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Reading - a bit ashamed of myself - am I completely wrong?

(70 Posts)
albachiara Sun 14-Oct-12 22:21:29

My DS (almost 8yo) is an ok reader, I guess, but I would expect better (I think I'm comparing him to his sister at the same age, and her reading age was probably 3 years above his - she loved reading, writing, pleasing the teacher, etc etc).

I read to him, we have lots of books in the house, we go to the library where he's free to choose the books that he likes (usually either comics, or books with lots of colourful pictures). I don't mind his choice of books, I think he needs to read books that he enjoys, as long as he reads something, I'm happy.

However, I also try to read with him a few times a week (they don't bring home any reading books from school anymore, which is not bad, so I can pick what I want... ). However, when he reads to me, he makes lots of mistakes such as:
1) skipping little words, or not reading the "s" at the end of words
2) adding words that are not in the text (for ex: reading "wake up" instead of just "wake"
3) reading a word instead of another (for ex: saying "for" instead of "of")
4) reading "Mrs" miss or mister

He can decode words and read more difficult words, for ex: measurements, bulletin, but at the same time, he still makes the above mistakes.

So, today I lost it!!! Whenever he read "of" instead of "for", for ex., I made him write "of" 10 times, and "for" 10 times, same with Mr and Mrs, or when he added a word or missed a word (these are usually short words, so he was lucky!) We had to do this for 4 times on the first page, but then he read 4 more pages with no mistakes (or he made mistakes, but he corrected them).

I think this shows that he's careless, and lazy. Is my approach wrong? I don't really believe in dislexia, and I got his eyes checked. I do think he doesn't really care if he makes mistakes, unless there are consequences.

I also yelled at him, which was wrong, but I had lost my patience by then. I did praise him when he read 4 pages with no mistakes, though. I told him that from now on he will have to read with me and we will follow the same strategy (writing the misread words).

Oh, I also test him about comprehension, and if he doesn't know the answer, I ask him to re-read the page to find the answer. His strategy would be to look at me, and wait for me to hint what the answer would be.

I know this will not make him love reading, but I am afraid that if he doesn't practise he will never be a fluent reader, and he will never enjoy reading because it will always be too hard for him.

Am I a bad mother?

Funnylittleturkishdelight Sun 14-Oct-12 22:24:08

Not sure if you're a bad mother- but you may make him hate reading!

How did he react to this? Is he keen to read to you again?

Gumby Sun 14-Oct-12 22:24:14

You're going to put him off

Leave him to it

And what do you mean you don't believe in dyslexia?

theotherboleyngirl Sun 14-Oct-12 22:24:45

you don't 'believe in dyslexia'

you lost me there

and yes I can't imagine your son is going to have particularly pleasant memories about reading as a child as things stand at the moment...

Gumby Sun 14-Oct-12 22:26:01

I feel sorry for him being compared to his sister

Fabulousfreaks Sun 14-Oct-12 22:27:37

What do you mean you don't believe in dyslexia? I am confused.

And if you carry on like this you are going to make your ds HATE reading and books. If your purpose is to turn him off reading for life then keep going.

ItsMeYourCathy Sun 14-Oct-12 22:28:17

Yes, you are completely wrong! He needs support and encouragement, you'll put him off for life! As for you don't believe in dyslexia! angry are you actually serious??? Eesh!

Gumby Sun 14-Oct-12 22:30:48

I'm tempted to tell you to write the correct spelling of dyslexia ten times

and research it

EverybodysSpookyEyed Sun 14-Oct-12 22:33:51

I assume you mean that you don't believe he is dyslexic

I think you are being harsh on him. When he uses of instead of for just ask him to read the sentence back again, ask him if the sentence made sense etc

RaisinBoys Sun 14-Oct-12 22:34:23

If you carry on like this he is going to hate reading. Then he'll hate you. He'll hate his sister (if you continue to compare him to her. Then sadly he will hate himself (if you continue to make him feel like a failure).

Think again!

ShowOfBloodyStumps Sun 14-Oct-12 22:38:33

You don't believe in dyslexia?

Dyslexics of the world untie!

albachiara Sun 14-Oct-12 22:40:01

Dislexia - I meant I don't think he has dislexia. When he slows down he can read correctly.

About comparing him to his sister: I don't actually tell him that his sister could read better than him (although she does... especially when he asks her to read things FOR him - she tells him he should be able to do it by himself). I think it's impossible not to compare (in my head), to have a rough guide to what he should be able to do.

I can see how this is not a pleasant experience for him at the moment, but maybe he needs to go through this to be able to read fluently.

I don't know if he's keen to read to me again, but he will do it. He will sit on my lap and read again to me. We laugh at the funny bits in the book, and we say silly things about the story, so there is an element of fun (I think). Actually, I don't think he has a choice in this... of course he will have to read to me, because his parents will expect this from him. Isn't it like this for you and your children?

Maybe I sound strange and very controlling, but there are times when children have to work hard and do things that they wouldn't necessarily choose to do (like learning times tables, or brushing teeth). Is this unreasonable?

akaemmafrost Sun 14-Oct-12 22:41:38

shock I can't say what I really think of you because I'll be deleted. I get irritable sometimes if I think my kids aren't trying but to stand over them making them write the words out like that is awful. Poor kid sad.

Wolfiefan Sun 14-Oct-12 22:44:21

Wow. He's not going to have a lifetime of enjoying books and finding reading a joyful experience is he?
Ease up. Let the school teach him. Get them to send work home etc or get a tutor if you are concerned. Don't yell at him and make reading a chore.

