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Seriously, can a child read too much?

Posted by on Feb. 20, 2012 at 10:36 PM
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My oldest DS 9 is an avid reader.  I mean he never puts a book down!  Since september he has read all 13 Lemony Snickett books, all 7 Chronicles of Narnia plus countless small books.  Today he asked me for a new book and I gave him Phantom Tollbooth.  He only has 20 pages left!  As you can see by the titles he is reading at a much higher grade level.  Would it be detrimental by me to make him put the book down say, for a day or 2 ?

On the other side of the spectrum my 2nd DS 8 has never, ever read a book except for one 1st reader.  I've tried every kind of book possible in my libraries.  He likes comic books but that's it and I don't have very many of those.  Any suggestions of books for the beginning reader that enjoys more mature material and lots of action?

"Bless me, I couldn't get on at all without my flock of dear, noisy, naughty, harum-scarum little lads!!


                                                                                                    Louisa May Alcott in "Little Men"

by on Feb. 20, 2012 at 10:36 PM
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jen2150
by Member on Feb. 21, 2012 at 9:07 AM

My oldest is an avid reader as well.  I wouldn't say make him not read for a day or two.  I tell my boys variety is the spice of life.  They each have their own lego city and many other activities.  Many I have them try different things.  Reading should inspire us to do things, create, and put our imagination into something worthwhile.  Many times I suggest we go for a walk or do something fun.  We are very active.  I try to encourage doing a variety of acivities by word and by example.  What kind of things does he like?  

My younger son is 8 as well and is not an avid reader yet but he loves to be read to.  I would pick some Roald Dahl books to read to your sons.  They are such great read aloud books.  Your older son may even enjoy reading them himself.  We were eating the other day and he said, "Mommy I read my cup"  He proceeded  to read it to me.  He is getting really close I know very soon he will reading all on his own.  Also I highly recommend Geronimo Stilton series.  They are so great for kids.  

All kids read at different rates.  My oldest was reading at a 3rd grade level and on his own by 7.  He now reads at least 2 or 3 grades above his level.  My youngest is not behind in any way but just has developed differently.  He is really close to reading on his own. I say if he loves reading comic books on his own then go with it.  My son loves reading Garfield.  I would still read books out loud to him. Try different ones and types and see what he likes best. 

4quivers
by Member on Feb. 21, 2012 at 9:37 AM

I read all the time to them!  He loves all the books I read.  He recieved Grimm's fairy tales for his birthday.  He started to read it, but then put it down.  I know his eyesight has caused some delay.  He has a lazy eye, we've tried many things but my options are limited.  1 doc told me he needed surgery but I just can't do that.  Both my husband and I had serious complications with ours.  I couldn't take that chance with my son.  I think I'll make another post looking for ideas for vision therapy.  They do not offer that around here..

"Bless me, I couldn't get on at all without my flock of dear, noisy, naughty, harum-scarum little lads!!


                                                                                                    Louisa May Alcott in "Little Men"

jessradtke
by on Feb. 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Oh, boy can I sympathize with trying to find books for a reluctant reader! My oldest is on the autistic spectrum, has sensory isues, and also has difficulty with left-right tracking. He is also cross dominant (left eye, right hand). Reading was an extremely difficult task that he tended to avoid. He's very intelligent though, so most of what he wanted to learn was years ahead of his reading ability. We didn't push him to read, but focused instead on getting his need for information met in other ways. He's very auditory, so he has listened to many, many books instead of reading them. I read a lot, but audio books were a godsend for me because my voice just couldn't keep up with the amount of information he wanted to hear. He also watched/listened to a lot of videos, especially things produced for adults by PBS, Discovery, The Science Channel, The History Channel, etc. He did like graphic novels sometimes, especially when he was between 8 and 10, so we got as many things in graphic novel form as we could find. Not just super hero type stuff but classic literature, Hardy Boys, history, companion books to series he liked to listen to like the "Warriors" cats, and lots more. There's a lot out there nowdays. We also figured out that he seems to have less trouble reading on a large computer screen than he does reading from a book, so we get many of his books in digital format so he can read them on his laptop.

My husband and I were both more like your oldest. We always had our noses in books and I still do, as a matter of fact. I literally read dozens of books a week. My husband and I were both reading at high school and college levels while still in elementary school, so we had a little trouble understanding a reluctant reader. 

I don't think it would be bad to ask your son to put the book down for a bit, but for a WHOLE DAY OR TWO? I would have been a basket case if my mom had suggested that when I was a kid! LOL Luckily, my mom is an avid reader too, so she supported my reading habit :-) Seriously though, I really wouldn't suggest that he put the book down unless there's a real reason to. I prefer to think of it sort of like a kid who is going through a growth spurt and suddenly starts eating three times what he usually does. When his need for "input" slows down, his need to read will adjust itself too. On a side note, we call that intense need to devour information "input" around here because of the movie Short Circuit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj-qBUWOYfE 

jen2150
by Member on Feb. 21, 2012 at 6:31 PM

  I never had a son with vision trouble but I hope you find something that works and helps.  

