  Sometimes, schools have a qualified person at the school who can do this.  If the school doesn't have an in-school person, they have access to a district reading specialist who can do this assessment.

You could discuss with your child's teacher the reading level of the books that are being given to your daughter in the classroom, and compare this to her assessed reading level.  Your daughter's teacher, herself, may have done an assessment of your daughter's reading level.  You and your child's teacher will want to match the material she is reading at school to your daughter's reading level.

The above matching is critical.  Also, of course, it's important to match her interests to the books she reads.  In the classroom, it's not always possible to do this matching, precisely.  But at home, you can match reading level and interests very easily.

By the way, a quick way to tell if a book is at a "just right" reading level is to do the 5 Finger Test.  Count 100 words in a book.  Have your daughter begin reading.  Each time she doesn't know what a word is, put down one finger.  If you bring down 5 fingers, then this book will likely be too hard for her to read by herself.  If it seems too hard, and yet she's interested in the book, then you can read the book to her.

For instance, the children's book, "Charlotte's Web", is written at a junior high reading level, and yet many children in the early elementary grades are interested in it.  This kind of book can then become a listening book.


Sylvia HS
Reading Specialist

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