Anyone else sick of the read read read to your child campaigns? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 01:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jake&zaxmom
Fast forward to last Friday. I had him tested using the Woodcock-Johnson one year early. In North Carolina, homeschooled children have to be tested using a Nationally normed test once a year beginning at age 7. Jake is six. During the consult after the test, I learned that his reading ability was phenomenal. He tested at 4th grade 6th month! but his ability to process auditory information was "significantly deficient" THAT'S why he doesn't like to be read to!!! He has to work so hard to get meaning out of auditory information that he just tunes it out. His learning style is definitely visual and when he has to get information only by hearing it, he struggles. The tester gave me several ideas for building his skills in deriving meaning from auditory information but I was just SO HAPPY to have a reason for his resistance to hearing me read aloud.
That is really interesting. While I loved being read to as a child, I don't really like it now. I will sometimes read aloud to dh (a parenting book, for example) and he really absorbs it, but if someone tries to read something to me I just cannot focus at all. I really dislike it, and much prefer to read it myself.

And Shannon - OMG, VC Andrews - is that the Flowers in the Attic series? I loved that garbage when I was a kid! I still can't look at powdered donuts without thinking of that book. I too read a large variety of both quality and not so quality literature. One of my favorites was To Kill a Mockingbird, but I would be lying if I said I didn't read my share of brain candy.
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#62 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 01:46 PM
 
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It does drive me crazy, too. I feel that those of us who read to our children would no matter what and don't need condescending ad campaigns, and those who don't won't no matter what. I don't think the ad campaigns do any good.

(As an example of "condescending", a friend who is a college English professor bought my daughter several books for her second birthday. Excellent present, great choice of books, very very appreciated... until she said, "Yeah, I picked them because kids just get too many toys. How many books do they get?" Uh, have you *seen* how many books we own? Have you considered who you're talking to? You know how many hours we spend reading! We love getting new books, but getting them under the premise of "my kids don't read enough so the gift giver needs to force the issue" was kind of insulting. Clearly she didn't intend it as such, and she does know me well enough to know that we read a lot. But, she just buys into that rubric that "all kids need more books for their own good, despite their own preferences" that assumes that their preference is not to read.)

I am a huge reader, as is most of my family. I always believed that people had to be readers in order to be intelligent, literate and worthwhile. Then I met my husband. He hates to read. He's extremely erudite, very well educated and clever. He reads when he absolutely has to, mostly technical books. I sometimes wonder if he had an undiagnosed reading disorder. He reads very slowly, and says that he just finds the whole process to be insufferably boring because it happens so slowly. Yet, he hasn't suffered in life as a result of not being a reader. It's really opened my eyes to the fact that there are other ways of being intelligent and of absorbing information. He does read news and things online, thus keeping up with what's going on in the world. He just doesn't have patience to sit and read a novel or a non-fiction book. Interestingly, I've read so many books, I can't remember most of them. He has fantastic recall of every book he's read. Which one of us is better off? Am I better for spending my time filling my brain with so much information I can't retain it all? Or is he better for reading only what he finds valuable, then getting up and going and *doing* something?

Another eye-opener was learning about the Waldorf methods, and concurrently seeing how my girls learn. I put those things in historical perspective - the fact that, historically, most people had few if any books and children had none, and yet people learned to read, think and function intelligently in society. I came to the conclusion that early reading (both being read to and learning to read early) is a wonderful thing, but not the end-all-and-be-all of learning and child rearing.

I do not believe that the act of reading is in any danger in our society. If it were, there wouldn't be quite so many Barnes and Nobles in every state, would there? Amazon.com wouldn't be doing so much business. Children, by and large, learn to read. Many of them learn to love it. Those who don't manage to go on to live fruitful lives anyway. And, I really think that most of the kids who grow up thinking they hate reading are that way because they were pressured to read before they were ready and learned to associate it with frustration. That's another bad aspect of all these "Read" campaigns - continuing to screw up the pressure on kids who aren't ready yet.

