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Read Aloud Difficulty

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  • jejegreer
    started a topic Read Aloud Difficulty

    Read Aloud Difficulty

    Clara has recently decided that she "HATES" to have people read stories to her. She tries to plug her ears, sing loudly, run-around wild, and do everything she can to not have to listen to me read her the story books, nature readers, poems and the Story Bible. I have never heard of a child who does not like having people read to her. My older daughter (10 and an extremely good reader) loves hearing stories still. I am not sure what to do with Clara on this. Since she cannot read books (except for really easy ones) herself yet, there does not really seem to be any other way for her to hear the stories. She won't let Stella or my husband read to her either. The only reading aloud she tolerates is the storybook in Spanish at her weekly Spanish class. This just seems absurd. If anyone else has had this problem I would love to know what you did to get your child over it.

  • Anita
    replied
    Re: Read Aloud Difficulty

    Perhaps you might try asking her to choose which book she wants to read or have read to her? (Maybe you already have?) Clara *can* read, correct? If this is a control and attention issue, giving her a bit of power might help. Just a thought.

    Good luck! I have four very strong-willed children. I get it!

    Leave a comment:


  • jen1134
    replied
    Re: Read Aloud Difficulty

    Jeje, you're Clara DOES sound like my C! He is my most charming, sparkly, humorous child and has become more cuddly the past few months, though I think Clara has him beat there! I've come to some interesting realizations about him lately...he often says that chores and school are "annoying" and I've discovered that this is his word for "hard". Even church has received this adjective.

    What we've found is that if something requires either 1)physical coordination/strength or 2)mental focus, it is hard for him. The first is why he doesn't like chores, the second covers everything else. He told me that both church and school are hard because his brain just won't focus on what's going on.

    I also discovered, quite by accident, that he has a coordination/balance problem. He was refusing to do the movement exercises that I put together for him, but he WILL do them, and quite happily, if I hold both his hands while he jumps on the trampoline. He also said that he has to hold on to the stair railing when doing the climbing sequence. My husband (also moderate-severe ADHD) said that he struggles in this way too even though it's not noticeable to those around him.

    Maybe Clara is going through the same thing as far as mental activity goes: the difficulty isn't that school itself is hard, but that it's hard for her to focus on it?
    Last edited by jen1134; 12-17-2016, 01:14 PM.

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  • cherylswope
    replied
    Re: Read Aloud Difficulty

    Originally posted by jejegreer View Post
    ...I wanted to read her a Christmas story, and she agreed that she would like to cuddle on the couch and hear it. I then read her The Little Fir Tree. She did not realize that it was for school.

    She loves the poetry CD. She and her older sister adore the music selections, and both dance to them as indicated in the instruction manual for Simply Classical 1. Clara answers the questions about the music with no trouble.

    I also started the girls listening to Story of the World last year on audio CD. They LOVE listening to it, and actually ask to hear it. Last year, when we did the ancient history CDs, we listened to them in the car and at home. They have heard the entire 1st book at least twice. They even asked me to bring it to listen to it in the car when we were driving about 6 hours to our summer camping destination. They continue to love book 2.

    While they are listening to Story of the World I allow them to color in those nice Dover and Bellerophon coloring books with illustrations of the times that the book covers. I started doing this because Clara was having trouble listening to the CDs at home (she was still fine hearing them in the car).

    I, myself, have diagnosed ADD (I am old, so I believe it is now called ADHD inattentive style), and I can listen to books on tape much better if I have something to do with my hands. This seemed to help Clara.

    This is all wonderful to hear! You have good insights into what Clara needs. Maybe more of your read-alouds can be enjoyed on the sofa! We read almost everything this way, or atop the comforter on a bed. Beautiful books do not need to feel "school-ish."


    Thank you for such a lovely glimpse into your cuddly, dancing, animal-loving Huggy Bear.

    Leave a comment:


  • cherylswope
    replied
    Re: Read Aloud Difficulty

    Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
    All that to say: it's SO easy to begin labeling our own children, many times without even realizing it, and that can lead to a negative perception of them on our part. Kids can sense this and it will make them insecure and confrontational -- they're just trying to defend themselves from negative feelings by the person they inherently look to most for nurture.

    Powerfully stated. Thank you for this.

    Many of us will benefit from the insights here!


    Cheryl

    Leave a comment:


  • jejegreer
    replied
    Re: Read Aloud Difficulty

    This reluctance to hear a read aloud is relatively new. She got really bored last spring when I tried to read David Macaulay's City to her along with Stella. The book is pretty boring for a 7-year old, in all honesty. I think that is when she started to be annoyed by read aloud time. Prior to that she would sometimes play instead of paying attention. I may also have fostered this habit in her, as I will get to below. It is only in the past 3 months that she has become so upset about it. Drew or I used to read the kids bedtime stories every night, and Clara continued to want to hear stories that I read to her outside of school. Last night I actually kind of tricked her by telling her that I wanted to read her a Christmas story, and she agreed that she would like to cuddle on the couch and hear it. I then read her The Little Fir Tree. She did not realize that it was for school.

