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Author Topic: Need help answering son
YaYawoman

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Icon 1 posted March 28, 2008 16:32      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi guys

My son is 7 and enjoys the science and social studies programs at school. He is starting to ask some really wonderful questions. His new favorite topics are the big bang and recycling. We will be targeting the library and google but I figured I would ask here as well.

Are there any books/films/materials you have encountered for your kids or children youknow that you felt were good for younger ones?

He is struggling with reading, so text only is out. Anything you would recommend for the curious but slightly below average 7 year old? (To clarify a bit, he is far from dumb and asks great questions but has had some learning issues and is struggling with catching up on his reading)

Thanks for any replies.

Edit: Books such as the Magic School Bus series and the Eye Wonder books I feel are good but he gets discouraged and fretful so that he tunes them out, even when we read together.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted March 28, 2008 17:00      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
_________________________ YaYawoman I do not know if they are still in print. Books by Richard Scarry how things work was good for my nephews.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted March 28, 2008 17:11      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I can't think of anything on those specific subjects, but I remember loving Zoobooks when I was a kid.

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Metasquares
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Icon 1 posted March 28, 2008 21:28      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sxeptomaniac:
Well, I can't think of anything on those specific subjects, but I remember loving Zoobooks when I was a kid.

Yes, those were great!
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YaYawoman

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Icon 1 posted March 28, 2008 22:53      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks guys.

Moman I remember the Richard Scary books. They were a tad frenetic for me, but they may be just the ticket for him.

I will keep my eyes open for the zoobooks.

This is more complicated than it sounds because he is very aware of his reading deficiency and very defensive about it. When I try to buy books at his reading level he fights me because they are baby books according to him and he wants big boy books but no matter what the topic is he fades out when it is too far above his level. Even when we read together. No matter how I try to explain and show that the more he works at it the better he will get he reaches an overload point and shuts out what I and his teachers are trying to teach.

I want to encourage his curiosity and questions without throwing the reading issue into the mix. In second grade he is already inventinig excuses to try to stay home and the nurses office is his 2nd home as he invents bogus issues trying to get sent home. Would I be too much of a pansy focusing on video to keep the spark going while working on reading at other times? I am babbling, sorry it is late and I am at work and tired.

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2008 06:03      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Is there any way you could homeschool your son? Or, you could look at the homeschool materials available and see if there's something there that could be adapted for your son.

Also, have you tried books on tape/CD? The kind that come with books? That way he can control what he listens to and follow along with pictures/text if he wants. My library has lots of these.

I'll do some searching online and see what I find.

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2008 07:28      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey Yaya.

My little one has been bringing in Scholastic magazines from school lately. They have been keeping him interested in stuff since the reading is light, but it is pretty informative.

I would see if the school has a subscription and see if you might be able to get a copy of it when they come in for home.

Also, Scholastic has a parent resource page. They have a lot of tips and tricks for parents.

My eldest is still not a reader at all. He did a report not too long ago on Lord of the Flies. What we did for him was pick up a copy of the book along with the audio book so he could go back and forth between the two.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2008 11:53      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I remember Richard Scary. I don't think any of my family's books survived - the four of us loved them to death.

I'm no teacher, but have you thought about just letting your son set the pace with reading difficult material? If he flags out, is there a reason why he can't just put it aside and pick it up later when his attention span resets?

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2008 12:32      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ahh...the Richard Scary books were *great.*

An interesting thing I've found from time to time when glancing at that newfangled television stuff is a series on Discovery Channel (and also on their spin off: Science Channel) called "How it's made" - the geek in me finds that stuff pretty cool. (Granted, I have a penchant for logistics.)

There was also a pretty interesting Flash thing online a few months ago about recycling and consumption, with a catchy domain name, [and it took me nearly a 1/4 hr to find this as I forgot what it's called]:
The Story of Stuff: http://www.storyofstuff.com/

(Yay for Google...finally found it with a blog search of "earth product consumption cycle source recycle garbage")

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2008 12:40      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Are you guys talking about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_scary">this guy?</a>

Two R's in the name?

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2008 13:36      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:
Are you guys talking about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_scary">this guy?</a>

Two R's in the name?

Yes, except that should be {url=...}this guy{/url} (square braces instead of curlies)

Entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Scarry

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2008 13:59      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I never liked the Busytown books, probably because I only encountered them when I was older. Rather, I liked the Pie Rats and the other stories that actually had plots.

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YaYawoman

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Icon 1 posted March 30, 2008 12:26      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks guys. I would have responded sooner but work actually slammed for once and I had no time until now.

Thanks shroom I will use that link. The audio idea is a good one too.

Rhonnie- Homeschooling for me is not an option unless there is a total breakdown in society and schools totally shut down. First is the money issue. if I dont work we dont eat. Second is I know my limitations. I am capable and useful as encouragement backup and extra work but the core of teaching is best left to others. I dont have the patience or temperament for full time teaching. Possibly a shabby thing to admit but at least I am honest about my flaws and dont inflict them on my son,hehe. For those that are able financially and emotionally to do it a great big hug from me.

