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Age appropriateness (sp??)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by zodiac66, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. zodiac66

    zodiac66 IncGamers Member

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    Age appropriateness (sp??)

    Liam has been off school for 2 days now, and we settled down to watch a movie. The movie in question was Battle Royale. He has been itching to see it since I got it. I allowed him to watch it with me with mixed feelings. There is no nudity, very little profanity, but the subject manner can be viewed by some as horrific. The basis of the movie is that middle school students are rounded up, put on an island and forced to kill each other off. That is the main premise, but the underlying meaning is far greater. We watched to movie, discussed it while viewing it and had continuous conversations afterwards. Not to mention, his favorite game right now is Clock Tower 3, which was directed by Kinji Fukasaku, the same man who directed BR.

    Anyhow, what I am asking, is that should I have let him watch it with me? He is certainly mature enough to handle it, especially with my help explaining to him what the movie is all about. He is now being vocal that he wants to take the novel to school to read during his silent sustained reading time. I have read the book, sure, its violent, but Liam has the knowlege of what the book is about.

    Should I allow him to read this controversial book at school?
     
  2. Munch

    Munch IncGamers Member

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    How old is he?
     
  3. zodiac66

    zodiac66 IncGamers Member

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    He is in 5th grade. He is 11, yet, he has been reading since he was 4.

    My problem is that he is so far advanced in his reading and cognitive skills, that I don't know what is appropriate for his age. His teacher last year told me that he was to young to read "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". His reading skills are those of someone in high school.

    Battle Royale is full of political innuendo. I think it would be a wonderful book for him to read, but I do worry what others think. Everything remotely contraversial that he reads, I have read first. In my eyes, there is a huge difference in gratutious violence and violence that relates to the story. In other words, Jason hacking people to death is different than middle school students being forced by the government to kill each other off.

    The movie was much more tame than the book. I think he would learn a great deal from the book, but as I said, I am concerned what others may think. I probably should just let him read it here, but he will feel the need to discuss the book at school.
     
  4. axeil

    axeil IncGamers Member

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    Well based on your postings about your son I think he's wayyy more mature than the other kids his age. That said, I think that he should probably be able to handle the book, however, will his teacher flip out? I ask this because many a bad situation has started due to teacher intervention in something like this. For example, at my high school someone wanted to do their term paper on a more...obsecene book. I don't remember what it was but I do remember there was a lot of controversy stirred up in the English Dept. about it. Anyway, that's my advice.
     
  5. zodiac66

    zodiac66 IncGamers Member

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    That is a problem. The teacher will flip out, if she ever even heard of the book, that is. Even if I let him read it here at home with me, I am sure he will talk about it at school. With all the problems that I have had with that god forsaken school, I don't need them to poke their nose into what I allow him to read. This is literature..its not Penthouse. There is a wealth of information to be learned by reading this book.
     
  6. Munch

    Munch IncGamers Member

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    Bull. 4th grade is a perfectly appropriate age to be reading the Narnia books. I hope his 5th grade teacher isn't as bad. I used to teach 3rd grade, and my students (who were well below average, unfortunately) were easily able to handle the material when I read it to them (reading it themselves would have been another story, but it was 3rd grade).

    I don't have any experience with "Battle Royale". I just read some reviews on amazon.com about it - it seems a bit intense for 11 years old. But, that's a judgment call, and if you've read it, you'd be in a much better position.

    In the future, I'd recommend giving either the school librarian or the local public library librarian a call to find some books for him. I'm sure they encounter other similar children, and can recommend something a bit more ramped up for him.
     
  7. Usufruct

    Usufruct IncGamers Member

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    I don't know, I can't advise you about your son because he is more mature than me.
     
  8. Sp4rtacus

    Sp4rtacus IncGamers Member

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    ahahaha they said butt!!!

    in all seriousness, i was reading literature like penthouse in fifth grade(not in school obviously) but thats not the point, im sure as a person he is more than mature enough to handle literary violence, but are the other kids? why dont you tell him that he may read this book, but it would be unwise for him to share with others?
     
  9. Jigga-Scrooge

    Jigga-Scrooge IncGamers Member

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    dont let him read at all. make him have me as his role model (i stress make).
     
  10. LunarSolaris

    LunarSolaris IncGamers Member

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    Well Zodiac, it sounds like the key ingredient is what you are doing with your son.... talking with him about it. In my mind it's not that you are just "exposing" him to it, but helping him to understand it... giving him a chance to ask questions, etc. That's the key ingredient that most parents leave out (in my very humble opinion). I suppose I might have a different view on the subject if you were just plopping him down in front of something like that and having him process it on his own - but the fact that you are there with him and explaining it to him (as needed), then I'd lean toward thinking that your judgement on the subject would be better than anyone elses'.
     
  11. Dutchman

    Dutchman IncGamers Member

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    Let him read what you think it is appropriate for him to read, his teacher's opinion matters not. In fact, anyone who thinks C.S. Lewis is too advanced for 5th grade is going to stifle the love of reading that he seems to possess.

    I sat in grade five reading Battlefield Earth for my reading project and while the faculty thought my father was insane he knew full well that I was up to the task.

