Anyone have a successful DC who never picks up a book?

(57 Posts)
gardenfeature Sat 07-Jun-14 06:09:25

DS has only ever read a handful of books. Is it possible to do well at GCSEs and beyond without picking up a book? He has moderate dyslexia which I guess does not help making reading pleasurable. His reading ability is good but probably not up to the level of book that he might really enjoy - he used to listen to audio books. (I will get him back into that again).

He's good at History and English and is taking them for GCSE but how detrimental will not reading be? Any "non avid reader" success stories?

tumbletumble Sat 07-Jun-14 06:19:06

My DH isn't an avid reader and will rarely read a book. I think he was the same as a teen. For example, he will happily board a long haul flight without a book, magazine or newspaper, which is unthinkable to me! He got As and Bs at A Level (maths, physics and French) and is very successful in his career.

happygardening Sat 07-Jun-14 06:52:55

My DS has mild dyslexia, a very slow reader and is an unenthusiastic reader to say the least. He has to read extensively for his daily Div lessons (a non examined unique compulsory curriculum he school does) and frequently talks with passion about the interesting often obscure and challenging books/plays/poetry he's had to read but away from this never voluntarily reads and never reads at home or on a train/holiday. He's doing exceedingly well academically.

Whyjustwhyagain Sat 07-Jun-14 07:46:38

My DS (possibly) has undiagnosed mild dyslexia. His silent reading speed is the same as his reading out loud speed iyswim. However, he has adapted, will listen to audio books for pleasure, but never voluntarily pick up a book to read.
He got grade Bs in his 2 English & RE GCSEs and A• in Geography so did really well considering
At A level he aced with maths and sciences, and despite needing to write reports & labs as part of his degree, he is managing really well so far.

Shodan Sat 07-Jun-14 08:10:55

I don't think DS1 has ever read a book for pleasure grin However he got a good range of GCSEs and is currently sitting his A-levels (History, Geography and Government and Politics) and is predicted to get As.

His chosen uni course at Bristol is History.

It is possible!

Incidentally- before choosing History at A-level we spoke to all his teachers. His History teacher was 'very concerned' that DS1 would have trouble writing essays and advised him to read more. I'm afraid DS1 didn't read more, but has had no trouble, evidently, writing essays.

happygardening Sat 07-Jun-14 09:46:23

My DS also has no trouble writing essays.

Charlie01234 Sat 07-Jun-14 09:49:52

Yep both mine and I despair! Ds1 got A at gcse though and ds2 is on the same track. Both say 'reading is boring'

tallulah Sat 07-Jun-14 10:00:08

Depends what you mean by successful. My DS1 never reads fiction. He reads magazines about cars and computers but that is it. He got A levels, dropped out of University and is coming to the end of his 2nd year of an engineering apprenticeship. Doing very well and thoroughly enjoying it.

DS3 does not read at all. Didn't do A levels. Working in the CS and hoping to get a promotion soon.

IDK Sat 07-Jun-14 10:33:51

Yet another non-reading DS here. He has dyspraxia and processing problems, finds reading difficult & unenjoyable and so doesn't do it voluntarily.
Despite that he got good-enough GCSEs (pre diagnosis), good A Levels (post diagnosis) in essay based subjects and is studying a Humanities degree.
Has your DS been giving coping strategies eg mine was told Read The Question - several times until you fully comprehend it (he gets extra time in exams for this sort of thing).
Despite his reading problems, DS is very good verbally. Don't forget to praise the things your DS is good at.

gardenfeature Sat 07-Jun-14 12:53:42

Loving this thread! It's making me smile!

Luckily he's got a good memory for stuff and yes, he's going to have to re-read the question several times!

weatherall Sat 07-Jun-14 13:19:50

I refused to read 'story books' as a child.

I didn't see the point in 'reading lies'. blush

My parents were very concerned, of course.

I did read, just atlases, encyclopedias, magazines etc.

I was never good at English lit at school, scraping a pass at higher.

But I was an a grade pupil at everything else, including history which I did at a Russell group Uni.

Snog Sat 07-Jun-14 13:34:24

How old is your ds? My dyslexic 14 year old suddenly and unexpectedly turned into a book worm after the Hunger Games film came out...the future may suprise you!

