2
   

Cram your "reading calendar" where the sun don't shine.

 
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 05:50 am
Thomas wrote:
If I was in Boomerang's or Mo's role, I would vehemently oppose the reading calendar, too. It would be a serious imposition by the school onto my privacy and my family life. Reading is personal. What I read in the privacy of my room is nobody else's business. I would hate this to be monitored and judged by outsiders.

Granted, the reading list policy in Mo's school isn't the same thing. Its purpose is much more benign, and its punishment for non-compliance isn't a jail sentence, just a loss of brownie points in school. But as an intrusion into people's private family life, it's close enough to creep me out.

The inventors of reading calendars ought to be ashamed of themselves.


I am sooo in agreement with this.

It smacks of "you WILL have fun, even if I have to force you."

I wonder what would happen if some big mucky muck, important to the school board, had a child who responded like mo? Probably "alternatives" would be provided.

I would say (in part) the teacher "If the objective is to get mo to read better and enjoy reading, obviously you have failed"....and yes, I would say YOU, blaming it on some system allows her to veer away from her responsibility. Making it that "You" have failed puts the onus on her and her direct relationship with mo.

Then, I would ask, and re-ask "What does it matter if I write in the log, or mo?" If mo is reading, it will get marked down, whether by you or him is irrelevant.

In later years, when mo discovers a renewable, non-polluting energy source, is it going to matter if he enters the data into the system, or his assistant?

Mo is busy doing important brain work, leave the pencil pushing to his assistant boom.

"Oh....if we let mo do it this way, other children will want to do it that way too"

So? Will they be reading?

Open mo's imagination, or break his spirt, all over some scribbles of graphite on a piece of paper.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 05:59 am
We fill in the logs ourselves, so that is done some places that have logs. Sozlet gets homework (read pages 45-50 in the book her group is reading, for example), she does it, I write the date + name of the book and my initials, and then something in the "comments" section if I want. Nothing about time, and she reads a bit but doesn't write anything.

I agree it's a dumb idea -- I get why, I think (first graders can't be trusted to do their homework on their own, and some parents need to be roped in to monitoring this stuff, and everyone needs to have done their homework to keep up in school), but I think there are a lot of potential problems.

Anyway, glad you have a conference scheduled, hope that the teacher is amenable to adjusting things.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 07:43 am
boomerang wrote:
In kindergarten the calendar was just an initial on a calendar form to show that I had read to Mo that day.

This year he has to write the title of the book we read each night.

In both cases it is essentially a log to show that the parent has read to the child.



