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Old 10-25-2011, 09:19 AM
 
11,614 posts, read 19,729,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post

....but the kids that like to read will read the AR books plus their own choices.
I have found the opposite to be true. AR turned reading into a chore for my kids (who do like to read and found MANY books not on the AR list for their school).
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
Tne problem with this type of situation is the kids (and some teachers frankly) become more invested in the amount of points than in the actual reading.
Just wanted to say thank you for all the info everyone has provided as I did not know A THING about AR.

From what I gathered here, it does sound indeed like something to be handled with caution. In my ideal world, my kids would grab books off shelves simply because they like to read. Once they would get into the book, they won't put it down because they burn to find out what's next. As in "naturally avid reader". No school-related incentives, no pressures, no points, no contests, no readings logs - nothing. That would be my ideal world.

Now, I've been told that this too is genetic and that some children, despite learning the mechanics of reading perfectly, will simply never become THAT kind of child who burns to read.

I don't know whether such kids would be helped, untouched or even harmed by "reading incentive programs".

For now, my kindergartner is in the high ability reading group but I am not sure I see in him yet the avid reader I am dreaming of. :-)
He LOVES chapter books (such as Little House, Dragon of the Lonely Island, etc) but he wants me to read them to him. His fluency is not at the level where he would be able to fly through such books that he enjoys listening to.

Thanks again for the details everyone.
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Denver area
21,142 posts, read 22,127,166 times
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Just because you are an avid reader does not mean your child will naturally follow suit. I learned that the hard way LOL. Kids are little individuals and have their own likes, dislikes, passions and abilities which may not mirror our own. That is often a horrifying discovery for a parent (myself included). As an avid reader, from a family of avid readers, who read lots and lots to my children just like I was supposed to, I have one child who "doesn't mind" reading now that she's an adult and one who pretty much avoids it if he can. I will say, both hated AR. With a passion. They were stuck reading books they found uninteresting - and sometimes were discouraged from trying books they were interested in because they were "out of range" for their AR level. I can't help but wonder how much of their dislike of reading was due to AR. What I wish, is that they would "bring back" the reading program from when I was growing up....which was the SRA Reading Lab program. Kids moved at their own pace, were forced to read a variety of types of reading (from non-fiction to poetry) and were quizzed on the content. This was separate from book reports and other indepenent book reading. It's been ages and ages ago and I was a good reader but I also know that forced me to read things and look for things in my reading that I might not have done independently.
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:08 PM
 
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I work at a library so I see lots of young readers. In my experience AR books have little impact on kids that like to read because just about any book is included. Now when my kids were younger the AR list varied by school and there was a limited selection but that is no longer true, at least at our schools. Now it's whatever is on the AR site. Take a look at it, there are thousands of books there. Kids that like to read might get some skinny AR books to get that done but they will also check out books for pleasure. I see it everyday.
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:31 PM
 
11,614 posts, read 19,729,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
I work at a library so I see lots of young readers. In my experience AR books have little impact on kids that like to read because just about any book is included. Now when my kids were younger the AR list varied by school and there was a limited selection but that is no longer true, at least at our schools. Now it's whatever is on the AR site. Take a look at it, there are thousands of books there. Kids that like to read might get some skinny AR books to get that done but they will also check out books for pleasure. I see it everyday.
Maybe things are different now but our experience was that there were many, many books not on the AR list.
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Old 10-25-2011, 08:00 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,948,952 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
Just because you are an avid reader does not mean your child will naturally follow suit. I learned that the hard way LOL. Kids are little individuals and have their own likes, dislikes, passions and abilities which may not mirror our own. That is often a horrifying discovery for a parent (myself included). As an avid reader, from a family of avid readers, who read lots and lots to my children just like I was supposed to, I have one child who "doesn't mind" reading now that she's an adult and one who pretty much avoids it if he can. I will say, both hated AR. With a passion. They were stuck reading books they found uninteresting - and sometimes were discouraged from trying books they were interested in because they were "out of range" for their AR level. I can't help but wonder how much of their dislike of reading was due to AR. What I wish, is that they would "bring back" the reading program from when I was growing up....which was the SRA Reading Lab program. Kids moved at their own pace, were forced to read a variety of types of reading (from non-fiction to poetry) and were quizzed on the content. This was separate from book reports and other indepenent book reading. It's been ages and ages ago and I was a good reader but I also know that forced me to read things and look for things in my reading that I might not have done independently.
I completely understand - and would not be surprised that such programs can put a damper on the pleasure for reading itself.

