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post #61 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post

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.


I agree, reading is not a competition.  In fact, my we are considering the Hunger Games books for our One Community book discussion (I work in a library) because it's just a WELL-WRITTEN book (series) no matter what its reading level might be.  A good book is a good book at any age.  I think much of what people here are saying they are "censoring" is the piss-poor books that are actually destructive rather than constructive.  Reading level isn't the only issue.  If your child keeps reading vacuous drivel, then some direction might be called for.

post #62 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
 I think much of what people here are saying they are "censoring" is the piss-poor books that are actually destructive rather than constructive.  Reading level isn't the only issue.  If your child keeps reading vacuous drivel, then some direction might be called for.


What do you mean by direction? I read a good number of the Sweet Valley Teen books as a teen, after I left home. Rain read every single America Girl book when she was 6 and 7 (and she insisted on reading them in chronological order, even, which was a massive logistical PITA). There were always other books available, and I read other books to her, if she wanted to hear them, and she had books on tape... but when it came down to it, she read what she wanted to read, and a lot of it was poorly written stuff about fairies or whatever. 

 

By odd coincidence, we've spent the last couple of weeks trying to put together her High School Reading List for college applications... I know we missed a lot of books, and we didn't put anything down that seemed like "vacuous drivel", but she wound up with three single-spaced pages that include most of the classics assigned in high school, plus a bunch I've seen on college syllabi. They're all books she chose to read, after she had her fill of American Girls and fairies and that sort of thing...

post #63 of 124

I don't stop my children from checking out books that are too easy or hard for them to read. I do screen for content that I think is objectionable.

post #64 of 124


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post

I don't stop my children from checking out books that are too easy or hard for them to read. I do screen for content that I think is objectionable.



Exactly. Like my five year and the erotica. She's 17 now and I wouldn't dream of censoring anything at this point. For me, its a "grow into" thing. My son was never a big library user but I would have pulled anything too gory off his pile if he had tried it when he was younger.

post #65 of 124
Quote:
I think much of what people here are saying they are "censoring" is the piss-poor books that are actually destructive rather than constructive.
That's the thing, though. The research is telling us that the "drivel" ISN'T destructive. It's one positive element in a person's lifelong interaction with print. Overwhelmingly, we find that lifelong readers spend plenty of time reading drivel, and that the drivel develops skills and feeds enthusiasm, even when it makes "experts" and parents shudder. I'm not arguing against letting a few higher-quality books into the house, and gently guiding kids toward them. I am arguing against controlling tactics like forbidding certain books or browbeating kids into reading what we think they should read, for their pleasure reading, outside of the curriculum of their school or homeschool. I think we can take a cue from the unschoolers on this one-- kids aren't born lazy and shiftless. Given the freedom to make choices, if we limit addictive visual media, they can be trusted to gravitate towards what feeds their hearts and minds. I really believe this.
post #66 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post



Quote:
I think much of what people here are saying they are "censoring" is the piss-poor books that are actually destructive rather than constructive.


That's the thing, though. The research is telling us that the "drivel" ISN'T destructive. It's one positive element in a person's lifelong interaction with print. Overwhelmingly, we find that lifelong readers spend plenty of time reading drivel, and that the drivel develops skills and feeds enthusiasm, even when it makes "experts" and parents shudder. I'm not arguing against letting a few higher-quality books into the house, and gently guiding kids toward them. I am arguing against controlling tactics like forbidding certain books or browbeating kids into reading what we think they should read, for their pleasure reading, outside of the curriculum of their school or homeschool. I think we can take a cue from the unschoolers on this one-- kids aren't born lazy and shiftless. Given the freedom to make choices, if we limit addictive visual media, they can be trusted to gravitate towards what feeds their hearts and minds. I really believe this.


ITA.

 

As a book artist (someone who makes 'books' as an art form, it always cracks me up when people take positions on books.  A blank book is a book in my opinion, something that says volumes without appearing to say anything at all.  

post #67 of 124

I am a voracious reader and I work in children's publishing now.  As a child, I read romance novels almost exclusively from the age of 9 or 10 on.  I had a very 1970's hands-off childhood, as far as intellectual matters.  I WISH someone had stepped in and guided my reading a bit more.  Not told me that I couldn't read what I wanted, but made suggestions of other, better books,that I would also enjoy.  Because all I had was trashy novels and school assigned books that I think were way below my actual reading and comprehension level.

