Imagine, for a moment, that you are going to see a movie. You watch the trailer and it looks fabulous. So, you’re in your seat, the movie turns on, you’re excited, and… letdown. Most boring movie ever. Bad plot. Bad dialogue. Just bad all over. You’re then told, “Well, you know, you don’t know to PROPERLY watch a movie yet, so that’s why we made this move for people just like you! Once you can PROPERLY watch a movie – once you understand plot, dialogue, how to analyze a movie – THEN you can watch other, better, more in-depth, more EXCITING movies!”
“But, can’t I do that now?”
“No. We’re just putting simple simple stuff here for now. You have to be able to properly watch a movie, remember?”
“But this is BORING. I HATE movies like this. If THIS is what I have to see, I AM NEVER WATCHING A MOVIE AGAIN.”
“Too bad. This is what you get for now.”
You’d probably never watch a movie again.
And yet THIS is what we do to kids every day. We hand them easy reader books and expect them to like reading. I hear a lot of, “Well, it was effective. But my child was bored.” Of course they were.
Kai has a set of books that are “sight word” readers. One of the books is just “I see a ____,” over and over. Who cares? That’s boring. You’re talking to a kid who has had several “chapter books” read to him. THAT book will only frustrate him. (It did.)
Likewise, the dialogue in easy readers is often horrible. Nobody actually speaks the way they do in those books.
For these – and many other reasons – we’ve mostly left “Easy Readers” alone. We haven’t really used a reading curriculum, either.
I had originally planned this to be one post. After I started writing, it got very in-depth, so I’ve had to split it up. I hope you’ll join me over the next few days to read what I suggest doing instead of using “Easy Reader books”.
This is part one of my “Instead of Easy Readers” series.