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S/O Why do parents regulate what their kids take out of the library? Do you? - Page 3

post #41 of 124

I wouldn't censor because a book is too easy.  DS can check out board books or chapter books - I don't care.  Even if the text of a book is "too easy", I figure that if DS is choosing it he must like the pictures or it appeals to him in some way - so go for it.  

 

I do censor for content.  DS has anxiety, and some story plots would be really stressful for him.  Certain themes can trigger his anxiety, and he can become a bit obsessive about it.  So this summer when he was going through a period of anxiety about being separated from me and his dad (irrationally so), and it was impacting his sleep, his desire to go places, etc, I would censored any books that touched on this.  It just wasn't worth reinforcing his fears.  Now that he has worked through that, I would be much more willing to let him get a book that dealt with that theme.  To me, it is one more instance of you never know what is going on in that family - there could be a really well thought out reason a parent is doing something.  

post #42 of 124

 

I have been thinkng more and more about this . I love to read. I was an unpopular kid and could often been found with my nose in a book. Lots of Jane eyre type books and I loved Greek mythology. As an adult I am what my friends affectionately call a book slut. I read anything. Romance, best sellers, mysteries, autobiographies. I am in a high brow book club that runs the gamut of books I could read over and over and books that could have easily put down after the first couple of chapters. But I read them all.

Just recently I re-read all the John d McDonald "Travis McGee" books for pure pleasure. redface.gif

I guess my point is that I want my son to have a life long love of learning. I want him to read for enjoyment, for pleasure. If that means he occassionly doesn't "challenge" himself than that's ok. When he is tired he often pull out his old Capt Underpants book, or our "special" books-the gorgeous Jaime Lee Curtis ones. Way below his level but comforting, kwim?

I just love seeing him sprawled out on his bed surrounded by books. joy.gif so while I encourage him to keep stretching himself I wont make him return a book that is deemed too easy/hard
post #43 of 124

No, we don't censor. I wouldn't mind my children reading about something with sexual elements, though I wouldn't be a huge fan of them reading romance/erotica (yes, I know there's a difference). In general, however, I don't censor reading material.

post #44 of 124


I don't know why they don't say those things.  I don't stand around at the library listening in on what other people are or aren't checking out and why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by mooshersmama View Post

Why does it have to be a right vs. wrong thing?  Families are different.  Maybe they are working with their kids on reading skills/comprehension.  Maybe the kids have checked out those types of books in the past and never ended up reading them because they were too simple.  Maybe they have those books or similar ones at home. 


Could be, but that brings up a whole new question. Why wouldn't they tell their kids that instead of getting into a fight about books being "too easy" and "like candy"? Why not say "remember that book you checked out last week and thought it was boring? Those are the same type." Or "sweetie, we own that one, it's on your book case".

 

And keeping a kid from checking out a book because they have a similar one at home is a ridiculous idea. Unless similar is "different edition"? Even then it could be valid to get it if there are different pictures or if say it's a different translation.

post #45 of 124
I don't really regulate, but I do guide. I make suggestions, I advocate for things, and I do mention it when I think she's kind of stuck in a rut and could do with some variety. I have not hidden the fact that I think some of the stuff she reads is sort of like junk food, but I also will say, hey, I know those books are fun and relaxing, and it's fine to want that--just try something else too, okay? I have never forbidden her to get a book.
post #46 of 124

This is how I do it too...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

I "censor" DD's books, sure. She's nearly three, so I'm the one who has to read them. Usually I'll choose some books for her and let her choose some - but she usually just likes to pick ones with pretty covers, as fast as she can chuck them in the pram. So while she plays on the library rocking horse I flip through them to see if they're too wordy (she'd get bored), too easy ("This is a ball", "This is a rabbit" isn't really doing it for her any more), or otherwise likely to annoy me. Some of the books have spirituality elements that I don't jive with - "What Happened to Grandpa After He Died"-type books. If I don't believe Grandpas turn into angels or float away on the wind with dandelion petals, I don't see the need to read that to my two-year-old! I don't think she's ever noticed my discreet substitutions.