Neither of my girls had any interest in sitting to hear a story at a young age. Both would (and Anika still does) rip the book out of my hands, try to turn the pages and shut the book, climb over me and lay on top of it. They were clearly more interested in physical play and were actively rejecting the whole "sit still and read" idea. I really worried about it with Talia, but suddenly around two years old, all she wanted to do was sit for stories. We'd sit for hours. So, I'm less nervous about Anika being the same way now. She'll come around. I don't think she'll be stunted for life because she didn't know that penguins come from Antartica before she was 2 years old. She's got plenty of time to learn the facts that people seem to think that young kids desperately need to learn from books. Meanwhile, she's learning how to pick peas in the garden, look for ladybugs in the grass, pedal a tricycle, hull strawberries and put them in the blender, sort toys into their bins, follow her sister everywhere.

I see this push to encourage kids to read early as part of the social drive to turn kids into consumers of information and learning, and it's not conducive to them becoming involved, self-directed learners. Books are valuable tools, and they are a fantastic passtime. But, in this push for book-learning, we seem to forget that there are other ways to learn and do, and those things are just as important if not more important. We can read about gardening all we want, but we'll starve to death if we don't get out there and actually get our hands dirty. But, we can learn to garden without ever reading a book if need be.
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#63 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 02:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
Wow, that's such a different way to see it. I really feel like my kids know so much about the world directly as a result of being read to.
Yep, that is an interesting way to look at it. DD is only 20 months, so I haven't got to worry about her learning about predators yet She fascinates me. One day she was all about "balls". She saw one at the store that looked like the one at home, and then she say a big concrete one outside the grocery. It was so exciting for her. Another day it was "flowers". Anybody with a round belly has a "baby" like mom!

I just really gravitate to the Waldorf ideas - pointing out the spider eating the fly in real life. But I'm also a fan of whatever works.
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#64 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 02:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ShannonCC
I'm another one who thinks whatever you read is good.
Not me. There are good books and there are crummy books. There are books that you can learn from and books that are the equivalent of corn syrup mixed with rock candy. There are books that inspire and there are books that are nothing but toilet humor. There are books that teach positive values and books that model awful behavior.

I won't completely preclude my kids from reading trash books, but I will assist them in selecting books so that the vast majority of what they read isn't just a complete waste of time.

Btw, I also think that most kids who love to read would rather read good books most of the time. I always hated stuff like Sweet Valley High and most of my friends who loved to read did, too.

Namaste!
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#65 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 02:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by oceanbaby
To comment on some pp re the "quality" of books: I don't think that all books need to be classics to be considered legitimate. I believe that anything a child is interested in reading is valuable. Yes, I am a bit dismayed that ds2 consistently chooses the few Thomas the Train books we have as the ones he wants me to read, often rejecting any others that I pick out, but he listens and enjoys them while I do read. And now his repertoire is starting to expand. I think that if I had only read him things that interested me, ignoring his interests, that he would probably have been turned off to reading in general. So whether it's the side of a cereal box or War and Peace (which I as an avid reader have actually never read), it's all good in my book!
I don't mean classics, but I just see a lot of grown-ups actually actively encouraging the junk and making the poor quality choice FOR their kids in order to "entice" kids to read--as if reading isn't desirable. Sometimes they say kids just aren't going to want to read anything better, so they don't even offer it. Or that the books have to be superficial fluff, and basically quick, easy reads, to compete with the television.

(I mentioned it because I feel that the "quality doesn't matter" mantra is attached inseparably to the kids' literacy movement, and that it goes too far. Not that kids shouldn't read less literary things if they want to, but just that at a certain point it seems to cause adults to direct kids specifically to poor quality reading, and that is going too far. )

I am happy to accept my kids choosing to read books I don't think are very good quality. I won't read to them from something that I really can't tolerate, such as Junie B. Jones or the disney books that just contain short choppy dialogue from the movies. I find reading an unpleasant experience at that point and I think I have the right to draw that line. (Okay, every once in a while I can get through a disney picture book...) But they can help themselves to them and read themselves. From the library. But I don't tend to acquire such things for our home.