    In Spanish class there are 10-15 other kids each week, and they are all listening, some quite eagerly. She does what the other kids do. She is one of the youngest, and just looks up to how her sister and the other kids behave. There are a couple of preschoolers, 2 7-year olds, 2 9-year olds, and the rest are all 10 to 12 so the littler ones follow the behavior of the bigger ones.

    She loves the poetry CD. She and her older sister adore the music selections, and both dance to them as indicated in the instruction manual for Simply Classical 1. Clara answers the questions about the music with no trouble. I also started the girls listening to Story of the World last year on audio CD. They LOVE listening to it, and actually ask to hear it. Last year, when we did the ancient history CDs, we listened to them in the car and at home. They have heard the entire 1st book at least twice. They even asked me to bring it to listen to it in the car when we were driving about 6 hours to our summer camping destination. They continue to love book 2. While they are listening to Story of the World I allow them to color in those nice Dover and Bellerophon coloring books with illustrations of the times that the book covers. I started doing this because Clara was having trouble listening to the CDs at home (she was still fine hearing them in the car). I, myself, have diagnosed ADD (I am old, so I believe it is now called ADHD inattentive style), and I can listen to books on tape much better if I have something to do with my hands. This seemed to help Clara. We have the activity book, and while I never even remotely considered mummifying a chicken with the kids (!!!), I do ask them the questions that review the chapter. Clara has very little trouble with this.

    It is kind of funny to read your comment with concern at me finding Clara's best qualities and Jen's comment, as well, because I have to try really hard to not play favorites with Clara. She is my angel baby when she is not doing school. Unless we are doing school, or she is being asked to do something she does not want to do (e.g., clean her room, behave at the grocery store, eat a dinner that has vegetables in it), she is the most delightful child in the world. She is an absolutely adorable, beautiful blonde-haired blue-eyed little girl who still has that cute almost baby look to her face. Her nickname is "Huggy Bear" because she hugs everyone all the time; in preschool she used to run up to each parent who arrived to pick up a preschooler and hug them, usually while their own children ignored them. It was so precious. She still hugs people she has only known for 3 minutes. She is incredibly cuddly. She jumps into bed with me and the golden retriever (and Daddy, too, on weekends) and cuddles with us in the morning. She is extremely nice to other children, but not to the point of being a pushover. You may recall she went to public kindergarten for half of her first year of schooling, and she was incredibly popular with the other kids. There was no one with whom she did not get along in her class. She started kindergarten at age 6 (September birthday), and was the oldest in the class other than the 2 kids who had to repeat kindergarten, so she knew some of the first graders, and the only difficulty she ever had was one of those 1st graders getting mad and pushing her off the monkey bars because she could cross them better than him. She appropriately reported the problem since she was not going to let anyone treat her that way. I really do not think there is anything wrong with her other than her attitude towards school (and vegetables, but that one is for the pediatrician). Oh yes, plus the fact that she reads the title of a book like "Hide and Seek Fog" as "Hide and Seek Gof" constantly, but that is why we are using this program to help with the dyslexia. At least she knows that "golf" is not usually a hide and seek kind of sport and was very curious as to why a book would be titled this (oh, this was one of the books we skipped earlier and I was going to try to read right before the most recent read-aloud incident). I absolutely adore this child, and want her to be the best she can be. I have changed my expectations that she would be like Stella, and realized that she is different, but she is also so much less argumentative, self-sufficient, and fun to be with for things outside of those mentioned above, that I have actually been trying to make sure that I give Stella more hugs and time since I think Clara was getting so much more.

    Clara's role in the family is to be the cuddly one. He role is also the animal caretaker. From the time Clara was less than 2 she has gone camping frequently, and we discovered that she is absolutely fascinated by birds. She would toddle around campgrounds chasing them! She still loves birds, plus her pets. She is in charge of feeding the golden retriever, the 2 cats and the fish. She generally does this without even being asked. When the pets have not been fed yet and I ask if anyone wants to feed them, Clara jumps up from what she is doing shouting "me, me!" and feeds them. When Drew or I take the dog on a walk she tries to come almost every single time. She brushes the animals and plays with them. She also has an unfortunate tendency to carry our very large male Ragdoll around, which does not make him happy, but he puts up with it if Clara is the one doing the carrying.

    The only real resentment I feel towards Clara is that she will not try at school (or try most vegetables). I do not understand how it is "hard" to listen to The Story Bible and answer the really simple questions, or why it is so terrible to have someone read you a book.

