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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Since this group is about children's books, it seems likely that there is some interest in reading to children as well.

I do a lot of reading with my 6 year old daughter. Sometimes I feel like my efforts are really rewarded and she is engaging with me and asking questions about the text and sometimes she's even emotionally invested to some extent in what will happen to the characters. That's when I feel like reading to her is a rewarding activity that she is getting some benefit out of.

Most of the time, her interest is passive at best. I will pause and ask her questions a couple times during a picture book, simple things, like "what is the boy's name?" and she won't know the answer. For instance, the book can be called "Fred Goes to the Park" and we might have read his name multiple times but when questioned she doesn't know the kid's name even though I said the name repeatedly and sometimes just moments before..

Obviously, that's when reading to her feels pointless. I know that it likely isn't pointless, but, try telling that to your wounded feelings.. lol

Sometimes she won't even look at the book. But, then I usually quit reading for the day and just assume she's in a mood.

Probably one of the most frustrating things is that she listens very attentively when her father reads to her. However, he might read to her once a month. She's usually a better listener for the rest of the week if her Dad has read to her once. Getting him to participate regularly though is pretty much pulling teeth.

What I would love to hear is how the rest of you read to children or have read to children. I would love to see articles about how to read to children, how to avoid getting discouraged when reading to children who don't seem to pay attention and so on.

I mean, my daughter just turned 6 last month and is in kindergarten, so I've already had to change how we read since now we take about 15 minutes that she spends reading out loud to me. I know I only have a few short years left reading to her. I'll read to her as long as she lets me, but, she is already a bit disinterested which I'm sure comes from her Dad being proud of not being a reader.

So, yes, how do I get the most out of the next few years?


message 2: by Cleo (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 30 comments Ah, these are really good questions. I homeschooled my daughter from grade 1 on (she's now finishing up grade 12), so I can share some of my experiences.

If your daughter is interested sometimes and not others, it could be a number of things. Mood is one, yet a boring book could be another. Often intuitively children recognize books that don't have a great storyline or great structure and their interest isn't caught. I've encouraged a few of my friend's children to have more interest in reading, just by offering them better books (usually older books). Also the pace of life for us all nowadays can honestly be unhealthy and mentally taxing, children included. To engage during the day at school might be tiring for her and you could simply be dealing with her mental fatigue on the days she's not showing interest. It sounds like she's a December baby and therefore will always one of the youngest in her grade. I've found with regard to December babies and expectations, it can be helpful to treat them as if they are a year younger as, if they were born a mere month later, they would be.

If you want to try to engage her interest even so, it might be fun to change up your reading patterns or add something fun to the experience. With my daughter, we once had to read a rather boring book about elections so I told her we were going to hold an election after we finished so she had to pay close attention to what was happening while we read it. Afterwards, we gathered her stuffed animals and had a mock election complete with candidate slogans (which was a wonderful opportunity to teach about logical fallacies), ballots, etc. Also, when reading to her, I wouldn't always ask questions either. Sometimes I might say, for example if we were reading from A Bargain for Frances, "That wasn't a very nice way for Frances' friend to treat her, was it? I remember when I was little, I had a friend who ......" and relate it to something in real life that might interest her. That helps the child make connections and the book doesn't just remain static. If you know the book well, you could also make it like a treasure hunt and tell her that you (the two of you together) are going to watch for the part where the main character changes for the better; or, if you want to challenge her a little, you could give her three themes such as forgiveness, betrayal, love and ask her if she can find any of those in the story.

I do think sometimes we expect too much of our children too soon. I taught my daughter to read before she went into kindergarten, but even so, when I pulled her out to homeschool, initially the majority of the reading was done by me. I only required her to read a challenging portion of McGuffey's reader, which might only take about 5 minutes, maybe 10. I'd also get her to read the same passage a number of times to get used to the words. My only goal was to get her to love reading and so I tailored my approach to that goal. It was slow-going at first but by grade 8 she was reading a number of classics. Part of the success was not only moving with her ability but also because I "fed" her good books and not "twaddle", therefore she had the ability to read higher level books.

One book I would read every year that I found very helpful was Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style. It is focussed on homeschooling, but this family had a very relaxed approach to it in the early years (ie. delaying formal math until grade 5) , yet they read to their children three hours per day. At the end of high school all their children had learned the usual subjects, along with Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Logic, etc. I found it encouraging to remind myself that we don't have to push hard in the early years (like school and society often influence us to do) yet we can still produce well-rounded, well-educated children.

I hope that helps you a little, Jennifer, as you encourage your daughter's wonder. It's lovely to see moms like you with the desire to teach your children the love of reading. I'll leave you with a link to an article that I wrote with regard to literary analysis. It's geared towards homeschoolers and covers all the ages, but it might also help at some later point: How To Teach Literary Analysis All the best!