BTW Thomas the Tank Engine is fine IMO. They're good plots and well-written, and my Aspie son gets a lot from the social content which is very strong.

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#66 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 03:14 PM
 
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I like toilet humor

And with that I will gracefully bow out of this conversation
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#67 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 03:50 PM
 
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Heck no, I don't think it's overemphasized. The benefits of being read to and of growing up in a "reading" house have been very, very well-documented.

Not that one example makes a truth (I'm too much of a scientist for that) but we have been reading to DD since day one, and everyone always comments on her obvious love for books. Reading is also one of the few sure-fire ways for us to connect, physically and emotionally, on our frustrating days (frequent right now).

We get probably 30 new books out from the library every two weeks. DD goes crazy for them. I think the library is one of the most beautiful inventions of humankind.

All this said, DD shows every sign of becoming a very early reader, and if she is anything like me she will not permit parents to read to her once she can read on her own (faster!). However, this doesn't mean we won't try. Also, even if your child doesn't like to be read to anymore you can still be actively involved in talking about books, picking out books, etc.

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#68 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 04:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jake&zaxmom
THAT'S why he doesn't like to be read to!!! He has to work so hard to get meaning out of auditory information that he just tunes it out. His learning style is definitely visual and when he has to get information only by hearing it, he struggles.
I think this is how I am. When I have to listen to something read aloud, I process it by closing my eyes and visualizing it. It's a heck of a lot harder than just reading the text myself, and it takes several times as long.

Maybe that's why all this "read to your child!" stuff annoys me. I just can't comprehend how it feels to enjoy reading aloud or being read to.
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#69 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 04:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
Wow, that's such a different way to see it. I really feel like my kids know so much about the world directly as a result of being read to. They know about predators and prey and carnivores and omnivores and herbivores and coniferous trees and deciduous trees and the San Francisco Earthquake and chariot races and the difference between a jungle and a rainforest and that whales live in saltwater and that penguins only live in the Antarctic and polar bears only live in the Arctic and that the native people of Australia walked and boated there from Africa and that the earth has an invisible belt called the Equator and that volcanos happen because of hot magma under the crust and that Anansi is a West African folk tale and ...
Fine, but I knew all that kind of stuff when I was 4 or 5 by READING. I don't see any advantage to having people read it out loud to me (well, in my case, I flat-out refused to let them). I guess if you have kids who enjoy hearing it and they can't read yet, it could be fun ... but as I said above, I personally can't wrap my brain around the concept of reading aloud being "fun" for anyone.
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#70 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 05:06 PM
 
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I just think it's sad people need to be reminded to read to their kids.
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#71 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 05:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel
I guess if you have kids who enjoy hearing it and they can't read yet, it could be fun ... but as I said above, I personally can't wrap my brain around the concept of reading aloud being "fun" for anyone.
I knew how to read by age 5 and I still loved being read to. My mom read to me till I was around 15. She read me Little Women, Les Miserables, the Earthsea trilogy, Treasure Island, all kinds of stuff. Those are great memories for me.

I won't argue with anyone who says that she doesn't enjoy being read to, but I'd bet that those folks are in the minority. Back when I taught HS, my 9th graders loved it when I read aloud to them. A lot of them had poor reading skills but excellent comprehension and it worked out well for them.
Dh and I read aloud to each other, too. When I'm working on long, boring projects, I really enjoy books on tape.

So no, I don't think these campaigns are overblown. Most kids who are read to (with exceptions such as pp's son) end up loving to read. How can something so vital be overemphasized?
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#72 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 05:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
I wish they could make it mandatory through age 12 to be read to every day -- and not from Junie B. Jones crapola either, but the good stuff.

