or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Most young children are not read to on a daily basis.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Most young children are not read to on a daily basis. - Page 5

post #81 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attached Mama View Post
I think the problem is that parents don't start when their baby is like 1 wk old, so then time just evolves and the kids don't develop much attn span for it and the parents just don't ever get around to it. The kid has lived thus long w/o it so why start now?
Okay, I went back and checked and you said 1 week not 4 days.

Still, I'm rather appalled that anyone would see it as a problem that people aren't reading to their 1 week old babies. While I don't see it as a problem for someone to read to a newborn, so long as it doesn't upset the newborn -- why would this be seen as essential???
post #82 of 166
Also, for those of you who "feel sorry for" kids like my almost 4yo -- who don't enjoy being read to frequently, and have parents who respect their preferences -- do you really think parents in pre-literate societies are disconnected from their children?

The printed word is a pretty recent development, when you consider the whole of human history.
post #83 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
He didn't need to have his attention span encouraged by some regiment of nightly reading. He just needed to get older and get interested.
Exactly!
post #84 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by straighthaircurly View Post
DS is in K now and his "homework" every night is to read a book with someone. He can either be read to or have someone read to him and then we record it on a sheet for his teacher. The kids bring home a book from school. There are about 5 kids in the class who show up everyday with a blank sheet. The reasons noone reads with them could be many (whether due to lack of time, interest, skill, or organization to remember), but the end result is that these kids are also the kids struggling with literacy at school. They came into school not knowing how to rhyme, how to tell a story, how to recognize letters, how to sit and listen to a story at school. The school is giving extra support to these kids but in reality they will probably continue to fall behind kids who have literacy support at home. What else may or may not be going on in their family, I have no way of knowing, but they are not having reading time at home.
Interesting, except...ds1 came into kindergarten knowing how to rhyme, how to tell a story, all of his letters (both upper and lower case), and how to sit still and listen to a story. However, if he'd had a reading log (that didn't start until grade 3), it would have been blank almost every day, unless I simply filled it in even though we hadn't read that day. There were certainly many reasons why I didn't read to him, but...he never, ever fell behind. His language skills have always been in the upper range of his class, and his last report card came home with 100% for the term in English.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Ugh. I HATED it when my kids had "reading logs" for school! The teachers always insisted on reading a certain number of books (or later, a certain number of minutes) every single night. None of them were ever satisifed with "an hour a week" it had to be "20 minutes a night" (or whatever daily reading limit they wanted that year.)

My daughters NEVER enjoyed reading one chapter and putting the book down. We've always been "devour the book" kinds of readers. Either we sit and read the whole book, or we don't read that day. We'd rather read 2-3 hours on a weekend afternoon than add a short burst of unsatisfying reading to an already busy weeknight.

We had after school activities some days, plus written homework, family meals, chores, and they needed time for free play. To squeeze in an extra 20 minutes every single night was just rediculous! Trying to follow the school's reading requirements turned reading into a chore, when before it had been fully enjoyable. I finally started filling out the reading log the way the teacher wanted it filled out- I'd put down the 20 or 30 minutes of reading each night, even if the reading had all been done in one burst on Saturday.
Yup. I know a family where the kids (3 out of 4 - the other is some kind of prodigy) are all struggling with literacy. I can guarantee you that they've never gone to school with any kind of reading log that reflects the fact that they spend their after school time parked in front of the tv, trashing the house, or both.

I hate reading logs. I hate the physical activity log that ds1 now has to fill out every day. These things are tedious and annoying...and lots of people just lie.
post #85 of 166
From what I can gather after a brief browsing of a study on illiteracy, not being read to is listed as one factor among a list of factors -- some other factors were not seeing parents reading, and having at least one parent who doesn't read.

I'm guessing that parents being illiterate has a greater impact on literacy than whether or not the parents read to the child every night. And, of course, if parents are illiterate, it stands to reason that they're not going to be reading bedtime stories.

And then the "not reading bedtime stories" gets touted as the main cause of illiteracy, and parents get scared that if they're not reading to their 1 week old babies, their attention-spans will never get developed and they'll never enjoy books ...
post #86 of 166
wow mammal mama - I guess i got you really upset. I'm sorry...

I seriously can't comprehend a kid that doesn't like books. I've seriously never met one unless there were also other issues like hyper activity due to watching too much tv, eating sugar etc. Not to say they don't exist, just sharing my experiences with working with many children over the years.