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
All I can say is, don't feel alone. My boys didn't particularly like being read to, but can read just fine now (as young adults) when they choose to. And they had only excellent role models. Do I wish they were better readers? Sure. But if they're not turned off on reading, that's what I'm grateful for.

Sometimes other formats or settings help. Maybe you could get audiobooks of chapter books and listen with her. Maybe reading in your bed (instead of her bed, or couch, or kitchen table?) would be more of a treat for her. One of my sons spent time with the grandparents, and grandpa read to him while the boy was brushing his teeth. Libraries sometimes sponsor 'read to a pet' days.

Maybe it's the material. My first two sons went through the whole Boxcar Children series on their own. My youngest son loved listening to the Ramona series with me - we went through the whole set in, gosh, I think it was about a month. Then we read the Narnia series, which took longer, but a few years later he read those on his own. Maybe your daughter would like non-fiction, or magazines like *Cricket* or *Ranger Rick*, or online articles, better than Ramona or Bink & Gollie or whatever she's getting now. (Or vice-versa; I don't know.)

But I do agree with your instinct to keep trying. I know you won't be so pushy that you'll make reading an unpleasant task, and risk having her follow in her Dad's footsteps.


message 4: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
I do not have children, but as a child, I absolutely loved having my grandmother read classic German girls' series like Else Ury's Nesthaekchen series to me. Now, I might have not said much when Oma was reading to me, but I was sure listening attentively and actually remembered enough of the stories to realise that when I read a modern more recent edition decades later that there had been many omissions and changes (to my annoyance). And thus, passivity does not necessarily mean lack of interest (I was indeed very much interested in what my grandmother was reading to me, but I was actually so interested and absorbed in the story that I was just listening and not asking questions or making comments, a pretty rare occurrence since I tended to be a bit overly verbose as a child).


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
Manybooks wrote: " passivity does not necessarily mean lack of interest (I was indeed very much interested in what my grandmother was reading to me, but I was actually so interested and absorbed in the story that I was just listening and not asking questions or making comments..."

Wow, that's interesting, Gundula. Could be very relevant to Jennifer!


message 6: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Manybooks wrote: " passivity does not necessarily mean lack of interest (I was indeed very much interested in what my grandmother was reading to me, but I was actually so interested and absorbed in..."

I also think that if being read to is more like a treat than a chore, it might be a more positive experience. And with that in mind, asking questions about the book might be seen as by the child who is being read to as something like an assignment or homework. I was wondering therefore if when Jennifer's husband reads to the daughter, does he just read to her or does he also ask her questions about the material, the themes etc.


message 7: by Michael (new)

Michael Fitzgerald | 367 comments Not sure why you think you only have a few short years left to read aloud to your six-year-old child. Just because a child can read for himself is no reason to stop.

Possibly of relevance - The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared


message 8: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Cleo wrote: "Ah, these are really good questions. I homeschooled my daughter from grade 1 on (she's now finishing up grade 12), so I can share some of my experiences.

If your daughter is interested sometimes a..."


Thank you Cleo, those are a bunch of good thoughts.

I try to pick her out decent books- we've been trying to read through that 1001 children's books list and we've been reading back through the Caldecott's. She really likes nonfiction, which I guess is a good thing. She would be a lot more interested in listening to me struggle through dinosaur Latin names than she is in Paddington or Winnie-the-Pooh.

Thank you for mentioning McGuffey's readers. I had completely forgotten them. I've been picking up various easy reader style books from the local library. There's nothing really wrong with them, but, they don't really build on each other unless they are part of a set. McGuffey's will work much better for her reading practice.

Our local library has that homeschooling book, so I will check it out when I'm back there on Monday. I had read parts of another one, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home . I liked it enough that I meant to purchase it, but, then promptly forgot about it. I wonder if they are fairly similar.

I wish I could respond to everything in your post because there is a whole lot of good information in it. I started to, but then realized I would be sending you back a novel.. lol

Thank you!


message 9: by Jenny (last edited Jan 28, 2017 08:23PM) (new)

Jenny | 722 comments I have three daughters and teach 3rd graders (8 and 9 years old). I loved reading to my children and found it to be mostly a positive experience. A few things to consider: who is choosing the books to be read? Do you let her make at least some/most of the choices? Are you willing to reread favorite books? Are there any books that she does really seem to love...and can you find similar titles? Is it possible that the books you are reading are either a bit too complex or too simple to hold her attention? (Children's listening comprehension is typically higher than their reading comprehension but still you want to read books that will make sense to her.)

