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post #81 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post

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?  

The research doesn't show that at all. It tells us that children who read what we seem to be calling "drivel" and enjoy it, grow up to be people who read for pleasure. Not that they grow up to continue to read drivel. But that they continue to read regularly and avidly for enjoyment-- which most adults in America no longer do.

What the research tells us:
1. Children who are allowed free choice in their pleasure reading are more likely to still be reading for pleasure as teenagers.
2. Teenagers who regularly read for pleasure score higher on measures of verbal ability and vocabulary.
3. "Lifelong readers," which we define as individuals who read often, and eagerly, for multiple purposes, throughout their lifespans, frequently report that a great deal of their reading is not particularly intellectually edifying-- series books, for example, or romances.
4. Adults who are lifelong readers raise children who are lifelong readers, and lifelong readers don't confine themselves to edifying classics-- they read a wide variety of whatever catches their interest, for both learning ("useful books") and for enjoyment ("drivel.")

We also know that reading is about more than getting a good job or going to a good college, and that "reading to learn" is only one kind of reading. Reading for relaxation is the key ingredient in the lifelong habit of reading. It is a habit that can bring a lifetime of joy and pleasure and learning into a person's life. We know that being overly controlling with children's reading choices often leads to them abandoning the habit of joyful pleasure reading. And we know that any reading at all contributes to one's skill as a reader-- the ability to read more easily and quickly, which is called fluency-- and that skillful readers tend to read MORE, which in turn builds further skill which further contributes to the enjoyment of reading. This hand-in-hand relationship of enjoyment and fluency seems to be what creates a lifelong reader.
post #82 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post  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.


And if the parent doesn't just say "you need a different book for your book report", that's a different reason to be confused.

 

 

As for the reading habits of your friends and relations, wouldn't the people with the high-paying jobs have to work harder? Spend more time on reading in their field and staying up to date?

 

Dh is in a position of responsibility, but not a particularly high-level/high-stress sort of job and he reads at least three times as many industry books and articles as I do parenting books and articles. I read at least 50 times as much for fun (ranging from drivel to classic drivel to research studies) and he spends 50 times as much time playing video games. It's all about how people use downtime and what lets them process the day best.

post #83 of 124
Quote:

Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post

As for the reading habits of your friends and relations, wouldn't the people with the high-paying jobs have to work harder? Spend more time on reading in their field and staying up to date?

 

Dh is in a position of responsibility, but not a particularly high-level/high-stress sort of job and he reads at least three times as many industry books and articles as I do parenting books and articles. I read at least 50 times as much for fun (ranging from drivel to classic drivel to research studies) and he spends 50 times as much time playing video games. It's all about how people use downtime and what lets them process the day best.

bold mine

 

That's kind of my point.  Some people enjoy reading for pleasure, some people don't.  Some people prefer to play video games.  

 

Growing up to be a person who enjoys reading for pleasure is being held up as a higher goal than growing up to be a person who enjoys playing video games for pleasure.  Is it really an important goal though, or is it simply a personality difference.  Do people who read for pleasure get more out of life than those that play video games for pleasure?  Are people who read for pleasure better than those who choose other pastimes? 

 

When guiding children about what books to choose, should our sole goal be to raise them to become adults who enjoy reading?  Or, should we simply make sure they acquire the skills necessary to read for knowledge well enough to function in their chosen profession, and leave pleasure reading up to their own desire?

 

Both Dh and I read well enough to read for information when we need to.  I happen to also read for pleasure.  I just don't think it makes me better than Dh, just different.

post #84 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post



Quote:

Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post

As for the reading habits of your friends and relations, wouldn't the people with the high-paying jobs have to work harder? Spend more time on reading in their field and staying up to date?

 

Dh is in a position of responsibility, but not a particularly high-level/high-stress sort of job and he reads at least three times as many industry books and articles as I do parenting books and articles. I read at least 50 times as much for fun (ranging from drivel to classic drivel to research studies) and he spends 50 times as much time playing video games. It's all about how people use downtime and what lets them process the day best.

bold mine

 

That's kind of my point.  Some people enjoy reading for pleasure, some people don't.  Some people prefer to play video games.  

 

Growing up to be a person who enjoys reading for pleasure is being held up as a higher goal than growing up to be a person who enjoys playing video games for pleasure.  Is it really an important goal though, or is it simply a personality difference.  Do people who read for pleasure get more out of life than those that play video games for pleasure?  Are people who read for pleasure better than those who choose other pastimes? 

