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Reception child with no interest in reading

(25 Posts)
yummymummy345 Tue 09-Apr-13 20:49:15

My 4 yo boy has no interest whatsoever in reading, writing or learning phonics. I have bought comics (power rangers which he likes), bought activity books ie dot to dot, maze with occasional letters etc I have just bought the tag system. The alphabet snake type games. Given him incentives to read a book (green level) to go to theme park he keeps talking about. But nothing seems to work.
Although he can read (if pushed) 3 letter words and knows most of his phonics he is in the 2nd from bottom group at school. Surely he needs a bit of enthusiasm to progress?

He has loads of interests, I always read 2 books at night (unless he's naughty) just wondering do you have any tips to make it fun for him?

YouTheCat Tue 09-Apr-13 20:52:43

Let him get on with being 4. He will get there in his own time.

Gentle encouragement is good but if you're putting conditions on it now, he's going to see it all as a horrible chore.

7to25 Tue 09-Apr-13 20:54:15

Leave him alone for a bit.
My eldest son was 5.5 before he could read. He just had no maturity/interest before then.
He is now 27 and got a first in an essay-based degree. He reads for pleasure and for work.

Changebagsandgladrags Tue 09-Apr-13 20:57:37

Mine didn't either at that age. He's six now and reads lots now that he has found Doctor Who interesting things to read.

BlackeyedSusan Tue 09-Apr-13 21:01:15

sounds like ds. don't panic just yet. til a couple of years ago he would still have been in nursery.

HollyBerryBush Tue 09-Apr-13 21:03:01

Get the old style Ladybird ABC books. best thing ever invents. DS3, when 4, taught himself to read virtually overnight using those.

yummymummy345 Tue 09-Apr-13 21:03:52

A friend came round with her two dc- 6 and 8 years, both are still struggling at reading and the 6 yo still sounding out words. Made me panic a bit that I need to do something to encourage him to want to learn!

Another boy in ds class sounding out words really well. I know you shouldn't compare but ....

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Tue 09-Apr-13 21:04:29

And this is why many people feel four is too young to start school, because many children are just not ready for being bored learning to read.

Stop pushing, let him have fun, worry again in a year (or two).

b4bunnies Tue 09-Apr-13 21:06:45

people thought my brother couldn't read. then, when he was seven, he discovered dinosaurs and wanted books about them, which he managed to read perfectly well.

maybe your son just hasn't found a good reason to read, as yet.

b4bunnies Tue 09-Apr-13 21:07:52

when i say he 'discovered dinosaurs'... he didn't discover dinosaurs... you know what i mean grin

Pozzled Tue 09-Apr-13 21:11:51

You might be better off posting in Primary Education- lots of helpful people there.

It sounds as though he just isn't ready for reading yet. Don't forget that we start formal education very early in the UK compared to other countries. Try to keep things as relaxed and fun as possible, and don't compare with other children too much- late starters will often overtake their peers later on.

A few ideas to try (sorry if you've already done a lot of this!)

Read a book together- ask your DS to find just 2 words on each page that will be 'his' words, while you read all the others. Gradually increase 'his' words.

Scatter a set of magnetic letters or letter cards on the floor. You say the sound, he has to find the letter- how many can he do in one minute? Move on to digraphs (sh/ch/th/oo etc) when he is ready.

Write him a 'secret message' to read when he gets up in the morning, on a whiteboard or even in a sealed envelope. It can be really simple, a message about the day works well- 'We can go to the park today'. But you do need to think quite hard about using only words he can read.

Try playing pairs or snap where one card has a picture on and the other has the word- quite a lot of cvc words can be linke to simple pictures e.g. cat, dog, hen, man etc.

I like this phonics site for games, it's a subscription one, but there's quite a lot of free games as well. Another one that worked well for my daughter is Reading Eggs. It was really good for the early stages of reading and very motivating, but I'm not so keen on how it works later on- it strays away from phonics too much for my liking.

yummymummy345 Tue 09-Apr-13 21:23:27

Thank you pozzled the suggestions sound great, will try some out.

