Monday, June 15, 2009

Reading at Grade Level or not

I have enjoyed reading the numerous posts about children reading at their grade level or not. From the posts I have been reading, those of us book lovers all seem to be in agreement - it is not a race. People of all ages can enjoy picture books, and you really don't have to outgrow them. When I was growing up I distinctly remember expressing some concern that my sister, who is two years younger than me, didn't read chapter books yet - and at the ripe old age of seven. My mother was quite firm in her lack of concern. And, lo and behold, this has not held my sister back at all. While I would never admit it to her, she might even be smarter than me. Today she reads chapter books all the time. I also had a high school co-op student working for me a few years ago in my school library. She was a precocious reader and absolutely loves books. However, she does admit that she may have enjoyed some of the books more had she not decided to read them at such a young age. For example, she read To Kill A Mockingbird in second grade. Enjoyable, yes. Did she get everything that the story offered? No. When I pick out books to read to my own children I hope that I am not pushing them to hear a story they would enjoy when they are older, or enjoy reading to themselves more than they enjoy listening to me read to them. It seems at my school I rarely have the problem of children trying to read things too far above their grade level, so while this is something to consider, I feel like I am constantly trying to push kids beyond Junie B. Jones so they can find books that are more challenging. If you want to read more about this issue, visit the following blogs: Jen Robinson's blog, Here in the Bonny Glen, and Booklights.

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