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The rock meets the hard place: "I hate books!"

 
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 01:08 pm
I've worked for literacy programs for years. The majority of slow readers catch up if they just keep reading and are encouraged. This is especially true of boys. I agree with a lot of what was said here, but I think you have to be careful about giving him books that are too advanced. It's frustrating not knowing every third or fourth word and makes the story go so slow any child would become restless.

I'm sure you go to the public library with Mo. Can he find books he wants to read when he is let loose?

My only suggestion would be a mythology book like D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire. The myths are short and well written, plus lot's of good pictures. The stories are thought provoking and can be discussed afterward. There are also some good versions of Nordic myths. Mo might like relating to the gods.

0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 01:09 pm
With no disrespect to the women, it is really interesting to hear what men loved to read when they were boys. It is quite a different list than what I loved to read.

I hadn't really considered short stories and it made me think of a book I bought for Mo for Christmas --"The Dangerous Book For Boys". Sandwiched in between how to make a great paper airplane and how to make a water bomb there are sections on famous battles and brief biographies of adventurous men. Maybe those stories would be worth mining. Still, I think the writing is beyond his ability to read.....

Or, maybe we could read a how to make a bow and arrow and then make a bow and arrow.... like I could read it first then make him refrence the book to complete the project.

I think he has to want to read before he's going to find reading worthwhile.....

.... but am I just further setting him up to think other books are boring?

This is what I've kind of been doing and it isn't passing muster at school.

I'm afraid if I get something too over his head (which is most stuff, I'm not trying to be mean, but I am trying to be realistic) that he'll just give up.

It's all so confusing!!!

His teacher once told me that some of the kids that are the best readers have the worst comprehension -- that they can read something quickly but when you ask them what it was about they won't have a clue.

But these kids get pats on the head for their reading skills.

Maybe my mistake is thinking content is important where reading is instead supposed to be some mechanized thing at this age.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 01:21 pm
here's a good series Matthew Looney
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/53/Matthew_looney_cvr.jpg
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 01:39 pm
@boomerang,
Did he ever read Tintin? I think that came up but I can't remember.

All of sozlet's male friends love it but none of her female friends seem to. I learned about it from E.G., who loved it when he was a kid. GREAT plots, great art, fairly straightforward language and a lot of illustrations to track what's going on.

boomerang wrote:

Maybe my mistake is thinking content is important where reading is instead supposed to be some mechanized thing at this age.


All schools are different of course but I don't think so.
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 01:46 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
His teacher once told me that some of the kids that are the best readers have the worst comprehension -- that they can read something quickly but when you ask them what it was about they won't have a clue.

But these kids get pats on the head for their reading skills.


Yes, the key to No child Left Behind - don't worry about teaching them to think - just teach them to regurgitate.

Boomer, I think your reading with him and to him is what will give him the best chance of becoming a good reader. If he does become a lover of books it will be in spite of his schooling and because he has what I think of as "the reading gene". I think some people are just hardwired to enjoy the reading process. You can't keep them from reading. It's why we have people like Maya Angelou and our own EdgarBlyth.

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djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 01:55 pm
@sozobe,
good point tintin is a good idea, they're illustrated but have a good amount of dialogue
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 02:34 pm
From some of what you said - he might like a historical fiction book - here is a list for young readers on amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/Historical-Fiction-Readers-Multicultural-Authors/lm/2NBEYM4BNQDTH

And a link that might be useful to you - it gives ages and a quick summary of the subject matter.
http://www.cbcbooks.org/cbcmagazine/showcase/showcase_jan-feb_2002.html
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Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 02:40 pm
Here are some book lists tagged as for boys aged 4 to 7 on Amazon and a few other places in case you haven't already seen them.

They're in the category of general science, history, and science fiction.

This is a great site. They have categories of books based on different aspects of science and each category is sorted by age ranges. The topics are: animals, famous scientists, general science, human biology, maths, our world, physics, plants, prehistoric times, space, and technology.

The age ranges are Preschool, 6-8, 8-11 and 11+


http://www.science.org.au/pi/goodbooks/index.htm

And these are member book recommendation lists on Amazon. They include children's science books for ages 4-9, Children's history books, and grade school science fiction books.

http://www.amazon.com/Childrens-Science-Books-ages-4-9/lm/WKBTXUSOMZNO


My Favorite Children's History Books

http://www.amazon.com/My-Favorite-Childrens-History-Books/lm/KKBH1HZDOZX8

Grade School Science Fiction Shelf Of The 70s : A list of 20 items

http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/listmania/fullview/2C1DZSMRK2Q1U/ref=cm_pdp_lm_title_1
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 02:50 pm
My grandfather taught me to read with The Wind in the Willows when i was not yet four years old. It was difficult, and at times it was a real drag, but by sitting with me and doing the "read with me" thing, we got it done. I finished the book just before my fourth birthday, probably didn't understand half of it, and was at four a more competent reader than some kids in second and third grade. Most importantly, it made me avid to read.

