Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reading Overload

The school trimester is almost up.  In two days to be exact.  And I have apparently forgotten how stressful the fourth grade can be.

"Amaya you need to read if you want to have any chance of making your AR goal."  I stated, totally unsympathetic.

"I'm trying Mom!"  Amaya responds.

"Don't be surprised if you're a few points shy of making it to the pizza party."  I added.

Then she started crying.

"What's the matter? Why are you crying?"  I dared to ask knowing I've provoked this.

"All school year you've been pushing me to read and I have been.  I read all the time.  I'm trying really hard!"  She says crying.

I had to apologize.  I was being unfair.  I push because I want her to do well and I know how bad she wants to go to that pizza party. 

She doesn't know, but I am on her side.  She has read over 31 books in twelve weeks, and it still isn't enough.  That's ridiculous. Reading is important, I agree, but there are other things in life that are equally important.  Reading for points makes reading a chore.

Making children read more doesn't necessarily develop a love for reading any more than eating peanut butter and jelly every day will develop a love for peanuts.  At some point they just get burnt out.

So I've decided to back off.  The world isn't going to end if she doesn't meet some silly AR goal.


  1. I went to a writer's conference recently and one of the speakers touched on this issue. He said, "Reading tests measure achievement, not potential."

    Sometimes the importance put on test scores are irrelevant.