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Old 10-02-2011, 04:58 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 22,954,830 times
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You can count me as someone who has always hated being "forced" to read. I enjoyed many of the books I read for class, but when it comes to students reading at home, then I think logs, worksheets, and other such methods can backfire. It wasn't that I DIDN'T read, or write, or do well at those things (I used to play library at home, and dreamed of becoming a writer), simply that I resented someone trying to force it on me, in part because it suggested that they thought that I wouldn't do it otherwise. Worst of all, ironically, were the incentive programs; joined the one at the library every summer because I wanted the prizes, but only filled out the bare minimum necessary to get whatever it was that they were giving away. That said, I agree that logs and the rest of it didn't KEEP me from reading, or enjoy the actual books any less. They were simply irritating, and kept me away from my books. The incentive programs also felt a bit condescending.

I think for the evening reading requirements any sort of logs, worksheets, etc. should be kept to a minimum. There's plenty of room for journals, book reviews, etc. during the school day, or for special projects. I see nothing wrong with an honor system when it comes to ongoing evening reading.
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:02 PM
 
13,837 posts, read 23,172,723 times
Reputation: 18850
Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
A recent thread has been sidetracked into talking about how to get children to read for enjoyment but also for comprehension.

Let me tell you MY story.

Children are complete sponges to information of ANY kind. Give the child an opportunity to learn and in most cases, they will pick things up very quickly.

My mother and cousins loved to read. They read everything and we ALWAYS had books all over the place. Most of the books were, well, adult books - things like college textbooks. And a collection of old textbooks that my mother rescued from dumpsters. EVERYDAY, we read SOMETHING. From age four, we would go on road trips and it was my assignment to read EVERY sign. That had to be irritating as heck to everybody else, but I liked it a lot.

We could also read about the subjects we wanted to read. We could read the newspapers, the comic books, labels, children's books, etc. We could read any other book. When I was in 2nd grade, I stole my cousins 7th grade books as THEY weren't using them. (g)

School was TREMENDOUSLY BORING. I would read the textbook in the first week or two and have to wait for months to let everyone get through it. Things I liked to read - sport books, sports magazines, and Nancy Drew books were "unworthy reading."

Back to the question:

1) When children are motivated about a subject, they want to comprehend.

2) When parents and children read together, the parent's presence increases comprehension as they can explain topics that the child does not understand.

3) Encouraging a child to use a dictionary to "look up" words that they are unfamiliar is critical.

4) "Words of the day" is a great way to expand vocabulary and is something that most kids really get into. (Actually learned this from a group of retirees in Sparks, NV).

5) Limiting children to books at their grade level is nearly criminal. If you never aspire to something more challenging, you will never get further.
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:14 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
9,493 posts, read 16,623,333 times
Reputation: 13234
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
Let me tell you MY story.

Children are complete sponges to information of ANY kind. Give the child an opportunity to learn and in most cases, they will pick things up very quickly.

My mother and cousins loved to read. They read everything and we ALWAYS had books all over the place. Most of the books were, well, adult books - things like college textbooks. And a collection of old textbooks that my mother rescued from dumpsters. EVERYDAY, we read SOMETHING. From age four, we would go on road trips and it was my assignment to read EVERY sign. That had to be irritating as heck to everybody else, but I liked it a lot.

We could also read about the subjects we wanted to read. We could read the newspapers, the comic books, labels, children's books, etc. We could read any other book. When I was in 2nd grade, I stole my cousins 7th grade books as THEY weren't using them. (g)

School was TREMENDOUSLY BORING. I would read the textbook in the first week or two and have to wait for months to let everyone get through it. Things I liked to read - sport books, sports magazines, and Nancy Drew books were "unworthy reading."

Back to the question:

1) When children are motivated about a subject, they want to comprehend.

2) When parents and children read together, the parent's presence increases comprehension as they can explain topics that the child does not understand.

3) Encouraging a child to use a dictionary to "look up" words that they are unfamiliar is critical.

4) "Words of the day" is a great way to expand vocabulary and is something that most kids really get into. (Actually learned this from a group of retirees in Sparks, NV).

