Encouraging indépendant reading for 8yo DD

(7 Posts)
Jellybellyrbest Tue 03-Sep-13 21:00:50

My almost 8yo DD is a very expressive & competent reader (as per teacher & school assessments). I'd love her to have the pleasure I had from reading independantly. At her age I lived for reading. Obv she's not me, but it's frustrating when I know how much it could inspire her & give her pleasure (not to mention expanding her vocabulary & grammar). I've just banned TV during the week for her & her 6yo DS, so I'm hoping that in the darker evenings, she'll read more. ATM, we look at books at bedtime, but with a 16MO & trying to ensure bedtime (lights out) is still 8-ish, I'm finding it v difficult to get a story in every night. She prefers to say she doesn't want the same story as her DS, so chooses her own book (Rainbow Magic/Roald Dahl/Horrid Henry), but never really seems to get anywhere! She finds it difficult to settle & concentrate in general-she doesn't really even watch much TV TBH. Is there anything I can do?

Periwinkle007 Tue 03-Sep-13 21:12:41

could it just be she is very tired by then so really just wants to listen to a book but understandably you are struggling to be able to fit it in. Our girls are only 19 months apart so our agreement is that they listen to a book together for a few chapters or they each have a bit of their own choice then come together to listen to a bit of the joint one they have agreed on or they take it in turns, one chooses each day or they each have less of just their own choice. We don't have endless amounts of time as parents and we can only do what we can. I suspect tiredness is a large part of your daughter's reluctance. Not sure what you can do about that. We tend to do school reading books in the morning or straight after school as kids are more awake but for independent reading it is harder to motivate. How good is the 6 year old's reading? could you perhaps do a bit of a story with the younger one then leave her reading a simple book to herself and then do similar with her sister. Just do less with each of them but more quality/concentrated with each?

I found that dd1 who is a similar age needed to try a variety of books until she found some she couldn't put down, now we can't stop her. She usually decides in the first chapter whether she will read it or not, if she decides not we don't push it. If she enjoys it then she won't stop, and end up getting the series.

I wonder whether the rainbow fairies is just too simplistic. They are eminently put downable as you know that the goblins will have stollen something, Rachel & Kirstie help the fairy to get it back they chase the goblin, get it back and normality is restored.

Dd1 really started reading at end of yr 2 with David Walliams(though wouldn't necessary recommended 1st as a few adult references compared to rainbow fairies). She also loves the Helen Moss adventure Island series (think Secret Seven with mobiles), The land of stories was great too - although long, but good transition from happy fairy tales.

I think you need to try the age old method of handy torch, good blanket, a page turner and after reading her a chapter saying that you aren't going to read any more to her that night but she can read another chapter herself. The library is essential as you don't want to spend loads of money just to find she doesn't like it. We can order books online to collect.

Once she is hooked on another series then buy her the set from the book people and set a few of them aside as books that she must read herself if she wants to find out what happens.

redskyatnight Thu 05-Sep-13 12:28:35

With reluctant reader DS (similar age) I adopted a dual approach
- read "harder" books that I think will appeal to him - helping him to realise what wonderful books were available!

- give him absolutely free rein of what he read himself (we go to library regularly) even if it was very easy. Part of the problem was he saw reading was a chore and once he was "allowed" to read very easy books or comics he was more keen to tackle it.

We've ended up in a position where DS still tends to read "easy" books for enjoyment, but also will ask me (or friends at school) about harder books I think he might enjoy and occasionaly give them a go.

I think the getting the enjoyment of reading (for me) anyway is more important than what he reads.

If you're struggling to fit in reading with 2 maybe consider alternating nights that you read to the DC and one night a week reading to both (the strategy I've adopted with my DC).

PimmsOclockisNow Thu 05-Sep-13 12:38:48

What I did was to select a book set with my DD - she chose Famous Five. Then we only read those books until we had finished them. Something about getting to the next book in the series motivated her. We aimed to read one chapter per night with her starting the reading and me finishing off when she felt she could not carry on. Over time she got to the point that she read the whole chapter herself and did not mind me not being there at all. Then this summer I let her borrow my kindle and she has read so much more and not just at bedtime. Considering getting her own one for Christmas now.

mistlethrush Thu 05-Sep-13 12:42:01

DS has enjoyed the Dragon Training series and sometimes has to be told to switch his light off several times when reading them. Mind you, he's like that with his beano collection and Dandy Annual and various other things now too.

virgil Thu 05-Sep-13 19:01:37

Try Michael morpurgo, DS1 is eight and loves them. They tend to be based on historical events, eg world war 2, sinking of titanic etc and they all involve animals and children.

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