Reading with mother…

This week, Primary English Team member Jo Upton reflects on the change from teacher to mum, when it comes to hearing children read.

I’ve recently discovered that it’s a funny thing to be on the other side of the school gate. My daughter has now started in Reception and I’m finding it really rather odd. The pressure of ensuring all uniform is labelled, preparing the daily lunchbox, getting newsletter slips in on time, word walls, sound folders, friends for tea …

And then there’s the reading book.

In my role as teacher I have for years sent home reading books and led reading workshops for parents, expounding the fact that it really is no trouble at all to spend ten minutes or so sharing a reading book with your child. How wrong could I have been??

Once time has finally been found from within the melee of the evening tasks, there’s the “Do I have to?” Yes of course she has to – how else is she going to crack the mystery of the written word that she’s been so desperate to do by herself? Then there’s the locating of the book itself from the depths of the book bag, currently filled with a growing collection of Autumn leaves and various pictures of the Three Bears.

But above all, there’s the “Not another Biff and Chip!” moan. And here I find myself in agreement. Now I am indeed a fan of a core reading scheme, but multiple Biff and Chip books later, although they’ve moved on a bit with the number of words to read, we are ready for a change! What about some non-fiction? Or a story with some different characters? What about some poetry?!

But I have also discovered the immense pleasures in sharing a reading book with your child. I can’t believe how quickly she is recognising words on the page, and seeing how well she is applying her developing phonic knowledge is brilliant. Her confidence is growing fast, and the delight on her little face when she reads a whole page by herself is priceless. It makes it all so worthwhile.

The whole experience reminds me of many moons ago, when my Dad refused to teach me to drive. I guess what I’ve learned is there’s nothing more challenging than practising what you preach when it’s your own child!

If you’re looking for a wider range of books to read with your child – whether at home or in school – try our pinterest boards for suggestions.


4 thoughts on “Reading with mother…

  1. I whole-heartedly sympathise! My daughter started Reception this September but she only started phonics a week ago and thankfully doesn’t yet have a phonics book but I’m sure it’ll arrive soon, buried in her book bag under pieces of paper and other creations from the modeling table. Will I want to read it with her when I get home from a day at school to hear about the exciting lives of Biff and Chip? Probably not… But I won’t tell that to the group of parents, who are starting on my 4-week ‘Reading with your child’ course!

  2. Jo, I can totally relate to this post! Our lives appear to be parallel as my daughter has just started school. We are trying to “read with pleasure” all the ORT books that she brings home! I hadn’t realised what a challenge it would be to hear her read when her two year old sister is desperate to be in on the action too! Anyway, I love the Pinterest link.
    See you soon,

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