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Struggling with discussing books with logic stage child


Karie
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My son is in 5th grade, and I KNOW I should be discussing some of his reading with him, but it's not getting done. I am NOT a reader. I don't enjoy reading, so reading his books in advance just isn't working at all plus I don't have the time to read his books. I've used some of the questions from WTM with him to talk about the book after he's read the whole thing, but I don't know if this is sufficient.

 

Should I be doing lit guides with him? I sometimes feel that these are just a lot of writing with not a lot of benefit. If I'm discussing with him questions from the WTM book and trying to get him to think about the book rather than just give me short answers, do you feel this is enough?

 

Help me out here!! I'm not sure WHAT I'm doing!!! :001_huh:

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I feel this same way at times. I do not have time to read as much as my dd does. She reads ALL the time. I have used literature guides, and even when I haven't read the book, I feel like I can tell if she is answering properly. Here is a link to free literature guides for several books. I'll be listening in to others' suggestions as well.

 

http://www.glencoe.com/sec/literature/litlibrary/

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My 5th grader started using Drawn Into the Heart of Reading this year. We are really enjoying it. I like it because you don't have to use a particular set of books with it. Also, it doesn't beat the books to death, if you know what I mean! The learning is kind of relaxed and feels easy-going. It is very flexible and you can use as much or little of each unit as you like. Both my son and I love to read and have always enjoyed discussing his books but using this has added depth and variety to our conversations.

 

http://www.heartofdakota.com/drawn-into.php

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My son is in 5th grade, and I KNOW I should be discussing some of his reading with him, but it's not getting done. I am NOT a reader. I don't enjoy reading, so reading his books in advance just isn't working at all plus I don't have the time to read his books. I've used some of the questions from WTM with him to talk about the book after he's read the whole thing, but I don't know if this is sufficient.

 

Should I be doing lit guides with him? I sometimes feel that these are just a lot of writing with not a lot of benefit. If I'm discussing with him questions from the WTM book and trying to get him to think about the book rather than just give me short answers, do you feel this is enough?

 

Help me out here!! I'm not sure WHAT I'm doing!!! :001_huh:

 

I see no need to analyze what he reads in 5th grade.

 

To help with conversations, I sometimes used a little chart in Home School Form-U-La. My son would circle numbers on scales, so it was painless. The scales were things like "historic value, scientific value, moral value," etc. Then I'd ask him why he chose to rate each one. (I am a bit anal, so I wrote down what he said, but you wouldn't have to.)

 

Maybe if you just develop a simple list of things to discuss about each book?

 

Or, you could find a list of "literature elements" (like the one in the back of Writing Strands), and discuss one after each book?

 

Julie

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You don't need to go in depth with every book. Pick a few a year that you will use a literature guide for (I think Progeny Press are about the best out there.) Then for the rest of the books (or some of the rest, you don'thave to discuss every one,) google for a synopsis for yourself so that you can just ask him a few overall discussion questions and know the answers. Really do try to read the ones you use a literature guide for.

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You don't need to go in depth with every book. Pick a few a year that you will use a literature guide for (I think Progeny Press are about the best out there.) Then for the rest of the books (or some of the rest, you don'thave to discuss every one,) google for a synopsis for yourself so that you can just ask him a few overall discussion questions and know the answers. Really do try to read the ones you use a literature guide for.

 

:iagree:

 

You don't need to use guides for every book, just choose a few for the year. I use them as discussion guides, not requirering ds to write the answer to the questions.

 

Hillside Education has nice simple guides.

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I agree with others that you don't have to discuss every book. *But* I would *strongly encourage you not only to use a list of discussion questions (if that's helpful to you), but also to *read* those handful of books each year. No, you don't have to read every single book if you just can't. But you *need* to read at least a handful of his books each year. It will make you a better teacher both for those books and in the future by stretching *you* as well as your son.

 

Otherwise, I fear you will find yourself in over your head very quickly in terms of directing his education.

 

Look at his upcoming reading list. Choose 3 works for the rest of the school year that you are going to read ahead of him. Perhaps pick one that just sounds interesting, one that seems relatively manageable, and one that will be somewhat challenging for you. Figure out when you need to have each finished (in order to free up the books for him), and break the number of pages down into chunks you can handle.

 

And just do it. Require the same discipline from yourself that you expect from him. And read them.

 

It really will help you to be a better teacher for him -- both with these specific books, and in general.

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I've struggled with this quite a bit. I just listened to SWB's Great Books CD- she helped me to calm down about lit. My understanding of her 5th grade literature is that the child is continuing to narrate or summarize the story and answering one or two questions from TWTM per book. (But not every book, and not the books the child adores.)

 

I was paying more attention to her ideas for older kids as I listened, so I might have missed or not understood something.

 

I was relieved to find her suggestions so manageable and inexpensive.

 

HTH,

Sherry

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I agree with others that you don't have to discuss every book. *But* I would *strongly encourage you not only to use a list of discussion questions (if that's helpful to you), but also to *read* those handful of books each year. No, you don't have to read every single book if you just can't. But you *need* to read at least a handful of his books each year. It will make you a better teacher both for those books and in the future by stretching *you* as well as your son.

 

Otherwise, I fear you will find yourself in over your head very quickly in terms of directing his education.

 

Look at his upcoming reading list. Choose 3 works for the rest of the school year that you are going to read ahead of him. Perhaps pick one that just sounds interesting, one that seems relatively manageable, and one that will be somewhat challenging for you. Figure out when you need to have each finished (in order to free up the books for him), and break the number of pages down into chunks you can handle.

 

And just do it. Require the same discipline from yourself that you expect from him. And read them.

 

It really will help you to be a better teacher for him -- both with these specific books, and in general.

 

An alternative to reading them yourself would be to read them aloud together or listen to an audio version together. You can use the discussion questions from TWTM or a study guide to move your conversations along.

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I've been doing read alouds with him, and I did read 2 of his books, but I can't get to ALL of them! I'll just continue on the path I'm on and look at the online guides for questions. I can't afford to purchase anything else this school year, so we're on the "free budget" right now! Thanks for all your help. We are going on vacation in 2 weeks, so I'll bring another book that I plan to have him read starting in January so I can read it on the plane.

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I've been doing read alouds with him, and I did read 2 of his books, but I can't get to ALL of them! I'll just continue on the path I'm on and look at the online guides for questions. I can't afford to purchase anything else this school year, so we're on the "free budget" right now! Thanks for all your help. We are going on vacation in 2 weeks, so I'll bring another book that I plan to have him read starting in January so I can read it on the plane.

 

Sounds like a good plan. :D

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