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crisis with 8 year old


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My son is 8 years old and next week begins his 3rd week of the 3rd grade.

 

Yesterday after school my son did his math homework but told me he had forgot his reading book. I looked in his bag and sure enough I did not find it. So, he did not do his vocabulary definitions or use in sentances like I had planned. I told him please dont do that again, you can not get out of homework by forgetting your book.

 

However, this morning I checked his bag to make sure he had not put any toys in it...... and I found his book when I did not find it there yesterday. I told him 'you lied to me' ... He said 'I did not'... I said 'we will talk later'...

 

He went outside to catch the bus to school. This really upsets me and I have thought about this all day long. What do you think would be a good punishment for this. Last year I had the MOST trouble getting him to do any reading for some reason he says that he hates it, that its boring. I do not know how to get him interested in it. He has his own library card and for a while I took him there once a week to check out a book, but I could not get him to read anything he checked out. I then went there while he was at school one day, toward the end of last school year and had the librarian help me. I came home with 3 very cool Dr Suess books that were more his age group. He would not even read them and would get angry should I suggest it. Those books sat there except for when I read them to him.

 

Im concerned because I can see from his test scores that he did not pass on the grammer and reading portion. While he can read he is behind where he should be... What can I do to help him? I know he hid the book because he did not want to do his homework. Thanks for any suggestions or input you can give me. #-o

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Well, statistically boys tend to be less interested in reading than girls. Though I read a stat the other day twice as many boys read Harry Potter than girls (and you know how many kids read that!). My mother had all us reading very early...my sister and I loved to read (my report cards always came home saying I needed to get my nose out of books...especially since they were grades ahead of what we were doing..lol), my brother was far less interested.

 

I think this is in large part due to the way they learn and process things (visualizing what they read is not as easy as it seems to be for girls).

 

I also wonder though...have you ruled out any learning disorders like dyslexia? He may find it frustrating or "foreign" but also be afraid of feeling stupid if he admits any of that....something to think about.

 

He may be able to pass tests and have enough to get through them, but if he finds it difficult or a chore he won't enjoy it, and read for the pleasure to advance his reading skills.

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Well I think this is an ongoing battle with most parents. I have had similar problems with mine conveniently forgetting books, saying they've already done their homework when they haven't, claiming they didn't get any homework that day, etc.

 

I've found that taking away privileges seem to work the best. No tv, video games, computer time, etc until homework is finished and I've checked it. I work with the teachers so I know they always have spelling homework on Tuesday, math every day, etc. You have to know the schedule or at least have a really good idea in order to have a chance at this. Talk to the teachers, trust me this is nothing new for them.

 

As far as encouraging them to read, I'd suggest doing some reading along with them. Read something together. Dr. Suess sounds maybe a little young for your 3rd grader. Get interested in a book or even a series together. Then you can talk about the books even when you aren't reading them and get excited about the continuing adventures of the characters.

 

Here's a link to some good books for that age group:

link removed

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Thanks for the link avman. Well, these are not the same 'green eggs and ham' books that he was famous for, these were written earlier and are longer. The librarian said that boys his age love it because they are just gross.. Like Stinky Stupid Tales or something like that where each one was a spin on a fairy tale he had heard before. He seemed to like me reading it but to get him to read it .... forget it.

 

The teacher sends me a 'home link' every monday that tells me what his assignments are for that week with reading, all coming out of the reading book, and he usually has one math sheet to do. Its just hard I have allways loved to read, to have my son not enjoy it.

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My brother (now 13) didn't learn to read well until he was about 10 or 11. When he was your son's age, reading made little sense and he couldn't be bothered. The school put him in a reading program and he finally learned how to read and now he does it for fun.

 

I'd suggest having him see a eye doctor too, if he hasn't, to make sure that he isn't farsighted or nearsighted. Having been nearsighted my whole life, and only getting glasses in 3rd grade, I can tell you, it screws up your ability and willingness to learn when everything is blurry and you get headaches trying to focus.

 

I'd think seriously about RayKay's thought that he might have dyslexia. It's more common than people tend to think.

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i think it would help to know what he likes to do for fun. these days with video games and other short-term attention span types of entertainments, it's difficult for little kids to sit down for long periods of time to focus on something that takes a while to digest especially if he's not very good at it.

 

when i was a little kid, i was a magnet to the tv and video games, i'm not even sure how i found time to read. however, something my mom always did was take us to the library frequently. we wouldn't just go there for a few minutes to get some books. we would really explore the library, find interesting books, spend time looking if they were "worth" borrowing. i remember reading about the planets in our solar system, kid-friendly biographies of famous people, fictional books, just learning about the world we live in.

 

i think if i was faced with a similar situation, i would take him to library. find out what turns his light bulb on there. then spend time reading at the library with him. he's going to struggle, it's not easy learning, and that's where you come in as the patient mom and help him out. do this like twice a week every week. be patient, be consistent, be supportive. i think he'll eventually see the beauty in reading.

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Maybe he doesn't like reading because he only relates it to school, or something that is a task for him, not fun. If he doesn't like reading books, there is still value in other types of reading material.

 

I had to take a course last summer in teaching reading or incorporating reading/writing into the classroom. My professor was a real advocate in using trade books, a book that is not a text book. So it could any type of interest book, educational magazine or journal, to use in the classroom.

 

Maybe find out what interests him and see if you can find good reading material on that subject, not necessarily a book or novel. I know he's only 8 years old so this may be a little more difficult. But, maybe this will get him interested in reading in general, and then maybe wanting to read a book or things for school? Just a idea. Good luck to you, and keep being supportive!

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Its just hard I have allways loved to read, to have my son not enjoy it.

 

I have one son who cannot get enough of reading. I have another that could care less. It's just the way he's built. And I've always read to all my kids but my younger son just isn't all that interested in reading on his own either.

 

You might try taking turns reading. You read a paragraph or a chapter, then he reads one. Find books on subjects that he likes, even if they are non-fiction. My son loves little matchbox cars, so I got him a car book on all the cool car models. He ate it up and couldn't get enough of it. Together we worked on the harder words and he was totally up for it because he thought cars were cool.

 

Maybe your son doesn't like fiction. Keep trying. You'll find something that he really enjoys.

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Well, I took him to the eye doctor today after soccar practice and turns out she gave him a prescription for reading glasses. It isnt a very strong prescription but she wants him to wear them when reading, watching tv, using the computer etc.

 

Hopefully this may make it easier on him. Thanks for all your input about this. definitely helps.

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