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Daughter hates to read - help & suggestions please!

(12 Posts)
chipandbiff Mon 13-Jun-11 17:22:08

DD1 is coming to the end of reception and although is able to read, just does not like to do it!

My other DD (they are twins) sails through books and loves reading. They are on the same level of books, yet DD2 takes 5 minutes to read her books, and DD1 can take up to 40 mins. The extra time is made up of her protesting, crying, being silly and not concentrating etc.. She is generally less fluent than DD2, and still sounds a lot of the words out, even though they are repeated throughout the stories.

The girls generally don't have exactly the same book, two of 6 in a series for example). I'm quite happy with their ability, but am concerned that if I give DD1 the option of not having to read every night, she will take it, and fall behind. I've tried getting her to read a bit when she comes in from school, then a bit at bedtime, but by bedtime she's tired and it takes even longer. I've tried getting her to read before she goes off and plays after school....

I try not to have them read in front of each other, so there are no comparisons made, or felt.

I've tried getting books on fairies, princesses, animals, etc...but she just doesn't want to read them herself. They both have a story at night, and love listening to story CDs in the car.

I'm stuck!!! How can I get her to enjoy reading???? I'm sure life will be so much simpler and enjoyable for her if she likes reading!!!

Any suggestions gratefully received!

cjbartlett Mon 13-Jun-11 17:24:17

what about in the morning if there is time?
or would she rad more happily with someone other than you?
sounds like it's getting into a battle which definitely isn't what you want

Saracen Mon 13-Jun-11 17:38:29

In his excellent book "The Read-Aloud Handbook", Jim Trelease makes some strong arguments in favour of reading aloud to children. This gives them many of the skills that will help them to become good readers in due course. Critically, it helps to ensure the child continues to enjoy books despite the negative associations she's probably developing as the result of being made to read when she doesn't want to. So read aloud to her as much as you have time, and carry on with the story CDs when you don't have time. They can be a great substitute for TV when kids need down time.

Have you discussed the matter with your daughter's teacher? I doubt she would recommend carrying on for 40 minutes if your dd isn't enjoying it. Perhaps it would be better to set a timer for 5 minutes during which you ask her to have a go, and then move on to you reading to her. At only four or five, she may not even be developmentally ready to read yet, in which case spending a long time working on it every day is just going to reinforce the idea that reading is unpleasant and is beyond her.

I know you are worried she will fall behind if not made to work on reading, but there is no evidence that starting to read young is helpful in the long run. The main thing is to start to read when the child is ready.

blackeyedsusan Mon 13-Jun-11 18:57:53

you are going to achieve the opposite of what you want by trying to make her read for 40 minutes...

be devious...

will she read say the instructions in a magazine?

will she read you out the shopping list? or look for tins/packets with the matching word?

could she help a puppet who is only 3 to read? you be the puppet and the puppet makes some simple mistakes because he is not as clever as she is.

read a lot to her. let her fill in the odd word here and there....

play reading games, eg matching cards to a board (simple 2 and 3 letter words like mum/cat/on/it/ up/ get/in - ones that can be sounded out) or lotto? or snap?

race to find simple words in books/ magazines/packets/

hide word cards around the living room, give them each a different word to find.

you can do these games with 2 sets of words written on cards...

you read to her and she tells you what she thinks will happen next, if she likes the story and what her favourite bit was. act out favourite stories together...

label the pictures she draws and read it back together... "a pink fairy"

dikkertjedap Mon 13-Jun-11 21:42:13

I would give her a break from evening reading. Does she like baking? If so, let her choose and then read the recipe and help you weigh etc, make cookies, cupcakes etc. Does she like arts and crafts? If so, get the Mister Maker book or magazine or go on the website and let her read the instructions how to make something. Also, CBeebies, Nick Junior and other children websites, she will have to read the instructions to play the games, there are websites to help with phonics through games. What about puzzles with some text on them? Games? Good luck.

PaisleyLeaf Mon 13-Jun-11 21:47:00

At my DD's school they say to read for 10 mins each evening. I'd just do a few minutes and if that just turns out to be 2 or 3 pages then so be it.
And maybe just do 4 or 5 out of the 7 nights a week.

chipandbiff Mon 13-Jun-11 22:11:39

Thanks everyone for your suggestions - these are hugely appreciated. I will continue with the read aloud stories, but lessen the 'forced' reading, and the ideas of asking her to write lists, read instructions, read online games etc... should help.

.....Wish me luck <takes a deep breath.....>...maybe I will be posting on here in 6 months time saying I can't get a book out of her hands....

(Mums can dream, can't we?!!) wink

arfur Mon 13-Jun-11 22:26:52

The only thing that worked for my ds was finding books he was really interested in - started out with factual type stuff (why is snot green series) and then he progressed to beast quest series. Also funny books (Jeremy Strong etc) and joke books are good. Maybe let her choose her own books from the library (schools dont usually mind children reading their own books if they find them more interesting). Other suggestion would be if you have any old books from your childhood (my dd was enthralled by the famous five books because they were the actual ones daddy read when he was a boy). Also try getting her to make her own books with her own words and pictures my ds got quite into that at one stage (nothing fancy just paper stapled together). Good luck!

Doowrah Tue 14-Jun-11 19:03:09

Include reading into whatever they are interested in e.g. singing=karaoke, girls magazines, Club Penguin, crafts, baking, board games, top trumps,etc,etc all require shed loads of reading.

WowOoo Tue 14-Jun-11 19:09:46

So much good advice I won't add anything but reiterate to keep it as enjoyable as possible. Ask her to choose in library - picture books she can tell you the story.

Read to her and give her a break from it.

Ds1 is the same btw!

christinecagney Tue 14-Jun-11 19:12:09

OP all of the above are good suggestions, but also if your child is only in YR you can just not do it you know! (I am a primary Headteacher and often suggest this to parents' shock). Giving something a break when it's not working is a good low stress way (for you and DD) forward. Not much to be gained by making small children anxious and cross...

Plus you get the reverse psychology bit of them (2 weeks later) absolutely begging to read..

MigratingCoconuts Tue 14-Jun-11 19:33:07

star charts? has anyone mentioned start charts?

These have got me through many a slack period in my duaghter's reading (yr1).

I was buying megablocks dragons from ebay (£2-3) and she would have to earn about 10-14 stars to get one. She goes nuts for anything dragon related.

At that stage, it was one star per book cos they were short.

Star charts get me through the long dry period where there is no obvious reward of going up a level and she doesn't get a kick out of just reading

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