 

I agree--reading anything is great, and fostering just a plain love of reading is a wonderful thing...but I could have gotten so much more out of my reading with a little guidance.  DD is five, she can take out any Disney or Barbie crap she wants from the library, but I'll always supplement that with some better titles.

post #68 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post

I don't stop my children from checking out books that are too easy or hard for them to read. I do screen for content that I think is objectionable.



This is my style too.

post #69 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
 I think much of what people here are saying they are "censoring" is the piss-poor books that are actually destructive rather than constructive.  Reading level isn't the only issue.  If your child keeps reading vacuous drivel, then some direction might be called for.


What do you mean by direction? I read a good number of the Sweet Valley Teen books as a teen, after I left home. Rain read every single America Girl book when she was 6 and 7 (and she insisted on reading them in chronological order, even, which was a massive logistical PITA). There were always other books available, and I read other books to her, if she wanted to hear them, and she had books on tape... but when it came down to it, she read what she wanted to read, and a lot of it was poorly written stuff about fairies or whatever. 

 

By odd coincidence, we've spent the last couple of weeks trying to put together her High School Reading List for college applications... I know we missed a lot of books, and we didn't put anything down that seemed like "vacuous drivel", but she wound up with three single-spaced pages that include most of the classics assigned in high school, plus a bunch I've seen on college syllabi. They're all books she chose to read, after she had her fill of American Girls and fairies and that sort of thing...


I think "direction" is pretty self-explanatory.  I don't know what you are asking.

 

"Have you read this author? No?  I think you might like him.  You want to give it a try?"  Direction.  Help.  Suggestions.

post #70 of 124


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post


I think "direction" is pretty self-explanatory.  I don't know what you are asking.

 

"Have you read this author? No?  I think you might like him.  You want to give it a try?"  Direction.  Help.  Suggestions.



Ah. To me, direction implied... well, directing, I guess. I was wondering how directive you would be in the situation. I was actually picturing something like, "You can't check out any more fairy books for a month," or "The next book you check out has to be from the Newbery list." The kind of stuff the OP was about. Suggesting just seems to come with the territory of being a good parent -  I've always felt free to make suggestions, whether my kid was reading War and Peace or well, schlock, but it was more about trying to share books I thought she would enjoy than about preventing her from reading American Girl books.

post #71 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post


I think "direction" is pretty self-explanatory.  I don't know what you are asking.

 

"Have you read this author? No?  I think you might like him.  You want to give it a try?"  Direction.  Help.  Suggestions.



Ah. To me, direction implied... well, directing, I guess. I was wondering how directive you would be in the situation. I was actually picturing something like, "You can't check out any more fairy books for a month," or "The next book you check out has to be from the Newbery list." The kind of stuff the OP was about. Suggesting just seems to come with the territory of being a good parent -  I've always felt free to make suggestions, whether my kid was reading War and Peace or well, schlock, but it was more about trying to share books I thought she would enjoy than about preventing her from reading American Girl books.


Direction isn't a command, though.  This past summer my 8 yo dd really wanted to read The Red Badge of Courage.  I tried to *direct* her away from it because I thought that it was too mature for her.  She still wanted to, so I *directed* her toward making it a read aloud book for the two of us to explore together.  And it was a good thing because she didn't understand what the red badge of courage was and we had to talk a lot about it.  Helping our children explore literature, I think, anyway, is a part of our jobs as parents.  That also includes, "You read the fairy books 5 times last year and it takes you 10 minutes to read them because you know them so well... let's pick out something new."

post #72 of 124

I only had time to read the first page of this thread. Interesting.

 

DD is 7 and very sensitive and has anxiety. She also reads at a very high level for her age so we do discuss content of books before checking them out sometimes, but I don't think I've ever actually told her she couldn't read something. She tends to self-censor for scary content. (Some of the kids' lit is very intense stuff. She seems to be able to handle it in fantasy, but dislikes many "real-life" type stories.) DD regularly comes home from the library with 3-4 novels plus some picture books which are far below her reading level. She loves the funny illustrations and they often have interesting parts of speech such as rhyming or alliteration which she enjoys. DD also likes to pick out picture books to read to the other kids at the parents' night out. There are also days where she reads the same Garfield collection over and over.