I think talking about the book can be really powerful...but especially now that she is in school maybe she feels like having you ask questions is like being in school, particularly if they are questions with a "right" answer. Perhaps more open ended questions that allow her to talk about her favorite parts or that connect to her life would be better...and then if she seems reluctant to answer, you answer and continue reading. Maybe think about adding voices or doing a connected art project or acting the story out...whatever you think she might enjoy and might help the story come to life.

Maybe ask her what she likes about having her dad read to her. Or what she wants/thinks about having you read aloud.

A few books about reading aloud that I recommend are Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. This is my very favorite and it is very, very readable.
The Read-Aloud Handbook
How to Get Your Child to Love Reading
The last two have reading lists. The last book has topical book lists which might help you to find books that are similar to the ones she likes best.


message 10: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Cheryl wrote: "All I can say is, don't feel alone. My boys didn't particularly like being read to, but can read just fine now (as young adults) when they choose to. And they had only excellent role models. Do I w..."

Cheryl, you are right, format does make a difference. I'm beginning to wonder if maybe she is just a bit bored of hearing my voice. We listened to "The Bears on Hemlock Mountain" on audiobook today while driving around running errands. She really enjoyed that one. Because someone else was narrating, I could pause it and briefly ask a question and then press play again. She does like that more. Maybe we need to use more audiobooks. I only get them occasionally, but, perhaps that would help.

Part of my problem also is that we are reading books because they are recommended or they won an award or something along those lines. I'm not reading her books that she has selected most of the time. If I bring her to the library and let her pick a book, she leaves with nonfiction only. Last time, she picked out 8 books about dinosaurs, 1 about mammoths and a geology book. I just want to read her Winnie-the-Pooh and have her like it. I want to read her "Little House in the Big Woods" and have her love it like I used to. But, she's just not like that.

Unfortunately, I am homeschooling her so to some extent I have to push her. It seems like a very fine balancing act. :(


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
Ah, homeschooling. So, you're both teacher *and* mom. That's a challenge. Do you know another family, and maybe you could trade off? You read to that kid, and that parent reads to your daughter...


message 12: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Manybooks wrote: "I do not have children, but as a child, I absolutely loved having my grandmother read classic German girls' series like Else Ury's Nesthaekchen series to me. Now, I might have not said much when Om..."

I hope that is the case. I would be very relieved to realize that my daughter was listening.. lol Every once in awhile she says something that surprises me. We're reading "My Father's Dragon" as our 'before bed' book this week. Last night I asked where we left off, more rhetorically than actually expecting her to answer, and she piped right up that we'd stopped at chapter 4. She couldn't remember that the main character was looking for a dragon, but, she knew what page we stopped at.


message 13: by Manybooks (last edited Jan 28, 2017 08:47PM) (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
I also think having at least a combination of books that you have chosen and that she has chosen is a good strategy (even if she chooses books you might not like all that much).

And perhaps just consider some of the read to her times as non school like times, and just read to her without it being a teachable moment (because like I memtioned before, if she perceives your reading aloud to her as a chore, as school time, she might not always consider it pleasant). When my grandmother was reading Grimms' fairy tales or Nesthaekchen to me, I think it would have annoyed me if she had asked me a lot of questions about the stories.


message 14: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Michael wrote: "Not sure why you think you only have a few short years left to read aloud to your six-year-old child. Just because a child can read for himself is no reason to stop.

Possibly of relevance - [book..."


I've just assumed that she would be tired of me reading to her as she often acts bored of it now. I will happily read to her until she leaves for college if she lets me. :)

That book sounds like an interesting read. :)


message 15: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Cheryl wrote: "Ah, homeschooling. So, you're both teacher *and* mom. That's a challenge. Do you know another family, and maybe you could trade off? You read to that kid, and that parent reads to your daughter..."

Unfortunately Cheryl, I feel like a bit of an island. If it wasn't for you wonderful people online I wouldn't ever get to talk to people who actively read. Even working in a library, most of the parents with kids are there to just get a couple 'reading counts' books for school, whatever the barest minimum is.. There are homeschool groups, and perhaps I will find one of those that is a good fit. But, so far they are mostly stay at home moms and actively religious and I just don't fit in there either. Audiobooks though sound like they will be a helpful part of the solution. It might even be helpful to listen to them after 'lights out' when she cannot be so easily distracted. :)


message 16: by Cleo (last edited Jan 28, 2017 08:49PM) (new)

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 30 comments Jennifer wrote: "Our local library has that homeschooling book, so I will check it out when I'm back there on Monday. I had read parts of another one, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home . I liked it enough that I meant to purchase it, but, then promptly forgot about it. I wonder if they are fairly similar. ..."

