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Reading Restraints

He came home from school and told me he was reading the Hunger Games. Had been talking about how his friend had read it and he was going to check it out. And he had. I was a little skeptical. Thought it may be over his head. So I asked the librarian.

Miss Amanda knows my kid. Her daughter’s a lot like Eamon in his reading voraciousness. And we traded stories about how both our children had teachers this year who want to hold them back in their reading levels. We discussed how we feel about that. We concurred that we have to defer to the ruling of the teachers, however much we may disagree with their practices, and encourage our children to do anything to woo the teacher’s good opinion, such as making vocabulary lists on their own. Eamon playing the piano on shalavee.com

We also agreed that all children need encouragement to pursue whatever their interest and curiosities are in learning as these may lead to more. More knowledge is never a bad thing. I think Manga, a pictorial action adventure book like the comic books of yore, is a gateway book in a good way.  Pictures and words become intertwined and suddenly Eamon will be drawing epic battles for days. 

Miss Amanda showed me Common Sense Media dot Org, an unbiased go-to website for checking out the content and appropriateness of any type of media for Eamon, be it movies, books, or video games. I love a good tool. And thanks to Miss Amanda, I’ve got a go-to place when I’m feeling not so in the know about his media input. Because I may have been hip and in the know 20 years ago, but now I’m “Granny know nothing”. S’up?Eamon on Shalavee.com

When we walked out of the library, speedily heading for home to avoid the impending rain, Eamon had about 15 books in the bottom of the stroller. And with a really satisfied look on his face, he said, if I don’t read them, I’ll just check them out again. My kid’s a reader, no matter what level he’s told he should be on, he’ s excited to read. And last week, he was even writing a book. That’s more than I’m aspiring to do these days I assure you.

8 Responses to “Reading Restraints”

  1. Jennifer says:

    A few months ago a friend of mine asked my opinion on a book for her 12-year-old son, To Kill A Mockingbird.
    She thought it was too advanced due to the talk of rape. I told her the other themes were so important and she might be surprised how much her son knows! Turns out, he knows plenty. But ultimately you know your child and can gauge what’s best for them. I do love voracious readers!

    • Shalagh says:

      That is my very favorite movie Jennifer. Turn your friend on to Common Sense Media dot com. And I suppose, as they get older, we need to talk about stuff instead of avoiding it. That’s where the questions need to happen. I found myself upset though when the radio news said something about a sex offender. Because, first, I don’t need to know, but second, he’ll ask me what’s that. And I didn’t feel like explaining that day. Totally understand her POV.
      Love Ya’,
      Shalagh

  2. Amy Reese says:

    That’s awesome! Way to go, Eamon. Reading is the best thing for kids, no matter what it is.

    • Shalagh says:

      Oh, I remember Amy going to the library and wanting to check out Lady Chatterly’s Lover. That library gave me a hard time for that. I was probably 11 years old. I’d like to say anything. But what I mean to say is any genre. No to rape and serial killers and scary stuff quite yet. We don’t even listen to the news at my house as to keep the fear factor down.
      Love to hear from you!
      Shalagh

  3. Amanda Priestley says:

    Why isn’t your son’s teacher encouraging him to read at his level? I had 38 kids in a typical class public school when I taught and I *still* made sure I gave the super verbal kids challenging work.

    • Shalagh says:

      I guess she doesn’t want him to read beyond himself without showing he’s comprehending what he’s reading Amanda. I have a meeting with her this week so maybe I’ll understand better. But he’s confused. And that’s the problem. He should never feel ashamed to read decent reading material no matter. So what if it’s over his head. Thanks and I hope your job is going well!
      Love,
      Shalagh

  4. Danielle says:

    As far as the reading levels are concerned, I don’t get too worked up about it. Both our boys are amazing readers who have always read for pleasure, with little regard for what “level” they’re on in the classroom. Considering that they’re both “above grade level” on this new system, I just trust that the teacher is doing her job and I have Graham read for 30 min right after school on his level as his homework. Whatever he wants to read after that, before bed or over the weekend, is fair game. Everyone’s happy and he doesn’t feel resentful about only being able to read what his teacher wants him to read.
    My concern is that there’s no access available to the leveling database for us parents, and I’ve never been able to find it online without entering a password (that I don’t have). Volunteering in the media center does have its perks though, I can ask Mrs. Perry to level whatever I need.
    Fyi, Last year when it was all the hype, Mrs. Perry kept The Hunger Games trilogy in her desk drawer, only available upon special request to 5th graders she thought could handle it. I read it in my downtime there and I think, like everything else, it just depends on the kid. And you know him better than anyone….but maybe you should read it as well to discuss some of the subject matter…it’s a really quick read, but I wouldn’t encourage Graham to read it. Not sure if I’d tell him he couldn’t, but definitely wouldn’t recommend it to him til hes a little older, but that’s us.

    • Shalagh says:

      Thanks Danielle. Yup to all of it. After school and what he wants afterwards and from the library. Eamon’s problem was that he was “caught” reading off his level. She actually pulled the book from his hands. And he couldn’t finish it. Now he feels confused. When we went to the library, the books listed for his level he’d already read or were girl books. So I’m with you on the figuring out the level of the read part.I’ll be inquiring when I have my teacher meeting this week. I’ll let you know what her take on it is. She does recognize Eamon’s brightness. Her children were too so that’s something. And as for the Hunger Games, he hasn’t finished reading it.I just asked and he says he got bored with it. Would rather read Pokemon. Phew. I guess I was saved from that one. I didn’t have the time to be in front of that one. And you know the “talk” is coming soon. Need to be in front of the 8 ball for that one for sure. A good book recommendation for that would be awesome. Maybe Mrs. Perry could suggest something ?
      Thanks so much Danielle.

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