    Speaking from experience, the stuff they will make him read as he advances is going to be near physical pain it will be so beneath his skills and interest. On those rare occasions when he gets to choose, let him read what he wants.

    Dutch
     
  12. zodiac66

    zodiac66 IncGamers Member

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    See, that is my problem. No one can judge his maturity other than me. I have teachers telling me one thing, but I know better. Books I let him read have to be done in secret because the school would prolly have a hissy fit.

    I have never really been a conventional mommy. I have always spoken to Liam as if he were just a short adult. I have never short sided his ability to understand anything. He has had his own computer since he was in kindergarden, and sad to say, he beat Half Life before I did. If he showed an ambition towards something, I encouraged it. In the long run, it has paid off, he scored in the 99% on the Ohio Proficency Tests as well as the Iowa Tests.

    Another issue I have is that the school called Children's Services on me back in November because Liam was depressed. Of course, he was seeing his pediatrican and is on medication, but his depression stems from school. The case worker came in here, saw how he lived, and basically offered me a job. No signs whatsoever of abuse or neglect, just a waste of her time and mine. But, I do worry at this point as to what the school thinks on what I allow him to read, play, and watch.

    Its a slippery slope on my own edification of my child and that of what the school says is appropriate.

    A funny thing happened at conferences. The teacher told me that Liam has difficulty comprehending what he is reading. I sat there with my mouth open and a dumbfounded look. Two weeks ago, I got his final Iowa scores where he got a 99%. I handed her the scores and asked her if she still thought he had a hard time understanding anything. She had no reply to me.
     
  13. axeil

    axeil IncGamers Member

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    Hmm..Well then given that you know the teacher would flip out I'm not sure what to recommend. Since I'm not a parent I'm not sure how far I'd be willing to go on this, and thus, not sure what advice to give. Sorry. :(
     
  14. Drosselmeier

    Drosselmeier IncGamers Member

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    I think it´s a good thing you let him read more challenging books. He´s about the same age I was when I read All Quiet On The Western Front... another book that deals with serious and unpleasant issues, although a bit less controversial perhaps since it´s been all but canonized. Reading that book did me a world of good.

    You can´t progress without being challenged. If the book is morally challenging Liam will develop that part of his personality. He can´t be shielded from those issues forever and if he´s mature enough to read and analyze the book he´ll be better prepared down the line. I don´t think children should be held back from learning simply because it´s a controversial take on a subject.

    In closing, I´d like to commend you on the way you went about the movie-watching. Watching and discussing the movie with him was a far better route to take than to forbid him to watch it. You´ve no doubt taught him some valuable lessons and helped him develop all kinds of intellectual and moral skills. I wish I´d had a parent who watched challenging movies with me when I was a kid.

    EDIT: Rip the cover off of Winnie The Pooh and glue it to the cover of the book.
     
  15. Chief JB

    Chief JB IncGamers Member

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    Does his teacher recognize his reading level and what he should be able to handle?
     
  16. zodiac66

    zodiac66 IncGamers Member

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    No, she doesn't. One thing I cannot stand is for someone to short side kids. I suppose thats why when I go to school for parties and sit with Liam, I have half the class clustered around me. I sit at their level, talk to them at their level and talk to them about their interests. Most schools are not that way, and most of the other kids don't understand it either. To see an adult come to school and sit at one of those tiny little chairs?? Almost unheard of. I have a nickname from some of the kids "I suck". It doesn't bother me at all. Actually, I play along with it. It stems from Liam's birthday party at the bowling alley. I sucked..and they all made fun of me. Liam's teacher did give some funny looks when a few of them called me Ms. I Suck. Thats just the type of parent I am. I joke around with them..treat them as equals, but that goes both ways. Honestly, I have never had a child in any of Liam's classes be disrespectful toward me.

    I have always encouraged, not demanded, that Liam go way beyond what he learns in school. Sometimes it is hard for me to remember what his age is when we do things. He has a wise mind.
     
  17. Shade

    Shade IncGamers Member

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    If you know better your son's abilities than the school does, then go ahead and to hell with the school. If he's able to read and understand things beyond his age group then the school shouldn't be stopping him - the education system isn't (supposed to be) there to enforce a strict learning curve which must not be deviated from.
     
  18. Dutchman

    Dutchman IncGamers Member

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    How YOU Doin?
     
  19. LunarSolaris

    LunarSolaris IncGamers Member

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    The only thing that I would add Zodiac (and I'm sure that you do this anyhow) is to never forget that while Liam is undoubtedly much more advanced than other boys his age - to not forget to allow him to be a kid as well. There are times I'm sure that he just needs to be.... well, a "kid". ... and I'm sure that you are already well aware of that.

    I am very lucky that I had a mom growing up that took the time to educate me and allow me to develop (and ecouraged it).

    I'd ask Zodiac to be my mommy too, but that would just be way too creepy. ;)
     
  20. toader

    toader Banned

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    Zodiac-

    The world needs more mother who cares and takes as much time to think about their childerns lives as you do. When Im a dad someday, I hope to be as good of a mom as you are....but as a dad, you know.

    Anyways, I think that you should let him read it, Im pretty sure he can handle it. But you know better than any of us here, go with your best judgement.
     

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