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How do you handle reading? I have a 6th grade boys who can read and comprehend just fine. When he wants to! I would love to just let him read whatever he wants to, but he currently isn't that motivated to read. I have assigned books to him, with his input, that are appropriate for his level and interests. How can I keep him accountable for reading assignments without a bunch of busy work, which we both dislike? Any fun ways of handling reading assignments in your house?

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My daughter is 12 and an unmotivated reader.  We build reading time into her school day and we discuss the book but I don't give any assignments, per say.  At the beginning of the year, I create a list of books for her to choose from for the year and then add in 1-2 books for history and/or science.  She just reads at her own pace, picking up the next book of her choice when she's finished with one.  

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I just simply required reading--30 minutes per day, or a minimum of one chapter--whichever took longer. When we had our one on one time each day, I would ask what was happening in their reader. Sometimes these were very short conversations, and sometimes they would be longer. I could usually tell if they gave me a funky answer that something was up--it was rare, but at least once with each student they tried to fake having read something when they hadn't. But when they started telling me something and I would ask a follow-up question--well, even without having read the book I could just tell. As I said, that was rare though, and most of the time they enjoyed the reading or at least found it interesting, and we had good conversations about the characters or events. Sometimes their conversations even convinced me to read the book! (I enjoy reading, I just found it hard over the years to keep up with everything. Sometimes now I want to go back and read more of those books that I missed...)


Anyway--no busy-work required, and good conversation to boot. Mine especially enjoyed if a book had a cliff-hanger, because I would act VERY distressed about not being able to know what would happen next, and they would just grin like I always did with read-alouds as they said, "You'll just have to find out...tomorrow!" They liked the role-reversal. 

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I have 3 fold reading in our homeschool:  

1 - Literature class reading daily - I use an anthology which I read/discuss/test with the student. My current 6th grader uses California Treasures by McGraw Hill. This ensures I cover all the genres and skills with shorter, manageable stories, poems, and articles. There may be a paper or project every few weeks or so.  I also assign a twice a week novel study with a guide each quarter. 

2 - Self-selected independent reading.  I use Accelerated Reader (http://www.arbookfind.com/) to gauge the reading level and assign a quarterly point goal (http://argoals.renlearn.com/). They get 1/2 credit for books below their level. There are no assignments or tests with this reading, but I do expect a verbal summary and opinion when finished. 

3 - Read Alouds.  These are the books I select to read/discuss with both of my boys.  We have a novel and several nonfiction books that tie into content/current events each week. 


I do this because neither of my boys would pick up a book if given a choice though they love the read alouds and generally enjoy their own selections.

Edited by J&JMom
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We read and discuss. If they didn't read it well enough to hold a conversation about it they're sent back to reread it until they can.


Mine are expected to read from a stack of literature I've selected for a developmentally appropriate amount of time every day. We discuss the story regularly. I do not do any form of book report or busywork. Just discussion. That stack has a variety of genres and difficulty levels and I did keep them in mind when selecting the books. They can choose which book comes next from that stack.


We usually have a family read aloud going, and most of them read on the side too. Those free-reading books we don't discuss in detail unless they bring it up. I may ask how it's going out of curiosity but that's about it.

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