You're very welcome, Jennifer!

They are somewhat similar but the Teaching the Trivium book is more chatty and personal whereas The Well-Trained Mind is more technical. They both use a classical education as a base.

With regard to asking questions, I think it's more of a matter of how one asks the questions. If I asked my daughter questions in a tone that sounded "school-ish" or if there was a right or wrong answer, she would tend to shut down, but if I asked them in more of a conversational tone, she would eagerly engage.

This is a great resource with list of excellent books. The lists are on the upper left side. I haven't read one book off these lists that I haven't liked.

Just remember to trust yourself. You know your child better than anyone, even the "experts". :-)


message 17: by Jenny (last edited Jan 28, 2017 08:54PM) (new)

Jenny | 722 comments A couple more comments (at least for now)...so often I see parents that are anxious to graduate from picture books to chapter books. I love chapter books, so don't misunderstand...but there is so much value in picture books. It sounds like you are still reading picture books...and I am not saying parents shouldn't read chapter books with their children...but even after kids can read independently there can be value in picture books. Many of them are written with great vocabulary, interesting themes, scientific or historical content, engaging plots...and the marriage of words and picture can be a powerful one.

Even if it doesn't seem like she always loves it, I would almost guarantee it is having benefits...increasing her vocabulary, helping her to understand how books work (simple things like we read right to left, top to bottom and more complex things like an idea of plot, being exposed to different text structures, etc.), word recognition, and so on. But I would try to focus first on trying to make it fun.

And many, many children love nonfiction. Follow her interest and read nonfiction, magazines, etc. There is a lot of high quality, engaging nonfiction these days.

Also, maybe try reading at a different time of day... I usually read to my kids while they were in the bathtub when they were littler ...partly because they were a captive audience, partly because our days were busy since I work...but it worked for us and helped them calm down. But often by the time bedtime came, they were too tired to listen to a story. We also had a longish drive to school and so we listened to books on CD in the car. In the past year, our long drives ceased and they no longer seem to want to listen to books on CD...except on vacations...but we all have many fond memories of the books we listened to when they were younger. Maybe reading right after school or while she eats breakfast or some other time will be better for her...depending on your schedule and her body rhythms.


message 18: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 722 comments And I just saw your comment about homeschooling her so maybe some of my advice is not quite what you need...in that you probably aren't just reading at bedtime. I do recommend audio books. They can be a great teaching tool, also, especially if the child has a copy of the book and can read and follow along.


message 19: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Cleo wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Our local library has that homeschooling book, so I will check it out when I'm back there on Monday. I had read parts of another one, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Ed..."

I do ask questions in a way that sounds like school.. I should probably ask more open-ended and less in the way of questions that have only one answer.

I checked out that list, there is a bit of crossover with a couple other lists I am reading through, but also some fresh titles. I had forgotten about "Keep the Lights Burning Abby" and that was a favorite picture book of mine. I will probably gather some off of that list. :)


message 20: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Jenny wrote: "A couple more comments (at least for now)...so often I see parents that are anxious to graduate from picture books to chapter books. I love chapter books, so don't misunderstand...but there is so m..."

I love picture books. I am lucky enough to be the processor of the new children's books at our local library. I've only recently started into chapter books in an attempt to get her interested in reading again.

She does like playing a treasure hunt game where she finds the words that she knows on the page.

I wonder if she would attempt to follow along on with an audiobook and book? I may give that a try too.


message 21: by Michael (last edited Jan 29, 2017 11:13AM) (new)

Michael Fitzgerald | 367 comments There are read-along books with page turn sounds (many include two versions of the audio - with and without). We have used these to great success for simple picture books as well as some easy readers (e.g., Poppleton, A Bargain for Frances).

In our family, we have found that audio is helpful as an *addition* to an adult reading, not a substitute. It's kind of two different things - the audio isn't going to stop and give the child more time to examine the pictures or answer questions. So simple picture story books that are largely text-driven work OK, but for the kind of picture books that demand scrutiny (picture-driven - for example, Blue on Blue or All the World or The Little House), we take care to have adults present those in more interactive settings. (I don't know if those particular examples even have read-along versions, but one that I know does is Each Peach Pear Plum - and that one doesn't work so well because it's a book where you have to hunt for things in the pictures.) And of course, there are wordless picture books which are kind of another thing altogether.

