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My 2nd grade girl is being forced by her school to read out loud 25 min. a night, or she is punished (no recess.) She is a good reader and loves write poetry, etc. but this is causing MAJOR pain, tears, and an increased hatred of reading. i've done some research and think she is a kinestthetic learner - don't know if this makes any difference. Any suggestions?!




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Question: Reading Woes

My 2nd grade girl is being forced by her school to read out loud 25 min. a night, or she is punished (no recess.) She is a good reader and loves write poetry, etc. but this is causing MAJOR pain, tears, and an increased hatred of reading. i've done some research and think she is a kinestthetic learner - don't know if this makes any difference. Any suggestions?!


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Advice from School Family and Our Experts

cmccarthy writes:
Have you questioned the teacher about what is the educational benefit of being forced to read 25 minutes out loud? As a first grade teacher a big part of my job is to foster a love of reading, not make it a burden. If you feel that your child is a “hands-on” learner one suggestion is, if possible, that she could record herself reading. She would have the opportunity to work the recorder which would help her utilize her kinesthetic abilities, while fulfilling her assignment. At the same time she could demonstrate that she did indeed complete her reading, and be able to go out and enjoy recess.
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junipersky writes:
Out loud? I don't understand that. However, I know that research shows that students of all ages (yes, even kindergarten!) should be reading 20 minutes a night. This might be 20 minutes WITH YOU, this might be with a tape player, just looking at the pictures, flipping through and remembering what happened in the book, or actually reading the words. Students who rise to the top of their class, and often life, are the ones who take the time to read outside of school. Missing recess is one of the few consequences that a teacher can enforce. Many students could care less about an abstract 'grade', whereas they care about recess time. Ask your child's teacher if you can compromise about the 25 minutes for your child. See if 5-10 minutes out loud would be okay, with the remaining time being spent reading with you or by herself. The cassette idea is wonderful, but lets be real, most people don't have those. However, if you can learn to use Windows Media Player (installed on almost all Windows Machines) your daughter can hear herself reading using a computer and a headset rather than an out of date cassette player.
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Lisa @ School Family writes:
Oooh- Tracey- that is tough one. Not going to mince words- I think it is just plain wrong for the teacher to make kids stay in from recess for not reading. I fully understand the benefits of having kids reading every night but when it makes them hate reading, then it is having the reverse affect. I think Connie has a great suggestion for having her record the story. Also like Junipersky's suggestion for using Windows Media Player. There are even some new Smart Phone apps/story kits that are pretty cool. In the meantime, I would suggest that you go talk to the teacher about your concerns. Best of luck. Would love to hear how you resolve this.
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tracey writes:
These are really great answers - thanks SO much! I will try some of them, and talk to the person in charge of the reading program at the school and ask her about the policy and what benefits are gleaned from this requirement. ~Tracey
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Cindy T writes:
As a third grade teacher I believe that the best thing we can do for our students and children is foster a love of reading, not the fear of a consequence if we don't read. Many children need a "purpose" to read that is authentic. I tell my students that I don't care if they read comics, the cereal box, or a book. I just want them to find something they love to read. Many children (and adults) need an authentic reason to read. Perhaps there is a younger child in the house or neighborhood that your daughter can read to each day. If not, then perhaps she can record her reading and share it with the kindergarten class at her school for a reading/story telling center. If she loves to write poetry then she can read her own poetry or read a few favorite poems each night. I tell the parents' of my students that what I strive for the most is to have their child want to come into my classroom each day excited. The rest is easy! When we are excited and passionate about something then it is easy to be successful!
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