Dman thanks for the time and effort finding that link. He is at the sitter today and tonite since this is the middle of my work week, but when he comes home I will fire it up.

Oh, and sorry I sounded so whiny. It has been a long week and I was very tired. I should know better than to post that late that tired.

have a great day everyone.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted March 30, 2008 15:33      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
YYw my eldest son, who is now 19 had language and reading problems. This is not an easy problem to deal with, as dyslexia covers a wide variety of different problems, and there seem to be no simple solutions to any of them. In short nobody knows shit about it. My experience was that schools will tend to deny the problem exists, perhaps because they have no pat answers, and the extra tuition is expensive. From about the age of 9, in three separate schools I asked for him to be tested for dyslexia, and in each case they said it he was normal, and that I should accept that I had a son who was just not too bright. It was (in retrospect) bullshit, because now that he is at art college, they spotted it straight away, without any intervention from me. So full marks to you for getting (I assume) some official acknowledgement of the problem.

I assume that having passed that hurdle, your son is getting extra support from school, so what can you do? My first advice is simple - keep faith in him and his unique gifts. From what you say he is feeling pressured by the situation, which IMHO is wrong at his age. Children can take off at different ages so things might look very different for him in a year or so, and my personal belief is that the first job of primary education is to give children the confidence to follow their natural curiosity about almost everything. So just try to not be neurotic about the situation, or you will be adding to his problems.

If as I assume he is getting this extra support at school (and perhaps too much pressure), the main thing you should look to do at home is make it fun. You know best what he enjoys, so my advice would be futile, but if you don't both get some fun out of it, whether it's word games, books about science or whatever, it won't be worth doing. The one and only thing I would really encourage, is that you try to make the time and get into the habit of reading him a bed time story. There are so many wonderful books for children now, and the special world of imagination that only books can open up should give him he best motivation possible to get reading himself. It is also a wonderful intimate thing to share with your child. There are few thing better in life than reading one of the great children's stories to your child. At his age I would imagine he would be ready for Roald Dahl's wonderful subversive stories, if you have not read them to him already.

Whatever happens, keep the faith. We are all wired up differently, and all have different gifts to bring to the party. My eldest son, who, as I described, had a difficult and frustrating time at school, is now doing film and TV at art college, and was this year awarded a bursary as a gifted student. So yes - just keep the faith!

Please PM me if you want to talk more about this.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted March 30, 2008 16:31      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I know I might have posted this stuff before but I REALLY feel it is worth reinforcing again...

Anyone with kids or even their own "dyslexia" problems should /really/ look into Irlen's Syndrome

Google it - but here is as good a place to start as any web page

or here if you are in the UK web page

My stepdaughter has it /very bad/ and the change after using colo(u)red lenses was "astronomic" - /really/.

Actually I now wear "sub Irlen" coloured lenses myself for reading and using the computer - seems studies have found that age can bring on a much milder form - and they have helped me a HUGE amount - I used to speed read pages in a blink.. now despite my close vision test being basically 100% I can no longer manage this without the coloured lenses..

Yes - it sounds unbelievable and almost "pseudo science" - but if you have seen a very troubled child "miraculously" return to "normal" just by putting on the specially crafted colour filters you too would be as amazed as I was - truly a humbling experience.

This woman has found something that can help thousands or even millions of people with reading difficulties - often apparently intractable ones - for a piddling cost and without drugs...

I really cannot believe, that despite all the evidence, this problem is not being properly addressed by simple testing and the application of these lenses - where I live at least the education authority is aware of this option and happy to work with it... with often spectacular results!

If you were ever a child diagnosed as having a reading problem (or have one yourself) look into this... or if you are like me getting "over the hill" and find that reading glassed or not you "just can't seem to focus" look into it...

It seems like stupid "magic" but the results prove it is not - and "recalcitrant" dyslexics are often the biggest benefactors (that is where the research on it began btw...)

Yes I am preaching here - because I have seen it turn a "hopeless dyslexic" into a normal child and it can help cases of "ADHD", "Dyslexia" etc. etc.,

Read up and look into it - honestly make up your own minds - but I cannot tell you how much it changed my step daughter's life (and now mine and a lawyer friend of mine's too - he had the same problem as me... could not focus any more, coloured lenses fixed it for him too)

Seriously guys - check it out, for yourselves, your children, anyone...

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted March 30, 2008 16:44      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Calli, great suggestion to read bedtime stories! My siblings and I always loved listening to Mom (and occasionally Dad) read to us before bed. Mom says now she wishes she had kept a list of the books she read to us; it would be long and varied. Since your son is intrigued by science, I'd suggest starting with Madeleine L'Engle's books, particularly the "A Wrinkle in Time" trilogy.