Even for those simple story books that do work well as read-alongs, it's probably good to do those every so often with a grown up to have more discussion. Then the child takes that additional information back with him when he listens to the audio the next time.


message 22: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 722 comments Interesting and valid point, Michael. We always listened to chapter books on audio in the car, not picture books. And we'd stop fairly often to explain vocabulary (if they asked and they did), talk about what was going on, make predictions (my kids LOVED to guess what was about to happen). So we listened to chapter books on audio and I mostly read picture books to them. That worked well for us. As a teacher I have quite a few audio picture books like you have described and my 3rd graders are eager to get a turn to listen to them...but not all picture books make good audio books...and I also read aloud A LOT of books to them and give them lots of opportunities to read themselves. Each type of reading serves a purpose and has value but doesn't replace the other.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
re' Winnie-the-Pooh...I understand she prefers non-fiction... but have you ever offered her poetry? I love some of the poems in When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six....


message 24: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Michael wrote: "There are read-along books with page turn sounds (many include two versions of the audio - with and without). We have used these to great success for simple picture books as well as some easy reade..."

I've never understood the point of picture books as audiobooks. With picture books, so much of the story is told with the pictures that it seems strange to even offer them as audiobooks. Now, there are some wonderful Seuss books on Kindle with a 'read to me' feature. She selects when to turn the page and then that page is read aloud. It also lets you tap on words to have it read back individual words. Those make sense and we use those sometimes. She does love Seuss, so I did get her as many Seuss ebooks as I could find with that 'read to me' feature.

The audiobooks we've listened to have been from books that are more text than picture.


message 25: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Cheryl, I've tried to respond to your post a couple times now, but the html is misbehaving.. lol

Anyways, we have yet to attempt either of those, but, they are next after we claw our way through Winnie-the-Pooh. I'm hoping for better luck with those. They are on the bedside table waiting to go. As far as poetry goes, she hasn't liked most of it. Mother Goose and Lavender Blue were boring to her. She did like The New Kid on the Block. There were enough funny poems, especially Euphonica Jarre which got read over and over.


message 26: by Michael (last edited Jan 29, 2017 02:45PM) (new)

Michael Fitzgerald | 367 comments To be clear, what I am talking about are not audiobooks as adults know them (where there is no visual component), but read-alongs - the exact actual physical book plus an audio recording of it. The audio is intended to be used together with the book.

When the audio is provided in two versions, the one without turn indications allows the child who can read to follow along with the text, turning appropriately. The other version can be used by a child who cannot read but who can recognize the turn sounds.

I imagine these might also be useful to parents who are not fluent in English but who want to expose their children to English language picture books.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
Jennifer, this is a terrific topic. Lots of good ideas here for other parents, too, I bet. I know I keep thinking about what everyone is saying, and wishing I had that advice when my boys were young. Some of it might have helped!

Anyway, I'm also wondering about your husband. None of our business, but I wonder if you've been able to (tactfully) ask why he's not a reader. Maybe he prefers non-fiction, too, and doesn't realize it, lots of men (like my father) do. Maybe he had a really mean teacher or something. Maybe he doesn't really know, but with tactful probing y'all could find out, and then work to solve the problem. I know there are lots of non-readers and I do wonder about them....


message 28: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Cheryl wrote: "Jennifer, this is a terrific topic. Lots of good ideas here for other parents, too, I bet. I know I keep thinking about what everyone is saying, and wishing I had that advice when my boys were youn..."

LOL, Cheryl, I'm not particularly tactful, I'm a bit blunt.

It is rather an interesting story, I guess. His parents were/are fairly religious to the point where his mother only wanted religious texts and the Bible in the home and even begrudged his father bringing home the newspaper. Apparently at one point someone bought them a Reader's Digest subscription and she would try to get to the mail before anyone else and throw it out. They did have a couple Sesame Street picture books at home. Apparently my husband as a boy would occasionally bring books home from school, but, these were discouraged. He has never read a chapter book that he selected. He read a few he was required to read in school and then just enough to write a paper, never the whole book. A few years ago, I tried to talk him into reading and brought him home a couple audiobooks from the library. He had watched the Hunger Games movies and wanted to try those, so, he listened to a couple of those and decided books weren't his thing, even audiobooks. (Yes, I know Hunger Games isn't exactly great literature, but, this was an audiobook for a man who watches youtube videos of other people playing videogames.)

He can read aloud just fine, he doesn't struggle with it. But his reading speed is about the same whether he's reading aloud or reading to himself. He never really read enough to get any faster.

I've explained to him that he would get a lot faster with a bit of practice or that he could try some of the online classes in speed reading to get a bit of speed, but he really just isn't interested.

There are people who enjoy the wonder of learning something new or being able to spend an afternoon in the shoes of somebody else. He isn't that person.