EverybodysSpookyEyed Sun 14-Oct-12 22:44:34

you are unreasonable in the way you go about trying to teach him.

If he is getting things wrong, remind him to slow down - don't make him write the words out 10 times!

My ds loves sitting down to read with me - sometimes we do it on the bus home because he is so keen. If I were to take your draconian approach he would probably have to be forced to do it - which isn't a good outcome.

Fabulousfreaks Sun 14-Oct-12 22:45:13

I don't understand you posted on here to ask if you are in the wrong and everyone said they think you are going about this wrong and then you declare that you are right and will carry on. Of course he should read to you but you need to change your reactions and the way you deal with it or he will indeed react as raisinboys said

SamSmalaidh Sun 14-Oct-12 22:45:14

Yes, unreasonable - you sound crazed about this. You made him write words out every time he made a mistake? Wow.

albachiara Sun 14-Oct-12 22:47:51

How ironic!

dyslexia, dyslexia, dyslexia, dyslexia, dyslexia, dyslexia, dyslexia, dyslexia, dyslexia, dyslexia, ...

and I didn't cut and paste the word! Did I get it right this time?

I guess I am completely wrong about this.

About comparing him to his sister - actually I think I am always stressing to him that he is as intelligent as his sister, and she is very good at certain things, and he's very good at other things. But a teacher at his school told me that I shouldn't expect him to be like his sister, because she (the sister) is a very able child. This is really what bothered me. He's as able as she is. All he needs is more practice.

You have almost managed to change my point of view on this...

leelteloo Sun 14-Oct-12 22:49:00

As a very dyslexic child myself one of the ways I learnt to read/spell was writing things out over and over and over. I had acute short term memory problems so I needed to do repetitions of words to kind of engrave them on to my brain. I never thought my special teacher or my mum were cruel making me do all this extra work because they put in such a way that I was not made to feel inadequate or 'stupid' : just different. If you correct your son in anger and 'punish' his mistakes you will damage his self esteem. If writing things out a number of times is a good learning strategy for him then make it fun and reward and praise praise praise.

theotherboleyngirl Sun 14-Oct-12 22:50:20

There is a huge difference between encouraging a child to work hard at something which doesn't come naturally to them, and developing strategies for that and turning something already hard for them in to something they fear through draconian methods and punishment rather than praise.

DS isn't naturally good at handwriting and fine motor skills - they are severely lacking compared to his academic ability. I don't stand over him making him do things over and over - we play games, I praise him, I reward him for effort... and bit by bit he's improving. And I certainly don't compare one child of mine to one of the other two other than mentally in my head in assessing their strengths, not in terms of making them feel back about their weaknesses. Children are individuals for goodness sake and your strategies need to be individualised.

lilackaty Sun 14-Oct-12 22:50:58

The mistakes you mention aren't really important ones. They don't seem to take anything away from the story - the sentences would still make sense so your reaction to it is ott.
You absolutely will make him hate reading which is very sad as it is the complete opposite of what you are aiming for.
I have two children but I don't compare them at all so I disagree that everyone does this.
Everytime your dd tells her brother that he should be able to read something, you should be stopping her; it isn't her business & how does she know what he can read. It isn't okay for her to do that.
He is 7 - he will be able to read fluently soon but he won't want to.

EverybodysSpookyEyed Sun 14-Oct-12 22:53:18

Kids progress at different rates. he ay not be showing the same ability as his sister did at his age, but when he's 11 or 3 or 18 he may be showing far greater ability than she did at the same age.

cakesaregood Sun 14-Oct-12 22:56:18

OP, it sounds like you've been very honest. You say in the title that you're ashamed.

Consequences do help us change our behaviour, but the consequences of misreading small words are either none,or changing the meaning of the sentence. Discuss with your DS when he changes the meaning of the sentence.

How about getting him to spot when you make a mistake when you read to him. Can he spot how the meaning changes? It's probably really hard to deliberately misread, you could have a bit of a giggle!

Good luck, and keep reading.

Quip Sun 14-Oct-12 22:57:09

OP I think I know where you're coming from. My ds1 was a bit like that with his reading - went at top speed, missed out a and the, read when for then, skipped words and added others to compensate and also did the Mrs/miss thing. I was worried about dyslexia (i believe in it) but the teacher looked at me as if I was crazy when I mentioned it. If he slowed down, he could read accurately but mostly he made dozens of errors on every page.
I gave it some time. The next academic.year his teacher gave him more appealing books which helped. He still couldn't be arsed to read properly most of the time. So I said he could have a star on his star chart for each page with no skipped words (didn't mind other errors). Very, very quickly he was reading properly - within days, and went from dozens of errors per page to two or three per reading session. After three weeks (and two full star charts) he seemed to be reprogrammed into reading properly and hasn't slipped back into his old ways. I guess it's a bit like your situation but I used carrot instead of stick.

albachiara Sun 14-Oct-12 22:58:18

lilackaty, when he asks his sister to read something for him, I think he's just being lazy, in the same way as when he's doing his homework and needs a rubber he tells her "rubber!" instead of getting up and getting the rubber for himself. I do tell my DD off when she says "I could spell that word at his age!", and I have talked to her in private about this, and explained why I don't want her to do it. But I think she's right to tell him to read a sign (for ex.) by himself, instead of asking her to do it for him.

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