Thursday, January 14, 2010


Well, just when I think I have a focus for my boys in terms of reading, something else comes up...ever experience that????

So, I was all ready to get them snuggled into their reading spots and Matt pulls out these books he got from the library. They were all fabulous books, I might add, but..,HE'S ALREADY READING TWO OTHERS! Plus the Social Studies book in class, and Science, etc...OVERLOAD!

Here is the challenge - pare it down!

I know he was super excited about the new books, but I reminded him he had that same excitement when he started the other two books!

Then it hit me square between the eyes...he's like me! I pulled out all the new books I had bought over vacation and showed him. He laughed that I hadn't finished so many of them.

I told him how excited I had been in purchasing each one, and how I dove in...yet hadn't finished. I added that now I had muddled plots - some I had not read for a while so I couldn't remember exactly where and who.

He actually got teary eyed. "But mom," he stammered.

My mind raced. The last thing I like to see is my kids cry.

We made a deal. We each took out a piece of paper which is now taped on the kitchen cabinet near the breakfast table. We each listed the books we needed to finish, in order, and then added the books we wanted to keep "on tap" for later.

When we both visualized what we needed to do, it was more manageable, and he realized that he wanted to read the books he started.

This was a lesson in consumerism for me. I am constantly buying, buying, buying, but am I enjoying?

Your child may have difficulty finishing what they start. It may be a matter of that case, often I set a timer, beginning with 5 minutes and gradually growing that time throughout the week (Mon -5, Tues - 7, W - 10, etc.) where they have to read the book they have started. After the timer goes off, they are free to read something different. It gets them to keep going in the book, yet they feel they have had a chance to read something they "really wanted to" that day.

If the problem isn't stamina, maybe it's like Matt. He's got so many things going on, he can't keep focus. Listing like we did may help.

Again, the most important thing is that every book they are reading on their own is a "JUST RIGHT" book. If you are reading to them, the book can definitely be a harder level, because their understanding is not hindered by the fluency, vocabulary decoding, etc. And you are there too.

So tonight, I promise to get on to Ben and Sam's reading spots...if nothing else comes up!

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