He has never really reached towards anything. When I pester him that perhaps he should also be encouraging our daughter to read, he just says that she's where she should be, so why worry about it? He was a C student all through school and never saw any reason to study harder or do better. So long as he passed, that was all that mattered.

My parents weren't readers either. But, at least they didn't discourage books. They had no idea what any of the books were about so they didn't help with selection at all. I went through my childhood selecting books at random, most of them rubbish but a couple good ones I stumbled on by accident.

I feel like my spouse is pretty typical of the modern non-reader. Books are for nerds. Trying is for nerds. Learning is for nerds.. and so on.

The only difference between him and the stereotype is that he doesn't watch sports.. lol


message 29: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 722 comments Michael, thanks for clarifying...I grouped them together in the way I wrote about them but you much more clearly explained what I was trying to say. I think there is value in both audio books (with just the audio...which is primarily what I have used with my own children)...and the read alongs which have the picture book AND a tape or CD (which I use a lot as a teacher). The read along combo can be a really great tool for developing& practicing fluency, especially if the child follows along in the text and listens/reads along several times (over a period of several days or weeks, not over and over on the same day...unless the child requests to read it again.)


message 30: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Michael wrote: "To be clear, what I am talking about are not audiobooks as adults know them (where there is no visual component), but read-alongs - the exact actual physical book plus an audio recording of it. The..."

Ah yes, our library still has a few of that type you are talking about, the CD/book combination. I don't usually get them simply because I use my computer as my CD player and then my kid is too tempted by the computer to pay attention to the book. I just never got around to replacing my old CD player when it quit several years ago. I used to use the old book with a record style when I was a kid and liked them quite a bit.


message 31: by Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish, Newbery Club host (last edited Jan 30, 2017 10:16AM) (new)

Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
Jennifer, I want to 'cure' your husband's attitude! :) It must be so difficult for you to remember to love him for everything else and not fret too much about this part of his character.

Maybe soon daughter can read books to dad, books that actually interest him. Maybe something like Treasure Island (I read it for the first time last year and was impressed by how accessible and interesting it still is). We can hope!

I wish I lived close to you; I'd read the school books to daughter so you could be the one who could read the pleasure books to her.


message 32: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Cheryl wrote: "Jennifer, I want to 'cure' your husband's attitude! :) It must be so difficult for you to remember to love him for everything else and not fret too much about this part of his character.

Maybe soo..."


LOL Cheryl.. I've been married to him for 12 years now and have spent a good deal of time trying to cure his attitude toward books. He did pretend to like books while we were dating, but the gig was up when we got married and I moved to Canada to join him to realize that he didn't own any books.. lol I had been to his apartment a few times, but, just assumed I overlooked the books.

For what it's worth, when he does read to her he does so with enthusiasm and does all the voices. But, it's just so rare, like once a month for 15 minutes.

If it wasn't for her and the influence it has on her, I would let it rest and never mention books to him again. I hate to be a nag, but, it's one of those things that can have a big influence on a kid, so, I nag a bit..

Usually I would be at work today, but, she has a cold so I'm home with her. I suggested that we could read and she groaned. I told her she could pick out any book and she jumped up, yelled "Yay!" and brought me Natural History

We read a couple pages on climate, a section about plate tectonics and then she wanted to jump ahead to a section about the arctic fox. I let her pick where we started and what page we jumped to next. I think to preserve my sanity, I may go ahead and lightly mark the corners with a pencil of the pages we read. That way eventually even with her jumping around I'll be able to feel like I've read it all even if it wasn't in order.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
Lol! Oh, to get a Yay from a child about a book, I envy you that!

That looks like an amazing book. I'll have to see if I can get my hands on a copy. I do wish I'd read more non-fiction when I was a child, honestly.

Give her a hug from me; hope you all don't too miserable from the virus.


message 34: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments It is a very pretty book. It has some things in it which are incorrect, a few of the spider images are matched up with the wrong species name. But, whenever you get one of these huge books there are some errors like that.

I read nonfiction as a child, but, mostly how-to books about pet-keeping or crafts.. lol

She's already feeling better, so, nothing too serious, just a nuisance. :)


message 35: by Manybooks (last edited Jan 30, 2017 03:24PM) (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "Jennifer, I want to 'cure' your husband's attitude! :) It must be so difficult for you to remember to love him for everything else and not fret too much about this part of his charac..."

There are some really and utterly amazing natural history and sociology based picture books out there.

