Does He Have Reading Problems?

So, on Father's Day evening, the children and I went to the public library to exchange books and hang out before it closed.

The library is doing a summer reading program as well as the school district. Andrew is totally psyched about reading 1500 pages so that he can have lunch with the superintendent again this year. And get all that glorious attention for being a Reading Achiever!

Now, it was quite a breakthrough last year when he came to me and said, "I get why you want me to read." That was HUGE! So, I generally don't care what he reads (so long as it's appropriate). I try to push chapter books and things, but he likes reading the little 32 page books. My thoughts, "He's reading, right?"

Well, when Andrew was checking in with the children's library person (to get his bug bucks for the library store), she commented on his reading log.

Library Lady: What grade is your son going to be in?

Me: 5th.

LL: How does he feel about reading? Is it hard for him?

Me: It's only hard because he isn't REALLY into reading...

LL: Oh, I was wondering if he was having trouble reading because of all the little books on his log. He needs to be reading books more on his level; books with at least 100 pages. If my boss were the one checking him in today, she wouldn't let him get by with all these little books on his log.

Me: I try and get him to read chapter books all the time...

LL: Was that harsh of me?

As we were leaving the library, I really started to fume. Who cares what he's reading, so long as he's reading? How dare she assume that he has a reading problem because he reads smaller books? Most of the books on his list were books that he read to Aiden!

After thinking about it, I told Andrew that he needed to get at least 1 chapter book a visit. I am not going to restrict his reading materials to just chapter books! I don't just read chapter books. I like little 8, 16, and 32 page books. And I'm not always reading them to my class or my children. Sometimes, I read them for myself...

What kind of reading program are they running? They should have put a disclaimer on the flyers they were handing out to let people know that this was the "Nazi" Summer Reading Program! Obviously the love of reading isn't important...

BTW, Andrew does read VERY well. It's not that he can't read, it's that it is not his favorite thing to do. He's more of a Math/Science kind of guy.

I think the next trip to the library, I will voice my opinion on the matter. I do NOT appreciate this homely girl judging my son because he isn't a reader by nature. It should be okay that he has acquired an appreciation for reading. As a teacher, I cannot take this black/white view of things. Reading is fundamental, yes. However, there is a time and a place to promote leveled reading. I don't think the summertime is one of those times. Reading should be fun. Kids spend all their time at school reading things on their level. They need an outlet. Why can't they check out a book just to look at the pictures and read the captions sometimes?

Neo-Nazi Librarian!


Erica Simmons said...

I am sorry that happened!! I agree with you!!! Some people do not think before they speak.

Mrs. H. said...

Ridiculous....good thing she's not a teacher. Andrew's a a good reader that just doesn't want to drag out the experience. He likes to read books he can finish in one or two 20 minute settings.

Steffon Hamilton said...

Growin up to be his unc.


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