Last Friday I was poking around the website for the School Michael will be attending in the fall. They haven't provided any information about Kindergarten yet, so I wanted to see if there was anything on line. Nope. But, I stumbled across his summer reading list.
Yes, they have a reading list for children entering kindergarten.
OK, I'll own up to it. As an honor roll student, my first response was that I should order every book on the list and come up with an incentive plan for Michael so we could read them all. When I saw the time tracking calendar, I started trying to figure out how much time we spend reading each day, and how to best record that time.
Then, I stopped for a moment and realized that Michael just turned five. Why do kids going into kindergarten need a summer reading list? This is as bad as his preschool making him do homework once a week so that he'll be prepared to do homework in kindergarten. (Of course, I think they give kindergartners homework simply to prepare them for homework in first grade. If we keep this up, our kids will be doing homework in the womb.)
Stacey asked me a good question that hadn't occurred to me. What's the purpose of the reading list? I'm such a book worm and rule follower that it never even dawned on me to wonder about the purpose of the list. After looking over the titles and the tracking list and think their are two purposes. Several of the titles are about starting kindergarten. I'm going to pick those up for Michael to help him make the adjustment into the new school. That seems like a good purpose to me.
The second purpose, I think, is to encourage parents to read to their children everyday. We already read every night before bed, and he's already memorized several of the other books on the list, so I won't worry about the picture books on the list. Instead, we are going to continue to read chapter books every night because that's a whole lot more fun. And I think making reading fun is the most important thing you can do for a five year old, when it comes to books.
I'm still undecided about having Michael record all off the books we read on their tracking list. It's a good way for him to practice his writing and to introduce the idea of individual authors. On the other hand, do I really want to send him to school with a list of books on the 3rd and 4th grade level when some of the kids in his class may only speak English as a second language? Not sure what to do here. Any suggestions?