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Homework/ reading expectations during the summer months

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Hi- I could use some parenting input. My DS6 is starting first grade in the Fall. This summer I bought a couple of the Summer Bridge workbooks at the bookstore with the idea that he would complete a bit each day (about minutes), and maybe a bit of math (say 5 minutes of multiplication learning or practice). My additional rule is that he reads independently about 30 minutes per day (the times and for the most part, the book is his discretion). The reading needs to be done before tv or computer time.
So... I am getting what are basically temper tantrums and refusals over this work. I've talked with friends with kids of similar ages. Yes, a few thought I was pushing, and others didn't think it was unreasonable to expect a modest amount of "homework" and daily reading from kids in the summer months. Please keep in mind that my son is an advanced reader for his age who has shown the ability to sit still for nearly two hours running with a book.
I don't want to battle with my son, or harm his natural motivation amd enjoyment of learning. I just want him to learn good habits and see the benefits of regular effort. Part of me thinks I need to back off completely and another part feels like it's okay and good parenting to demand a small amount of daily accountability. He has said in the past that he likes seeing how his work makes him better at things.
I don't want him to fall into the trap of thinking things are easy - then not having the maturity to rise to the challenge when inevitably, subjects become harder. I figured if I started a bit each day with challenging learning (I.e. he is on the verge of mastering long multiplication) when he is young maybe he would learn to work through his frustrations.
Thoughts?
post #2 of 42

I'm in the "back-off" camp. He's 6 and he's well ahead of the game. There is no reason for him to be spending his summer doing advanced work that he clearly doesn't want to do. Instead, go visit some museums, go to the zoo, take a tide-pooling trip, do fun and messy kitchen science experiments, try out some new art mediums, play soccer in the front yard, let him spend hours with his legos, or just kick him outside and have him figure out his own fun. If there are no books that excite him enough to read for 30 minutes then you shouldn't be requiring it. A love of reading does not come with requirements. If you want, choose a family read aloud that you can both enjoy. Take turns.That's a far better way to encourage summer reading than forcing him to read to a clock.

 

There are tons of ways to challenge oneself that don't involve worksheets. Learning an instrument, performing in a play, playing basketball, learning to ride a bike, board games... anything really. The skill of working through a challenge is transferable to all aspects of life and honestly, sometimes easier to find outside of school with the gifted child. My own kids (16 and 12) spend there summers diving into subjects and activities they love without the annoying distraction of school.

 

The only time I support summer work is when a child has a deficit that will worsen with time off. For example, my youngest has severe penmanship issues..... he's well below average in this one area. Summers after K, 1st and 2nd I had him do a page of "Handwriting Without Tears" a few times a week in the summer because he simply couldn't afford to write nothing for months. Once his typing took off and the school started accepting most of his work typed, I stopped the summer penmanship exercises.

post #3 of 42

I understand the desire to keep learning going in the summertime (see my recent thread about my worrying that my boys are wasting their time with Pokemon...  Consensus: nah.) But I think having requirements for reading time and math practice is more likely to make those things seem like a chore, rather than instilling interest and pride in doing them.

I agree that there are better ways to encourage reading, if that's something you think the child needs encouraging in - reading together taking turns, or just leaving a book out on a topic he'd enjoy, a silly book that kids generally like (Diary of Wimpy Kid, etc.). And without the tiring days of school, it's a good time to feel the satisfaction of growing in "non-academic" pursuits - musical instrument, catching a frisbee, origami, cooking, science experiments, sudoku, etc. And by all means have a math workbook around - if he's learning multiplication at 6, he seems like the type who might enjoy doing it even without the daily requirement.

post #4 of 42

Temper tantrums and refusals? That doesn't sound like an enjoyable summer break. Yeah, I'd back off. It sounds like the only thing he's really learning is that forced reading and math suck when all your friends are outside playing and you want to join them. 

 

He's already an advanced reader. There's nothing to gain by imposing extra work on him at this stage. If he does master long division today instead of sometime in September, what is the extra benefit to him? If he doesn't master it for a few more months, what is the harm? 