I do know of a "program" that worked for my generation, back in my country: complete dearth of alternatives.

When TV simply doesn't exist (not the object in the home but the actual broadcasting), electronics of any sort do not exist, toys are very few, if any...then you can actually get to a point where you will want to bang your head against the wall with boredom.
Then you see a book. You reach out, open it, start reading and the boredom magically disappears.

While some children will be avid readers REGARDLESS of environment and alternatives available, many will simply pick the more facile options when given a choice. That includes TV, video games and toys.

I know that with my kids, books would not win in a contest with electronics.

Constantly acting as gate keepers and controlling the environment so books can take front seat sometimes - can get very tiresome for parents.

This is probably why they invent all sorts of programs to "encourage" reading and provide incentives...oh, well.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:30 PM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,637 posts, read 5,266,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Every book is on the AR list, which tests your school has available depends on how much they want to spend on buying the tests.

I am currently reading a book by a local author who was a veterinarian for around 30 years to the DD at bedtime. She absolutely loves it. It's one of the few books I've "caught" her reading by herself before we hit the hay.

It, and its companion book, are not on the AR list. Neither is another book we read which is a compilation of stories from a surgeon.

I recently went through another pile of old books that I purchased from Goodwill over the years past (as I did each time I bought the books in the first place).

Out of 15 books, 11 weren't listed on the book list last year, and having recently checked, only 4 of those 11 are now on the list, so no, every book isn't on the list.

Every new book on the market maybe, but not all books. I looked on the national book list.
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:36 AM
 
15,299 posts, read 16,854,240 times
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Roald Dahl is doing the trick for my 9 year old granddaughter. She loves humor and his books are often very funny. She is reading The Twits, atm.
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:41 PM
 
Location: California
178 posts, read 282,989 times
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I have a 7th grader and a 4th grader. My oldest is of course done with the AR program. SHe is an above average reader. She reads for enjoyment. I liked the AR program for her because it helped us track how fast she was reading. It was taking her two three weeks to take a test. We realized she was reading the books three or four times before she would take a test. She enjoyed them so much she just wanted to read them over and over again. Which is good but she also didn't like challenging herself. Seeing the tests help us to push her to her a higher level. My younger daughter struggles with reading. She starts out the school year below grade level and we have to really work with her to get her back on track. It seems to be getting a little more enjoyable. But I think the Ar test helped us to identify some of our childrens weaknesses to make them stronger. Once in a while my daughter would find a book she wanted to read that wasn't on the AR list. I would still let her read it. I guess if a tool is abused it could cause harm, but that has not been my experience.
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:35 AM
 
634 posts, read 1,313,602 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
I work at a library so I see lots of young readers. In my experience AR books have little impact on kids that like to read because just about any book is included.
As a media specialist in an elementary library, I did not find this at all. Kids who like to read are just as focused on whether a book is on AR if AR is part of their grade. They definitely seem to enjoy reading the leveled books more than reluctant readers, but when AR is in your school and is given so much importance by teachers, kids get that message.

My own 7-grade daughter has always loved to read; her current STAR score is 12.8+. However, she also refuses to read a non-AR book during the school year, even when she has gotten all of her points. She enjoys the summer because she can finally choose books with abandon.

Her problem? Since her reading level is so much higher than her grade level, it is difficult to find books appropriate and interesting for her age level that are within her level.
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