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Questions about the 1 Hour Free Reading


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In the WTM book it talks about setting aside one hour a day for free reading. I know it says that they can pick any book during that time and I am fine with that because I have built a library in our home for our kids to pick from.  My question is once a book has been chosen, should I require my child to complete the chosen book? Often she will get through 1/4 of a book and then get bored with it and want to pick a different book. I have allowed her to stop and pick up a new book, because who wants to finish a book they don't like? But this seems to be a case of just not following through because it is with almost every book. What would you do? 

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If it is FREE reading, no, you should not require that a book be finished. Otherwise it becomes assigned reading.

 

I assume you are talking about an older student since you post on the high school board. There would be a sufficient amount of assigned reading for English and content subjects already - I'd not do anything to enforce completion, but I would have a conversation with my student to figure out why they don't like the books. I'd think after so many years, they should have figured out what they like to read.

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I am wondering if it is an ADHD issue? Which is why I am wondering if I should require her to finish the book she starts.  She does finish the ones I assign for school, but NEVER finishes the ones she chooses to read for her "free choice" books.  She loves to read fantasy books, so she knows her genre. 

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Being required to finish sounds like a way to kill love of reading.

 

If it's ADHD...well, being required to finish isn't going to make the ADHD go away. I actually can't think of much that would be accomplished by requiring a kid to finish free reading books. You want her to read, she's reading. Mission accomplished.

 

My preference (ADHD brain) is to have several books going at a time; when my brain gets restless with one I switch to another. Sometimes I'll use multiple sticky tabs in a book and read bits of several different sections alternately, eventually getting through the whole book but not all in order. While I do this primarily with non-fiction I have at times done it with works of literature as well.

Edited by maize
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Have you asked her why she does not finish?

What happens when you listen to audiobooks?

 Yes, she said she just gets bored with the book.  But I find this so confusing because of her initial excitement in picking out the book on her own.  I know that reading isn't a passion for her like it is for me, she prefers movies.  We have tried audiobooks as well, she doesn't mind listening to them while doing chores or going for a walk, but prefers music. Basically, if it is not assigned reading, she is not going to choose to read on her own. 

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Being required to finish sounds like a way to kill love of reading.

 

If it's ADHD...well, being required to finish isn't going to make the ADHD go away. I actually can't think of much that would be accomplished by requiring a kid to finish free reading books. You want her to read, she's reading. Mission accomplished.

 

My preference (ADHD brain) is to have several books going at a time; when my brain gets restless with one I switch to another. Sometimes I'll use multiple sticky tabs in a book and read bits of several different sections alternately, eventually getting through the whole book but not all in order. While I do this primarily with non-fiction I have at times done it with works of literature as well.

 

I consider myself an ADD reader as well. I am typically reading several books at one time from different genres.  I understand being forced to finish a book would kill the love of reading.  I am just really concerned with her inability to follow through and finish anything she starts.  

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Rather than require, you might offer an incentive for a book that is finished. My parents used to pay us to read books that they wanted us to read.

 

So, she's required to read something during free reading; if she finishes a book she earns (something motivational to her).

 

She can still choose not to finish.

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I wouldn't force or bribe her to finish a book.  I would however provide her more books and reading related activities.  

 

Maybe visit the library more often, have her keep a tally or list of books she has read, join Goodreads, and/or have her join a library teen book club.  

 

I would support and encourage the behaviors of people who are readers.

Edited by Jewels
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I consider myself an ADD reader as well. I am typically reading several books at one time from different genres.  I understand being forced to finish a book would kill the love of reading.  I am just really concerned with her inability to follow through and finish anything she starts.  

 

But, if she's finishing her reading for school, I don't see the problem. I personally wouldn't want to not know the ending to books I've started. If the books she is picking out are so predictable that she already knows how they will end (or doesn't mind the cliffhanger), I wouldn't want to finish them either.

 

I vote not making her finish the books.

 

My eldest has a habit of starting the beginning of a book, reading a snatch in the middle, then skipping to the end to find out what happens. She then returns to the beginning of the book and goes through sequentially after that to finish the book. Not knowing the end bugs her, I guess, so she feels the need to skip to find out. Reassured, she then reads the whole book. So, we have a different experience here of how-to-get-through-free-read-books.

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I consider myself an ADD reader as well. I am typically reading several books at one time from different genres.  I understand being forced to finish a book would kill the love of reading.  I am just really concerned with her inability to follow through and finish anything she starts.

 

Does she truly never finish anything she starts, in all areas? Or is it just the books available for free reading? Finishing things that have to be finished, or she otherwise wishes to finish, but not finishing books she is not/no longer interested in doesn't seem to be a problem, IMO. I think knowing when to NOT beat your way through something that it unnecessary is a very important skill to learn. How sad it would be if she always felt compelled to finish something just because she started it... whether it was a new hobby like embroidery, a fashion trend like blue hair, a relationship with no potential, a job with no advancement opportunities and no skill-building, or a little book.

 

Some people just are not readers. One of mine is not. She has EXCELLENT commitment and follow through when needed or desired. She reads what she must for school. She can analyze the plot, lighting, special effects, acting/direction, dialog, etc. from any movie, play, or musical with considerable depth and insight. But books are not her thing, and I'm OK with that.

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Does she truly never finish anything she starts, in all areas? Or is it just the books available for free reading? Finishing things that have to be finished, or she otherwise wishes to finish, but not finishing books she is not/no longer interested in doesn't seem to be a problem, IMO. I think knowing when to NOT beat your way through something that it unnecessary is a very important skill to learn. How sad it would be if she always felt compelled to finish something just because she started it... whether it was a new hobby like embroidery, a fashion trend like blue hair, a relationship with no potential, a job with no advancement opportunities and no skill-building, or a little book.

 

Some people just are not readers. One of mine is not. She has EXCELLENT commitment and follow through when needed or desired. She reads what she must for school. She can analyze the plot, lighting, special effects, acting/direction, dialog, etc. from any movie, play, or musical with considerable depth and insight. But books are not her thing, and I'm OK with that.

She truly has a problem with finishing ANYTHING she starts unless it is required of her.  And if something is out of sight, it is completely out of mind, like totally forgotten about.  Which is why I am assuming it doesn't bother her at all if she finishes the end of a book or even the end of a tv series she is watching. 

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Let free reading be free. You can't bribe a child into being a reader or enjoying reading as a past time. Requiring she finish a book or a TV show isn't going to fix ADHD. More books. More trips to the library. More reading friendly types of activities, but in a "Hey, did you see this" kind of thing not a "Mom says so" thing.

 

If you're concerned about her ability to finish things she starts, then that's a separate issue. Find some way to address that outside of what she does or does not read during free reading.

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