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« Life With Out A Formal Education: Living Teachable Moments | Main | Thoughts About Diversity »

January 07, 2007



This is all just baffling. My experience of librarians is soooo different. Why was this librarian not talking to the kid? Why was she not asking what he liked? She doesn't work for the school board. What interest does she have in what the school thinks is right?

And lack of confidence in their own judgement is one of the things that drives me crazy about advice for parents. Books, classes, whatever, just seem to reinforce that lack of confidence instead of helping parents see that they can understand their kids and help their kids. the library could then provide them with lots of resources.

Baffling indeed.


"I know people don't understand homeschooling, but I can't understand why they are homeschooling their kids in addition to sending them to school."

This is the number one reason I chose to homeschool. My best friend spends hours after school with her kids -- we spend nearly the same amount of time doing our 'schoolwork', when we even do formal schoolwork -- I figured why bother with the school part? She taught her daughter to read, the school didn't. It was a no-brainer for me!

Serenity Now!

I believe in 'supplementary' homeschooling. I love to help my son learn and he loves to show me what he has learned. He doesn't even realize that the practice is helping solidify what he's learned in school.

Of course I want to be involved, but of course I need to be given some direction on how to best help my son learn. It's not necessarily as intuitive for me to teach my son as it might be for you. I'm stubborn, my son is stubborn and some times we butt heads. I need some direction to help me get around the stumbling blocks we face.

For me, gathering information on how my son learns has helped me to be a better parent and helped me to become closer to him.

I'm not for or against homeschooling. I've swung back and forth for several years on what might be best for him. I've come to the conclusion that being at school while supplementing his learning with fun activities suits his personality. So far. We take everything a day/week/month/year at a time.

Like you, I share your saddness at the apparent plight of the father and son in the library. I would try not to make certain assumptions. It can be hard to determine what the real situation is when you are only overhearing the conversation.


My oldest very often won't read any of the books I pick for him at the library, but we let him pick what he wants as well as offering books we think he'll enjoy that he may not have picked on his own. I check them out anyway, and very often I read them myself. I've discovered some great writers this way.

The only limits we put on what he reads have to do with the appropriateness of the content, never on what he "should be reading" at his age. If we worried about his age he'd never have read half the books he's read and loved. The same kid that devours two or three Dr. Seuss books at lunch may settle onto the sofa for some Tolkien later.


Thanks for the comments. Just for clarification, the librarian was asking the boy what sorts of books he liked and she was trying to offer suggestions in keeping with that. He rejected her every suggestion. She did a good job, talking to both the father and the son.

I'm not sure why it became a power play with the dad at the end. He was a little frustrated, but if he wanted three books, it seems to me he could have taken one of the librarian's suggestions and one of the child's suggestions and then another one. What surprised me was that they said 'no' to any of his choices. Maybe thats why he said no to theirs.


I'm not sure why any of the books you suggested were rejected, but they wouldn't be in my classroom. Students have many opportunities to read in my classroom. I choose the content during guided lessons, however, most of the time my students are reading independently. I would never tell a student they "can't" read a particular book. When a student chooses a book that is obviously too hard for them the student will realize it. I don't have to tell them. Usually I notice they put the book down and choose something else. Many of the students I teach are transitioning from picture books to chapter books. Some are reluctant to make the total switch-over. I generally make a deal with them....for every chapter book (Tree House series are great for transitioning) they read they can spend time with an favorite picture book. This usually works.


How unfortunate that this father is feeling like his son must live up to certain standards. If the kid was trying to choose books that appealed to him, he isn't a "reluctant reader". The adults choosing his books for him mean (I think) he's more likely an "uninterested reader". Have you considered sending this piece as an op-ed to your local paper? It might open some eyes!

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