I just cant see there is any harm in learning through fun.

b4 he has books on most things to spark his interest.

HollaAtMeBaby Tue 09-Apr-13 21:38:39

This thread could only have been posted in the UK! Don't worry, he will get there - most other countries wouldn't dream of trying to teach 4yos to read and I've always heard that children who learn later just learn faster.

NellysKnickers Tue 09-Apr-13 21:46:54

Ds1 could barely read on entering year 2, I tried and tried but he just wasn't interested, he then sped through all levels and was a 'free reader' within 6 months. Now at 7 he has a reading age of 9+ and has always got his nose stuck in a book!! Don't worry, he will do it when he's ready, I just wish I had been more chilled out about it, instead of wasting a lot of time stressing.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Tue 09-Apr-13 21:49:59

There is nothing wrong with learning through fun, but also there is nothing 'fun' about comparing your child to others or giving them 'incentives' to read.

RoseandVioletCreams Tue 09-Apr-13 21:52:10

the difference in reading levels in dd's class is immense. Some are so confident and some are OK even with parents I know making HUGE home efforts with them.

I certainly tried with DD but not as much as others, I always read to her though. She has really caught up at school.

I find, as long some ground work and basics and exposure are there, they will learn in their own time.

RoseandVioletCreams Tue 09-Apr-13 21:52:51

what's wrong with incentives?
I have just given one to my DD!

yummymummy345 Tue 09-Apr-13 21:59:43

Nothing wrong with incentives.

yellow everyone compares -human nature. I guess its what you do with that info which is important.

Pozzled Tue 09-Apr-13 22:03:42

Nothing wrong with making learning fun. Reception is supposed to be play-based. If OP tries some games and her DS enjoys them and learns from them, that's a win-win situation.

The important thing is not to put pressure on, or to push him into learning before he's ready. And the trouble with incentives is that they can make it seem like reading is a hard, boring task that you have to get through to get to the reward. That's all mixed up- reading should be fun and enjoyable in itself as much as possible.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Tue 09-Apr-13 22:06:20

Incentives/bribes can be counter productive and undermine genuine motivation. Loads of research on it.

If you want to encourage enjoyment of reading, then encouraging someone read more in order to get a reward is counter productive as it will make them read at times they don't want to just to secure their 'reward'. Therefore they will sometimes associate reading with pleasure and sometimes associate it with 'getting my reading done in order to get my reward'.

I think incentivising small children to read when they are demonstrating they are not very interested is a bad idea.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Tue 09-Apr-13 22:11:06

Not everyone compares.

BriansBrain Tue 09-Apr-13 22:13:50

The only thing I have done with mine is read to them every night from a very young age and make books available to them.

He is still really young and will pick it up as he goes along.

My DD is in reception and we spend time out and about trying to read signs and road names etc, maybe try that along with all the other ideas you have been given.

Good luck

RoseandVioletCreams Tue 09-Apr-13 22:17:37

do you think that is with one off occasional incentives or a structured incentive drive.

usually she is OK at reading, but when she lapses, i let it go and don't push her - but if the lapse carries on, and i get her to do something i offer a reward.....then she gets back into it for a while with no rewards and so on.

i think its important to keep up the momentum at this age and not fall behind.

thebody Tue 09-Apr-13 22:19:08

Oh op, only in Britain. We are a mad mad country when it comes to education.

I am a reception class TA and please please don't worry.

He will read... Don't push it. Share books

Your words that he is in 'second bottom group' makes me want to weep.

Is he healthy? Is he happy? Does he generally look like he wants to do lots of mischievous things??

lFar far far more important. HE IS 4!!!!!

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Tue 09-Apr-13 22:34:37

Roses - I personally wouldn't give incentives for reading full stop.

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