While I do think following a child's lead is good in some ways - we lean toward unschooling around here - I also think parents know what is best for a child in many ways too. I suggested introducing reading at 1 wk old or so because if it's introduced early enough then kids develop that attn span as they develop. They aren't suddenly introduced to books and not intersted because books have been a part of their lives from almost day 1. I don't suggest it because I'm afraid my child won't be literate if she's not read to. Like other pp's have said - literacy is due to more than just one factor.

In our home, books are like treasures. We love them. We have a lot of them. We are very choosy about them and we are always collecting more. They are a huge part of our lives. In addition to unschooling I'm also very into Charlotte Mason whose educational premise was learning (in addition to from real life exper etc) largely from what she called "real" books - not textbooks. Part of what we do with our 3 yr old for her homeschool preschool is she picks a topic of her choice and then we get out books from the library on it. So far we have done squirrels and beavers. Many of the books are fictionalized stories. Some are informational. All help you learn about that animal. She loves animals.

In fairness, dd was a *very* aware newborn who would be awake for hours at a time and then sleep longer than normal stretches. She always wanted to be seeing things - so showing her books and talking about them was great for her even very young. Others might want to wait til their baby is past that sleepy newborn age and more alert.

We also sing songs, tell stories, learn from real life a lot - but books hold a very special place in our home. When I read the original article, I think I read it wrong in a hurry - thinking of all the kids whose parents NEVER read to them. Reading a few hrs on weekends as opposed to a few minutes per day seems fine to me as well. And yes, studies do show that seeing a parent read is even more important than reading to a child. I just can't imagine not reading to my child. Her vocab is astounding for her age and often I have to try and think where she learned a word and it dawns on me that she heard it once or twice in a book and that's it. Yes one can learn vocab in other places - obviously - but reading is a big aid too.

And of course older kids who can read to themselves may not have parents reading to them at all. I don't think my mom read to us much past when we could read ourselves.

To me, I don't see early reading as "Oh oh - the kid is going to be dumb if I don't read to them". I see it as book are such a huge precious treasure and thus something I want to be a part of my child's life. She can learn thru them; her imagination is stimulated; there are whole other magical places to be explored - some real and some not; vocabulary is formed; critical thinking is developed; but beyond all that they are just this fun, treasure; all other things being ancillary. I love getting lost in a book, in the photos, in the beautiful prose, in the poetry, in the story, in the colorful development of characters, the mystery, the romance. I love books. I want to share that love with my child - and yes, it's sad to me that some children don't get that.

As for the educational benefit - kids who can read well definitely do better in school and often even in many jobs because so many jobs require the ability to work well with written communication. My husband holds a high management position and it's torture and slow for him to wade thru all of the stuff he has to read. College is so much easier if one can read well also. But at a young age, the benefits are not so important as the fact that reading is just plain fun!!

Here is what we did for that stage when babies grab books and put them in the mouth. If we were reading, we just moved the book over and said no even if she objected. She realized after once or twice that she couldn't have it when we were reading (she didn't cry -just sort of verbally object for a second "ah... ah" sort of thing). When she played with the books herself, she learned really fast "books are for looking at see the doggie. woof woof" as we took the book from her mouth. Then we'd tell her as it went back to the mouth "books in the mouth go bye bye. look at the doggie" and redirect her again. If she put it in her mouth we gently took it and put it up higher bye bye. It was so funny! She'd put it in her mouth - look at me and hand it to me. Then she'd try another book almost like a game. After a min or so she'd tire of it and go on and look at some other books w/o putting them in the mouth.

Anyway, these are ideas for people who really love books and thus want to intro them to their kids - not for making people paranoid that if they don't intro them at 1 wk old their kid will be dumb. I think the most important thing is that children learn to love books sooner or later whether by seeing parents read all the time or by being read to til they can read themselves. I do think books are important educationally tho as kids grow older. Certainly tho I see no harm in introducing them younger and I think seriously that some kids never learn to like books because they aren't read to and don't see parents reading. I think why wait to intro them? They are such a fun thing to share!!
post #87 of 166
Thread Starter 
Part of my question in starting this thread isn't so much a parenting topic as much as it is an activism topic -- what do you think would be helpful for families that are not bookish to encourage literacy? The Reach Out and Read organization is working to get books into the hands of families that may not otherwise have them. Perhaps it's not a big deal to parents who are already very active and engaged with their children in a variety of ways.... but what about families where children may not be getting as much nurturing of any of the kinds suggested? Is promoting reading a good way of helping families with something that is relatively easy to start? Like the family dinner suggestion as well?
post #88 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attached Mama View Post
As for the educational benefit - kids who can read well definitely do better in school and often even in many jobs because so many jobs require the ability to work well with written communication.
Let's add "in general" to this. My reading comprehension (to the degree that it can be tested) was always well above average. I usually got perfect marks on tests in that area. I was also the fastest reader in my grade every year that I can remember. I tested out as having an "exceptional" adult vocabulary at age 16, and was reading at a college level in 7th grade. I definitely read well.