 

My dc participated in summer library programs when they were that age until they were about 10 y.o., but they wanted to join them. They were (still are) avid readers and the library was a couple of blocks away. Other than that, they didn't undertake summer study progr ams until high school. At that point, there were specific advantages. They were getting prerequisites out of the way so they could take advanced courses during the regular school year or they did an international program to combine study with travel. Civics and history lessons become a little more real when you are learning them at the United Nations. Because my dc chose their summer studies, there was very little grumbling and stress (hey, it's hot and sunny, there's going to be a little grumbling about schoolwork winky.gif )

post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input. I've decided to take the "middle ground" after reading some gifted homeschool sites. I think we'll continue on the long multiplication route because he's so close to mastering it, and I know in my heart it will make him feel good to have completed the effort. That said, I'm going to give him some space for a few days and will get rid of the other worksheets altogether. 

 

I'm not going to require reading- I'm a big reader myself only because I enjoy it. I would deeply regret messing up his reading enjoyment by turning it into a chore. Right now, he's headlong into comic and graphic novels, so I will grit my teeth and accept that there are still some words on the page. 

 

One of the hard things about having a 6 year old learn what I think (?) is 3rd or 4th grade subject matter is the disparate maturity level. His ability to deal with frustration is still very much six (sometimes younger). The higher level concepts aren't the problem as much as the sheer effort to wade through the work. (e.g. 3 digits times 3 digits takes some stamina unless you're prodigious and can do it in your head:). 

 

I don't know how his private school will deal with his academics next year, and don't know how (or if) to broach the subject. 

 

Thanks for your input. I'm taking it to heart. 

post #6 of 42

I, too, am of the keep it fun camp.

 

My kiddos lept from preschool to 1st.The summer beforehand I did little but a bit of handwriting off/on the weeks before hand because one DD had K level writing and it frustrated her. But that said-- she did not protests and wanted to do better so we worked at her pace and kept it light.

 

We read daily...but not a strict time. After lunch, when possible, we all curl up with books for a while. Sometimes it is 30 min and sometimes everyone is still happily reading 1.5 hours later. We also all read before bed. Books are always offered-- but their choice. We purposefully gather magazines and magazines that follow DDs passions of the moment. So it really varies- the important part is learning more and delving into new ideas.

 

Summer, for us, is for exploring interests. Totally child led. My DDs are 7.5 and headed to 3rd. This summer has been dance and space. My girls went to space camp and took dance classes...we got books and books about both from the library. It does not seem like 'work'.

 

FWIW-my girls went through a graphic novel phase. Eh- I though. but  the plus side. They both started drawing/creating their own comics! Which turned out to be an excellent writing/drawing format. One DD had to learn to pare down her writing and the other to use a wider variety. They both added details to drawings that were not previously there to help clarify the writing. 

 

Usually it is things that they cant or wont touch on at school- so it is fresh and also when they return to school- there is not as much repetition.

 

They have stamina for things they are interested in and want to pursue. I will leave the tedious work for school year (hee hee) . 

 

Will they have to work hard on things they dont like? arent interested in?     Yes-- but only when it is required (school, job, daily living,etc).

 

 

For accountability and encouragement of good habits- we ask each day what DD learned or what new fact, or  thing, or idea she had. And encourage problem solving- with what do you think? Why? How can we find out more?

 

We do a lot of 'real world' math- money, grocery bill, estimation, etc. Nothing formal.

 

 

 

OP- your DS might be pleased if he finds his school does some of that in 2nd. Our areas curriculum did 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication as part of the curriculum last year  and 3 digit by 3digit as 'challenge work'. That was standard curriculum. In 1st they did 3 digit by 3 digit +/- as challenge work and 2 digit as standard.

post #7 of 42
Thread Starter 
KCMichigan- our public schools don't start two digit by two digit multiplication until third grade. Your district is certainly ahead of ours in that regard, teaching it in second.

Part of the motivation for teaching multiplication (just to explain) in the summer is that DS was multiplying two digit by two digit before the end of the school year. His private school's process for differentiation (so far) is that if he doesn't show complete mastery of a topic, they basically make him start from the "start."

