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want to switch DS's interest from pure fictional to science

(41 Posts)
mom17 Wed 28-Jun-17 08:22:10

My potter+percy jackson head just like fictional, though occasionally I force him to read classics( which he is fine with) + science fiction ( which he generally gives up after some times). I am looking for suggestion/strategy for me to cajole him to slowly towards other genre?

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Wed 28-Jun-17 08:28:23

Why though? Reading is supposed to be fun, surely cajoling him to read something he doesn't want to will strip all the pleasure out of it. I would say encouraging him to read a wide variety of books/genres is fine, but if he doesn't want read a particular genre I wouldn't force it.

Somerville Wed 28-Jun-17 08:28:38

How old is he? I do see merit in gentle encouragement towards a wide variety of different kinds of books. But depending on their age and character, that can ultimately end up counterproductive. And I've found with my DC that encouraging a big volume of books (lots of library visits) ends up with them 'running out' in preferred genre, or getting sick of it, and moving on to a wider variety.

But why science fiction in particular?!

LadyPeterWimsey Wed 28-Jun-17 08:35:51

I wanted my DC to read for pleasure first of all. When I thought their reading was a bit too narrow and they were resisting my recommendations I chose a great book that they wouldn't otherwise pick up, and read them a chapter aloud in the evenings. It was good having time together, and they often went on to read more widely themselves. It also meant they could become familiar with more challenging books, or books about specific issues that we could talk about together - e.g. racism, the Holocaust.

LadyPeterWimsey Wed 28-Jun-17 08:37:11

<waves at Somerville> smile

mom17 Wed 28-Jun-17 08:45:15

he is 11 years( almost)

MissHavishamsleftdaffodil Wed 28-Jun-17 08:53:52

Sorry, really confused - Why is it you'd like him to stop fiction he's enjoying in favour of science fiction he isn't? I thought reading was all about personal tastes and enjoyment?

Somerville Wed 28-Jun-17 08:58:47

Honestly I'd just encourage him to keep reading lots. I wouldn't worry what it is (as long as age appropriate).
I'm still curious about why you want him to read science fiction though? To some extent genre doesn't mean much - the same story with the same characters and same moral and same quality of writing could be set in a spaceship or a medieval castle or a modern house with only 'window dressing' changes.

I once recommended a great (adults) science fiction series to LadyPeter (hi!), and later she teased me for recommending her a book with a spaceship on the cover. It was very funny. grin

Bobbins43 Wed 28-Jun-17 09:03:49

Just appreciating LadyPeterWimsey's username.

UnaOfStormhold Wed 28-Jun-17 09:03:56

A bit puzzled why you'd want to - science fiction doesn't necessarily teach any more science than other books. The only thing I'd suggest is encouraging lots of "what if?" questions (what if we colonised other planets, what if we could incubate babies out of the womb) as these are often the germ of food science fiction stories as well as good for the imagination and curiosity.

Bobbins43 Wed 28-Jun-17 09:05:27

I'm a librarian (hello!) and can only say let your child pick what they like to read. Whatever they like to read. As long as they keep reading. Take them to your local library and let them browse. Look at covers, read blurbs. Nothing puts someone off a book quicker than being made to read it.

mom17 Wed 28-Jun-17 09:30:26

ok, so what I want him to read is books like :

what if
e=mc^2
books related to relativity and quantum which are written in lucid manner for child to understand

basically to start him on BIG qs of science which can help him in understanding/appreciating science he has just started in middle school.

and another reason is he has been reading HP and PJ kinds of books again and again ( finished 3 times already) and I don't think he does deep reading as he doesn't realize when new vocab ( which I am trying to build on for him) comes there.

alltouchedout Wed 28-Jun-17 09:33:34

He needs to enjoy it. I do see where you're coming from but I worry your approach will erode any joy and pleasure he has in reading.