    As I think about why Clara would act like she hates school so much, the only things I can come up with are that her older sister went to public school kindergarten through 2nd grade and complained tirelessly about how much she hated school. Stella still does this from time to time, but it is usually only when we are doing math. Clara could have picked that up from Stella. She also could be extremely frustrated that she still has difficulty reading when she has been through multiple beginning reading programs. Colorado is an odd state and she could technically be in 3rd grade since her birthday is on the cusp. She has not been taught multiplication but she frequently knows the answer to multiplication problems before her sister, so she could also sense that she is not stupid, but that something is wrong with anything that has to do with reading (including listening).

    I really appreciate all the time that you and Michelle have put into answering all of these questions since last spring when we switched to Memoria Press for Clara. I have gotten such helpful advice from this board. I am really trying, and keep praying that Clara will pick up reading and better behavior, and that I will find a way to reach her so that she will WANT to do these things and will love school like I did.

    Leave a comment:


  • jen1134
    replied
    Re: Read Aloud Difficulty

    Related to Cheryl's comment about Clara's self-perception:

    About a year ago, I realized that I had grown resentful towards one of my children with whom we had struggled for years (largely because we didn't understand that their brain is wired differently and how that was impacting them). I began making an effort to talk through things with them and show that I was really trying to work WITH them to move forward. It wasn't always welcome, but I noticed a change in them almost immediately. We still had plenty of struggles but they began trying to talk to me at random times. They began TRYING to behave better because I made more of an effort to notice their small improvements. I had to set limits in our conversations about what was troubling them -- some things can be changed in our lives and some can't or shouldn't -- but we have a great relationship now and I was starting to worry that would never happen!

    All that to say: it's SO easy to begin labeling our own children, many times without even realizing it, and that can lead to a negative perception of them on our part. Kids can sense this and it will make them insecure and confrontational -- they're just trying to defend themselves from negative feelings by the person they inherently look to most for nurture.
    Last edited by jen1134; 12-16-2016, 08:46 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • cherylswope
    replied
    Re: Read Aloud Difficulty

    Originally posted by jejegreer View Post
    Clara has recently decided that she "HATES" to have people read stories to her. She tries to plug her ears, sing loudly, run-around wild, and do everything she can to not have to listen to me read her the story books, nature readers, poems and the Story Bible. I have never heard of a child who does not like having people read to her. My older daughter (10 and an extremely good reader) loves hearing stories still. I am not sure what to do with Clara on this. Since she cannot read books (except for really easy ones) herself yet, there does not really seem to be any other way for her to hear the stories. She won't let Stella or my husband read to her either. The only reading aloud she tolerates is the storybook in Spanish at her weekly Spanish class. This just seems absurd. If anyone else has had this problem I would love to know what you did to get your child over it.
    Hi, Jeje.

    Has it always been this way for her, or is this new?

    What is different in the weekly Spanish class? Other than the obvious difference of the text being in another language, is the setting more comfortable or relaxing? Less "school-ish"? This would indicate Colomama's point. Maybe a welcoming, rather than mandatory, reading might help.

    You indicated being puzzled by her resistance to reading aloud (and other behaviors). Is anyone in the extended family "wired" like Clara? If yes, this might give you some insight.


    I also wonder about an auditory sensitivity. Does she also seem to balk at "too many words" when you give her directions? Those read-alouds are important for her language learning, but perhaps it is sensory overload in some way. So maybe she would appreciate headphones for listening, to block out other sounds? If so, as Michelle suggested, audio books in her own quiet listening space might help.


    Another idea --
    Does she seem to enjoy the CD of poetry set to music? If not, try this with headphones or in a quiet time, such as bedtime on her nightstand. If she already enjoys them, you might accomplish good language "input" this way. MP has several of them: A Child's Garden of Songs, Back to the Garden, and Days Gone By.


    Last, what are Clara's best qualities? What is her most helpful place in the family?

    Given her past and current struggles, it will be very important for her to become helpful -- and for her to see herself as helpful -- in your family. What does she do well? What good thing does she love? Create as long a list of these as possible.

    Young Clara will need to begin to sense a shift in perception regarding her role in the family. The best thing you can do for her right now is to give her clear limits for her behavior, while you also find Clara's own small gifts and talents that can serve your family. You will want her to begin to strengthen and enjoy, rather than sabotage, the relationships within your home.


    All easier said than done, but so important for the future. And for right now.

    Cheryl

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  • Michelle T
    replied
    Re: Read Aloud Difficulty

    You might also try listening to an audio book.

    Michelle T

    Leave a comment:


  • Colomama
    replied
    Re: Read Aloud Difficulty

    My kids sometimes do this. It's not really that they don't like it, it's that they don't want to stop what THEY'RE doing and do something else.

    My son will try to destroy quiet reading for others as well. What? Does standing on my head on the couch screaching interrupt you?

    Interesting that it's reading with others, not just you.

    Have you tried just reading aloud. No announcing, just sitting and reading. Let her continue whatever she's doing and just read.

    Leave a comment:

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