I barely graduated from high school. I was capable of excellent marks, and occasionally got them, when I was interested enough to bother. I mostly didn't bother. One of the many reasons that I rarely bothered was that schoolwork cut into my reading time, and I resented it. If measured in terms of abilities vs. achievement, I was probably one of the bottom 5% of students in my school (ie. there were others who did much worse than I did...but they didn't have the brainpower or potential for achievement that I had in the first place).

As for the workplace, ime, there are many good-paying jobs that carry high prestige and don't require the ability to work well with written communication. They require a secretary or assistant who works well with written communication.
post #89 of 166
Attached Mama, I think you happen to have a very laidback,easygoing kid and maybe you just don't know it.
post #90 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post
Attached Mama, I think you happen to have a very laidback,easygoing kid and maybe you just don't know it.
I'm thinking that too. DD never would have just accepted it after a couple of "no's". She would have instead gotten bored, and cranky and probably thrown a fit. My dad remembers the one time he tried to make me sit for a book, not even a long one. I just got more and more wiggly and when he asked if I was paying attention... "No!"

I still learned to love books and had a decent attention span otherwise.
post #91 of 166
With respect to kids sitting still for reading....dd loves it when I read Harry Potter to her. She asks for more chapters. If I ask her a question about what's going on (to check in whether she's really paying attention), she always knows. But, you know...there are times when she snuggles up to me for the whole reading session, and there are times when she's all over the living room - rearranging her dollhouse, pretending to fetch me tea, etc. - the whole time.

For that matter, I don't generally like listening to people read out loud. I hate reading out loud. I'm still a bookworm.
post #92 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
I'm a devoted bookworm. I read all the time. My kids are read to all the time. BUT ... in a way I really don't see the big deal, IF those kids are receiving parental attention and stimulation by other means. Do their parents get down on the floor and play with them? Encourage their imaginations? Involve them in their everyday activities? Storytell without books? Read to them sometimes, if not every day? Give their children "undivided, loving attention" that has nothing to do with reading?
ITA

We read a lot to our kids because 1-they can't read for themselves yet, although DD has memorized many books and sometimes 'reads' them to her brother, and 2-both kids insist that we read to them several times a day.

We started reading to DD at about 5 months, and she would sort of sit still and pay attention. For whatever reason, she loves being read to, and from about age 18mo, would sit still for hours if someone would read to her for that long.

It took DS a little longer to be able to sit still for books, but now at 2.5, he loves being read to as well, but still not as much as his sister.

I remember a grandma I knew once congratulated me for instilling a love of reading in my DD, because her grandson couldn't care less about books at the time, and I was surprised by her compliment because I didn't think I had anything to do with it.
post #93 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
do you really think parents in pre-literate societies are disconnected from their children?

The printed word is a pretty recent development, when you consider the whole of human history.
I think it's important to separate out attachment/connection to kids from LITERACY. Reading promotes literacy.

Many parents use reading as a way to connect too, but not all. That's OK. I'd rather see a parent who has a good connection and gives their child a good solid foundation of oral language and lots of experience than one who forced a squirmy 20 month old to sit on a couch and be read to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
I rarely came across new words in a book. I simply came across uncommon words that I'd only heard once or twice before.
Ah, but it was reinforced by reading. I'm not saying reading is the ONLY way, but reading certainly enhances the chances that you'll run across less common words, or more nuanced words.
post #94 of 166
I find that hearing a word used makes it stick more then seeing it used.
post #95 of 166
My parents were big readers and my mum still is. I spent my nocturnal youth reading books and can still do a book an evening if I want or neeeeeed to but if I do other things don't get done. My eldest two are 15 and 12 and you can't get their heads out of books once they are in. We cleared ds2's bunk last week and he had more than a dozen books in there along with a lot of of other stuff.

I read to both of them when they were small and it made me tired! Once I start reading aloud I can't stop yawning and I'd really rather read in my head. It was such a relief when the boys realised they could read in their heads and not read aloud - especially on car journeys

Dd1 and dd2 like books and read to themselves and I read to them but not always every day. Dd is learning to read all y herself and it is a joy to see.

When our kids are little I think we can get really fixated on doing everything 'right' and be scandalised by those who are doing it 'wrong'. Not everyone is like you or us though.