I teach English. Sorry. I don't think it's overblown at all.
ARE YOU IN MY HOUSE??????? OT RANT HERE:

I had never heard of Junie B Jones before yesterday, when my parents gave my child, for her birthday no less, Junie B Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus.

Ummmm. I am a secular homeschooler, but I am way irritated by this book.
"stupid" is not a word we use in our house. "I hate you" is not a phrase we use in our house. "I can beat him up" is a concept I had to explain while reading the damn thing to my kids, and now they're using it in super hero play. This was all before she even got off the bus for her (oh yes)!!!!!!!!!! first day of kindergarten.

Passive aggressive way to say "we don't like you homeschooling" much?
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#73 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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I LOVE to read - I hate listening to something being read to me. Guess I'm with pookel on this one.
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#74 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 06:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
Not me. There are good books and there are crummy books. There are books that you can learn from and books that are the equivalent of corn syrup mixed with rock candy. There are books that inspire and there are books that are nothing but toilet humor. There are books that teach positive values and books that model awful behavior.
Put me smack dab in the middle of this road. On one hand, I absolutely believe that reading something, anything, is more important than WHAT is being read.

On the other hand, I remember reading a book in high school--a Star Trek novel--and thinking, this is so bad... but it was published, so it must just be me. If the writer really were bad, they wouldn't have paid her for it. Then, recently (within the past year or so), I came across a history of fan fiction. Apparently, fanfic all started with Star Trek, long before the novels, and in the course of covering the history of Star Trek novels, the article mentioned a "really bad author." It was the woman whose work I'd thought horrid all those years ago! That was when I realized--really, truly--that being a good writer isn't actually a prerequisite to getting published.

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Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)
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#75 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok please dont : . I am so glad I started this thread because now I see that I am actually in the serious minority here I wasnt read to really as a kid. I learned to read in Kindergarten (pretty much) and then read what I needed to for school and some nancy drew books and other stuff for fun but I've never "loved" reading. I read to my kids but not every day and I homeschool! : I am reading a few books for research right now but honestly, our home watches way more tv than reads. My oldest dd reads for pleasure but all of my kids would MUCH rather sit and watch tv then sit down and read or be read to. Do I see something wrong with this? Well up until I started this thread, I didnt think that being "forced" to love reading was a good idea. I hated the idea of anyone shoving the idea of reading all the time down my throat. I just dont enjoy it ....I'm a visual person. I need to see and hear.....I've always dealt with reading comprehension issues.
I know that reading is essential but it feels so fake to force it on my kids....but yes, I do see that if I turn off the tv and read more and teach my kids to get info from reading than from TV, then I will be raising smarter more successful children? Do you want to hear the kicker? My dad is a teacher and my mom a SAHM and I dont remember them EVER reading to me

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#76 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 06:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel
Fine, but I knew all that kind of stuff when I was 4 or 5 by READING. I don't see any advantage to having people read it out loud to me
Well, that's great and all, but the kids I was referring to are 3 and 4 and they can't read yet ... so should I just limit them to only information they can get by themselves? They are only allowed to know that which doesn't have to be read to them?

Namaste!
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#77 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 06:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
Well, that's great and all, but the kids I was referring to are 3 and 4 and they can't read yet ... so should I just limit them to only information they can get by themselves? They are only allowed to know that which doesn't have to be read to them?
I didn't say there was anything wrong with reading to them. A lot of people here are talking about reading to their kids even after their kids know how to read. I just don't see the point of that. If it's really fun for my kids, and they ask for it, I can accommodate them - but reading aloud to them will never be my default choice.

My son is only 14 months, but he doesn't like being read to and won't sit still for it. Nor will he go off and play while passively listening to me. If I'm reading out loud, then he will get annoyed because I'm looking at the book and doing what I want to do instead of doing what *he* wants to do and playing with him.