 

Recently a book slipped through my radar called something like "Misery Is a Spider In the Bathroom". Every page was "Misery Is...", but apart from being aimed at older kids (stuff about schoolwork and homework), it included such gems as "Misery is your mother telling you she's pregnant" (which I am!), "Misery is having to eat your vegetables", and so on. OK, it probably wouldn't scar DD for life, but I don't see why I should give her those sorts of ideas! So I quickly changed the text to "Oh look, she has a baby in her tummy!" and "Mm, she's having dinner", and returned it to the library. :p There are PLENTY of books out there; I don't want to waste mental energy reading ones I find offensive or vapid or obnoxious.

 

When she gets older, I'll watch her and censor things when and if I find it appropriate. If she gets easily scared, like I did as a kid, I won't let her get out books that are scary; and yes, if she shows a preference for Sweet Valley High, I might well limit or forbid them, because I think they're vapid tripe. Censorship? Yes, I suppose, but I think part of my job as a parent is to encourage her to develop good taste. There are plenty of pleasurable, light, "fluffy" books that are actually well-written and aren't all about boys, lipstick, high school drama and queen bees. (Just like there's plenty of delicious food that isn't full of HFCS and artificial blue dye...) I'm a huge reader, have an English degree and have hundreds of books around the house, and go to the library frequently. So I don't think she'll grow up deprived of books. And hey, once she's 21 if she has an unmet need to read all the Mary-Kate and Ashley books, she can go nuts... so it's hardly a permanent deprivation.

post #47 of 124

I do censor the books my younger (pre-reading) kids pick out.  Some are too wordy, and I don't like reading picture books that take 20 minutes.  I also limit certain books like Dora, just because if we check out Dora, that is ALL my 2-yo will want to hear, and I don't feel like reading Dora over and over again.

 

My oldest, I have only a few times censored her books and that was when she picked out a book that I felt was too "adult' for her. That has only been maybe once or twice, usually I let her read whatever.

post #48 of 124

I do that. I'm not willing to carry home 20 books that will not be read or will last less than 10 minutes each. This is not a problem with my oldest, but my 5 yr. old is a fluent reader who likes to pick easy readers and easy picture books. I think picture books are great and there are plenty that are at a higher level. We do not need to check out Mr. Brown Can Moo. My son is not being challenged in kindergarten and I think he should try to challenge himself every once in a while. Plus, when he gets into a nice thick book, he enjoys it. I'm his parent and have the right and responsibility to guide him. We have plenty of easy readers at home and he reads board books to his baby sister every day.

 

No one would think twice about challenging a struggling reader in kindergarten or first grade. There are kids in his class working their butts off to learn the sight word list. It's only fair for the kids who picked up reading quicker to have to put a little effort forth sometimes. When my oldest was in K, the easiest readers were a real challenge for him. I made him try anyway. Why shouldn't my 5 yr. old also be challenged?

post #49 of 124


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mooshersmama View Post


I don't know why they don't say those things.  I don't stand around at the library listening in on what other people are or aren't checking out and why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by mooshersmama View Post

Why does it have to be a right vs. wrong thing?  Families are different.  Maybe they are working with their kids on reading skills/comprehension.  Maybe the kids have checked out those types of books in the past and never ended up reading them because they were too simple.  Maybe they have those books or similar ones at home. 


Could be, but that brings up a whole new question. Why wouldn't they tell their kids that instead of getting into a fight about books being "too easy" and "like candy"? Why not say "remember that book you checked out last week and thought it was boring? Those are the same type." Or "sweetie, we own that one, it's on your book case".

 

And keeping a kid from checking out a book because they have a similar one at home is a ridiculous idea. Unless similar is "different edition"? Even then it could be valid to get it if there are different pictures or if say it's a different translation.


