my3boys wrote:Although he enjoys reading and stories, I cannot just hand him a book and expect him to read it - he will read for 5 or 10 minutes, put the book down, forget to pick it up again, not be able to find it the next day, and then cry because it is too long. He seems to need me to break it up into manageable pieces and schedule a time for him to sit and read it - and even then it is hard for him to concentrate on it for very long.
So, about problems with boys & reading, I'll just share a few things that I did over the years with MFW. I know your problem is ADD and ours isn't, but my son still is very active, very social, and very auditory/verbal, so sitting and reading a book through just doesn't happen here, either. Here are some things that did seem to help:
- When I was reading, he was/is allowed to move. Currently he is into juggling
but over the years he's done many things while I have read, including rolling on a giant exercise ball. I've tested his retention here & there, and found it's actually much higher if he's moving.
- For his reading, I follow the MFW lesson plans with independent reading scheduled daily. However, I have allowed him to read books that are way below his grade/ability. I have had much prayer over this, because my son is an excellent reader and yet even in 5th or 6th grade was still sometimes reading those "first readers" about different presidents & such. But over the years, God has helped direct our paths and with the aid of things like a boys' book club and exposure to good literature in MFW, he has now finally in 8th grade been reading up to his ability with books like Tom Sawyer. (We still use some of the techniques below, though.)
- After allowing really easy books for a while, I might nudge him forward by honing in on the "type" of easy book he was enjoying, and increasing the difficulty a little at a time. For instance, when he liked the humor in Amelia Bedelia
(the puns get funnier the older you get), we tried Pippi
. When he liked Nate the Great (simple mysteries & quirkiness), I tried to move him into Homer Price
and Encyclopedia Brown
. There are also books that "look" easy and actually have more meat than the child realizes, such as Shh! We're Writing the Constitution
- The amount I assigned was approximately one chapter a day, and the length of the chapters naturally progressed over the years. I allowed him to present a case for reducing the amount if he felt the chapter was excessively long.
- We've used a lot of audiobooks over the years. Depending on your child's learning styles, audiobooks can be a great blessing to allow children to experience good literature, hear good vocabulary, and avoid burn-out. (If he's not auditory, he might listen while following along in some books.) For instance, during RTR he listened to a Beowolf-based audiobook from Jonathan Park.
- Often I read the first chapter aloud, or even the first two chapters of longer books. Those chapters often have so much setting and character development that they don't begin to draw the reader in. Also, each book has its own "style" and I like to model that for my son. He has been known to mistake humor or local dialects for simple grammar errors
- Because my son is so social, and reading feels like "solitary confinement," I have often sat next to my son and read my own books (or teacher materials) while he is reading. That way, he can stop and share what he is laughing about or tell me the scary part. He has been known to read much more at a time with me sitting nearby.
- I allow more flexibility in reading time than with most other subjects. My son can read at bedtime in his room or during school out in the hammock. He also doesn't have to read the entire chapter at once, although I do think it saves time and helps with comprehension if he reads several pages at a time. When he was especially resistant, I allowed him to read a bit, then do something active like chin-ups or take a walk, and then back and forth. However, he must read his chapter each day or this flexibility gradually disappears for a while
- Adding one more: Sometimes we focus on videos for "book basket time," especially if ds is doing a good job of reading during "reading time." I feel his studies are still enriched
Maybe some little thing in there will work for your young man?
I LOVE all your great ideas on reading with your boy, they will come in very handy for me (with 5 boys:).
He's really outgrown Amelia, Mr Putter, Nate the Great, and he can read the "big boy" books, but he'd really just rather stick with the younger stuff (and Cam Jansen, he LOVES Cam Jansen). Maybe I'll just let him go on for a while like this, esp since he listens in on most of the the RtR stuff.
And, the audiobook stuff is so true, him and all his little brothers would listen to anything I put in the CD player.