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Reception child no interest in reading/writing

(28 Posts)
yummymummy345 Fri 12-Apr-13 15:28:59

My 4 yo boy has no interest whatsoever in reading, writing or learning phonics. I have bought comics (power rangers which he likes), bought activity books ie dot to dot, maze with occasional letters etc I have just bought the tag system. The alphabet snake type games. Given him incentives to read a book (green level) to go to theme park he keeps talking about. But nothing seems to work.
Although he can read (if pushed) 3 letter words and knows most of his phonics he is in the 2nd from bottom group at school. Surely he needs a bit of enthusiasm to progress?

He has loads of interests, I always read 2 books at night (unless he's naughty) just wondering do you have any tips to make it fun for him?

5318008 Fri 12-Apr-13 15:51:12

do speak to the teacher to see if she can offer suggestions too

my twopennyworth - don't use (not)reading to him as a tool to reinforce behaviour, imo it's too important to miss, naughty (whatever that might be) or not

maizieD Fri 12-Apr-13 18:18:53

Green level of what? Are the books he gets to read at home phonics based or are they the dreaded 'old' ORT? If they are old ORT he might be finding them difficult. You could try him with some phonics based readers -

I would say not to push him at all. He is only 4. I know it's rather old for a MN child not to be reading War & Peace wink but it is early days yet. Just keep reading to him and help him to practise his phonics.

And there is no law which says everyone has to be enthusiastic about reading for pleasure. Some people just never do. It is the ability to read anything he chooses which will be really important.

mintyneb Fri 12-Apr-13 18:30:16

I can't really offer advice but just want to say my just turned 6yo DD in yr1 absolutely hates reading and despite being surrounded by books will never pick one up for pleasure.

Having said that though, at parents eve last month her teacher said that if you listened to her read at school you would swear she was the type of girl who lived and breathed books!

I was the typical child who read books by torchlight under the bedcovers as I could never put them down, so I hate to think that DD hasn't (yet) inherited that love of reading.

I just tell myself she is very young still and that given time she will begin to get some pleasure from reading.

Your ds is still only in reception so I would try not to worry too much just yet - easier said than done I know!

Elibean Fri 12-Apr-13 19:28:28

Seems to me, judging by the growing number of posts about Reception children not liking/being able to read/write/do maths, that there is increasing pressure on schools to push younger children to reach higher levels. It just doesn't work for all - or even the majority. I'm not saying hold back those who want to read/write or not to teach them adequately, but I loathe the pressure on parents and children, the kind that makes them feel inadequate sadangry

Children at that age develop in different ways, at different times, and that is perfectly normal. Trying to squish them into same-pace learning is so utterly Gove-like daft!

Off my soap box, OP, I would add that one of dd1's best friends didn't read much till she was 7, was on green level in Y2, but is now in Y4 and zipping ahead. There were heaps in both my dds' years who weren't keen on reading aged 4 (especially boys, iirc) and little but often - ie 5 minutes per day, most days - got them there in plenty of time for when it starts to really matter.

Finally, my brother (now aged 49) didn't really enjoy reading until he was at Uni. He is a very successful designer, has written a book, and is fluent in three languages - so perfectly literate, just didn't like reading much as a child smile

Easy to say, but I would try and relax.

mrz Fri 12-Apr-13 19:36:57

I don't think the pressure is from schools pushing

missmapp Fri 12-Apr-13 19:38:29

Reading Eggs on the computer helped ds1 become interested in reading- BUT, it will come and he will read!!

yummymummy345 Fri 12-Apr-13 19:45:40

I think there is great pressure from schools. I wouldn't have even battered an eyelid but for them putting the children in ability groups. And over the half term, I am to encourage his writing- although he doesn't want to. So I havn't pushed it.

The teacher has advise to try wipe clean boards as boys tend to enjoy these more?

nice to hear he stories of non interested children, enjoying and being successful at reading/writing.

mrz Fri 12-Apr-13 19:46:35

Why does it matter that the school puts them in ability groups?

simpson Fri 12-Apr-13 19:46:54

Have you looked at the Oxford owl website?

It has loads of free ebooks to read. The novelty of reading on a computer might work...

mrz Fri 12-Apr-13 19:50:06

A study by Egmont, which publishes children’s books Mr Men, Thomas the Tank Engine and Winnie-the-Pooh, found that parents rated “language development” as the most important benefit of reading to youngsters. They also said reading was important because it gives children a “head start” at school and improves their imagination

AryaUnderfoot Fri 12-Apr-13 19:54:07

I think there's a bit of 2+2=5 going on with the reading book band. Are you sure we're not talking about Green ORT books which are Stage 2 - and actually red in terms of book bands? If that's the case, the OP's DS is on a perfectly appropriate level for a reception child at this stage in the year, and is probably not being 'pushed' to read books that are too hard.

DS (yr 1) has never been a huge fan of reading, and never 'reads' for pleasure. Reading school books was always a chore, and we had to set a firm routine of 10 mins reading every day (including weekends and holidays) in order to make any progress. We have stuck with this routine.

He absolutely loves stories - read to him or made up. He has never shown any motivation to learn to read for himself or read his own books.

Regardless of his hatred of learning to read, he has actually mastered the skill fairly quickly and went from second-from-bottom phonics group in reception to top literacy group in yr1. He has also gone from barely being able to hold a pencil to choosing to write stories.

He now reads avidly - but not books. He reads each and every sign on every wall wherever we go. We always find out where the fire exits are, and what all the swimming pool rules are, plus all the caveats about the rides at legoland etc. He reads all the subtitles on the Star Wars films, and reads all the information on cinema tickets etc. Maybe his love of books will grow in time, who knows? Either way, we still stick with 10 minutes reading of school (or other) books per day, and DS knows this is something that is important for him to do - like brushing his teeth.

