you would not believe what my daughter's teacher said...
if you didn't know, i have three daughters. my oldest, however, is the only one that has inherited my love of reading and writing. it's the only thing, in fact, that she seems to have inherited from me (curse you asian genes! totally beat the crap out of my mutt DNA).
anyway, this daughter, who we shall call 1 (since she's the first, not because of any favoritism, girls. i know you're reading this. go do your homework and clean your room. and stay out of my junk food stash! ps...thanks for reading and i love you) is fourteen now and in eighth grade. she loves reading. like, if she had to choose between eating and reading, she'd read. not an exaggeration. i, of course, encourage her interest because it's a healthy one. it helps her learn different ways of expression in her language, introduces her to new places, expands her mind, gives an escape when she needs it, and it improves her own writing and conversation. it does much more, too, but i think you get the point. if she has her homework done, i have no problem with her reading in her spare time.
but her teacher apparently does. my husband informed me after the parent conference last week that she said NOT TO LET MY DAUGHTER READ NOVELS!!! can you believe that?! i couldn't. i asked him to repeat himself a couple of times. then i repeated it, incredulously. because that's how you say something like that. with incredulity. because it's insane!
let me be clear. she is not reading erotica or adult romance novels. heck, she hasn't even read my books yet, and they're pretty clean! she reads the percy jackson series with all of its spin offs. she reads the school for good and evil. there is nothing in those books that i would consider inappropriate for a fourteen year old.
i need a minute. (sigh. shake my head. rub my temples and the spot between my brows. deep breath. and continue.)
it's not that she's not allowed to read books that aren't text books. and it's not that she shouldn't read english books. honestly, i'm not sure what the objection is over. but the books that the school recommends are the ones they want her reading (yes, the school puts out a list of books they recommend, but do not require, the kids to read each year, and they aren't supposed to have any others on campus with them) are just...sad. they're so freaking depressing. the people are always having hard lives and then die. their parents die. their friends die. their pets die. everybody dies!! and there's no action, no fun scenes or dialogue. just narration and death and all bad things. blech!
don't get me wrong. she does read some of those, too. we have several of them on the bookshelf that her sisters read, as well. but i don't understand why those are okay and the others are not!
if my kid wants to read, i'm going to start piling books around her. i'm going to give her her own amazon account and refill the wallet every month. do you know how hard it is to get kids interested in reading when they don't love it to start with? my other two daughters aren't the voracious readers that 1 is, and i've been trying to find the right books for them to spark an interest. it can be a struggle. so there is no way i'm going to start DISCOURAGING 1's love of it. heck no, teacher!
i respect teachers. i do. there were a few that really inspired me as a child. i couldn't do what they do and i'm so grateful that there are people who do it well. but this? no...just can't.
so guess what 1's getting for christmas. i mean, she was already getting some books. but now she's getting even more books!! i'm such a rebel.