March 12, 2013

reading logs

Alrighty then....let me climb up on top of my soap box here for a minute. Sit right there and I'll tell you why I am not a fan of reading logs. Ahem! If you have children in school you might be familiar with this contraption elementary school age teachers are fond of. They are simply a log of what your child has read. And, more often than not, there is a signature required of a parental unit before going back to class the next day.

It is such a pain in the rear end. You might be thinking "it's just a signature, on a piece of paper, what's the big deal?" The big deal is I have three very active children, which on any given day feels like thirty-five children. All requiring some sort of guidance and/or help with various tasks. And, all three children read at night in their bed, for a half hour, before going to sleep. This is our routine and it works. These silly reading logs is just one more, unimportant thing, to be done which to be frank, holds no real motivational power at all. It is simply just another tedious thing that is required. I often forget to sign them. And, I often don't care I've forgotten to sign them.

I am not a helicopter parent when it comes to school work. I check in. I stay on top of important learning goals. But I hold my children responsible for their daily school work needs. I do not hover or hold hands or make sure every answer is correct. Because, people, that's not real life. I won't be sitting in their college dorms waiting for them to come in with their assignments and I won't be standing behind their shoulders when they are sitting in their office chairs. The sooner they learn to take responsibility for what is important, get themselves organized to do an assignment and follow through, the better. Can I get an amen?! Do they stumble? Hell yes! And, is that a valuable learning tool. You betcha!!

And, on a side note, 'worksheet and homework packets' is just code for busy work!

So anyway. Back to this nonsense of reading logs. Recently, one teacher decided that if the log came back to school unsigned and unfilled out the next day, students would get marked down on their behavior chart. X amount of mark downs would result in loss of recess or something like that. Sigh. I find no real educational value in this procedure whatsoever. I mean the teacher is just requiring one more thing for the parents, students and themselves to manage. And, when you have a class of thirty-two students....well, that's thirty-two reading logs. It's insane.

Makes no sense to me, especially when our school/school district has a wonderful tool that measures students' comprehension and skill level of books read in something called Accelerated Reading, or AR. Which is, in my mind, a fantastic and very motivational measure of students' reading progress. Way more informative than a paper reading log that a parent is required to sign. Basically, kids read a book and then take a five to twelve question test on a computer. Everything is student ran, giving them power over their learning, and then the computer spits out a result in which the teacher can see how much the student is reading, how much they are comprehending, and gauge reading levels per student.

The amount of silly tasks put upon us is unreal to me sometimes. It's hard not to feel overwhelmed and stressed out when feeling constantly "needled" by everyone. Less is more. Simple is better.

Stepping down from my soap box now to eat some cinnamon bears. Thank you for listening to my plight.


The Flaky Fashionista said...

A 'high five' from me! Couldn't agree more! I too check in & make sure that homework is completed, but I don't hover at the shoulder and I also firmly believe that kids need to take responsibility themselves. (move over, is there room on that soapbox?!) The idea of being marked down because a parent doesn't sign, is absolutely ridiculous!

little irish said...

Always room on my soapbox. :) The good news, the teacher was very understanding. I have no concerns about my kiddos reading level so we have an agreement about the reading log. Yay!!