Since the problem seems to be related to the calendar, not the reading, talk to the teacher - go up the chain if you have to.

~~~

Quite a few young people I know have very little interest in fiction. They don't want story books!! Can books about trucks or science or whatever he's interested in count? Can it be set up so Mo decides which kinds of books are 'calendar' books and which books are off the calendar?
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 08:06 am
Could this be another symptom of Mo's discontent when the lines between "school" and "home" are violated?
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 08:21 am
We have reading logs for Duckie. They sit empty in his homework folder going to and from school. Each day his homework assignment includes 15 minutes of reading that he must log on the sheet. Duckie reads on the bus, between assignments in class, in bed, everywhere. But he never writes it down. The teacher has never said anything to me about it, presumably because she sees him reading each day. I get why they want kids to read each night, but I also get what boomer is saying.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 09:44 am
I also get why they're doing this. The No Child Left Behind Act ties federal funding for individual schools to low failure rates in reading and basic arithmetic tests. Schools must be very anxious to lose their funds, so they're doing everything they can to avoid failures at the bottom of their classes. Never mind pissing off the middle and the top of the classes, the students who read even without school supervisors breathing down their neck. Never mind alienating their parents. They're not what No Child Left Behind funds are tied to.

Luckily, if I'm about right, this should mean that Mo's teacher will cut a deal with Boomerang to let him off the hook. (As an optimist, I'm assuming she's pragmatically inclined like Duckie's.)
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 10:07 am
Wow! What interesting responses. Thank you, all! I've gone back through and reread the whole thread a few times.

Thomas makes me wonder what might happen if I started listing "Playboy" or "The Satanic Bible" on Mo's daily reading log.

Mo isn't good at reading and he's getting worse every day. Back in the olden days when reading was fun he was learning but reading is hard for him. Now that it's not fun, reading is even harder.

My reading to him does count but he has to be the one to write it on the log. Writing it down isn't a problem -- he likes to write. (Yesterday in class he wrote a book about dangerous things. He writes letters to family. He writes a lot.)

I don't really know where the problem lies - why he now cries when we read. It's heartbreaking.

Maybe the problem is that when I read to him we read about combat fighter pilots and trap door spiders and the world's biggest machines and when he has to read himself, or is read to at school it's "Pam and Tim like to run".

Maybe I need to fill the house with boring books.

<sigh>
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 10:36 am
No, definitely not. It does sound like he could use a little break from the pressure though. It sounds like he has anxiety about it because he knows/thinks he's not good at it and doesn't know how he can become good at it. What would happen if you just said that to him? Mo, I know you don't like to read because you don't think you're good at it and you don't like the subject, so what we can we do to get you where you want to be? I have no doubt that he wants to be a good reader so that he can read about all the cool things he's interested in. And he might just know himself well enough to figure out what to do.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 10:47 am
FreeDuck wrote:
I have no doubt that he wants to be a good reader so that he can read about all the cool things he's interested in.


I find this is usually the key.

Can you talk to the teacher about finding things at Mo's grade level (or a tiny bit above) on topics he enjoys, is curious about?
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 10:50 am
boomerang wrote:
Thomas makes me wonder what might happen if I started listing "Playboy" or "The Satanic Bible" on Mo's daily reading log.

Hey! Now you have me wondering too. Why don't we find out?

boomerang wrote:
and when he has to read himself, or is read to at school it's "Pam and Tim like to run".

Ewwww. That sounds as if the school subscribes to the LazyTown method of child indoctrination. I resent that. My sincerest sympathy.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 10:54 am
I had a similar problem with a former spouse's young son. (as far as subject matter at school being BORING.) We made weekly trips to Borders and Barnes and Noble, and spent hours in the childrens section finding books he wanted to (and could or almost could) read to me. He really looked forward to a new book each visit.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 11:13 am
Thomas wrote:
boomerang wrote:
Thomas makes me wonder what might happen if I started listing "Playboy" or "The Satanic Bible" on Mo's daily reading log.

Hey! Now you have me wondering too. Why don't we find out?



I thought about it, really I did. But Mo has enough stuff to deal with without me getting social services called in because I don't like the reading calendar.

Quote:

FreeDuck wrote:
Mo, I know you don't like to read because you don't think you're good at it and you don't like the subject, so what we can we do to get you where you want to be?


I like this approach and I'm going to try it!
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 11:46 am
I think I'd tell 'em where to put the calendar, but only after I'd described exactly how to fold it up so that it was all corners.



This is lazy management. Instead of measuring the skill (which is hard) they measure the work (which is easy).

Not going off on teachers, here. Lots of industries measure the wrong thing. (Don't measure uptime, which is hard, but measure how many support calls are serviced, which is easy.)



