Why School Reading Logs Are the Absolute Worst

Why School Reading Logs Are the Absolute Worst

Why this mom thinks school reading logs suck all the joy out of reading for fun.

By: Maria Mora

You know the drill. At night before bedtime or during the frantic morning rush, you check your child’s reading log. Are the page numbers on there? Is the title on there? Did you initial it? Sounds fun, right?

Not every child reads for pleasure, but for those who do, reading logs are an overly structured time suck that destroys everything fun and spontaneous about reading. It might sound like I’m exaggerating, but now that I have two kids in elementary school, I’m shocked by how much time I have to spend telling them to sit down and read for a specific amount of time.

It wasn’t that hard with my third-grader until I found out that he’s required to read the same book sequentially every time he sits down for the 20 minutes of reading. What happens if he finishes that book later in the evening or in the morning on the bus? What happens when he picks up the book out of pure enjoyment and forgets to mark the page numbers? What happens when he leaves his reading log at home and gets a bad grade despite being obsessed with reading? I feel like my child is being graded on following tedious instructions, not on reading.

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I understand that kids’ progress has to be monitored in school, but it hurts my brain to see my children perceiving reading as a chore instead of a leisure activity. When a child excels at reading in measurable ways, it seems like teachers could create an exemption around reading logs or make them optional.

Homework is already enough of a burden on families who only have a few hours each weeknight to spend time together. Adding the tedious task of completing reading logs only cuts down on that quality time. My third-grader reads at dinner, on the toilet, in his room, in the car, and anytime he’s bored. I’m not worried about keeping track and I wish the school weren’t either.


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Maria Mora is a single mom, editor, and hockey fanatic. She lives with her two sons in Florida.

Image ©iStock.com/fatnanny

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