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How do i get dd to read at home?

(17 Posts)
ontheedgeofwhatever Mon 08-Oct-12 09:19:42

I've tried everything I can think of. She's a reasonably good reader (nearly 7,year 2 and on lime) but just won't read at home unless its her school book

I read to her every day from a book of her choice
We have shelves of children books - easy chapter books (Roald Dahl, Flat Stanley, Enid Blyton, Dick King-Smith for example) , loads of picture books, fact books, horrible histories, poetry books
I take her to the library every week but she refuses to take anythhig out because she'd have to read it confused
I read in front of her

And she just won't read. She does lots of creative stuff, loves numbers and counting games, sings beautifully but if I suggest sitting down to read a book she just point blank refuses even though she loves being read to

All her friends seem to be reading far and wide and I don't know what else to do to encourage her and I'm certainly not going to force her

Am I just expecting too much from her (naturally she is my pfb)

seeker Mon 08-Oct-12 09:24:24

Keep reading to her. And don't worry.

I have a theory that it takes much longer than we think for reading to become so completely automatic that it's a pleasure. So for even a very good 7 year old reader, the process still feels like work. My two were 10 or even 11 before the switch to reading for pleasure happened.

throckenholt Mon 08-Oct-12 09:30:31

I have 3 boys - and only one willingly reads books (despite shelves full of age appropriate ones). And even he won't try anything out of his limited comfort zone. They all find the library initimidating - reluctant to look for anything, rarely read the books they do get out.

They will however all read (ad nauseam) what car magazines, steam engine magazines etc. So maybe you can find some magazine she likes (eg horses, wildlife, what car (maybe ? smile). One also reads bird books (well the bit about owls mainly) and will get those from the library.

You can't force a love of reading - you can just do what you can to enable it.

HeathRobinson Mon 08-Oct-12 09:34:09

I''d just back right off on the encouraging, tbh, apart from her school book. I'd carry on with the reading to her, as she enjoys it, but cut out the library visits.

Why not take her instead to something that she might like? School choir? Church choir? Maths workshop?

And are you modelling reading in front of her? My (much older) kids always see me with a book. They can read very well, but only one is what I'd call a 'reader'. The others just aren't that bothered by it, the same as dh.

Euphemia Mon 08-Oct-12 09:55:05

DH and DD spend half an hour before bedtime lying on our bed reading. smile DD has never been keen on reading but now she loves that time.

Do you read a lot? Are you modelling what you want to see from her?

Startailoforangeandgold Mon 08-Oct-12 10:09:12

My Dad read to me at that age, the entire set of Swallows and Amazon books.

I didn't read to myself for pleasure until 10-11 and most 12+ when I started on adult stuff.

Even DD2 who reads really really well didn't read much for pleasure, except the odd rainbow sodding fairy. Until 9 or 10

Floralnomad Mon 08-Oct-12 10:13:06

My DS never read at home until he was 18 and my DD only really started reading a lot when she became unwell and stopped going to school, she now reads IMO too much. Don't worry about it she will come to it in her own time .

GrimmaTheNome Mon 08-Oct-12 10:28:41

My DD didn't read for pleasure much through primary. Not at all really till juniors (when her ability suddenly went from below average to high). I always read to her - all the Swallows and Amazons, all the Anne of Green Gables, all the 'kids' Terry pratchetts (you can guess what I was on when I last changed my NN years ago!), all of Narnia except the last one, all the...well, loads of stuff! She's 13 and now does read a lot - wolfed down the Hunger games, nearly finished re-reading all the Harry Potters, started on Northern Lights. But I still read to her at bedtime - we're working our way through Discworld (reached Moving Pictures, plenty more to go!) - we both enjoy it. I loved re-visiting the childhood classics and having an excuse to read good newer kids stuff!

Don't force it, don't make it a chore or something she 'should' do. I think the primary school's well-intentioned 'Reading Challenge' was great for kids who would have read anyway but was offputting for those who didn't really want to yet. I think it somewhat encouraged quantity over quality... I thought it was quite funny (and the teacher seemed a bit pissed off) when DD won their 'Junior mastermind' for which they had to answer questions on 5 set books. She'd only read 4 by the time she got to the final - ... but she'd read them properly and retained the information.

