Luke made his goals, but hated every minute of it. I partially blame AR, but also myself for pushing too hard. I think he would rather of had me still read interesting stories to him than reading himself. About half way through the year I backed off and Luke read less, but still met his goals. Over the summer he read some but not really that much.
Now in second grade (and still in AR), I continued to not push him to read and he has now taken off.
He reads all of the time.
He reads fiction that he loves and chooses books above his level.
Every night he reads for around a half hour before going to bed.
Last weekend I woke up to him reading a story to his sister.
He has trouble getting ready for school because he gets up and starts reading instead of getting ready.
And the other day he told me "I love reading."
These things have been music to my ears. Again I can not place all of the blame on AR, but it is definitely a "system" set up to push kids in reading with artificial rewards. There is nothing about AR that was positive or helpful for helping my son learn to read. I think reading is best learned naturally when a child is ready by reading to your child until they are willing to read themselves. Then all that is needed is exposure to lots of interesting books and stories.
I am not a literacy expert by any means but this natural, common sense approach seems the best route to me. What do you think?