when School Books Are Too Easy

Our daughter has just started first grade and is bringing home a book every night to read to us. This is fabulous, we are so glad she is being given this opportunity. However, the books available to her in the classroom are all far too simple for her abilities. She reads Dr. Seuss books and Berenstain Bears books to us at home, and the ones the school is offering her are very short and contain about ten words. Would it be rude to ask the teacher to give her something a little more challenging and fun? I don't want to offend the teacher or seem like a pushy parent, but I don't want our daughter to get bored.


Congratulations must go to you for placing so much importance on reading. No matter what she ends up doing with her life, the ability to read and interpret information is essential to her success. Getting your child off to a good start is important, and it sounds like your daughter has done just that.

While every teacher and school is different, I think it's safe to say that all teachers take some time at the beginning of the year to assess each student's abilities in reading, writing and math. This assessment process can take a great deal of time, especially when the teacher is also trying to model and enforce behavior expectations, as well as procedural tasks within the classroom. Your daughter's teacher is probably aware of her advanced reading skills, but may not yet have more precisely determined your daughter's reading level.

If your daughter is still reading books with text that is far too simple for her two weeks from now, you may want to mention this to your child's teacher. Make an appointment to sit down with the teacher to discuss the books. During your meeting, share some of the titles that your daughter reads to you at home and your observations of her reading skills. Brainstorm some ideas between the two of you that will facilitate your daughter's growth as a reader. You already know that a child's education is the result of the partnership between teacher and parent; now you just need to put that plan into action. Don't worry about being too pushy. As long as you remain positive during the discussion, your child's teacher will appreciate your support, advice, and involvement. Good communication is the key.

Finally, celebrate your daughter's ability to read well. Praise her often, and continue to make good reading materials available to her at home. She sounds like a wonderful child!

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