5) Limiting children to books at their grade level is nearly criminal. If you never aspire to something more challenging, you will never get further.
You guys sound like the perfect candidates to be a homeschooling family--you were living the learning lifestyle. I mean that as a compliment of course.
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:27 PM
 
Location: So Ca
14,416 posts, read 13,943,221 times
Reputation: 12324
Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
I think for the evening reading requirements any sort of logs, worksheets, etc. should be kept to a minimum.
They probably shouldn't be used beyond about 4th grade. After that, they would probably be considered a nuisance.
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:32 PM
 
Location: So Ca
14,416 posts, read 13,943,221 times
Reputation: 12324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Make sure they see you reading for pleasure. Children mimic what they see.
I disagree. Give an average second or third grader a choice between a book and a video game and he won't choose the book. No matter how much he sees his parents read for pleasure. Reading is hard work at that age.

Quote:
Find books they like. Prefferably, ones their peers are reading.
Some parents object to their kids reading RL Stine, some to JK Rowling, some to The Hardy Boys series. And one kid may not enjoy what another one likes.
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:11 PM
 
13,837 posts, read 23,172,723 times
Reputation: 18850
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepka View Post
You guys sound like the perfect candidates to be a homeschooling family--you were living the learning lifestyle. I mean that as a compliment of course.
No.

If I had a child, I would send them through a Montessori school where the child would receive an education that is directed but one that moves at the speed of the child's ability to comprehend. I have never seen any reason for those capable of excelling being held back because some do not learn as quickly.

My problem with homeschooling is that the child will NEVER advance beyond the parents' educational level. My concern with the families that I have seen homeschooling (a very limited sampling) is that many of the parents have very limited education themselves. I know that statistics say that homeschooling provides a superior education for some.

In K-12, I attended five different schools as my parents moved me around as they found better opportunities for me. I received what would be called a classical education where many of the teachers used a Socratic method of asking questions to get us to the correct answers.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:26 PM
 
2,758 posts, read 3,854,899 times
Reputation: 3108
Letting them read what they want but I guess approving it. Not so much the content approval but the difficulty of it.

Approving it so a kid doesn't bring in a 3rd grade reading level book in 11th grade and stuff like that as far as approval.

I never understood the reading logs. I read for pleasure and comprehension but it was an annoying hassle to log. So I just wanted until the night before and logged it all at once just random. I still read but I wasn't jumping up to log in my pages every single time.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,884 posts, read 40,063,718 times
Reputation: 48779
Quote:
Originally Posted by stepka View Post
You guys sound like the perfect candidates to be a homeschooling family--you were living the learning lifestyle. I mean that as a compliment of course.
You know what, though? I grew up in a household like this...where the parents DIDN'T choose to homeschool. How it ended up working out was that public schooling was complementary to what we were learning at home. Our teachers in school ended up being auxiliary educators, with our parents being the primary ones. School was basically enrichment for what we were already learning from our parents. They were definitely our primary educators (unsurprisingly, each of them IS/WAS an educator by trade). This worked out well.

I'm a teacher, and personally, I wouldn't homeschool my kids, under anything but the most extreme circumstances (such as local loss of accreditation in the public schools available to me, my local public schools being unsafe, etc.). I would do what I was raised with, however, which is to handle a significant portion of educating my kids myself, in addition to whatever's being done in school. I still, however, see value in public ed.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:50 PM
 
7,497 posts, read 9,418,129 times
Reputation: 7394
I'm a strong believer that some people are just not readers and never will be, and so they'll want to spend their time doing anything else. But I think schools take the fun out of reading by not only assigning the same book to every kid (since even readers' tastes vary among each other) but also by not giving them something they can relate to. If kids can relate to book characters in some way they'll be more likely to remember them and want to follow them.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,884 posts, read 40,063,718 times
Reputation: 48779
I do see merit in varying what is read to provide options that appeal to as wide a range of interests as possible. I also see merit in providing instances where students are given choices in regard to what they are reading. I had such freedoms, myself, in my schooling, and offer the same to my students.

The purpose of school, however, is not primarily to cater to every student's individual taste. It is, after all, a preparation for life post-school, where you don't always get to choose only your favorite things and decline to do anything that doesn't fit that category.
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