 

It may depend on how much time you spend in libraries or maybe the time of day or maybe it doesn't happen at all libraries. When I was working in a library I'd encounter families having that argument fairly regularly.  I also overheard it as a teen when I'd study at the library for a longer time. Haven't encountered it at my local library yet, but when I'm there the only kids are under 5s.

 

And the way the argument goes is the kid says "I want this book" and mom says "No! You can't have that book, it's too easy!! Go put it back and something harder." Kid whines. Mom continues "I don't care if you like it, it's too young for you, go get something else." Twice that I can remember the mom grabbed the book out of the kid's hand.

 

Really not at all the sort of thing people are describing doing with their kids.

 

Flat out banning a book the kid likes without any attempt at compromise, explanation. It's utterly baffling.

 

 

post #50 of 124

For that matter, if the book is that easy, can't the kid just read it at the library?

post #51 of 124

we have/do tell dd1 that she can't check out book because they are "too easy"

 

dd has difficulties reading at her grade level.  she has to turn in reading logs for school and the books must be at a certain level (atleast close to grade level)

 

it's gotten much better now, but around 4th grade was the worst.  reading 2-3 grade levels below.

 

part of it was she was scared by the small print/ multi chapters/ reading an unknown series.  once she got past that her reading exploded.

post #52 of 124

I agree, it seems silly and even harmful.  Of course there will be the specific situations where it makes sense, etc etc, but hey I was an early and advanced reader, ended up acing multiple AP lit courses, majored in and taught English, and I often chose easy books, too.  I tend to think a kid will pick what they like.  Sometimes I want to read Middlemarch and sometimes the latest Jack Reacher (although really poorly written books that others enjoy drive me bonkers).  I think kids really CAN need guidance choosing great reads-- a lot of the time I read old easy books just because I couldn't find anything else to read, or it was just there and I'd read anything, but often there'd be some little thing I was curious about, and what's the harm? I was also the kid reading Victor Hugo for fun in 7th grade.  I'd find a new author and tackle everything by her, whether it was Agatha Christie or Madeline L'Engle, and I'd check out all kinds of other books.  I figure if you just let a kid go wild they will read and read and get good and bad, and learn what good is and what they like that way.  Gotta nurse...!

post #53 of 124

that is insane. my mom never told us what we could and couldn't check out. easy, all pictures, maps, board books. i do not care as long as my kids are reading. but then again i am one of those "book sluts" too winky.gif i read anything and everything i can get my hands on, drives dh nuts. lol.gif

post #54 of 124
I censor my daughter's books, but she's just 4 and *extremely* sensitive (as in, we never watch tv because she gets upset when someone in a commercial LEAVES THE SCREEN).

I come from a family of avid readers, and my mom censored me constantly as a youth; while only minorly annoying at the time, even if mom said there were a half-dozen books I couldn't read, there were still hundreds I could. Yes, she pushed me past the Babysitters Club books, because I read them and complained about them but still went back for more! lol.gif I think there's a difference between disallowing all "easier' books and encouraging your child to seek a balance between beach fluff and something that might make you think a bit.

She also kept me away from themes that were too mature for me, and I appreciated it in retrospect... I think I snuck one past her once and regretted it, as I had a vivid imagination and was(and am) quite sensitive to certain themes, especially in books where your mind can just run wild
post #55 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post

For that matter, if the book is that easy, can't the kid just read it at the library?