I loved these, and highly recommend them (I have more to offer for recommendation, but do not want to overwhelm the thread with them):

Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea
Coral Reefs
Tree of Life: The Incredible Biodiversity of Life on Earth
A Walk on the Tundra
Uumajut: Learn About Arctic Wildlife!
Uumajut Volume 2: Learn More About Arctic Wildlife
If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World's People
If America Were a Village: A Book about the People of the United States
Life in the Boreal Forest
A Log's Life
Garden of the Spirit Bear: Life in the Great Northern Rainforest
The Most Beautiful Roof in the World: Exploring the Rainforest Canopy


The two books on arctic wildlife are interesting as they are featured as dual language English/Inuktitut (syllabics)

Glad your daughter is feeling better already.


message 36: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Manybooks wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "Jennifer, I want to 'cure' your husband's attitude! :) It must be so difficult for you to remember to love him for everything else and not fret too much about this p..."

I reserved as many of them as my local library system has, which I think was about 5 of them. :)

She's still coughing, but, fever is gone. She has a pretty good immune system, she's never sick for very long. When I catch a cold I have it for a week and she has it for a bit over 24 hours.. lol It's really not fair.


message 37: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "Jennifer, I want to 'cure' your husband's attitude! :) It must be so difficult for you to remember to love him for everything else and not fret too..."

I agree, especially since you probaly cannot even take the days off in order to rest, sigh.

Hope she enjoys the books you reserved.


message 38: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Manybooks wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "Jennifer, I want to 'cure' your husband's attitude! :) It must be so difficult for you to remember to love him for everything else..."

I am quite lucky. I have a job where I do get sick time. I'm allowed to use a maximum of 7 sick days a year. If I didn't have a small child, 7 days would be easy, no problem at all. I used to make it at a job that only allowed 3 days a year. But, with her I have to use some strategy. If I end up being fantastically sick, I will still try to make it in for a half day so that it doesn't count against me as a full day and so on. I know that I'm pretty lucky in that regard. :)


message 39: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Cheryl wrote: "Jennifer, I want to 'cure' your husband's attitude! :) It must be so difficult for you to remember to love him f..."

Yes, you are, but really, considering that many diseases are contagious, staying home if ill should be encouraged. I once had to teach German with a major cold/flu with the result that most of the class caught my bug.


message 40: by Gaynor (new)

Gaynor (seasian) | 52 comments This is a wonderful topic and I have enjoyed reading it.
As I was going through some old photos of mine, I found one of my daughter and her two children snuggled up together reading/sharing a book and I put it aside to take to my grandson's teacher. He has reading difficulties - no one seems to know why, but my daughter has been accused of never reading to him - it broke her heart, because she read to him every night and it was an enjoyable and loving experience.
I now read to my 12 month old granddaughter (a different family) and she goes off to do something else, but I just sit there and continue to read. She comes back in due course and when I have finished takes the book and "talks" to it with expression. It is such fun, she is convinced that that is the thing to do with books, especially picture books.
Thank you for all the opinions and sharing of your experiences.


message 41: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Gaynor wrote: "This is a wonderful topic and I have enjoyed reading it.
As I was going through some old photos of mine, I found one of my daughter and her two children snuggled up together reading/sharing a book..."


Results definitely vary. I tend to feel a bit like I've failed my kid. Whenever I read message boards and everyone else's kids are reading at age 4 and into chapter books by age 6, I feel bad that my kid isn't making that kind of progress. She has been read to every single day since she was about 9 months old with few exceptions. She's been read to by her parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles. I'm not even sure how many books have been read to her or how many times they've been read. I've read her over 1200 different books, that's not even counting how many times they've been read, some were read over and over again. That isn't even a complete list since I donated quite a few of them before I started logging them.

She is just barely where she should be with reading, you know, where all the other kids are whose parents read them a couple books now and then.

I just remind myself that she would probably be a lot further behind without those 1200+ books.

Your granddaughter's reaction to her books sounds very cute. :)


message 42: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "Gaynor wrote: "This is a wonderful topic and I have enjoyed reading it.
As I was going through some old photos of mine, I found one of my daughter and her two children snuggled up together reading..."


I do not think early reading is necessarily all that important or even all that positive. I learned to read at school, at age seven (as I started school at seven in Germany) and I am a slow but voracious reader (and have graduate degrees in French and German literature). But I have known many who started to read early or were made to read early (age four or five) who are NOT readers as adults.


message 43: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie Jennifer, I second what Manybooks has said. As a retired teacher, parent of two avid readers and a granny, you don't need to feel concerned. My grandson is 6 and can read simple sentences and the Lego captions, but only with help. My daughters both learned to read in Grade 1. As for those parents who brag, there will always be that type of parent.
Those hours of reading and enjoying all those books together are more precious and will lead to a lifelong love of reading. Many children are foreced to read before they are ready and are turned off reading.
As a teacher, I noticed that many children lack listening skills. You are doing a good thing by reading stories aloud together.
Happy reading together.


message 44: by Manybooks (last edited Feb 05, 2017 07:59AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
Rosemarie wrote: "Jennifer, I second what Manybooks has said. As a retired teacher, parent of two avid readers and a granny, you don't need to feel concerned. My grandson is 6 and can read simple sentences and the L..."