 

When guiding children about what books to choose, should our sole goal be to raise them to become adults who enjoy reading?  Or, should we simply make sure they acquire the skills necessary to read for knowledge well enough to function in their chosen profession, and leave pleasure reading up to their own desire?

 

Both Dh and I read well enough to read for information when we need to.  I happen to also read for pleasure.  I just don't think it makes me better than Dh, just different.

Oooohhh I get it now.


I think rather than "reading for pleasure" the significant finding is that they read more without being specifically enjoined to do so. More voluntary reading. So that, in general, a person who had the chance to choose many books as a child will end up being an adult who reads more than an adult in a given category, such as reading more work-related material and material that might not be strictly in their area and thus have a broader knowledge of things.

 

I need to read the study and find out how they defined "reading for pleasure".


Edited by sapphire_chan - 1/5/11 at 5:41am
post #85 of 124

Ds is only 6. I offer suggestions.

 

I have been surprised at his book selection when he goes to the library at school. He is picking things that I traded in or stopped reading years ago. Like Eric Carle books and Knuffle Bunny. I am realizing though that these things that we used to read in board book form actually contain the words he is currently learning.

 

A part of me also wonders if he is drawn to these books because of memory, although he claims he doesn't remember them from his toddler years.

 

I will mention though that I am an avid reader and as a child I read things like the entire Peanuts series and any Looney Tunes comic book I could get my hands on. I eventually moved on and now I read  a wide spectrum of genres. It makes me think that a love for reading  can be best fostered if the child is allowed to enjoy it, regardless of (age appropriate) content.

 

That said, I have been known to adamantly refuse to read Iron Man as a bedtime book. I will not put myself through that pain. Dh will read it to him though and he is free to look at it anytime he would like.

post #86 of 124

Mine don't read yet but I also don't let them pick all the books out of the library for me to read. I can just imagine what I would come home from because they would look at the cover and think its pretty so want to take it home. They can each pick 1 then I get 8-10 that I choose since I'm able to find things they might not originally want to check out but I figured they would like. Half the time they don't want me to reread the books to them that they pick but will ask for me to read the books I pick for them several times in the week-2 weeks we have them. Several of the books we've added to our book collection recently (if the kids really love a book it sometimes appears on their bookcases since I will buy it used off of Amazon) have been things the kids didn't want to check out but I did anyway and when I read it to them they loved it.

 

When they are older it will probably be they can check out x number they want but they have to read their school books first. Most likely Ill limit it to 2-4 books each depending on how many kids we have, how long we will have the books, personality of the child involved (is it going to turn into an issue? my oldest is very strong willed and I could see me fighting with her to get her school work done), and the length of the book (if I know she will finish it in a couple of hours it would be easier to say yes to then if I think its going to be a time eater). I do plan on keeping an eye on what they like when they start to read and incorporate their interests into the school plans. That way they can read some of the books they want to without it being an interference. Or maybe do an open part of the lesson plan to include self motivated reading.

post #87 of 124

i've only read some of this thread but have to put forth my opinion. 

i'm a librarian, and have worked as a children's librarian.  in that position, i witnessed how children were crushed when they were only "allowed" to check out books that were on their AR levels.  I feel that we're doing children a disservice when we limit their choices in that way.  It's fine to suggest how to pick books that they might enjoy (we did the 5 finger rule for harder books.  a kid picks out a book, and looks at a page.  if there are 5 words on that page he/she cannot understand or read, it's probably better to either only take the book to have someone help read out loud at home, such as for a bedtime story, or else pick something a little easier and find that book later on when the words can be understood.  they can even keep a log of books to read in the future, and write down the title). 

 

for the books that are "too easy"  (and want to see something scary?  it absolutely broke my heart when i saw this story in the times: editing post because Elvie'smom already posted that article!  :) ) many of the picture books have wonderful art, and for some books, that is the point.  what is the potential harm in kids looking at pictures/art?  it isn't always about the words.  sometimes books with few words can have deep meaning, or allow a kid to feel successful in a time of learning so many new things, or remind the child of a loved memory or a storyline that preceeds imaginative dreaming. That is where writers come from, as well as artists and musicians.. those 'easy' books are just not something i would discourage.

 

for the harder or age inappropriate books, i don't know that kids understand things like that in the way that an adult would.  i remember as a child, being a huge reader, just skipping over the stuff that i didn't 'get.'  i could read at age 4, and my parents NEVER censored my reading.  i was allowed to pick anything from the library.  if it was good, i read it.  if it didn't apply to me, i returned it and got something different next time. 