BertrandRussell Wed 28-Jun-17 09:39:22

Let him read what he wants to read, and find some good TV programmers to watch together for the sciency stuff. Brian Cox, Mythbusters.....there's loads.

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 28-Jun-17 09:40:19

He's a 10 year old boy. He reads for pleasure. He's doing pretty well you know.
And he may have absolutely no interest in science; it's not a given that because you have, he will.
Maybe let him find his own passions

NoSquirrels Wed 28-Jun-17 09:40:34

You could read one of those books to him together, as PPs have suggested.

But if he's comfort reading HP & PJ, and doesn't necessarily have a natural interest in the "big questions of science" but is more fantasy/myth led then I can't see how you'll instill it by asking him to move onto books with tricky vocabulary and themes that are very complex.

If you've a boy who loves reading for pleasure at 11, please don't put him off by suggesting he needs to "move on" from what he enjoys.

CMOTDibbler Wed 28-Jun-17 09:42:24

My ds is the same age, and a big fan of Percy Jackson. As it happens, he does like sci fi, but its Percy Jackson that has made him want to read more mythology- Roman, Greek, Norse; to explore more about those cultures, and at the moment to learn latin. And the book we are learning from has photos of finds from Vindolandia so he's been looking at things about that site.

Let your ds read what they like though - its about pleasure and enjoying books!

CiderwithBuda Wed 28-Jun-17 09:45:13

The most important thing is that he is reading. He won't read books he does enjoy. Do you? I know I don't.

There are other ways of accessing science as others have said. But if he doesn't have an interest he doesn't have an interest. Pushing him will likely turn him off completely.

My DS is now nearly 16 but to my disappointment just didn't get the whole Harry Potter thing. Or any of the fantasy books. I have wasted a fortune buying him books I wanted him to like. I had to just leave it and be grateful he was reading at all.

Somerville Wed 28-Jun-17 09:45:26

Oh, you want him to read scientific non-fiction.

Bert's suggestion of documentaries etc... is a good one. Also YouTube videos and Khan academy online. And doing simple experiments with him (anything with a bang is especially enthralling) and visiting places like the space museum.

Not many 10 year olds massively enjoy non-fiction, I have to say. They're certainly unlikely to read anything like that from cover to cover - if you leave them around he might dip into them now and then.

There's been a lot of research on children re-reading. It's been shown to be a beneficial for their brains. As is reading fiction in general - children who read regularly, for fun, don't just get better grades in English, as we might expect. They get better at maths, too!

CatsInKilts Wed 28-Jun-17 09:46:51

What about letting him continue to choose his own fiction books but buy him a copy of a science magazine to look at?

Bobbins43 Wed 28-Jun-17 11:51:04

I was a child who read and I still re-read those books (and others) now. Please don't make reading into a chore for him. Middle school doesn't not require knowledge of why e=mc2.

Encourage the things he is interested in. Build on them. The mythology example sounds good. Make sure he has access to books. But don't make it into a chore because he will just stop showing an interest

UnaOfStormhold Wed 28-Jun-17 14:36:23

Bill Bryson's A brief history of everything is a good introduction to some of the really fundamental questions - and a fun read. But I'd agree with making this something you do as well as reading, not instead of!

BertrandRussell Wed 28-Jun-17 14:38:07

Una- I really wouldn't suggest that for a 10 year old!!!

cowgirlsareforever Wed 28-Jun-17 14:39:07

My friend is a teacher and worries that children are being made to think (by their parents) that reading fiction is a waste of time. I didn't believe her until I read the OP.

Jux Wed 28-Jun-17 15:29:54

I hoped to 'help' dd, at the same age, look more widely than just historical fiction/fact too. Pointless! School did that, at home she wanted to read what she wanted. Fair enough.

She widened her horizons as her peers started recommending books, and I'm sure your son will experience the same.

Don't force reading. You want him to enjoy it right into his adulthood, not give it up as soon as he leaves school.

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