Stupid reading ? — The Bump
School-Aged Children

Stupid reading ?

When asked if a child reads independently, what does that really mean?  That the child knows 100% of the words?  That they know all the words that are appropriate for their reading level?  The reason I ask is because when I talked to my friend recently she told me my DS (entering Kindergarten in Sept) would not be considered reading independently in Kindergarten because he needs help with some words when reading, but he is reading mostly level one books that are not leveled and he usually cannot figure out 1 or 2 words in a 32 page book. The answer does not matter, I am just curious.

Oh, and the context was her saying that she had to fill out sheets stating if Her DS read his homework independently or not.  So I don't know if this is an apples to oranges thing. 

Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08

Re: Stupid reading ?

  • I would say if your child can read the book at all by himself then he is reading independently. My son is going into the first grade and is reading at a 3rd grade level but still has problems figuring out a couple of words in books because of silent letters. His report card showed that he was reading independently.


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  • My sense is that "independent reader" and "reads independently" are informal terms.  My kids just finished 1st and 6th grade, so at this point I have seen reading levels reported and discussed in many ways.  Nothing formal ever uses the term "independent reader" although teachers have used this term to describe my kids in narrative reports and in conferences.

    The "independent reader" section of retail bookstores usually contains chapter books that might interest anything from a precocious 5 year old to middle schoolers, so the term is pretty imprecise.

    My sense is that you can say your child is an "independent reader" when they can pick up a book like The Magic Tree House series (or something similar) and read it on their own.  Also, when kids are "independent readers" the work the teacher does with them in reading group changes.  Instead of working on sounding out words and learning sight words, the focus in reading group changes to comprehension strategies.

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
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  • imagecjcouple:

    I would say he is reading independently. But honestly, why would it matter what your friend thinks? When he starts k they will test and level him into appropriate reading group.

    I doesn't but we all have people that get under our skin. We have been friends forever and I feel likely everything lately is that she knows more bc she has older kids and used to teach. And believe me I value the experience those things bring but I get frustrated with the I know better all the time. And since her DS is 12 months older of mine I feel like she dismisses the fact that my DS might really just be ahead. And I sometimes need a different baseline because my other friends kids are younger. And I agree about the competition thing, no need to compete and all kids learn things at different rates and are into different things.  

    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
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