 

DH is an avid sci-fi reader and he doesn't let DD read his books, but most of them have content which is inappropriate for DD's age. If he had some he thought she'd enjoy at this age, he'd share them with her.

post #73 of 124

 

Quote:
 That's the thing, though. The research is telling us that the "drivel" ISN'T destructive. It's one positive element in a person's lifelong interaction with print. Overwhelmingly, we find that lifelong readers spend plenty of time reading drivel, and that the drivel develops skills and feeds enthusiasm, even when it makes "experts" and parents shudder. I'm not arguing against letting a few higher-quality books into the house, and gently guiding kids toward them. I am arguing against controlling tactics like forbidding certain books or browbeating kids into reading what we think they should read, for their pleasure reading, outside of the curriculum of their school or homeschool. I think we can take a cue from the unschoolers on this one-- kids aren't born lazy and shiftless. Given the freedom to make choices, if we limit addictive visual media, they can be trusted to gravitate towards what feeds their hearts and minds. I really believe this. 

 

Love this. I read tons of "junk" as a kid, and read tons of "junk" now. I read biographies and history and anthropology and parenting and Stephen King and Elmore Leonard and John Sanford. Reading is fun for me and it is fun because I choose to read a wide range of things. Some are very hard and take me a month to read. Some are easy and I read them for ten minutes before I fall asleep. Some I read over and over again-even though I probably know them so well I could remember them word for word without the book in front of me.

 

Right now my son checks out only books about heavy construction equipment and butterflies. If I never read another book about construction equipment that would be fine with me. But, it is his passion currently so I am fine with reading these books to him-we have checked out the same equipment book four times in the past few months.

 

I worked in a bookstore in college and oh we were such snobs about the women "only" reading romance novels like Danielle Steele or Sandra Brown. Now I realize I am thrilled when I see people reading for pleasure-regardless of what kinds of books give them that enjoyment. A house full of romance novels is still a house full of books. :)

post #74 of 124

I don't really limit one way or the other.  But I do suggest books that I think they might enjoy. 

post #75 of 124
Thread Starter 

I understand limiting the number of books (or DVDs) because of library fines. I understand asking children to choose some harder books alongside some easier ones. I certainly understand homeschoolers wanting kids to get a range of types of books. But I guess I still don't understand telling a child not to get a book out because it's too easy. One of my favorite books in 2-3rd grade (when I was reading 3-4 grade levels above that) was: One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish. I'd use it to pretend I was teaching other kids how to read!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post

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.


Yes, that's exactly what I've witnessed. And while I don't normally stand around watching parents & kids argue about books, when they're standing in front of the bookshelf you're trying to read and having this argument, it's hard to miss. I'm spending a lot of time in the Juvenile series section right now trying to find appropriate books to suggest for dd and ds. When I've had to avoid three such arguments in about as many weeks, I started to wonder.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
Quote:
I think much of what people here are saying they are "censoring" is the piss-poor books that are actually destructive rather than constructive.

That's the thing, though. The research is telling us that the "drivel" ISN'T destructive. It's one positive element in a person's lifelong interaction with print. Overwhelmingly, we find that lifelong readers spend plenty of time reading drivel, and that the drivel develops skills and feeds enthusiasm, even when it makes "experts" and parents shudder. I'm not arguing against letting a few higher-quality books into the house, and gently guiding kids toward them. I am arguing against controlling tactics like forbidding certain books or browbeating kids into reading what we think they should read, for their pleasure reading, outside of the curriculum of their school or homeschool. I think we can take a cue from the unschoolers on this one-- kids aren't born lazy and shiftless. Given the freedom to make choices, if we limit addictive visual media, they can be trusted to gravitate towards what feeds their hearts and minds. I really believe this.

 

Thank you -- I'm really glad to hear that there is such research out there. This has really helped me be more comfortable with not having pushed ds when he was in his Boxcar Children phase, or now when he's busy reading "The World According to Humphrey" series, which are definitely below his reading level. They're funny little books and he's really enjoying the humor and seeing the world through a hamster's eyes. I'm actually sorry that we've now read all 6 that have been published.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
 I think much of what people here are saying they are "censoring" is the piss-poor books that are actually destructive rather than constructive.  Reading level isn't the only issue.  If your child keeps reading vacuous drivel, then some direction might be called for.


What do you mean by direction? I read a good number of the Sweet Valley Teen books as a teen, after I left home. Rain read every single America Girl book when she was 6 and 7 (and she insisted on reading them in chronological order, even, which was a massive logistical PITA). There were always other books available, and I read other books to her, if she wanted to hear them, and she had books on tape... but when it came down to it, she read what she wanted to read, and a lot of it was poorly written stuff about fairies or whatever. 