For people who enjoy reading out loud to their kids and who have kids who like listening to it, great. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I just don't think that reading aloud is as important for everyone as some people here seem to think.
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#78 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 06:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mykdsmomy
I know that reading is essential but it feels so fake to force it on my kids
I don't think it has to be forced on them. Start easy with 15 minutes of read-aloud a day. Pick an engaging book and stop at a cliffhanger, if you can. Gradually lengthen the time you read until you hit their limit. If they never learn to love it, fine, but it certainly won't hurt them to be read to, and they may just remember it as some of their fondest childhood memories. I know I do. I especially loved it when my dad read to me books that HIS parents had read to him: My Father's Dragon, Rabbit Hill, and Rupert ate three that come to mind.

Btw, I do not enjoy being read to as an adult. But I LOVED it as a child, even after I could already read by myself.

Namaste!
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#79 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 06:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mykdsmomy
Ok, I know that reading is super important and obviously reading to your child is essential however, do you think they overdo the whole "read read read til your blue in the face?" The commercials, billboards, radio commercials, PSA's.....what about the kids that dont have a zest for reading? Are you supposed to push the issue? I just wonder because I didnt push reading with my kindergartener and he is reading better than my 1st grader (K is hs'd and 1st is in ps) What do you mamas think of the reading campaign??
I don't think reading to your child is at all the same as pushing reading. I read to my son till he was 12. At that point, he had a lot of books lined up I wasn't interested in spending hours and hours reading to him - and he was ready and interested by then in reading on his own. Till then, he read only non-fiction books for the information, but hadn't been interested in reading fiction on his own for pleasure. I've given books as birthday presents to children that I knew the parents would have to read to them, and frankly, I knew that might be what it took to get them to take the time to do it - I think reading to a child is a wonderful, cozy way to spend time with them, and a whole lot of parents need encouragement to spend more of that kind of time with their children.

EDIT: I just got around to reading the other posts - I didn't realize you were talking about children who didn't like being read to. I've never heard of that, but I wouldn't force it on a child. Lillian
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#80 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 07:27 PM
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I don't think shaming parents into reading is a good thing. I have talked to parents who just hate reading aloud, but do it because they think it's the right thing. I can't help but think that the child's needs would be better served by taking a walk through the park with mom, or watching and discussing a tv show, or building a birdhouse. I think kids know, too, when a parent would rather be doing something else.

I also think it's a waste to read to a kid who would rather not be read to. I do know that a lot of kids seem to need to be moving or playing while listening - my sister and brother were both like this- so maybe the issue isn't always that they don't want to listen, but that they don't want to just sit and listen.

I also think there are lots of entry-points to reading, besides being read to. If a variety of reading materials are available and parents read themselves, then chidren will want to read, too. I mean, even cereal boxes and street signs can be read. Stories can be told without books - my father used to tell my brother and I frog stories when we were little, and I must have spent hundreds of hours telling "Princess Cacie and Prince Jasper" stories. Rain used to listen to books on tape, too, and Jim Weiss storytelling tapes. I read to her, too, but that wasn't the only way she heard stories.

As far as reading to gain knowledge - I think the text in books is generally an inferior way for young children to learn about the world. They aren't generally able to process complex descriptions and think abstractly... much better to have pictures (flat or moving, i.e. televion) or real-life experience.

I was (and am) also a "read what you want" kinda mom, although I admit to making snotty comments about certain tripe...er, books. My kid did spend an entire year or more reading nothing but comics, although some were higher-quality comics. I'm not sure how much my opinion on this subject really influenced her. I read non-fiction almost exclusively, and my daughter reads only fiction. On the other hand, she reads very little of the "babysitter's club" type of stuff, and quite a few "classics".

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#81 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 07:43 PM
 
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My three LOVE to be read to, although it's not a daily thing for us. My 9 yo often reads to his brothers while I am doing homework. It is so cute seeing them all cuddled up together enjoying a story.

I have made a little chore chart for the summer and each week they complete their chores we will go to the library for some new books. They are so excited about it.