I work with people who want to improve their literacy skills and to many of them , sitting reading aloud to their toddler would be one of the most painful ways they could spend a couple of minutes of their day. It pains me that they don't have access to that wonder and escape that books provide but it just isn't their thing at the moment and to be honest it may never be. That does not make them bad people and it doesn't make them bad parents either. It is not my job to judge; I am there to help them on their journey and open doors to see if they want to go through them, not shove them kicking and screaming. That's what school did and look a the result.
post #96 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post
Attached Mama, I think you happen to have a very laidback,easygoing kid and maybe you just don't know it.
Nope! She's pretty determined. She's very very curious tho and can't resist seeing what's in that book and hearing about it. She has been very very curios from birth. What other 6 wk old do you know who won't ever sleep except in the car or at home because she has to be up and seeing everything?

Still, she learned early on that if we said she couldn't have something, then she couldn't have it. It was either read the book before bed, or turn off the light and nurse to sleep. She understood her choices early on - she was very verbal very young and understood things long before she started signing at 4 months or so.
post #97 of 166
My not-interested-in-books-until-5 ds was also very alert as a baby, highly verbal, etc. He just wasn't interested in things that weren't very dynamic. Machines, things with moving parts, stuff he could work were more interesting. He did like lift the flap books and ones with moving parts. Kids are just different. He was also one to not sit still, just a busy bright kid. I did occasionally read to him as he played but then he felt he didn't have my attention and would take away the book.
post #98 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBecks View Post
Part of my question in starting this thread isn't so much a parenting topic as much as it is an activism topic -- what do you think would be helpful for families that are not bookish to encourage literacy? The Reach Out and Read organization is working to get books into the hands of families that may not otherwise have them. Perhaps it's not a big deal to parents who are already very active and engaged with their children in a variety of ways.... but what about families where children may not be getting as much nurturing of any of the kinds suggested? Is promoting reading a good way of helping families with something that is relatively easy to start? Like the family dinner suggestion as well?
Honestly, like I stated before, I think knowing how to introduce books is helpful. If you try to read to a little one just reciting the text any kid will get bored and grab the book to chew on or run around. Attention span really is an issue. It is suggested by literary proponents that one not actually *read* the book to a baby or young child who is just being intro to books. Instead, look at the pictures and spend about 5 seconds per page pointing things out excitedly.

In this way, a board book takes about 20 to 30 seconds to read. Most any baby has a 20 second attn span - espec if the reader acts excited enough about the book.

To simply listen to a parent droning on and on and spending more than a few seconds on a page is going to turn off any baby to books and will turn off most toddlers who have ever watched much media.

As the child progresses in attn span, then the amt of time spent on each page and the amt of text read can increase.

Of course, one can wait til later to introduce books at the time of the child's own choosing. However, you are speaking in the context of families who aren't readers, so it's doubtful that their children ever would become interested at a later age. That's what happened to my husband (and to the pp -yes my dh does have a secretary. Still, most upper management jobs do require a lot of reading at least initially). His family never read to him or to themselves - books were decorations.

So in cases like you mention, intro books early and making it a fun thing is important I think.
post #99 of 166
We did start reading at birth I found it calming and so did my DD I could actually read to her a loooong time I read while she nursed. However it didn't do anything to prepare her for reading latter We have gone through seasons where we were lucky if she'd sit still 1 mintute for a quick poem other times where she wants 47 back to back novels sometimes where we added puppets and actions to the stories to keep her involved others where shes just wanted to cuddle and fall asleep to the sounds of our voices time where she want to "read herself" others where she jsut wants me to tell her stories. SEasons where we read every night without fail and 15 times during the day seasons where we put the nightly reading asside in place of songs or board games even movie nights. Yet she still loves boos today is doing well in her reading has a great attention span...

Deanna
post #100 of 166
My favorite way to help a child develop attention span is to not distract him by showing him things when he is already doing something.

For a baby, this would mean letting him gaze at something until he was done before walking away with him. Frequently, adults get so excited to show young kids things that they don't pay attention to when the child is involved in something, like looking at the ceiling fan. They dangle new toys in front of the child, turn the page before the child is done looking, try to keep things fast paced and exciting to keep the child's interest, swoop over and pick up the child without asking the child (they respond to the hands out gesture of "pick up" very young if you give them a moment to respond).

Interestingly, the fast paced kids shows like Sesame St which people always claim encourage short attention spans always lost rather than kept my child's attention because they frequently changed to a new skit at which point he'd wander off.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Most young children are not read to on a daily basis.