Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The one where Jennifer screws up!

I hate it when I have had poor judgment.

I assign Austin reading for school work. He doesn't enjoy reading, and he thinks he's not very good. Most of the time I will tandem read with him and that seems to help. I assigned him a book called "Emily's Runaway Imagination" by Beverly Cleary. This book is one of the Sonlight Core 2 advanced books. It is listed as a 4.7 reader on the Accelerated Reader list I use as a reference. So yes, it's going to be more difficult.

Yesterday when Mom and Dad were here, I had Austin tandem read with mom. He gave her a really hard time. Cried and carried on and on. He did the same for me today.

And that's when the poor judgement comes in: I told him to pick another book. It sounded like a good idea at the time. But honestly when is this child going to ever accept a challenge!? It's the same with math. Really, it's the same with ALL his academics. He doesn't want to ever try anything new or that requires brain power. And I've not been adequate at forcing the issue. I really want him to love reading and learning... but it's just not happening. He is at the end of 2nd grade and something needs to change. I feel like I'm shortchanging him. I feel that he's behind (did anyone else hear the echos of Behind Who?? or was it just me) and if I don't start requiring more of him, he will continue to be behind.

Where is that line, I wonder? Where do you balance relaxing and instilling a love of learning with a child who is capable and just lazy or otherwise unmotivated to learn? If he were at school and this were happening I would blame the teacher! LOL

I told him later that we will read this new book he chose, and then go back and read Emily's Runaway Imagination. It will probably be our last book of the "school year". I am just trying some damage control. ::insert a deep sigh here to show I'm disappointed in myself::


LisaQuing said...

Jennifer, if I pick up a fiction book I don't like, I stop reading it. There are too many books to read in this world to stick with ones I don't enjoy.

Accepting a challenge is one thing, but reading a book that is 2 grade levels above his reading level is another thing entirely.

You are not shortchanging him. He is not lazy or unmotivated to learn. I think you just have to rethink what your idea of motivation is. Does that make sense?

Niffercoo said...

He liked the book well enough and understood the story, but said there were too many words on a page. And it was 'too hard'. Mom said when he stopped crying long enough to read the words, he had no trouble at all. He keeps judging whether he 'can' read a book based on if the pages have lots of words or not. @@

If you don't give them books that are above their grade level, how do you get them to figure out they CAN read those books? Assuming you have a child like Austin who won't just decide for himself that he wants to read it?

LisaQuing said...

Seems to me that Austin needs a lot of routine in his homeschool curriculum. He needs to know what is coming next. Would you agree?

If so, then maybe he needs to be aware of all the reading books coming up in the next term (or whatever period) so he can "psyche" himself up for it?

Also, I don't agree with your assessment that he won't decide for himself that he wants to do something. It's a learned skill in some cases. So you can give him lots of opportunities to do this in small ways.

I don't know if I am making any sense or not.

I know that when I pushed DAvid, he didn't learn to read, nor enjoy what he HAD to read. When I let him alone and provided him with lots of good and interesting books, and modeled reading as something enjoyable, he learned to enjoy it.

BTW, David recommends comic books, such as Calvin and Hobbes, for Austin. ;-) He says they are what got him interested in reading longer books. He has a lot to say on this subject actually. I could barely hush him once he got started! LOL


Niffercoo said...

Lisa, you are so right about the need for routine in his curriculum!!

I will order Calvert at the convention!! Thank for you making it clear!


LisaQuing said...

I'll be sending you my bill. :-D

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