My dh grew up in a household where there were no books and he was never read to. He has a learning disability, has trouble reading and has me edit all his notes to people, for spelling and grammer. Since we've been married his reading and writing skills have improved because I have encouraged him to keep learning. In his situation I believe things could have been better for him if his parents had read to him.
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#82 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 08:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jake&zaxmom
I learned that his reading ability was phenomenal. He tested at 4th grade 6th month! but his ability to process auditory information was "significantly deficient" THAT'S why he doesn't like to be read to!!! He has to work so hard to get meaning out of auditory information that he just tunes it out. His learning style is definitely visual and when he has to get information only by hearing it, he struggles.
My dh loves listening to audiobooks...I HATED it, until I realized that if I listened while knitting, I could totally follow it. I wonder if you found something "mindless" for him to do with his hands if that would help? I was amazed...explains why I hated lectures at school....could not follow them at all. Give me a book and I was fine.
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#83 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 08:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bethla
I have made a little chore chart for the summer and each week they complete their chores we will go to the library for some new books.
Perhaps I am misunderstanding you, but it seems that you are saying that you are using trips to the library as a reward for doing chores.

Shouldn't going to the library be just some sort of human right?

Namaste!
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#84 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 08:36 PM
 
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No time to read the whole thread right now, but I think it's more important that parents be readers than that they read to their kids. Parents can't talk about how important reading is if they don't enjoy reading.
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#85 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 09:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel
For people who enjoy reading out loud to their kids and who have kids who like listening to it, great. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I just don't think that reading aloud is as important for everyone as some people here seem to think.
I've learned 4 languages so far, love to read and write, have a graudate degree in linguistics. I just don't feel being read to out loud at any age is all that important. If it something that works for you, an activity that you and your kids enjoy, then great, but I definately do not think it is the end all for lanugage competency or literacy.

As far as "good reading" goes, how do you know good if you don't compare it to "not so good"? Taken many college literature classes, and what they are about is learning the art of critical thinking. If *all* a kid reads is "fluffy", then encouraging some deeper selections is great.

I also have to agree with the poster who said that reading is "generally an inferior way for young children to learn about the world". It is one of many ways to learn. Just cause something is "in a book" doesn't make it true either, so critical thinking has to be taught along with reading. I read every book I could get my hands on about horses as a child, but it wasn't until I was an adult and bought one of my own, started taking care of it, feeding it, training, etc. that I truly learned about horses. This is one of the primary reasons I want to homeschool - because I want my kids to learn "hands on" *every day*.
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#86 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 10:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eilonwy
I do read to them before bed, but in bed with them; they're 3.5, 2, and 2.5 months and they all still spend most nights in bed with us. But that's all I can ever squeeze in, and I'd love to be able to read with them more often...
Audio CDs are a life-saver for me. My two oldest will sit and follow a book and listen to a CD, while I fend off the baby for them. At the moment we're Magic Tree House crazy, so they listen to one of those most days, sometimes more. Dd#1 follows the book, dd#2 tends to just listen while she draws or colours at the table.

Bedtime, everyone gets to pick one book, or a chapter of an ongoing story.

Other than that, I try to find time to read to them most days, but in reality it ends up being every other day, sometimes less. The baby (18 months) demands his favourite book now most days, and I dont get away with reading it less than ten times. He's only just started showing an interest in baby books, although he does shout "Annie! Jack!" the moment we start on a Magic Tree House book.

We tend to read in spurts. If we have a free day, we often pile onto the big bed, with a big stack of books, and read our way through them. Or we read an entire chapter book in one sitting. I have to deal with ds crawling all over us and driving us nuts though at the same time - it's tough. I just wish he'd nap more often, so we could use that time.