FireOverBabylon Mon 08-Oct-12 10:34:24

How about changing what she reads - if she's creative, get her a craft type magazine, or a song book, or bake with her and she reads the recipe. If you have reading glasses, "lose" them and ask her to help.

So long as she can see the benefit of reading, it doesn't have to be books.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 08-Oct-12 10:39:21

If you've got a dog, you could see if she'll read to him/her. (there was a piece in the Times on Saturday about how this can help reluctant readers!)

redskyatnight Mon 08-Oct-12 12:54:13

She sounds just like my DS at that age. He was a good reader but he just didn't want to read - he read his school book because he "had" to but nothing else. Though he loved to be read to.

I'd say half way through Y3 he suddenly started enjoying books for himself (though he still likes to be read to!). So I'd say continue to read to your DD, introduce her to lots of different types of books - does she like puzzle books? Joke books? Non fiction? Another thing we found with DS is that although he "could" read, he found it hard work - he started reading voluntarily with his younger sister's reading books - i.e books that were very easy for him. So you might find that your DD will enjoy books that are below her reading ability so she can read them easily.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 08-Oct-12 12:57:21

Leaving a book of jokes or funny poems in the loo might be worth a try (only if you've more than one loo though)

adeucalione Mon 08-Oct-12 13:04:16

Say - 'you know your bedtime is 7.30pm DD? Well, I've been thinking that you can have an extra half an hour, until 8.00pm, but only if you spend that time cuddled up in bed reading...if you don't want to read, that's fine, but then you put your light off at 7.30.'

Making the choice between reading or..well, nothing, worked with my DS when he was that age. Then take her to a big fantastic book shop and let her choose one, even if it's easy (I never feel inspired by the library either).

weegiemum Mon 08-Oct-12 13:08:10

I teach family literacy.

Model, model, model. But never make reading more important than communicating!
Read to her as much as you can stand she wants. Encourage her to read a paragraph to you here and there.
Incentivising (book chart with rewards) only really works short term but can be a kick-start, especially in summer holidays.
Have "family reading time" when you all sit together ( in bed, snuggled on sofa) and read to yourselves.
Books in unexpected places! On top of hamster cage, in the toilet!
Different kinds of reading - for facts, for info, for relaxation (and these cross over! My ds reads computer game reviews in the newspaper and it's fun.
Storytelling - make up stories! Play "consequences". Make upna story and illustrate it.
Loads of emotional rewards for reading, not physical. But never withdraw affection for not reading.
Try not to get frustrated.
Remember children these days have many more distractions but also many more ways of reading.
Encourage audiobooks (with paper copy if she wants).

I'm not at work today, this is what I can currently think of!!

ontheedgeofwhatever Mon 08-Oct-12 21:39:09

Thank you so much for all the reassurance, the brilliant ideas about what to read and possible ways of encouraging her to do it.

Im definitely going to try playing Consequences with her, she loves story telling so that will be a great way to encourage her

We have two toilets so will put a few books by either one.

We don't have a dog but we do have a 10 week old baby and a cat so will try getting her to read to them smile

As for reading myself I do a lot of it but maybe I should mumsnet less do more when she's in teh room

vesela Tue 09-Oct-12 10:44:01

Leave lots of books around. Occasionally start reading a very interesting but not too difficult book to her ten minutes before you need to do something else (like make dinner) and see if curiosity gets the better of her.

Maybe she needs to build up the confidence that she can do it well enough to gain satisfaction from it and find it a fun thing to do at times when you can't read to her, even if she knows she can't do it as well as you.

ByTheWay1 Tue 09-Oct-12 10:47:28

The best thing we ever did was buy a couple of clip on bed lights - so they can angle them to read in bed at night without the main light on - then allow half an hour reading time - past normal bed time - now they can't wait to go to bed and to read... (we did this when eldest was 8 and youngest was 7 - they have had them for 3 years now and it still works)

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