There is a saying in German that goes something like this. Die die angeben, haben es nötig (those who brag, have the need to brag), which basically means that those who brag, are usually very insecure and must brag to overcome this.

Also, while many children lack listening skills, there are also many of us who are simply NOT auditory learners. If you tell me something, I often have trouble remembering it, unless I write it down and read it over in my mind.


message 45: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Rosemarie wrote: "Jennifer, I second what Manybooks has said. As a retired teacher, parent of two avid readers and a granny, you don't need to feel concerned. My grandson is 6 and can read simple sentences and the L..."

I really try not to worry about it. My daughter has always had us holding our breath.. lol You know all those baby and toddler milestones? She was always awfully close to the point where you talk to somebody about the delay.

So, I have not much doubt that she will get good at reading all of a sudden and all my nervousness will have been for nothing.

I don't want her to feel pressured at all. I'm feeling the pressure, but, I'm really hoping that she doesn't. We're homeschooling and she has to have a kindergarten evaluation. If she fails it, we could lose the chance to homeschool and end up with her in a public school redoing kindergarten next year. I don't really want to have to explain that to her and won't unless it happens.


message 46: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Manybooks wrote: "Rosemarie wrote: "Jennifer, I second what Manybooks has said. As a retired teacher, parent of two avid readers and a granny, you don't need to feel concerned. My grandson is 6 and can read simple s..."

I think early forced reading is awful. I hoped my daughter would be an early reader, but, I would periodically check for the signs of reading readiness and she simply wasn't ready. She turned 6 in December and really only started showing reading readiness back around September.

I was an early reader, but, I was just naturally an early reader. I would sit in my mom's lap while she read to me and point and read the words I knew at age 3 and she finally taught me how to read at age 4 because I begged to learn. My daughter has just finally started doing that at age 6.. lol When I'm reading to her and turn a page, she excitedly points to words she can read. She drove me crazy yesterday, struggling with the word 'they'. She couldn't remember the word even moments later. My husband had to leave the room because he couldn't hold it together any longer and was going to start laughing at the situation. That was during her ten minutes of reading practice. Now, fastforward to bedtime and I'm reading her that book you recommended, "Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea" (which she just LOVED by the way) Anyhow, I turn one of the pages and she blurts out 'Siphonophore' and points the word out to me. I ask her where she learned it, but, she can't remember. So, yeah, can't get the word 'they' correct after repeated attempts, but, can remember 'Siphonophore' months after the last time she saw it.

I'm not sure yet what kind of learner she is. I need to figure out a way to ascertain that. I'm not an auditory learner myself, I learn from notes I take. That may be how she learns as well, she just doesn't write fast enough yet to utilize that.


message 47: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7663 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "Manybooks wrote: "Rosemarie wrote: "Jennifer, I second what Manybooks has said. As a retired teacher, parent of two avid readers and a granny, you don't need to feel concerned. My grandson is 6 and..."

Oh I am so glad she loved Down Down Down. She sounds a bit like me, having no issues with longer words but struggling with shorter ones (I think the longer ones simply were more interesting and thus more worthy of being easily remembered).


message 48: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie The word siphonophore: when I looked after my grandson before he started school we would watch a cartoon show called Octonauts, in each episode of which we would learn about unusual undersea creatures in a fun way. One of those creatures was a siphonophore. At the end of each segment there would be undersea fotos of the actual creatures- it was fascinating. Maybe she learned about it there.


message 49: by Jennifer (last edited Feb 05, 2017 12:01PM) (new)

Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob) (jenisnotabooksnob) | 170 comments Rosemarie wrote: "The word siphonophore: when I looked after my grandson before he started school we would watch a cartoon show called Octonauts, in each episode of which we would learn about unusual undersea creatu..."

Thank you Rosemarie! That was the answer. She loved Octonauts about a year ago. She hasn't watched the show in months. I called her in to watch a clip on youtube from the episode and she was all excited and said that was where she had learned the word. The word is in the title of the episode and appears towards the end. Thank you for solving the question of where the word came from. :)

She is really good with words about animals, she can read words like ocelot and jaguar but is just not overly interested in learning 'they' 'them' 'our' and so on.. lol


message 50: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie My grandson is really good at learning the names of superheroes and Lego characters. The word "they" is also giving him trouble. I think is because of the blended letters- th and ey, especially the ey.


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