Case in point: he had some big tantrums last year because he flubbed his reading comprehension assessment at the beginning of the year and his school sent home required easy readers when he was reading and enjoying 200 page books. He would screech every time i pulled out the easy readers. It was kind of horrible for the whole family, but they wouldn't give him harder books until he read like 50 of those things.
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by CamMom View Post

KCMichigan- our public schools don't start two digit by two digit multiplication until third grade. Your district is certainly ahead of ours in that regard, teaching it in second.

Part of the motivation for teaching multiplication (just to explain) in the summer is that DS was multiplying two digit by two digit before the end of the school year. His private school's process for differentiation (so far) is that if he doesn't show complete mastery of a topic, they basically make him start from the "start."

Case in point: he had some big tantrums last year because he flubbed his reading comprehension assessment at the beginning of the year and his school sent home required easy readers when he was reading and enjoying 200 page books. He would screech every time i pulled out the easy readers. It was kind of horrible for the whole family, but they wouldn't give him harder books until he read like 50 of those things.

 

Pardon?  You're paying for this?  What's their training in gifted ed?

 

I would get a tablet/iPad of some kind and give him apps.  I would absolutely make any summer learning different from adult-led, linear, paper-based, rote skills oriented.

 

I am parenting a 2E kid and a sensitive G kid and they have gone through stages of profoundly hating school while desperately wanting to love it, including outright leaving school.  I really encourage you to tread carefully, to be really respectful of your kid, and to not fall too quickly into the "that's the way it's done" trap. 

post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by CamMom View Post

One of the hard things about having a 6 year old learn what I think (?) is 3rd or 4th grade subject matter is the disparate maturity level. His ability to deal with frustration is still very much six (sometimes younger). The higher level concepts aren't the problem as much as the sheer effort to wade through the work. (e.g. 3 digits times 3 digits takes some stamina unless you're prodigious and can do it in your head:). 

 

 

My question is, why? Why does he need to get it now? He could wait 6 months and nail it in 5 minutes. This frustration you mention he needs to work through... it's not age appropriate and he's telling you this with his tantrums. A little naturally earned maturity and he will have the stamina to do 3 digit multiplication no problem. Why push it now? There is no reason for it. Parenting is a long haul. What might seem like triumphs now can hurt down the road. Internal drive is not something that can be taught by external force. 

 

I don't doubt you can force him through it but that risks your relationship with him. It hurts his long-term self-esteem when he begins to realize that he only seems able to push through things with mom behind him. He'll get a whole lot more from finding his OWN challenges and the motivation he needs to reach his OWN goals. He's 6. He doesn't need to be doing 3rd grade math.

 

For what it's worth, my eldest didn't count past 20 until she was 5 and in kindergarten. We didn't push it. When she took interest, she plowed through 2 years of curriculum independently in 6 weeks. At 15, she started college. My youngest has always loved math and is years ahead without my having ever handing him a math worksheet. Just be cautious and pay attention to what your child is telling you.

post #10 of 42
Quote:
Please keep in mind that my son is an advanced reader for his age who has shown the ability to sit still for nearly two hours running with a book.

 

If he can sit down and read a book that he enjoys, I would drop the reading "requirement" and instead substitute it with signing up for summer reading programs, making regular trips to the library and surprising him with new books that you think he might like.

post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by CamMom View Post

 

I'm not going to require reading- I'm a big reader myself only because I enjoy it. I would deeply regret messing up his reading enjoyment by turning it into a chore. Right now, he's headlong into comic and graphic novels, so I will grit my teeth and accept that there are still some words on the page

 

 

This is a little OT, but IMO comics/graphic novels have their own value, aside from pure entertainment (although, personally, I think entertainment has sufficient merit on its own). There is a long tradition of using a combination of text and pictures for storytelling. In the past couple of decades, there are a lot of talented artists/writers who have been exploring this method of storytelling. In many works, the reader needs to pay close attention to what is happening in the pictures since much is revealed without being spelled out in the text. The artwork may provide extra information, insight into characters, little jokes, and so on. Learning to identify and interpret those visual cues in addition to reading the text is worthwhile, if you need a cognitive developmental reason for allowing him to enjoy graphic novels. We live in a visual world, not just a text-based society.  Maybe take a second look at what he is gaining from the reading material he enjoys. It might help you stop gritting your teeth and avoid costly dental work  smile.gif

post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by CamMom View Post

KCMichigan- our public schools don't start two digit by two digit multiplication until third grade. Your district is certainly ahead of ours in that regard, teaching it in second.