Googling for ideas on the subject, I came across this:
quote:
Beyond this belly-button perspective, e-books are great for blind and low-sighted readers (obvious) and dyslexic readers. And there seems to be quite a number of people with some form of dyslexia. In Switzerland, the hitch is that if your dyslexia doesn't get officially recognized before you are in your teens, it is not considered a disability so you are not entitled to the reimbursing of assistive means, including free book scanning.
from this

There's a long list of books especially for children with dyslexia and their parents here. Most of them are geared toward children your son's age. The rest of the site contains oodles of information on all aspects of rearing a child with dyslexia, including navigating the school system to ensure he gets the help he needs and how you can help him at home.

Other potentially helpful sites:
The Dyslexic Reader
Barrington Stoke "Barrington Stoke’s mission is to help children enjoy reading. We publish accessible, enjoyable and unpatronising short books for children who are dyslexic, struggling to read, or simply reluctant to sit down with a book." Their list of fact-filled books look really cool, and some are even related to your son's interests. You may be able to find them at your local library or pick them up (much cheaper, I hope!) from Amazon.
hi/lo reading list on Amazon
Waterstone's guide to books for young dyslexic readers (pdf)
Speed Reading 4 Kids Dyslexic children in particular see enormous benefits from learning to speed read (or so the site says) YMMV

There's lots more info and resources on the Web; you just have to use the right terms to look for it. [ohwell]

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

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Aditu
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Icon 1 posted March 31, 2008 08:53      Profile for Aditu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
YaYa, I am librarian and have several things I could share with you that our library offers. Could you drop me a message?
Your library probably gets some of the series he like on DVD. I know we stock the magic school bus stories.

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted March 31, 2008 10:20      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I will go with Shroom and suggest a scientific magazine. They have lots of photos/diagrams, short article, hands-on experiments, and are usually fun all-around. Choose one targeted at his age (not his reading age, the vocabulary should still be easy enough, and any new word should be explained), and he should do great. Magazines are less intimidating than a 100ish pages of text-only book, and should answer his science questions. And with some luck, it will get the reading training he is lacking, and could improve his skills closer to the average.

Other options would science in comics/graphic novels packaging (uncommon, but not unheard of), or even animated stories (for example: "Once upon a Time... Life"), although this latter solution won't have the added benefit of training him in reading.

Good luck!

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted March 31, 2008 12:19      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yaya, just a quick thought. Have you had his vision checked? And are you sure the doctor did a good job of it? I ask because I know someone whose son had a terrible time with reading: grade levels behind, cried any time someone came near him with a book, etc. Then, one day, Mom noticed that he had been dealing with some sort of misdiagnosed vision problem for the past two years. She went justifiably ballistic. Within days, the kid was refitted with glasses that worked and his reading and writing skills were caught up within months. Sometimes it's the easiest of fixes that get overlooked.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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YaYawoman

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Icon 1 posted March 31, 2008 16:40      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Everyone thank you very much. I am at work and only have a small amount of time so I cannot reply individually right now. sorry. Once my off days come around I will.

I am making an appt tomorrow for vision. He has not been diagnosed dyslexic. He was tested for invervention/IEP at the school and passed the cutoff point by one point. sincethere are so many students in the school needing the invidual help they are very draconian about the cutoff scores. His teacher works with him intensley during the day, but she has all the other students as well.
The suggestions and opinions were great and I will follow up on all of them. have a great night

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dragon34
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Icon 1 posted April 01, 2008 03:49      Profile for dragon34     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I used to love the Charlie Brown Encyclopedia books. I know they aren't in print anymore, and unfortunately much of the information is probably out of date, but I wonder if someone has done something similar with updated info?

Anyone else remember those?

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SpazGirl
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Icon 1 posted April 01, 2008 07:45      Profile for SpazGirl   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I still have a bunch of those Charlie Brown books, my great grandma bought a set for all of her grandkids and I ended up with my mom's set. Those are actually quite interesting and you can probably find some of them at garage sales (or ebay) if you're willing to go and look.

The books I always liked were the DK Eyewitness series. They come in a large amount of topics, have tons of pictures in them, and they really will help your kids learn about different subjects. I remember reading these at seven, but I was also an advanced reader, so they may not be a good idea yet, but maybe for the future?

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Icon 3 posted April 01, 2008 12:04      Profile for MzSunn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My 9 year old loves the HIghlights magazines
www.highlights.com/

Pictures and words. Plus interesting activities.

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dragon34
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Icon 3 posted April 01, 2008 17:21      Profile for dragon34     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For things that are actually *in* print.... My fiancé found these in a classroom while he was substitute teaching, and we ended up buying a few of Macaulay's books for his nephew. He's way too young to read them now, but they'd probably be about right for a 7 year old. The illustrations are phenomenal, so we hoped that he would like the pictures enough to let the books be read to him.

David Macaulay's Castle

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted April 01, 2008 19:19      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The mention of Charlie Brown's Encyclopedia reminded me of Encyclopedia Brown (entirely different author/series). Basically they were collections of very short stories (good for kids who can't make it through a whole book, I would guess) about a kid who knows everything and plays detective.

The Encyclopedia Brown books were pretty interesting when I was a kid. They appear to still be in print (but you're better off picking up relatively cheap used copies on Amazon or eBay).

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