MillyMollyMama Sat 07-Jun-14 14:31:17

Shodan. I think not reading will cause him huge problems when doing a History degree at Bristol. Also writing essays at a University like Bristol is very different from the spoon fed ones at school. I think any literature/research degree will be more difficult for someone who is not a great reader as it will take much longer to acquire the information.

gardenfeature Sat 07-Jun-14 15:59:11

DS is 14 as well Snog. I keep waiting and hoping that "it will click". I've bought him loads of different books over the years and he's read a few but he's never taken off and become an avid reader. Maybe I should try him with a Hunger Games book then?

lovingmum101 Sat 07-Jun-14 16:20:16

DS3 never seems to read anything beyond the bare minimum he can get away, didn't even read his set texts for his AS exam! DS1 is now finishing his history degree and is very proud, with himself, that he hasn't read a single book. As somebody who loves reading it leaves me a bit confused

posadas Sat 07-Jun-14 16:31:11

Garden -- I have a family (adults and children) of avid readers. we all derive great pleasure from all sorts of reading (fiction and non-fiction). However, I'm not sure there's a direct correlation between reading and writing. In the case of my children, I think writing skill ("technical" -- ie punctuation, structure, etc -- and creative) lags far behind reading ability. Writing is adequate, but definitely not on a par with reading. (A round-about way of saying that your son could develop into a competent writer without being an exceptional reader.)
As much as I myself value books, I think it is entirely possible for children to become successful academically and, eventually, in their careers provided they are given a broad exposure to the kinds of information, ideas, creativity etc that other children might get through books.

Shodan Sat 07-Jun-14 19:00:42

MillyMollyMama - that's an interesting opinion. May I ask- do you have any special skills or experience that could back it up?

It's a moot point really now, as the universities he applied to seem very keen to have him, with or without the prolific reading, but I'd be interested to know.

fortheloveof01 Mon 09-Jun-14 01:28:06

Everyone I know who doesn't read, or didn't as a child, has a really poor grasp of grammar, punctuation and spelling. It drives me mad. Whether there's any correlation between reading and overall academic ability I don't know but it definitely helps in the real world if you have a solid reading ability behind you.

Nocomet Mon 09-Jun-14 01:47:28

Depends if Twilight counts as reading?

My older dyslexic DD1 is always reading, every imaginable teen fantasy world.

DD2, who is very good at English, has read a few of her sisters books, but mostly reread a Twilight.

Any suggestion that they read something more intellectual is met with blank stares.

DH (who went to Oxbridge) reads books with Maths graphs and circuit diagrams, not fiction.

Boudica1990 Mon 09-Jun-14 02:10:01

I do not read for pleasure never have, can't stand fiction books. Never read as a child and my mother was often told I lacked imagination!!

I did just fine, never even read the book for my English literature exam at GCSE and still got a B!

I do fine career wise, I think some people just can't get lost in a story. I have never been able to do it. I can read factual books however if I find the subject matter of interest but I could probably count on my hands the number of novels I have read in my lifetime.

lecherrs Mon 09-Jun-14 02:52:49

This thread is pleasing to read grin.

My DD never reads fiction. She'll sometimes browse through history or biology books, but that's it. She's on the G&T register at her school for English, and I can never understand why given her lack of reading!

Mind you I can't talk. I read fiction as a child, but don't now (have tons of philosophy books though!) by the time I did my A level English, I'd stopped reading, so quite how I managed to get a grade B when I never actually read any of the set texts in full, I'll never know!

I still can't read fiction, it just seems such a waste of time to me. I love factual books though as does DD and I'd say she's quite knowledgable for her age.

RolloRollo Mon 09-Jun-14 11:41:32

DCs are at university - one a medical student, other a course which involves reading a lot of scientific papers and books.
Both never got into reading except maybe on holiday when they were older - and then it tended to be fairly trashy. They both got A*/A grade at GCSE English.
IMO it is more the standard of English teaching, DC both did loads of comprehension at school and so knew how to read a text and understand it.

indigo18 Mon 09-Jun-14 16:39:13

Do not despair! DD only ever read what she had to read for her studies, she never read for pleasure (unlike DS who always had his nose in a book). I always thought it was partly due to having a lot of other commitments- swimming , dance, instruments, orchestras and choirs. if she had any free time she would sit in front of the tv watching ghastly American teen rubbish However, she got 10 A* gcses, 5 A grade A levels (before A*) and a top degree from Oxford.
She now reads one or two books a year, whilst on holiday.

Snog Sun 15-Jun-14 21:30:03

gardenfeature a holiday with no tv or wifi plus the hunger games books could be worth a try wink
Careful what you wish for though...I've got nobody to watch tv with anymore!!!

spongeypop Mon 16-Jun-14 08:03:55

Buy them a kindle it has worked wonders with my children.

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