Part of the motivation for teaching multiplication (just to explain) in the summer is that DS was multiplying two digit by two digit before the end of the school year. His private school's process for differentiation (so far) is that if he doesn't show complete mastery of a topic, they basically make him start from the "start."

Case in point: he had some big tantrums last year because he flubbed his reading comprehension assessment at the beginning of the year and his school sent home required easy readers when he was reading and enjoying 200 page books. He would screech every time i pulled out the easy readers. It was kind of horrible for the whole family, but they wouldn't give him harder books until he read like 50 of those things.

 

See- this would be a red flag for the school for me.

 

The tantrums ( about reading and math) are age appropriate and also a sign that he is frustrated. Finding the source of frustration and either resolving it and/or modeling appropriate ways to deal with it would be key rather than trying to plow through an academic level. That will lead to more frustration since he is likely to run in to the same thing at each level at that kind of educational model....many gifted kids have 'gaps' in knowledge from a combination of independent learning and exposure. The gaps should be easy to fill instead of tedious. If they are tedious- I would back off at age 6.

 

Per the reading....could you have requested a repeat reading assessment? And/Or/Also  talked to him about reading at all levels....we have had a lot of discussions at our house that mom/dad/kids read easy/hard text.  Sometimes in school they will have easy text (science/instructions/etc) and sometimes it will be challenging. BOTH are OK and that kind of frustration is a bit of a teachable moment. Make it light-- plow through the books, read them in funny voices,  read upside down, etc. 

 

I dont want my kiddos to think *easy* readers are bad or beyond them. That will reflect on their view of kids that are still reading them. Rather-- they are easy. My kiddos can read at a high level , but they enjoy a wide level of books. The easy readers quickly become scripts to act out and/or something to read to younger cousins...etc.

 

If your school is *stuck* and wont reassess or leaves a kiddo at a level that does not match their abilities for a long time- I would talk to the adults at the school.

 

Even in public school= the first 6 weeks (before assessments) everyone has super easy readers for instruction. Once explained to DDs that they would get harder later- it was frustrating, but acceptable since they knew it was a limited thing.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post

 

Pardon?  You're paying for this?  What's their training in gifted ed?

 

I would get a tablet/iPad of some kind and give him apps.  I would absolutely make any summer learning different from adult-led, linear, paper-based, rote skills oriented.

 

I am parenting a 2E kid and a sensitive G kid and they have gone through stages of profoundly hating school while desperately wanting to love it, including outright leaving school.  I really encourage you to tread carefully, to be really respectful of your kid, and to not fall too quickly into the "that's the way it's done" trap. 

 

I agree here totally.

 

I have a 2E kiddo and she *hates* timed tests. She struggles to pass the timed math fact tests simply because she is not fast enough (she knows them and has for years). But there is so much else she loves.

 

We reinforce the math gently with apps, games, and verbal play--- not the dreaded paper/pen stuff that they do at school.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 

My question is, why? Why does he need to get it now? He could wait 6 months and nail it in 5 minutes. This frustration you mention he needs to work through... it's not age appropriate and he's telling you this with his tantrums. A little naturally earned maturity and he will have the stamina to do 3 digit multiplication no problem. Why push it now? There is no reason for it. Parenting is a long haul. What might seem like triumphs now can hurt down the road. Internal drive is not something that can be taught by external force. 

 

I don't doubt you can force him through it but that risks your relationship with him. It hurts his long-term self-esteem when he begins to realize that he only seems able to push through things with mom behind him. He'll get a whole lot more from finding his OWN challenges and the motivation he needs to reach his OWN goals. He's 6. He doesn't need to be doing 3rd grade math.

 

 

 Just be cautious and pay attention to what your child is telling you.

 

Yes, I guess that "why" is what I was thinking.

 

2 digit is not that different than 3 - if the student 'gets' it. For example, multi-digit addition. Once you can do two digits-- you should easily transfer to 3,4,5, digit with ease. If the interest is there in learning the skill-- you should not see as many tantrums if the kiddo really wants to learn something. Otherwise, I would simply wait for it to come up in the school.