DH and I are avid readers by the way (although neither of us were as children).

mrz Fri 12-Apr-13 20:08:27

If they are the old ORT books even stage 2 contain words that are beyond the ability of the majority of reception children. They weren't written to be "read" independently by the child but relied heavily on guessing from picture clues and initial letters and memorising text.

AryaUnderfoot Fri 12-Apr-13 20:16:23

DS had some thoroughly horrible old ORT non-fiction books when he was on green book band. There was one called 'growing up in France'. It was about as compatible with phonics teaching as Michael Gove is with Roy Hattersley. How is a child who is supposedly being taught phonics supposed to deal with 'Notre Dame', 'Seine' and 'Louvre' at the beginning of year 1? Talk about confusing.

Although I don't agree with it, those books should be burned!

yummymummy345 Fri 12-Apr-13 20:45:51

ORT- oxford reading tree? yes.
He could read the first stage books - 3 letter cvc words.
It only matters that they are in ability group if your child is near the bottom!! mrz

the second stage (green books) are there to be read independently surely otherwise how would they go to the next stage? when I say independently, Im sitting with him but the child is sounding out etc.

I will try the reading eggs.

I am worried that if I try the 10 minutes a day reading he will really back off.

I agree Arya havn't seen those books, perhaps they have been burnt!

simpson Fri 12-Apr-13 20:50:28

So what books does he get?

Are they purely phonetic?

Try Oxford owl or go to the library and let him chose books.

It should not matter if your child is near the bottom as long as they are progressing (I have been there with DS who is now in yr3 but struggled in reception as he is Aug born).

mrz Fri 12-Apr-13 20:51:19

Why does it matter if your child is at the bottom it doesn't mean he is destined to stay there forever.

be aware that reading eggs doesn't quite follow methods used in the UK so can confuse some children

IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 12-Apr-13 20:54:36

10 minutes a day doesn't have to be sat down with a book - try to incorporate reading into every day - signs that you see out and about, wrappers on foods etc.

Our school is great at encouraging the children in nursery and reception to practice their writing outside - with chalk, brushes dipped in water, shaving foam, finger writing in sand etc. They role play lots too - counting sweets out in a shop situation and writing the numbers down, counting tyres at a garage and writing it down (ds2 loves taking his clip board out to do this!).

It doesn't have to be done in the traditional way that we were taught in - it can be made much more fun and in my opinion boys relate really well to some of these techniques.

Pozzled Fri 12-Apr-13 21:02:36

OP, can I ask why you are re-posting this, rather than continuing with your other thread?

yummymummy345 Fri 12-Apr-13 21:24:20

Didn't know that I could transfer the thread Pozzled
Thought would be better to get some more tips which people have tried rather than, you shouldnt pressure a 4 yr old as hes only 4.
I appreciate that but dont feel there is any wrong in trying to encourage. So I appreciate all of the tips people are providing.

Why does it matter if your child is at the bottom it doesn't mean he is destined to stay there forever.

mrz it doesnt matter - really?

yummymummy345 Fri 12-Apr-13 21:26:09

simpson he has all types of books/comics lift the flap type/annuals im not sure its about the variety which is the issue...

mrz Fri 12-Apr-13 21:30:40

No it doesn't matter in the slightest

simpson Fri 12-Apr-13 22:05:47

I honestly think as long as he is making progress (and it sounds like he is) then do not worry what group he is in. It does not mean he will be in that group forever.

I sobbed after DS's first parents eve blush although did manage to get out of the building first as I had visions of him always finding things hard, struggling etc. which has actually not been the case at all, he is pretty academic (top groups in all subjects) but when he was ready.

I don't think there is anything wrong with making "reading time" every day but not necessarily a book. You could write words (cat, dog, pig etc) and stick them round the front room and get him to run to them. You could write "rude words" (boys love it!!) wee, bum, poo etc and get him to sound them out.

Also maybe when you speak to him (not all the time obviously) you could say "Can you pass the j a m" or "Do you want to go to the p ar k" etc.

It is about finding what works for your child (and making it fun) as they are still young.

neolara Fri 12-Apr-13 22:17:49

Just read him lots of lovely stories. Make reading fun and at some point, probably soon, he will become interested. In a years time he will probably pick it up fairly effortlessly.

My dd (July birthday) knew literally about 5 letter sounds by the end of reception. In fact, at the end of Year 1 she was barely reading 3 letter words. She was in the bottom groups for at least the first 2 years of school. She's now in Year 4 and is at the top of the top groups for literacy and in the last 6 months has suddenly got the reading bug. She's raced her way through about 5 books this holiday.

Older kids are vastly over-represented in higher reading groups in Key Stage 1 and Reception. If you ds is only 4, he must be young for his year. In my dd's class, by Year 4 many of the kids who started off in the top groups have moved into lower groups and vice versa as the effect of being older / younger has evened out.

AryaUnderfoot Fri 12-Apr-13 22:20:53

As I have said earlier, DS was in the second from bottom group in reception. He was assessed in the October of reception on EYFS point 1 for writing and 2 for reading and numeracy.

In yr 1 he is in top groups for literacy and numeracy and is withdrawn from some topic work in the afternoons for 'extensive for the most able' in maths. He did not even finish reception on higher than average levels for numeracy.

I would second simpson about boys and rude words. DS really wasn't inspired by his reception school reading books as a lot of them were about topics that held no interest for him whatsoever. The only level 1 reading book that interested him at all was when a dog was run over by a car! He just found the stories totally dull. If he had been given a really rude, silly book involving some incredibly male, puerile rubbish he probably would have loved it!

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