Mo (or perhaps the teacher) needs to read the opening scene of Tom Sawyer, where Tom convinces others to paint the fence because it's fun! Really!
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 11:53 am
Sorry, but reading is usually part of homework, especially in elementary
school, and I don't see anything wrong with it.

Teaching the kids non compliance doesn't really help with future school assignments, especially at that age.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 12:06 pm
Could Mo feel that other kids have more glorious reading calendars and that his puny efforts will be scorned by the teacher?
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 12:11 pm
There's nothing wrong with reading for homework, except when the child has to cry to get it done....something is wrong, and it's not mo.

At mo's age, I liked every subject, especially reading....and math.

That is until a year or 2 later, when we got into fractions, which was pretty hard, and a little intro into algebra, via trying to find out what X was.

15 years later I was still getting stomach aches and headaches trying to figure out what X was....

In all those years, and all that work, it wasn't until I was an adult in statistic class that I figured out X was supposed to be the temperature in someone attic, or the number bullets that hit a target....All I ever got as a response all those years when I asked was "X is anything you need it to be" I feel like screaming right now typing that...it made no sense.

All I knew was that I was trying as hard as I could to fit a square peg in a round hole, without know why, and everyone refused to tell me.....I was just supposed to be "compliant" and do it.

Today, I love math again, no thanks to all those people who wanted me to be compliant.

boom...my heart breaks when I think of mo crying when you read to him...what does he say when he's crying? Is he sort of letting tears go down his face, or actually making sobs?

Yes, everyone must learn some compliance in order to make things run well as a whole. But if someone is doing well and compliant in most of the other things in life and learning, aren't they allowed to be non-compliant in areas where they simply can't run with the herd?

I still feel it's the teachers job to find another way to entice mo to discover the pleasure in something, not cram some log down his throat. Poor kid probably lies in bed at night thinking about it.

Oh, but then the teacher would have to find ways to help the other kids as individuals to get interested in things they can't master? What a shame.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 12:17 pm
I've mixed feelings, in that I see Thomas' gripe re none-of-your-business when and where I read with my child, as long as the child reads at home - which should be visible in class eventually.

I swear I don't remember either of my parents helping me with homework, ever. They just wanted to know that I did it. But they were older, were children themselves in the early 1900's.

I can see where the class reading material is boring for him, even as he is still a reader with problem - interest would be part of helping him over that.

I remember being non-plussed by the "see Jane run" stuff of my early childhood. But I don't remember that the "see Jane run" stuff lasted all that long.

But.... I also think doing homework is part of life to learn to do - and worry that Mo will go through school not liking anything he "has" to do because he "has" to do it. That could be a tough pattern to crack.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 12:22 pm
Chai, from experience I can tell you that my kid not only cried, she
tried everything possible in her little ways to convince me, why she doesn't
want to do a particular homework (exclude reading, as she loves to read).

She looked at me with her big eyes full of tears and whined "Please Mom, I don't understand what they're saying, can't you help me?" And of course,
I did help her, in fact I ended up doing her entire homework - until I wised up!

One of the hardest thing I found, as a parent, is to resist helping them where they need to work things out for themselves.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 03:53 pm
Quote:

Chai said:

At mo's age, I liked every subject, especially reading....and math.


This got me thinking about what Mo does like at school -- music. The school has an excellent music program and the music teacher is Mo's hero.

Mo IS really good at music. He loves music. He's taken several music classes and some guitar classes outside of school. Mo can probably read music better than most first graders.

He most likely really shines in his music class which is making him love music even more.

I need to find a way to make reading like music.

Mo's calendar is probably puny by comparsion to most other students. He's in the "learning" group with about a third of the students in his class (the other groups might be called "reading with help" and "reading") I don't think the teacher scorns the slow to read but I'm sure she adores the reading well group.

And CJane is right. Sometimes you have to put up with tears for the greater good. Truly, he HAS to learn to read.

Usually our homework time starts out okay but he's in tears from frustration and saying "I just can't do this. It's too hard for me." By the time we get to the sight-word flip book he's not even trying anymore.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Nov, 2007 04:03 pm
boomerang wrote:
And CJane is right. Sometimes you have to put up with tears for the greater good. Truly, he HAS to learn to read.

I agree. But you said that Mo learns to read when reading is for fun, and doesn't learn to read when reading is for the calendar and the teacher. If that's true, maybe you shouldn't put up with Mo's tears. Maybe it's the teacher's tears you should put up with for the greater good.
0 Replies
 
 

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