 

Have you also looked at at the match of curriculum to your child?

 

My DDs public school does Everyday Math. I have heard the K curriculum is dull-- but we jumped in at 1st and it has worked for us (with DDs doing the extended challenge stuff). It is a spiral curriculum that does not require mastery. I know some kids dislike it, but for us-- it works. Lots of thinking, synthesis, and thinking about application vs rote memorization. We dont have a GT program-- but we have had fabulous teachers for 1st/2nd grade that have done differentiation.

 

Grid multiplication is much different than the traditional way taught-- but it is simple at the same time leads to a really good sense of number value and the ability to do multidigit in your head faster (and estimates). Google some videos and you may find that a different method works better to master a skill.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

This is a little OT, but IMO comics/graphic novels have their own value, aside from pure entertainment (although, personally, I think entertainment has sufficient merit on its own). There is a long tradition of using a combination of text and pictures for storytelling. In the past couple of decades, there are a lot of talented artists/writers who have been exploring this method of storytelling. In many works, the reader needs to pay close attention to what is happening in the pictures since much is revealed without being spelled out in the text. The artwork may provide extra information, insight into characters, little jokes, and so on. Learning to identify and interpret those visual cues in addition to reading the text is worthwhile, if you need a cognitive developmental reason for allowing him to enjoy graphic novels. We live in a visual world, not just a text-based society.  Maybe take a second look at what he is gaining from the reading material he enjoys. It might help you stop gritting your teeth and avoid costly dental work  smile.gif

 

 

I think I stated the same thing. As a teacher-- I have learned to try to keep my own opinions (I dont like graphic novels) out of the classroom and do what works for kids. What keeps them learning? What keeps them thinking? What do THEY like? 

 

Over the years, I have changed my view on graphic novels, magazines, and other 'non-classic' texts. Honestly- they all have value as long as they are age-appropriate. 

 

There are some fabulous 21st century careers that involve graphic design, computer programming/gaming, Comics, RPG, and other interests that in the past had a reputation as 'uneducational' or not 'classically' valuable. Turns out they are and continue to be something that provides springboards for interesting fields of work.

 

Just because it is not something that our generation did not find value in-- that does not mean the rising generation will not turn it into something awesome. Or it could be a passing fancy or brief interest- which is just fine too.

post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

This is a little OT, but IMO comics/graphic novels have their own value, aside from pure entertainment (although, personally, I think entertainment has sufficient merit on its own). There is a long tradition of using a combination of text and pictures for storytelling. In the past couple of decades, there are a lot of talented artists/writers who have been exploring this method of storytelling. In many works, the reader needs to pay close attention to what is happening in the pictures since much is revealed without being spelled out in the text. The artwork may provide extra information, insight into characters, little jokes, and so on. Learning to identify and interpret those visual cues in addition to reading the text is worthwhile, if you need a cognitive developmental reason for allowing him to enjoy graphic novels. We live in a visual world, not just a text-based society.  Maybe take a second look at what he is gaining from the reading material he enjoys. It might help you stop gritting your teeth and avoid costly dental work  smile.gif

 

There are some fantastic graphic novels out there. I think "The Arrival" is one of my favorite books ever and it doesn't have a single word in it. It's all pictures but it makes you think and opened up great conversation in our family. My eldest has a pretty serious Shakespeare obsession and it started with graphic novel versions when she was 7 or 8. Books like "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" and "Wonder Struck" are beautiful combinations of novel and graphic novel. Fantastic story telling in imagery. Yes, my son goes through a lot of superhero comics but you know, they can have sophisticated character development and I'm always amazed at how much detail he gets from them. On top of that, they connect him with other bright boys and it's a wonder to listen to them talk with such enthusiasm, so much detail and storytelling, so much creativity.