 

for the kids who would just bring home enormous stacks that they couldn't get through, what about getting a specific large capacity book bag/tote.  they can take that to the library and fill it with whatever, but make the child responsible for carrying it and keeping up with the books, allowing natural consequences -- if you lose that book, you can't get more till you find it. if you can't carry the bag, you probably have too many books. 

 

kids are already under pressure, if they are in public schools, to read crap other people pick for them.  i really and truly believe in allowing kids autonomy with the reading choices. 


Edited by hildare - 1/7/11 at 7:52am
post #88 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post

 

 

for the books that are "too easy"  (and want to see something scary?  it absolutely broke my heart when i saw this story in the times: editing post because Elvie'smom already posted that article!  :) ) many of the picture books have wonderful art, and for some books, that is the point.  what is the potential harm in kids looking at pictures/art?  it isn't always about the words.  sometimes books with few words can have deep meaning, or allow a kid to feel successful in a time of learning so many new things, or remind the child of a loved memory or a storyline that preceeds imaginative dreaming. That is where writers come from, as well as artists and musicians.. those 'easy' books are just not something i would discourage.

 

 

 

That article is heart-breaking. I have my own collection of picture books that I add to every once in awhile if I admire the writing and the artwork. Occasionally, I even buy a picture book for my dc and they are teenagers. Sometimes I'll find a beautiful edition from a beloved author that we don't own or something that seems relevant to an occasion in their lives.  

 

What strikes me as funny is that avid readers will read almost anything available, and "easy" or "hard" is almost irrelevant. If the morning newspaper didn't get delivered, they will read the back of the cereal box at breakfast. On the bus, they read the ads. In waiting rooms without magazines they pick up the information pamphlets.

 

It seems to me that parents may be skipping some steps while trying to develop their children's reading skills. They want to develop fluent readers with critical analytical literary skills. That's a lot easier to do if the child first learns to love reading and continues to think of it as an enjoyable activity. That usually happens when they are given freedom to read and explore books on their own. 

 

When my kids were young and we visited the library, I know I usually made suggestions or picked a few books for them myself. They always chose their own, from pretty much any section of the library they wanted. The children's section usually kept them satisfied, unless they had a particular interest that needed a trip into the reference or non-fiction area. I recall exhausting the "trains and locomotives" books in the transportation section before DS had his 4th birthday.

 

  

post #89 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eepster View Post

 

That's kind of my point.  Some people enjoy reading for pleasure, some people don't.  Some people prefer to play video games.  

 

Growing up to be a person who enjoys reading for pleasure is being held up as a higher goal than growing up to be a person who enjoys playing video games for pleasure.  Is it really an important goal though, or is it simply a personality difference.  Do people who read for pleasure get more out of life than those that play video games for pleasure?  Are people who read for pleasure better than those who choose other pastimes?


It's not about being 'better' but it is about giving my kids the option to read for pleasure. We know that reading begets reading. If a child doesn't read, they won't have the skills to read for pleasure. Thus, they can't choose to read for pleasure. If my child (when they grow up) has the skills to read for pleasure and chooses to play video games, fine with me. But if a child watches TV or plays video games because reading is too difficult (because they didn't get enough practice), then that's sad.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post

 

When guiding children about what books to choose, should our sole goal be to raise them to become adults who enjoy reading?  Or, should we simply make sure they acquire the skills necessary to read for knowledge well enough to function in their chosen profession, and leave pleasure reading up to their own desire?

 

But here's the deal: Reading is a skill and you need a basic level of fluency and vocabulary to be able to function in your profession. At 6 or 10, I don't know what my kids professions are going to be, so I need to make sure that they have excellent reading skills. The best way to get reading skills is to read. And read. And read some more .It's a vicious circle. People who read get better at it, people who don't, fall further behind. The harder reading is, the less likely a child is to do it and so they're less likely to gain the skills they need for any profession. My goal is not to raise someone who reads for pleasure (though that would be nice), but someone who is not afraid of reading.

post #90 of 124

i do occationally set limits in what my middle son picks out. he isn't a strong reader yet, but will pick out very complex books that everyone else is suppose to read to him, and no one really wants to (like quantum physics or something like that. lol) . so i will just set them down before we leave, OR have him make a choice before we go. we have a book limit (25 books and videos total) so i might say: " you need to choose 3 of these books.." and let him pick which ones he wants to keep. it is usually because in the end the books do not interest him all that much and then i just have to keep track of 25 books and no one is reading them. lol

i also monitor the scariness factor of the books as the little boys will pick out stuff that can be pretty scary.

 

and that article is VERY sad. we have a HUGE bookshelf in our house devoted to nothing but picture books. we love them. all the kids do (even my teenagers! lol) they are just so lovely to look at and the stories are not shallow meaningless drivel. usually they have really great messages.

 

as for reading for pleasure vs computer gaming for pleasure... i do think there is a difference. i don't know many people who have issues in getting some sort of computer time in every single day, and goofing off on the computer where it be gaming or watching movies or whatever... but there is an issue with kids NOT reading in favor of gaming because reading is more challenging and they don't want to do it. not that i expect them to read for pleasure, but i do want them to know how to read and be able to read well enough to get into whatever profession they want. i mean even people who design games have to read, so it is a pretty important skill. and i want them to enjoy it and it not a be horrible chore. so far so good. they do watch TV and play games on the computer BUT they all enjoy reading or being read to.

 

h


Edited by mamaofthree - 1/7/11 at 9:33am
post #91 of 124

I'm kind of hoping the article about picture books is based on poorly gathered statistics.  They are basing it on sales figures for the "picture book" section in large chain book stores.  I only very very rarely buy $20 books from the part of the children's section labeled "picture books."  I do buy plenty book that I think of as picture books though, from the bargain table, the rotating wracks of "leveled readers," Costco, etc.

 

For example, we don't have the hard cover version of If You Giver a Mouse a Cookie from the picture book section.  Instead, we have a large compilation that has IYGaMaC bound together with 3 other titles by the same author-illustrator-team, along with music and cookie recipes etc.  It cost $7 off the bargain table, instead of $20 from the "picture book" shelf.

 

The books on the leveled reader wracks are often the exact same words and illustrations as the ones on the "picture book" shelf, but happen to be $3.99 instead of $20. The differences are they are paper back instead of hard cover; they have a number printed on the cover and a general info about reading level on the back cover; they are a handy size for taking to restaurants.  One does need to look at them carefully before choosing, since sometimes they have been abridged or altered (the leveled reader version of Snowman is very very different from the picture book version.)

 

So I wonder if the decline in buying "picture books" has more to do with what is reported as "picture books" on marketing reports than an actual decline in children being exposed to illustrated books.

post #92 of 124

Very good article, but that is a great point! I love picture books. My kids have access to tons of them, but I only ever buy them a beautiful new, hardcover one at Christmas, because they are so $$$. The rest are off the remainder shelves, from used book stores, from yard sales or from the library.

 

I also understood the point the bookseller was making, but the article made it sound like she felt there is something wrong with getting Stuart Little for a preschooler. I wish the article would have focused a little bit more on balance instead of making it sound like picture books are 'better'.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post

I'm kind of hoping the article about picture books is based on poorly gathered statistics.  They are basing it on sales figures for the "picture book" section in large chain book stores.  I only very very rarely buy $20 books from the part of the children's section labeled "picture books."  I do buy plenty book that I think of as picture books though, from the bargain table, the rotating wracks of "leveled readers," Costco, etc.

 

For example, we don't have the hard cover version of If You Giver a Mouse a Cookie from the picture book section.  Instead, we have a large compilation that has IYGaMaC bound together with 3 other titles by the same author-illustrator-team, along with music and cookie recipes etc.  It cost $7 off the bargain table, instead of $20 from the "picture book" shelf.

 

The books on the leveled reader wracks are often the exact same words and illustrations as the ones on the "picture book" shelf, but happen to be $3.99 instead of $20. The differences are they are paper back instead of hard cover; they have a number printed on the cover and a general info about reading level on the back cover; they are a handy size for taking to restaurants.  One does need to look at them carefully before choosing, since sometimes they have been abridged or altered (the leveled reader version of Snowman is very very different from the picture book version.)

 

So I wonder if the decline in buying "picture books" has more to do with what is reported as "picture books" on marketing reports than an actual decline in children being exposed to illustrated books.

post #93 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post



Quote:

Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post

As for the reading habits of your friends and relations, wouldn't the people with the high-paying jobs have to work harder? Spend more time on reading in their field and staying up to date?

 

Dh is in a position of responsibility, but not a particularly high-level/high-stress sort of job and he reads at least three times as many industry books and articles as I do parenting books and articles. I read at least 50 times as much for fun (ranging from drivel to classic drivel to research studies) and he spends 50 times as much time playing video games. It's all about how people use downtime and what lets them process the day best.

bold mine

 

That's kind of my point.  Some people enjoy reading for pleasure, some people don't.  Some people prefer to play video games.  

 

Growing up to be a person who enjoys reading for pleasure is being held up as a higher goal than growing up to be a person who enjoys playing video games for pleasure.  Is it really an important goal though, or is it simply a personality difference.  Do people who read for pleasure get more out of life than those that play video games for pleasure?  Are people who read for pleasure better than those who choose other pastimes? 

 

When guiding children about what books to choose, should our sole goal be to raise them to become adults who enjoy reading?  Or, should we simply make sure they acquire the skills necessary to read for knowledge well enough to function in their chosen profession, and leave pleasure reading up to their own desire?

 

Both Dh and I read well enough to read for information when we need to.  I happen to also read for pleasure.  I just don't think it makes me better than Dh, just different.


I think there is actually a difference between reading and playing video games. Yes, I want my kids to grow up to be people who enjoy reading because I think reading is a really worthwhile thing to do. I don't have the same opinion of video games (and trust me, no work is needed to get my kids to like them). People gain something from a good book. I don't think you gain much, if anything, from playing NBA Jam for hours. I'm not anti-TV or anti-video games (we have both) but I do think some pastimes are better than others. 

post #94 of 124

I wouldn't limit expect for inappropriate content....like porn or erotica for a young child.  At this point we don't have much of an issue because she's too young to pick books out, but I don't pick books for her that are full of characters, have a bad message, or are full of school related things (which I think sets up an unschooled child for a lot of confusion).

post #95 of 124

Ds is allowed to choose whatever he wants, and I usually add a couple books that I see that look good, and I also get some related to our current homeschool theme or something else relevant.  If we are in a hurry, I randomly grab some off the shelf!    The only think I dont allow are tv character books, which at the library are hard to find anyway so its not a big deal.  He has chosen some really random books but still reads them (one of his favorites is a high school biology text book...)

 

Ds usually reads ALL of the books we end up with, he really enjoys them all.   

 

I think he should choose whatever he wants, and I get to choose some too.  If he reads what I choose, great, if not then oh well, they are library books so its no loss to me! 

post #96 of 124

i figure i'm a pretty good judge of what is appropriate for my daughter, emotionally.. i won't let her take out subjects that would disturb her. but i certainly don't care if she takes out books that are "below" her. she wants a board book? um, ok.. if that's what you want. she'll take it out the same day she takes out a chapter book. she just turned 6, and she's a voracious reader. i see no reason to discourage her as long as the rest of her life is also balanced (during the summer my mom had to limit her reading to 2 hours per day so that she would still play outside.. but that's a different topic entirely). she reads books i can't stand, but she loves them so i grin and bear it. there's nothing wrong with the books, i just don't like them, so that's my problem not hers!

post #97 of 124

My daughter is almost four. I don't let her pick out her books yet. When I've tried to have her pick out books, she just grabs books off the shelves without looking. These are not things she would like to read. So, instead, I ask her what she would like  books about and she picks a few topics and I get the books.

post #98 of 124

I don't limit the number, but the library does :) We often take around 10 home at a time, and often times a few of them have already come home with us many times before. If they are reading, I am happy. When I purchase a *new* book, I like to use Little One Books online because they've already separated the books by each year of age, up to age 5, so it's easy to determine a book's appropriateness.

post #99 of 124

I don't limit books unless they are wildly inappropriate. And apparently my version of inappropriate is not like other people's version.

 

I had someone recently come to me with a book in one hand and my ds in the other "I thought you'd want to know that your son was looking at this book and -gasp- showing it to his friend." It was an old 1970's textbook on natural childbirth, complete with full page, full color pictures of naked women. God forbid we know what a REAL vagina looks like. Now I don't know why he picked that book, because it wasn't on his bookshelf, and it is probably the ugliest cover on any of MY childbirth/breastfeeding books. but I really am fine with it. 

 

Now, I DO restrict him from taking out books OR movies that have scary pictures or a lot of suspense, because that makes him very anxious. He can't read much yet, but if he sees a book with a word he knows in the title he thinks that means he can read the whole book and insists on bringing it home. lol we have acquired some very....unusual books that way.

post #100 of 124

 I have never told DS not to check out a book. However, I have pointed out to him if a book seems ridiculously simple (2 words to a page kind of book when he flies through chapter books) and is unlikely to hold his attention for long. I just mention that the book won't take him very long so he might want to read it while we are at the library rather than use up one of the seven books I allow him to check out each visit (more books than that and they start to get lost in the house). But I recognize that some days he is just in the mood for books with cool pictures since most of what he is reading these days doesn't have pictures.

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