Saturday, July 14, 2007

Cheater post/re-post

Lorrie has a new post about getting, forcing, cajoling, or tricking her daughter to read (or not) and what is healthy in this regard. She has several comments in addition to mine.

As you know, J is a very well-behaved kid: polite, kind, and big-hearted. While these characteristics are lovely, we wish he would show more initiative and be more pro-active. He frustrates us how he floats through life. I suspect it relates to his ADD and mixed mild dyslexia, although his grades are good, teachers happy, and he qualified for the gifted program in math for next year. [The latter is a benefit of having such an observant and overall positive teacher for third grade as opposed to second.]

Here's what I wrote at Lorrie's:

Unlike ex or I as kids or me now, my son doesn't pick up a book without a threat. We fear what we consider his lack of motivation. I do get him animal magazines and he'll look at those for the pictures. However, it's not a matter of him being able to read.

As a parallel example, I have regaled him about how his father and I used to pour over our scout books (reading!) in order to actively figure out getting done our next badge. J is perfectly content to let us or the den decide his next activity, never even picking up the book unless I trick him somehow.

Like your example, and I've fretted the issue, he starts violin in the fall through school. After years of prepping him that it'll happen in the 4th grade and him coming on board with it over the last six months, I almost dread it. I know he will not be motivated to practice. [And I don't anticipate classroom time will be enough. He needs to learn to read music. I have a feeling I will be re-learning reading music and will learn the violin in the process.]

Do I allow him to fail on his own? How do I milk the motivation? I do not want to pay him to practice, the only thing that seems to motivate him. I've called him "My Little Capitalist" for years.

I keep waiting on something besides xbox and tv to click!

What do you folks think? What has worked with/for you? Or, better yet, what might work for my elementary-aged kid?

PS-The craft show was more of a yard sale. It was a bust. Par for any of the crafters, I earned back half of my entry fee only to spend it at's coming home. Alas. I'm going to have quite the personal earring wardrobe or I need to find some more outlets.


brite69 said...

I have nothing to offer. I've always loved to read. I can remember getting in trouble in the fourth grade for checking out Stephen King's Misery when my class went to the public library. My teacher yelled at me and told me I had no business checking out that book, that I was too young to understand it and that I would never finish it. I countered that by telling him that I had already finished it (he didn't realize I had it until 3 days after I checked it out) and that I understood it just fine. He didn't believe me, so he made me write up a book report to be turned in the following day. I did and he, upon realizing that I did actually understand and read the book, decided to call my parents and try to get me in trouble with them. They poitely told him to go screw himself, that they were in no way going to hinder my reading. I switched schools a few months later (we moved) and had my reading levels tested. I was reading at a level equivalent with that of a college sophomore.

My son loves to read to me, but it has to be when HE is in the mood for it. Since he's 6, I have no issues with reading to him the majority of the time. I try not to force it on him too much, as I want him to love reasing as much as I do. I was never forced to read. If I had been , I fear that I would have grown to hate it and I don't want the boy to hate reading. Right now, he doesn't seem to be having any issues. He still writes his Es backwards, which has me somewhat concerned that he may have inherited my mild dyslexia, but other than that, he seems to be on track right now.

I have no real advice to offer since I've never been through it really. But, I wanted to leave you a book for a comment just because. :-P (That's what working horibly long hours has done to me. I'm sorry.)

Cricket said...

Babbling welcomed. It almost seemed like a conversation around here.

I'm especially glad your parents backed you up.

I remember in the eighth and ninth grades when the Bookmobile would park right outside my house ever few weeks. I was a read-a-holic. My parents were so proud. Little did they know that I was reading historical novels that were the eighth grade equivalent of porn! I loved that Jean Plaidy stuff.

Klynn said...

I wish I had some sage advice for you, but I don't. I can't get TJ motivated for anything that she doesn't really want for herself. Even then it doesn't always work for long. In the 5th grade, I paid a small fortune for her to take private piano lessons. A few months in she told me she didn't want to do it any more because she never wanted to take the time to practice and just didn't want to put the effort in.

I was very lucky on the reading front, though. She takes after her momma, and loves to read a good fantasy book. If I take her to the library, she's usually limited by the amount of books she can actually carry, then finishes them all before we have a chance to go back to the library. She's a good writer, too. Now if I can just get her motivated to do the non-fun stuff *before* the fun stuff, maybe she'll do better at school this year.

Cricket said...

I was counting on you! ha

Kids will be kids.

I took clarinet in the 4th and accordian in the 5-6th. I practiced once or twice a week, nothiing spectacular, but I still got a lot out of it. Did not like the piano lessons in the 8th-ish grade, but the teacher creeped me out.

I think it's hard getting all the stars to line up for success.