post #14 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone- KCMichigan, thank you for the good points. Yes, we are dealing with frustration tolerance. My son gets overwhelmed by the amount of work in the larger problem- screeching that he will "never" finish it- even though it's not that big of leap. It seems to be maturity- he doesn't like to write things down.
I probably should have pushed harder on the reading test results. We didn't disparage the easy readers to my son or make him imagine that he was "above them. We're in agreement about where that kind of thinking may lead.There are probably more assertive ways I could have handled it with his school or made it less of a chore at home.
It's on my list to check out the math curriculum for next year. I think DS would do best if he can strongly relate to the material. I never found my niche in math until I had a concrete sense of how I could implement it in life. He's much the same.
My friends with boys say that their boys loved graphic novels and comic books. I grew up reading "Little House on the Prairie" so it's a stretch for me- but I can see where it will be a mistake for me to be so controlling of his reading choices.
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by CamMom View Post

My friends with boys say that their boys loved graphic novels and comic books. I grew up reading "Little House on the Prairie" so it's a stretch for me- but I can see where it will be a mistake for me to be so controlling of his reading choices.

 

My nephew has a PhD and a post-doctoral fellowship in comics ... er... graphic novel literature. I too grew up with traditional literature and a bit of snooty attitude to comics. My nephew and my children have helped me become rather a fan of the graphic novel as an art.

 

A beautiful (but very adult) graphic novel I'd recommend is Habibi by Craig Thompson, or else Blankets by the same author. Shaun Tan has some great stuff for kids and adults alike -- I agree that The Arrival is awesome. For the young adult crowd: American Born Chinese by Gene Yang, Maus by Art Spiegelman and Larry Gonick's "Cartoon Histories" are amazing for pre-teens and up. My 10-year-old is completely smitten by Jay Hosler's natural history / fantasy in graphic novel form ("Optical Allusions" etc.). 

 

And the most helpful book for me in overcoming my anti-graphic-novel bias was Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics." It's witty, informative and I found it very enlightening, opening my mind to all the symbolic stuff and the various illustrative conventions I didn't get -- who knew about aspect-to-aspect frame transitions, or the different ways gutters can be employed between frames?

 

One thing I've noticed is how to a very great extent the design and story-telling elements of comics are directly applicable to web design. Many of the reviews of McCloud's book refer to its helpfulness to web designers. Familiarity with graphic novel tricks and conventions definitely builds marketable 21st century skills for tech design folk. 

 

Miranda

post #16 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thanks Miranda- my son inhaled the Amulet series in a few days and is reading Bone by Jeff Smith. He begs for more Calvin amd Hobbes books (I will admit that Calvin and Hobbes is great). My concern (although I'm letting it go for now) is supporting his reading ability and comprehension. I became an advanced reader as kid by reading big, dense books- but this a new era. I admit the art can be amazing. He became quite animated while describing the Amulet plot this evening. He just started Diary of a Wimpy Kid (not sure where it falls in the comic vs. book) but he likes rude humor and antics, so it's a big hit.
post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by CamMom View Post
 My son gets overwhelmed by the amount of work in the larger problem- screeching that he will "never" finish it- even though it's not that big of leap. It seems to be maturity- he doesn't like to write things down.

 

 

I would also try to remember that it may seem like not a big leap to you....it could be to him. At 6, perception plays pretty heavily on opinions on how hard/easy something ease.

 

My 7 year olds are able to read hard text. They test at high levels...but one DD is just not 'ready' to read books without some sort of visual aide. All her favorite chapter books have little sketches every few pages and/or at the start of chapters. She just is not ready to give that up if there are no pictures of any kind...she has said so herself. Even if the actual reading material/text/font is at a level below her standard interest/independent level.As a result- She reads A LOT of fiction (which tends to have more pictures or photos/illustrations)! Her teacher and I encourage, but do not demand her to read anything she doesnt want to. She can-- but why push her if she is uncomfortable.She is way ahead of grade level- so we wait for her to WANT to do it.  I chuckle because according to my mom, I did the same thing (reluctant to let go of illustrated text).

 

Also -- does he not like to write it down because it is hard to do. Or he simply dislikes writing. Or he just developmentally isnt ready for a lot of writing yet. (which is totally normal for a 6 year old both from a social/emotional and a fine motor stand point).

 

If you run into the 'TOO MUCH' problem at school- you can block papers/work/problems/etc. Simply take a small sheet of paper and cover anything he does not have to work on...move the sheet down (or over or across-- depending on what he is doing). Somehow- cutting out the visual 'noise' and the sheer volume helps some students focus. Just a thought- I have used this tool  a lot with kiddos and it works fairly well when it is simply the 'amount' that bothers them vs frustration at the skill itself.


