Originally Posted by melissa17s
I guess I am having a hard time understanding how a book log disrupts family time. I have read to my kids since they were babies and it is enjoyable to us as a family activity. Our school has required logs since kindergarten, and most of the time it takes less than a minute to fill out the books read and who read them. The students have further motivation for turning them in. They get rewards from the teacher, like free meals at local restaurants and eating with the teacher. At the end year dd's class will go swimming and kids that do not turn in their logs have to sit out 5 minutes for each log missed. We read regardless, so writing it down is not a big deal. OP, if he is reading at a 7th grade level then why doesn't read at home? There are tons of books for that level- talk to your middle school reading teacher, if the elementary librarian is at a loss, which honestly surprises me, too.
Ds is in 4th grade and his book log is much more extensive. Each day the week he has to write about different aspects of the book, such as predictions, questioning, and summary. I help him with this task because he has a writing disability and it takes about 5 minutes for him to dictate the information. It is part of our morning routine as we get ready to go to school. Ds is also required to keep a day planner, which parents are supposed to sign. Students who do not return signed day planners or logs miss recess. I am pretty sure the reason the school is doing this is to try to instill habits of success for future grades- not just busy work for parents and teachers. We treat home work as responsibility, and they get more as they get older. Whether or not you feel it is a waste time because it your child that has to bear the burden of not handing work in and potential consequences.
My argument wasn't that it is disruptive to family time. Though this is a homework heavy school and he does do all his other homework, making the reading log a bit much when piled on top of the rest. But that really isn't my issue with it. My issues involve the fact that a reading log takes something that is natural and easy for him (reading) and adds an element that is unnatural and forced into it (recording the reading). He tends to read before bed and after school at the sitters and it's just not a natural progression to write it down. He hates writ ting, but loves ready. If he thought he had to write something like you son seems required to do when he finished reading he'd skip the reading (or only do the very bare minimum). Since we don't write it down right away he forgets what he read over the month (plus since he is reading such easy materials most of the time he may have read 10 book in his 20 minutes of reading each day, he's not going to remember that much). Then the end of the month comes and we end up making up 1/2 the log. Making-it-up teaches the wrong values and is not something I choose to encourage. Plus, at this age, I try to set him up for success. He is honestly just not going to remember to write it down. Even if too you it is a simple 2 minute task every day, it is just not that simple in our household. Even at my age with much more advanced focus skills than he has I would have problems remembering a reading log (in my favor I read longer books so would have fewer to remember). We simply won't remember to write it down. Reading is simply not enough of an event to make it something we take note of, and that is exactly the way I feel it should be.
As for his reading level and the materials we are working with him on reading. I feel you misunderstood. His school librarian, his teacher and even his principle are helping to get him books closer to his level that he'll enjoy. He does read every day (how else would he be such a gifted reader). He just doesn't write it down. My point is that I choose to devote my time and energy spent on his reading helping him find books at this level and encouraging him to try them. He reads at a 7th grade reading level but usually chooses books at a 1st or 2nd grade reading level. I have no problem with him reading those books, but do want him to also read stuff that is at least at a 4th or 5th grade reading level (lots of reasons there). My kid can only handle so much guidance/nagging/requests/whatever about a topic. I choose to spend what I have available working on encouraging books I think he will enjoy that stretch him a bit more than his normal choices, not reminding him to write down what he read (plus I find them kinda pointless, since we all read on our own without anyone telling us we have to).
The whole system you describe for you kids with writing tons of information about the books, punishments for not doing it, etc. is horrifying to my. It would not have motivated me to read and would have, in fact, discouraged me as a kid. I would not tolerate such a system in my child's classroom. There is something to be said for reading purely for pleasure and turning even leisure reading into a chore is abhorrent to me. I love reading and so does my child. I can't think of a quicker way to kill that enjoyment than the system you describe. Wow. <shudder>
Edited by JollyGG - 4/18/11 at 6:50am