Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Suggested Summer Reading?

My 5 year old is starting kindergarten in September. He's my first-born, and every time I think about dropping him off on that first day of school, I get teary-eyed. No point in dwelling on that day now, it will be here soon enough. Before that day arrives, we have a list of books to read.

That's right. My 5 year old has a "suggested summer reading list" before he starts class in September. Did I mention he's 5 . . . and starting kindergarten? I didn't get a summer reading list until I started high school. What's going on here?

I'm all for a good education and having high expectations for your children; however, this list has over 30 books on it with a separate list of about 10 authors who are also "suggested" reads. And by the way, these are not simple picture books we're talking about.

My guy can read. He loves books, and more than half of the time would prefer to read a book than do something else. He's very good with, for example, Eric Carle/Bill Martin books, i.e. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? But this list also contains titles such as A Taste of Colored Water by Matt Faulkner. While he might be able to read this one, he won't understand it. Which is where I come in. Same thing with Zen Shorts by Jon Muth. As far as I'm concerned, this is pretty advanced stuff for a 5 year old. But I'm not complaining . . . well, not really.

We're about half way through the list and are in the library at least once a week. I'm quickly discovering that summer reading lists are also homework for parents over the summer. I'm teaching my child about segregation and philosophy and Zen principles. I have a feeling I'm in for a rude awakening once school starts.

1 comment:

  1. As a teacher, I wouldn't mind if a parent asked me about the 'suggested' reading, especially if its books that you know are above their comprehension level. Is the teacher wanting you to read it together etc.? If the teacher didn't say it in a note, than he/she shouldn't mind telling you. And, as a high school teacher who can't get her kids to read for the summer I'm torn between liking the concept of little kids reading in the summer because they'll be used to it by the time they're in high school and hating it because they're so little and not really seeing a point in having books above their reading level. I'd be interested to know how it goes (as I have a 2 year old). This list is just a suggestion...not a have to? Anyway, email me if you'd like to discuss more: