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#61 of 124 Old 01-02-2011, 12:40 PM
 
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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.

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#62 of 124 Old 01-02-2011, 12:58 PM
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 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...


 
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#63 of 124 Old 01-02-2011, 01:08 PM
 
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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.


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#64 of 124 Old 01-02-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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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.

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#65 of 124 Old 01-02-2011, 02:45 PM
 
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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.
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#66 of 124 Old 01-02-2011, 03:16 PM
 
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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.

 

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#67 of 124 Old 01-02-2011, 03:56 PM
 
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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.

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#68 of 124 Old 01-02-2011, 04:04 PM
 
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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.

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#69 of 124 Old 01-03-2011, 09:37 AM
 
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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.

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#70 of 124 Old 01-03-2011, 09:50 AM
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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.


 
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#71 of 124 Old 01-03-2011, 10:07 AM
 
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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."

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#72 of 124 Old 01-03-2011, 10:17 AM
 
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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.


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#73 of 124 Old 01-03-2011, 10:19 AM
 
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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. :)

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#74 of 124 Old 01-03-2011, 10:20 AM
 
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I don't really limit one way or the other.  But I do suggest books that I think they might enjoy. 

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#75 of 124 Old 01-03-2011, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

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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.


 

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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.

 

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 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.

 

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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.

 


 


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#76 of 124 Old 01-03-2011, 03:49 PM
 
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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. 

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#77 of 124 Old 01-03-2011, 04:03 PM
 
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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.

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#78 of 124 Old 01-04-2011, 06:39 AM
 
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I don't really limit what they get unless it's really inappropriate.

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#79 of 124 Old 01-04-2011, 06:56 AM
 
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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.


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#80 of 124 Old 01-04-2011, 04:25 PM
 
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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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#81 of 124 Old 01-04-2011, 04:42 PM
 
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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.


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#82 of 124 Old 01-04-2011, 09:14 PM
 
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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.

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#83 of 124 Old 01-04-2011, 11:15 PM
 
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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.


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#84 of 124 Old 01-05-2011, 05:30 AM
 
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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".

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#85 of 124 Old 01-05-2011, 10:35 AM
 
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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.

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#86 of 124 Old 01-06-2011, 01:33 AM
 
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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.


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#87 of 124 Old 01-07-2011, 07:38 AM
 
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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. 


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#88 of 124 Old 01-07-2011, 08:23 AM
 
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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.

 

  

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#89 of 124 Old 01-07-2011, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.


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#90 of 124 Old 01-07-2011, 09:17 AM
 
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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.

 

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