It's tough finding time, I know what you mean. I often feel guilty that I dont read enough, but then, both my girls can read and often take themselves off with a book to read to themselves, so we cant be going far wrong.
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#87 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 10:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 2bluefish

I don't think being read *to* is all that useful. What I feel is gained by sitting dd down with a book is teaching her "attention span" and having verbal interaction with mom. It has very little to do with "reading". And once she begins to learn to read, she will learn more by my helping *her* read - than my reading to her.
Respectfully disagreeing here. For instance, we just finished a fairly challenging book together, trading off pages. It's one of those books where you really, really don't get that it's funny because the humor is very subtle and very dry -- that is, unless you read it aloud or have a good "ear" for irony. With my reading aloud, my DD could literally hear the irony and knew, therefore, not to take certain characters or situations very seriously. I could also help make the characters more "real" by giving them different voices. Moreover, we stopped at points in the narrative where I thought the interaction would be too much between the lines for my DD to understand and we talked about it, reacted to it, and so on. She already decodes words well and understands plot and characterization, but hey -- she's five. There's only so much she knows about social interactions of a few centuries ago. Reading with her got her to understand so much more than the act of reading.
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#88 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 10:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by oceanbaby

To comment on some pp re the "quality" of books: I don't think that all books need to be classics to be considered legitimate. I believe that anything a child is interested in reading is valuable. Yes, I am a bit dismayed that ds2 consistently chooses the few Thomas the Train books we have as the ones he wants me to read, often rejecting any others that I pick out, but he listens and enjoys them while I do read. And now his repertoire is starting to expand. I think that if I had only read him things that interested me, ignoring his interests, that he would probably have been turned off to reading in general. So whether it's the side of a cereal box or War and Peace (which I as an avid reader have actually never read), it's all good in my book!
To me, the idea is kind've akin to the logic that "anything a child eats is good for them." For the same reasons, I disagree with both ideas. To be sure, eating is better than starvation. If you offered me a choice of whether my child should starve or eat a McBurger, I would eagerly choose the McBurger, scary preservatives, e.coli, and all.

However, the McBooks of this world have all the intellectual value (and much of the poison) that the McBurgers do. Short sentences. One-dimensional characters. Duh vocabulary. And grammatically incorrect sentence structures.

Contrast ANY sentence in Junie B. Jones with any sentence in E.B. White, in C.S. Lewis, in Madeleine L'Engle, Louisa May Alcott, and it's like -- well, it's like the difference between a dry McBurger patty and filet mignon.

I am strongly passionate about this subject because I try to feed filet mignon to people who were raised on McBurgers. When they encounter it, their teeth hurt, it's hard to chew, there's no ketchup, and they hate it. They don't understand how characters can be morally ambiguous, as opposed to simplistically good or bad; they don't have patience for a long Poe sentence, with a million dependent clauses -- clauses that wind around and down and through a million prepositional phrases as if you were descending a slow spiral staircase into the dark and dank subconscious of the unprobed human mind in which evil often lurks, without losing patience and focus. They don't have patience for description that takes more than a sentence or two; they can't "hear" tone at all. Television, of course, is to blame for the most part, but so is a steady diet of McBook.

Just my opinion.
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#89 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 10:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by frontierpsych
I never could get into Billy Budd. For a short book it seemed awefully drawn out. On the other hand, I read War and Peace in the third grade, because my teacher told me I couldn't. I did a book report on it and everything! (My dad had the book, I have it now) later found out I had a 12th grade reading level! (Could it have had something to do with the fact i was read to a LOT as a child?) I'm a big lit. buff though. I'm 19, no college, but I've probably read more of the American canon of literature than many college grads!

READ READ READ!!!
It's a lot more fun once you realize it's all about repressed homosexuality...like much of Melville. Hey, until Frank Herbert introduced the world to Dune 's giant sandworms, Melville's Moby-Dick had the biggest phallic symbol in literature. Big white sperm...whale.
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#90 of 184 Old 06-13-2006, 10:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ShannonCC
I like toilet humor

And with that I will gracefully bow out of this conversation
Just don't aim your butt in our direction.
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