I completely understand the theory behind reading logs–Kids need to read every day. Got it! Do I really need to initial it every day? My kids read every day last school year, but according to their reading logs they were dumb as rocks and hardly read a book. Why? I refused to sign their reading logs until AFTER they completed their assigned amount of reading and my kids prefer to read at the end of the day and I don’t sign anything after 7:30pm (causes too much confusion at bedtime). LOTS of parents just sign blank reading logs and have the kids fill them in later. If an additional benefit of homework is to teach life skills, I don’t think too many bosses sign blank time cards, so why should I let my kids think this will be the norm in life? I often ask them for a summary of what they read before I sign too. I’m THAT parent. 🙂
I also not a fan of the time limit approach to reading logs. Ideally, I would like my kids to read more than twenty minutes a day, but when the teacher assigns a minimum number of minutes it’s hard to have them do more. For a reluctant reader it becomes both the minimum and maximum time they will read in a day. Set the timer and once it goes off-DONE! Personally, I find it hard to really get into a book in the typical fifteen to twenty minutes a day assigned in elementary school.
My third grader didn’t get into reading until I made her to read for an hour a day over the summer. It was a hard fought battle of wills, but eventually she started disappearing into her room for more than an hour to read entire books in one sitting. Progress!
Reading Aloud to My Kids is Fun!
One of my favorite suggestions/requirements of teachers is that I still need to READ ALOUD TO MY CHILDREN until ninth grade. Again I understand the theory-Kids benefit from being read to by their parents because they hear the words pronounced correctly and can ask questions about word meaning.
Makes perfect sense to me, except with four kids that means I’m theoretically reading aloud for 80 minutes a day. I think I can count on NO HANDS how many days I’ve actually done that. I know what you’re thinking, just read them all the same book for 20 minutes-DONE. Fat chance they would all pay attention to the SAME book for twenty minutes and not kill each other or fight over who gets to sit on my lap. BTW, I’ve tried and it hasn’t gone well.
By my calculations, I’ve now read at least 100,000 children’s books/stories aloud as a parent in the last eleven years. Sadly, I’ve gotten so used to reading aloud to my kids that I can read aloud with expression and suddenly realize that I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I JUST READ! It kind of gets in the way of discussing the book with my kids when we’re done. I just hope their reading comprehension doesn’t suffer…at least they will be able to pronounce the words correctly—I hope! Does that happen to anyone else?
Big idea of the day, I’m currently contemplating a parenting hack of getting children’s chapter books on Audible and playing them in the van on the way to and from practices and school. Since I’m not paying attention to what I’m reading anyway, that will save me lots of time and the professional readers will definitely be pronouncing the words correctly regardless. Problem solved!
Smarties, that’s it for my second installment on homework. Next up-How much homework is really necessary for mastery?
Questions for the day:
1) Do you make sure your kids actually READ the books for reading logs or do you just sign whatever they put in front of you?
2) Do you love reading to your kids everyday or is just another thing on your daily checklist?