 

By odd coincidence, we've spent the last couple of weeks trying to put together her High School Reading List for college applications... I know we missed a lot of books, and we didn't put anything down that seemed like "vacuous drivel", but she wound up with three single-spaced pages that include most of the classics assigned in high school, plus a bunch I've seen on college syllabi. They're all books she chose to read, after she had her fill of American Girls and fairies and that sort of thing...


I give my kids lots of direction and suggestions. Ds was remarkably resistant to suggestions and tends to get into ruts. I'm OK with that for now. For one thing, he's in school and being exposed to a range of books/genres there. He's read a real range for his book club at school. For the other, I really want my kids to enjoy reading and enjoy books. We've found a number of cute sets of books lately (Mr. Pin, the penguin detective; Humphrey the classroom hamster). It's more important to me that he enjoy it than he be made to work all the time. If we were homeschooling (bad idea all around, given the personalities in our family), then I'd require some reading at his reading level. Since school does that (yes, he gets reading enrichment at his level), I'm not going to worry.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
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?


Yes, sometimes he should be challenged, but should every book he read be a challenge? That's what I'm picking up from the arguments I'm overhearing. Admittedly, I didn't inquire into the circumstances and I'm making assumptions without knowing the whole story. Ds DOES tend to choose things that are too easy for him, and I was wondering if I should be more firm with him.Thanks to this thread, I've been able to think about it and come to the conclusion that no, I don't need to be more firm with him.

 


 

post #76 of 124

I do kind of a combo plan.  I'm a Waldorf mom, and there is a *great* Waldorf student reading list (published as a book) with awesome suggestions for quality literature, organized by age/grade -- at the same time, I am aware that my dd has an, ahem, "earthy" sense of humor and loves Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, etc., and I see how this nourishes that side of her.  So, every other trip to the library, I go myself (without dd), armed with my Waldorf list, and get her a huge pile of books, plus some fluff (Nancy Drew, etc.) that I know she'll like.  Then, when we return them, she gets to pick out whatever she wants.  She's never complained about this, and enjoys the books I check out for her (even though she would never pick them out herself just by looking at them).  It works for us.

 

I want to second what a pp said, that I was really left to my own devices as a child/teen in terms of reading -- and I really wish someone had been there to guide me to some of the more nourishing fare out there.  It is only now, as an adult, through that Waldorf reading list, that I feel I am really getting a taste of what's out there, and what I could have been nourished by in childhood. 

post #77 of 124

I definitely suggest some books and will grab them in addition to what the children pick out.

 

We went to the library a couple weeks ago and my 4 y/o DD wanted to look at the "Holiday" section of books. I thought she might be interested in reading stories about Christmas. Nope. She wanted to get all the books on Halloween. So, we grabbed about half a dozen of them, and got some odd looks when we checked them out. lol.gif

 

I recently purchased a calendar that depicts a classic piece of literature for every month. The plan is for each month 10 y/o DD will read that book. This month is  Call of the Wild. DH has the original version and I bought the abridged version. I figured 10 y/o DD would get the option of reading either version but DH disagrees and wants her to read the "real" version. So, I'll be reading the shorter version to 4 y/o DD.

post #78 of 124

I don't really limit what they get unless it's really inappropriate.

post #79 of 124

I've had to set limits on the number of books they could take out (seriously, we took out 50 books at a time last summer and finding them all at due time was awful!)  As for subject and reading level, DS is in 3rd and reads at about a 6/7th grade level.  Some of the things he picks are too mature for him subject wise (I really don't want to have to explain abortion to my 9 yo son).  I don't care if it's "drivel" or not, as long as they're reading.  Although I do shudder when DD2 picks out yet another Disney Princess story.  Yuck.

post #80 of 124

I do limit (censor) DS's book selections.  First, for practicality in regards to number.  Secondly, in terms of age appropriate content and scariness.

 

Though I see no need to make restrictions on too easy books in our families current situation, I can imagine reasons why other families might feel a need.  For instance: They may have been there specifically to get a book for a school book report.  The parent may feel that the teacher would reject the too easy book, necessitating another trip to the library.

 

About the research showing that kids who read drivel for pleasure grow up to be adults who read drivel for pleasure...  Does it do anything to show causation as opposed to simple correlation?  Also, is there any research that shows that reading large amounts of drivel as an adult is of any value beyond the momentary enjoyment of the drive?.  I read a lot of drivel, and an occasional useful book/magazines/news here and there.  My eldest sister reads tons of drivel, and almost never anything particularly useful.  My middle sister read a little drivel and occasional useful books/etc.  My Dh reads practically no drivel, and a little useful books/etc.  Guess which ones of us have the higher paying jobs?  

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