I am very skeptical of a claim that any book which is not of a technical or academic nature, and the subject of which is not wholely inappropriate to him can be too advanced. In your situation, i'd say start with Treasure Island. With time and your patience, he can manage it and i guaran-damn-tee ya that he'll love the story. One of my grandfather's methods was to struggle through a difficult sentence, and then we'd go back to read it again to get it out smoothly, and then again to absorb the meaning. That would work with Treasure Island. It would help, though, if you go through it first, and make 3x5 cards of the words you don't understand (such as nautical terms).

Then, when you get completely through it, if it succeeds in holding his interest, and he is pleased with is own accomplishment, whip out a copy of Treasure Island, the 1934 movie, with Jackie Cooper as Jim Hawkins, and Wallace Beery as Long John Silver. Probably, you'd be stuck with the 1950 Disney version, though, which is not bad--but the 1934 is better.

Whatever you do, Boom, best of luck--you're introducing him to just about the most important world he can inhabit. Not a day goes by in which i do not do at the least 30 minutes of reading.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 03:00 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
but mostly he rejects fiction.


so skip the fiction.

We went through this with the oldest son of one of my best friends. He didn't like fiction. The teachers were all about how there was something wrong with his ability to read. There was nothing wrong, he just didn't like what everyone was trying to get him to read.

Once we figured out what he liked to read about, zoom, he was off and reading. For T, it was dinosaurs. From reading 'below grade level', to reading several years 'above grade level' was about 6 months of trying different kinds of science books til we found something he liked.

He's finishing off an engineering degree now. He still doesn't read fiction.
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Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 05:10 pm
When we were kids, I remember having a children's encyclopedia. It had about 24 volumes. Mom would insist I go to the encyclopedia and look for answers to the questions I asked. Soon it became a curiosity and I started at one end and eventually read the whole thing from start to finish.

It was geared toward elementary school ages with lots of colorful illustrations, large print and easy to understand language.

I wish I could remember the name. I want to say World Book Encyclopedia, but I don't think that was it.

When I got older, I dug into my mom's old adult Enclopedia set from the '30's and read each volume cover to cover.

Perhaps a children's encyclopedia set would capture Mo's interest and encourage him to keep doing the reading himself. He'd have a wide variety of topics to pick and choose from and you'd quickly learn which topics hold his interest so you can provide more of the same.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 05:17 pm
@Butrflynet,
yup, me too, read through the entire world book of knowledge, encyclopedias and a set of general knowledge books, loved the fact that jello was made from bones
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 05:19 pm
Encyclopedeas. Yep. I also used to read the dictionary when I was bored.
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Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 05:26 pm
@Butrflynet,
Here's something similar from World Book:

http://store.worldbook.com/wb/product.asp?sku=20194

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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 06:28 pm
I saw some of those old world book type things at Goodwill today. With the internet it is so easy to get that kind of information quickly that I wonder about the usefullness of such books. I suppose they might encourage browsing though.

I think for now I'll stick with the "Dangerous Book...." and see if it starts any tangents.

I was looking for some of the classic titles mentioned here at Goodwill today and only came across "The Red Badge of Courage" and "Robinson Crusoe". Driving home I started thinking about "Robinson" and recall some pretty gristley stuff about the slave trade and cannibals so I'm not sure if we'll venture that direction.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 06:41 pm
@boomerang,
I own that book, it's excellent.

Pick up and old copy of 'the boy scout's handbook' too if you can find it. Basically a less sexy but more practical version of the same thing.

Cycloptichorn
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 06:44 pm
@boomerang,
I read Robinson Crusoe when i was about eight or nine years old. I suggest that the things he doesn't understand would roll off his back like water off a duck. I would just observe that it will be few years before he's ready to read a book like that on his own.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 06:51 pm
I actually read the Reader's Digest condensed version of Robinson Crusoe when I was little.

I mainly remember his survival-oriented struggles, without all of the religious themes.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 07:05 pm
You know what? The books might be abridged versions. I was just taking a closer look at them and noted that they said "adapted by" on the flyleaf. It's been so long since I've read either book that I didn't notice it from glancing at the text. They're nice versions anyway, it seems, lavishly illustrated with line drawings, that caught his attention.

I thought he might like "Robinson Crusoe" since he loves to watch "Man v. Wild" and "Survivorman".
sakhi
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Apr, 2009 03:47 am
@boomerang,
He might also like abridged versions of Around the World in 80 days, The Lost World (by Conan Doyle), Treasure Island, Invisible Man, and Kidnapped.
 

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