Edited by KCMichigan - 7/23/13 at 7:58pm
post #18 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thanks KCMichigan- it is the sheer amount, and probably the fact that I've made it into a chore. I like the idea of covering up sections of the paper- although his teachers indicate that he has no trouble at school staying on task and focused. The same with the reading- I made it a requirement, so he pushed back. I can't thank everyone enough- this business of parenting isn't always intuitive- at least for me. It's nice to have a supportive community willing to be thoughtful and honest.
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by CamMom View Post
 I became an advanced reader as kid by reading big, dense books- but this a new era. 

Last thought! And just because this thread made me ponder/process some of my own ideas!

 

I am not sure if it could just be a personality difference or as I previously said a 'perception' thing.

 

My DD chewed through the  50+ blasted  fluffy predictable rainbow magic books....which at 80 or so pages each on average are slim. But if you added even just 6- all the sudden that is 480 pages! There is no way one of my DD would have touched a book that was that long!- even if it was an omnibus edition with the exact same text as the original 6 books. Even showing her it was 6 smaller books would not have changed anything. It simply would have been visually overwhelming to even think about it to her.

 

As an adult- I love to read- love love love it. But I also tend to prefer a trilogy or series vs a huge giant all encompassing book. Why? I dont know- maybe I like to delve into in and finish it quickly. Maybe it is preconceived notions that it would be dry and/or take too long to really get invested in.

 

A big book in not necessarily dense and a dense book does not have to be big.  Even in Childrens literature.

 

 

That said-- my DDs (and many of their classmates)  enjoy Geronimo Stilton. It is a 3rd/4th chapter book series that has a lot of humor, action, good vocabulary, and visual support (words are funny fonts or colors,etc). They also have a series of graphic novels that relate to the books. They are fun reads! 

 

Books like Bink & Gollie Series (by Kate DiCamillo) is light on text..not many words but excellent vocabulary and lots to talk/discuss/think about.

 

Another example is "The Giving Tree' a fairly quick read- but a lot to consider and think about.

 

As far as Graphic Novels: Geronimo Stilton, Squish, Binky the Space Cat series, and Invention of Hugo Cabaret  are all good. Some are funny, some are thought provoking- some are both. They are all enjoyable reads that show a lot of interesting points of view- using altered history, humor, and fantasy.

 

 

Binky the space cat seems so....so light. But after readying, my girls started to do comics about what OUR car might be thinking. They renamed common things (like Binky calls flys - aliens-) and really were tickled at the whole concept.  What the ants might be thinking...etc. It really gave them a way to 'see' the world a bit differently (and with a sense of humor- the cat toots a lot!).  Is it light- for sure! Is it funny- yes. Did it interest them and keep them thinking- yes.  So silly tooting Binky is a favorite when we need a giggle.


Edited by KCMichigan - 7/23/13 at 8:02pm
post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by CamMom View Post

I became an advanced reader as kid by reading big, dense books- 

 

Is it okay with you if he doesn't become an advanced reader as a young child? I'd suggest making your peace with that first, as a starting point. He's six and clearly above grade level: no worries, mama! I think you should make your peace with however things unfold with him and not assume he should be continuing to improve at a steady rate ... especially not the same way you did. Rather than trying to support growth in his reading ability, just support his love of reading, even (especially!) if this means he wants to back away from additional challenge for a time. He may very well become an advanced reader at a young age: he's well on his way. But I think you should let go of that expectation and let it unfold naturally according to his interest and inclinations, motivated by his joy in discovery and mastery. 

 

KCM is right on about the "blocking" when things seem like too much. Even my incredibly mature, focused 10-year-old benefits from this. (Heck, I often do this for myself!) Recently she's been complaining about how much violin music she has to prepare for chamber music camp (which she begged to enrol in), and how long it takes to do the practicing. And it is a heck of a lot of work for someone who hasn't traditionally practiced very much. So I told her to use an egg timer for each piece. She'll happily do 10 minutes on each piece, five times over, and say that her practicing felt short. Whereas doing 50 minutes felt like it took *forever.*

 

Miranda

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