Quoting 4quivers:

I read all the time to them!  He loves all the books I read.  He recieved Grimm's fairy tales for his birthday.  He started to read it, but then put it down.  I know his eyesight has caused some delay.  He has a lazy eye, we've tried many things but my options are limited.  1 doc told me he needed surgery but I just can't do that.  Both my husband and I had serious complications with ours.  I couldn't take that chance with my son.  I think I'll make another post looking for ideas for vision therapy.  They do not offer that around here..


FelipesMom
by Member on Feb. 23, 2012 at 10:01 AM

I personally would let the kid read as much as he wants. Not because reading is some amazing awesome thing that you can never get too much of, but simply because it's what he wants to do :o)

As for the one who doesn't want to read much, my first suggestion was going to be comic books, so I'm glad to see he likes them! I would continue to seek out and offer comic books that are appropriate for him (ie, interesting content, not too much text for him, mature enough for him, etc).

Good luck! I think I, too, would feel a little unsure of myself if I were in your shoes (I would be thinking, "I really believe in letting my kids do whatever interests them, and lead their own learning, but this is so extreme! Is it still OK, or should I step in?") - but I do truly believe that they should be allowed to read as much or as little as they want :o)

I see that you want what's best for them :o) both in terms of letting them be in charge and also in terms of being a good caretaker and facilitating their learning in the most useful way. :o)

LETICIA  (kind of rhymes with Patricia)
Mom to Felipe, born 11-24-2006

Group Owner - Unconditional Parenting, Earthy Tribal Mamas
Admin - Loving Alternatives to Mainstream Parenting

faeriemom1972
by Member on Feb. 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM
My dd20 is a very avid reader, while ds5 shows no interest in even learning the alphabet! I love comic books, reading is reading as far as I'm concerned.
LindaClement
by Group Owner on Feb. 24, 2012 at 2:56 PM

Well, for a start, I'd check the disdain for comic books. Not the least because right in the name of them: they're books. Your library may be all progressive and have a collection... otherwise, check out garage sales, comic book stores and collector events: they are often selling 'ordinary' comics for very little.

But, no: I don't think it's possible to read 'too much.' Would you ask if a child could learn 'too much'?

I would also say: kids tend to go through 'jags' --doing the same thing obsessively for weeks or months or years, only to drop it and do something else for weeks or months or years.

My two girls have had jags of Barbies, watching movies, dancing, hanging out with one crowd of people, gymnastics, playing board games, SIMs, msn messenger, being beach bums, playing 'school' with friends... and I don't even know what all else.

And yes, I think you should mind your own learning and leave your son's alone. If he weren't getting something he valued out of reading that much, he wouldn't be doing it. Since you don't know what it is, you certainly can't tell him when 'it's enough.'

lindymommy
by New Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Wonder what you decided to do here? I have an 8 year old who i feel is reading too much. She reads like you describe your son and i feel it's not balanced. She doesn't want to do ANYTHING else. Except TV and computer games- all passive activities that don't involve other people. She is in school all day and goes to an after school program so maybe she just has had enough of people by the day's end and i should let it go but even over the summer all she wanted to do was read and we had to force her to do anything else. I am afraid it's some sort of withdrawal from the world but i can't get anything out of her if that's the case. Wonder if you made him stop? Thanks

LindaClement
by Group Owner on Sep. 11, 2013 at 11:43 PM

My mom reads 4-5 books a day. Should I ask her?

Yes, I believe it would be detrimental to ask an avid reader to put the book down. 

Unless you know what the child is getting out of the reading, it's unreasonable to stop the process....

What is it that you think is wrong with comic books? When did they cease to involve 'real' reading? (Our library has a HUGE collection of graphic novels and comic book compilations...)

LindaClement
by Group Owner on Sep. 11, 2013 at 11:45 PM

School is also a passive activity that rewards passivity. If that's not a problem, neither is reading, tv or computer games... 

If 'receiving others' thoughts' is a problem, it's has to be a problem everywhere, not just outside of school...

I'm uncomfortable with the word 'force'... because in my experience what it means in real life is 'distorted.'

Quoting lindymommy:

Wonder what you decided to do here? I have an 8 year old who i feel is reading too much. She reads like you describe your son and i feel it's not balanced. She doesn't want to do ANYTHING else. Except TV and computer games- all passive activities that don't involve other people. She is in school all day and goes to an after school program so maybe she just has had enough of people by the day's end and i should let it go but even over the summer all she wanted to do was read and we had to force her to do anything else. I am afraid it's some sort of withdrawal from the world but i can't get anything out of her if that's the case. Wonder if you made him stop? Thanks


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