Yeah, I usually suggest that when my guy picks out something way too easy.

post #56 of 124

I don't do that, but I'll screen stuff that's too hard. We allow some that are intended to be or that I know will end up being read aloud by mom, but I make sure there are kid-readable ones too. We limit DVDs, because they can only be out for a week and are $$$ (literally $2/day!) when past due. 2 DVDs at a time, 1 per child, and not every time we go! If it's "too easy" then I don't worry about it. Only reason I can see is if they needed to do a reading log for school, and even then, I'd just say "Sure, but it's too easy for the reading log, so you need another on grade level too for the log." I read plenty that was below my reading level and loved them as a kid; safer than reading things too mature/scary IMO.

post #57 of 124

Also though, the "that's too easy/no picture book" thing is a common problem for the publishing industry right now: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/us/08picture.html

I find it very sad, and sometimes misguided, because reading "easy reader" chapter books--more words, less complexity--versus quality picture books-- complex messages and rich vocabulary-- does not boost kids love of reading nor their verbal skill. I understand why some parents do it, but I think of it as very much akin to teaching to the test versus understanding math conceptually.  

post #58 of 124

 

Quote:

Sometimes, she said, he tries to go back to picture books.

“He would still read picture books now if we let him, because he doesn’t want to work to read,”

Wow. They force him to read chapter books because they want him to know that reading is work.

 

And they'll actually be surprised when he's 15 and the only reading he does outside school work is the text messages on his phone.

post #59 of 124

I still remember when my mom stopped letting me check books out from the children's section because the reading level was "too easy". :( After that I used to grab books to check out really quick and then rush back to the children's section and read as fast as I could, until we had to go. It really sucked. I loved finally being able to read all of the wonderful children's books I'd missed when Rain was little - we still have a few shelves of children's books and we both still read them sometimes...

 

Oh, and I've been hearing about the Hunger Games books and I want to read them, too, even though they're "too easy" for me. Reading isn't a contest, IMO.

post #60 of 124
A few thoughts, with my professional hat on:

I too am a little worried by the idea that we need, as parents, to be pushing our children into reading more difficult and/or challenging books, and that reading has to be "work." There is absolutely nothing wrong with a child reading books that come easily and effortlessly-- this is a good, positive thing. It builds fluency. It contributes to the enjoyment of reading. It is what lifelong readers do. We read things that challenge us-- of course we do, sometimes, when there's something we want to learn, or a book that is important enough that we're willing to do the work. But we also spend many, many happy hours reading trashy romances and sci fi novels and fashion magazines and horror series and all of the other kinds of "mind candy" that are in print.

In fact, the research on lifelong readers, and on what practices best encourage a lifelong love of reading, are overwhelmingly in favor of allowing children to choose what they read, and in favor of the "junky" series books that so many parents and teachers are down on.

http://edina.k12.mn.us/concord/classrooms/media/parents/seriesbooks.pdf

for example was a very important study of these issues that many people will find comforting, if their child is seemingly "wasting" time reading books that seem mind-numbingly easy or trite. These books are the stuff on which a lifelong reader is built, in fact.
Quote:
Feitelson and Goldstein (1986) found that light reading provides motivation for more reading. Students who read books in series (several books written about the same characters) developed reading fluency and the linguistic competence necessary to read higher quality material. They gained knowledge of the world, learned story structures, and became aware of literary devices by reading series books. Light reading became a stepping stone to further reading. Increased reading proficiency and fluency makes it possible for students to read more complex material. They often choose light reading for independent reading because they enjoy it, and they become more fluent readers in the process. Adults who encourage students to develop the reading habit through light reading can lead them to further reading. Students must take the first step of developing reading fluency before they can take the second step of becoming avid readers.
http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/aaslpubsandjournals/slmrb/slmrcontents/volume32000/independent.cfm

I've never seen any research at all that requiring children to only choose challenging books is of benefit. I have seen loads of research suggesting that freely chosen voluntary choice is a huge factor in whether students read for pleasure, and whether they continue reading for pleasure once they reach the age where parents can no longer require that they do so. And I've seen plenty of research to support the idea that children and teens who read for pleasure consistently score higher on measures of achievement in verbal ability and vocabulary. And I've seen plenty of evidence that repeated reading of "easy" texts is highly supportive to the growth of fluency and enjoyment. And I've been working in this field since 1998, as a reading specialist.
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