View Full Version : Short attention span...any ideas?

06-26-2007, 02:38 PM
I have a 3 year old son and a 5 1/2 year old daughter. This week, we've been using The Giraffe that Walked to Paris. They both get antsy in the middle of the story and want to stop.

I can't quite figure this out because they'll ask me to read the same short story 5 times in a row, will sit quietly to listen to a bible story read from the bible, will listen to me read aloud from a longer chapter book.

I don't expect my 3 year old to stay (he is allowed to choose whether or not he wants to do school). But I do expect my kindergartner to be able to sit and listen.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks,

06-26-2007, 03:22 PM
There are certain FIAR titles that row much better with older children (6 or even 7 and up). Giraffe is one of them! I think my 5yo sat through it a time or two when his sister was rowing it, but it definitely wasn't one that held his interest as much as others.

Since there are so many other wonderful books to choose from that would hold their attention, I'd just hold off on this one for another year.

I'm definitely in the "wait until they're ready" camp. Then it's not a struggle for anyone and they get so much more out of it when you wait.

Candace C
06-26-2007, 03:29 PM
I agree with Rebe! Some of the FIAR titles that are longer are still too long for my 4 and 5 yr olds...and that's ok, cause I want to save some titles for 1-2 years down the road! :) I usually preview the books and can tell by looking if it will be too long or not.

If they want to listen to the long ones, that is great! But if not, for me, that is not a big deal! There are plenty of FIAR titles that you can use in the meantime! :clap:

06-26-2007, 05:07 PM
Giraffe is one of MY favorites- that said- I attempted it with my 4 1/2 yr old earlier this spring (I had a zoo trip planned- and thought the book would be perfect!) Ds had a VERY hard time with such a long story. I probably only read the whole book 2 or 3 times- the other days I just read the part that applied to what our lessons referred to that day. He still learned from the book- and was excited to watch the giraffes walk when we went to the zoo. I figure we'll row the book again when he's 6 or 7 and he'll get MUCH more out of it.

Also sometimes it helps if you do part of the lesson BEFORE you read- especially the Language arts lessons- I'll teach what I want them to know- (alliteration, repetition... etc.) then tell them to watch for it in the lesson and give me a thumbs up, or touch their nose, or some other small signal when they hear it.

06-27-2007, 12:36 AM
Thanks for reassuring me that this is normal for this age. I think I'll set this one aside until next year and we'll just move on to something else. I love the finger on your nose idea...keeps them from interuppting!


Kendall in GA
06-27-2007, 12:15 PM
Another POV..."Listening stamina" is developed with practice IMO...It has been my experience that my troops were "trained" to listen to looooong stories.

I started when they were little bitty babies...I always kept reading whether they appeared to be paying attention or not...They'd crawl around, even out of the room sometimes, and go "in and out" of the story...They'd always come back :lol:...As time went on, they sat longer & longer & longer...My troops would sit for long stories & chapter books, provided they were interesting & engaging (as are all FIAR titles :))..."Training" them and reading LOTS of books is how I think they learned to listen from a very early age.

...All that to say...Keep plugging along...They'll sit eventually! :yes: I, too, agree, it is OK to stick to the shorter titles until they are able to sit for the longer selections.

Lauri B
06-27-2007, 08:38 PM
Read during lunch or a snack and hold up the book (like librarians do!) after each "spread" if they want to see the pictures.

06-28-2007, 12:49 AM
I think one of the things that puzzles me about this is that they will sit for several chapters of a chapter book. I am going to try to make sure that they are excersized, fed and have had a drink before we sit down. And I think I'll try giving them paper and crayons or some clay to manipulate while they listen. They both sit for 45 minutes quietly during the sermons at church and for bible classes (we don't do children's church). It's a mystery to me why they are getting antsy during some longer books.

Thanks for all of the ideas! We are just starting our "official" school journey and I see now that there will be a new set of training needs.


Kendra AU
06-28-2007, 06:44 AM
Are they able to follow the story? If they don't understand or comprehend what's being said perhaps that's why they aren't interested in sitting still. I think the longest one we've done thus far is Storm In The Night, and we had Daddy in the background making thunderstorm sounds. That one cracked the boys up. :lol: