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How do you turn your child into a prolific reader?

(39 Posts)
CDMforever Mon 08-Jun-09 20:22:23

Just been reading a thread about parents trying to find new reading material for their children who get through books like there's no tomorrow. Sounds wonderful! DS1 is 11 and not an avid reader at all of fiction. He is an able reader just doesn't really interest him, unless its non-fiction. DS2 and DD are both very young and both show an interest in picture books yet so did DS1 at their age. So how can I nurture this early interest to produce enthusiastic school-aged readers? A friend said DS1 is still young and may still become a bookworm like his parents.

nickytwotimes Mon 08-Jun-09 20:24:16

I think being a prolific reader yourself is the main thing.

CDMforever Mon 08-Jun-09 20:27:11

That I am nickytwotimes. I suppose its that thing of projecting what you like and are interested in onto your children. DH has similar habit but his relates to DS winning Wimbledon.

Itsjustafleshwound Mon 08-Jun-09 20:27:39

I think the thing to do is to find the books that will keep them busy and interested ...

Having your head in a book is not the be all and end all ...

cocolepew Mon 08-Jun-09 20:28:05

I think you either are or you aren't TBH. I would buy or borrow books that interest them.

When DD1 started school her teacher said that it was obvious that she was read to a lot (she was because she had speech and language delay). She loved it.

DD2, on the other hand, never liked to be read to she prefered to 'read' it to herself making up words hmm.

DD1 is a avid reader (like I am), DD2 will read at bedtime for a while, but she's only 7 and DD1 is 11.

Doodle2U Mon 08-Jun-09 20:28:41

Hitting on the right story did it for me. Step-mother gave me mallory Towers and that was it - I was lost to my book fetish forever.

nickytwotimes Mon 08-Jun-09 20:32:31

CDM, I think your desire is slightly more achieveable than your dh's. grin

Fwiw, both DH and I are from booktastic homes and are always reading. SOmehow htough, BIL missed this gene and has only ever read one book his whole life. shock So, encourage away, but he'll either love it or not on his own terms.

Easy for me to say as Mum of a 3 yr old. grin wink

CDMforever Mon 08-Jun-09 20:33:04

Itsjustafleshwound, it isn't the be all and end all you're right.
cocolepew, have just bought DS1 Skullduggery Pleasant, hope he likes it. DS2 is 2.8 and DD is 19mths and both love the likes of How to Catch Star and the Hungry Caterpillar.
Sometimes imagine DD immersed in The Secret Garden or the Railway Children.......just before she skips off to her ballet/horse riding lesson. I think I might have too much time on my hands!

cocolepew Mon 08-Jun-09 20:36:41

TBH even though I hate them, it was the Harry Potter books that did it for DD, from about the age of 9.

Nighbynight Mon 08-Jun-09 20:38:39

Diary of a Wimpy Kid got ds1 reading. There are 4 books in the series, they are funny and aimed at 11 year olds.

Itsjustafleshwound Mon 08-Jun-09 20:39:46

I hope that didn't sound dismissive - wasn't meaning to be so ...

I think once you find the spark and books they will enjoy, it will snowball ...

At the moment we are stuck in a Princess Poppy and Peppa Pig loop - be careful what you wish for !! grin

Tortington Mon 08-Jun-09 20:40:20

dd (16) has read three paperbacks ( of nil literary value - just pulp vampire fiction) in 2 days.

cos we haven't got a telly wink

CDMforever Mon 08-Jun-09 20:40:46

I can't bear them either (but love the films)Can't remember which book got me hooked. Unoriginal but it may have been Roald Dahl, the Chocolate Factory. I loved my copy so much as a child that I firmly believed it smelt of chocolate!

Overmydeadbody Mon 08-Jun-09 20:42:16

I don't think you can make your child into a prolific reader.

Some chinldre like reading. Some children don't.

I think as long as you give them every oportunity to get enjoyment out of books, and read to them and read a lot yourself you will encourage them more, but some children don't like reading despite all of this, just like some children don't like paying with train sets or drawing or football or whatever.

ByTheSea Mon 08-Jun-09 20:45:34

I tend to agree with Overmydeadbody. Of our four children, two are prolific readers and two aren't. Both DH and I are and our house is full of books.

CDMforever Mon 08-Jun-09 20:45:52

fleshwound, you didn't sound dismissive at all. I'm just echoing my thoughts - sometimes I get a bit obsessed with reading and my children reading. DH thinks I spend far too much on books and complained last xmas that the chn got too many books and not enough "doing" toys. He's not into reading AT ALL. Opposite attract.....

CDMforever Mon 08-Jun-09 20:47:14

Very wise words Overmydeadbody, just maybe didn't want to hear them!

Overmydeadbody Mon 08-Jun-09 20:49:03

Sorry grin

You carry on dreaming, no harm in that! Just don't make them feel guilty or like you're disappointed if they don't get the same thril lout of reading as you do. It won't mean they are necessarily any worse off.

Overmydeadbody Mon 08-Jun-09 20:50:16

this coming from someone who has read 47 books in the last six monthsblush

CDMforever Mon 08-Jun-09 20:53:55

Wow, 47! How on earth do you find the time? You must be a "skimmer". Apparently most readers fall into 2 categories: those who skim read, therefore get through books very quickly. And those who when reading, read the words out loud in their heads. I definitely fall into the latter, so struggle to get my book group read finished every month!

Wallace Mon 08-Jun-09 20:58:09

Your ds1 sounds like my ds1:

"not an avid reader at all of fiction. He is an able reader just doesn't really interest him, unless its non-fiction"

It used to bother me, but now I have just accepted it as part of who he is. Especially since my dd suddenly clicked with reading and spends ages with her head in a book (she is 7).

Overmydeadbody Mon 08-Jun-09 21:26:25

CDM I'm not s skim reade, just a speed reader, don't read the words aloud in my head, just 'see' the sentance if that makes sense.

That and the fact that I have a lot of time on my hands grin I read the most when I had no internet or tv unsurprisingly.

lucysmum Mon 08-Jun-09 21:38:09

Let them read what they want - eg Enid Blyton in my DDs case
Don't make them finish things
Let them read 'easy' books if they feel like it
Don't expect them to like what you like
Take them to bookshops, bookfairs, the library to browse
Talk about books, what they are reading, what you are reading
Get lists from teachers of recommended stuff - may well include stuff you have not heard of that they will love
Find out what their friends are reading - peer pressure technique
Put them to bed early ! My DD aged nearly 9 goes when her little sisters go so may be as early as 7 but can then read for as long as she likes

fidelma Mon 08-Jun-09 21:52:23

Yes I agree with you lucysmum
Let them read what they want fiction or non fiction
Read some of it with them an odd chapter here and there keeps them going
Put them to bed early
And I agree that when you find out what does it for them they are off.My girls are very different in their reading choices.DD1 aged 9 loves Michael murpurgo and has rattled through them and then the Hobbit.DD2 aged 7 needs lots of help and encouragement and easy books but I suspect that she will love Malory Towers soon.DDS1 the Bear Hunt!! age 3

Wallace Tue 09-Jun-09 06:46:57

A recent hit with my ds is a Star Wars book in comic form (do we call it a graphic novel?)

I'm also planning to get him some proper star wars books.

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