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DS (reception) is reluctant to read

(79 Posts)
HappyAsEyeAm Tue 11-Jun-13 13:26:36

DS is nearing the end of reception. He is 5.

They do Oxford Reading Tree at school, and after a very slow start, he is nearing the end of Stage 3. He reads with his teacher every day, and we read with him at home too. He will get a new book if his teacher is happy with his reading, and now he seems to be getting a new book nearly every day. His teacher is happy with him.

We found that he only started really progressing if we read his book with him in the evening, and also again the following morning before school. Since we started doing that, he's come on very well, and is at the same level, or thereabouts, as most of his friends. So obviously, we want to continue in that vein. We (and the school) give lots of praise and encouragement for his efforts, and put emphasis on trying hard with his book when he reads to us, rather than on the result.

Lately though, I am finidng it harder and harder to actually get him to read with me. He prevaricates, throws strops, downright refuses etc. It takes forever to get him to read, despite me trying to make it fun, upbeat, doing it when he isn't too tired etc.

The only thing that seems to work is an incentive, and for him, that is usually a food treat eg a small packet of sweets, a small chocolate biscuit etc. I say that if he tries hard with his book, he can have a treat. And then he tries hard.

Am I doing the wrong thing? Obviously, I don't want to be using a food treat as an incentive forever. But non-food treats, praise, encouragement etc doesn't seem to work anymore to get him to read his book with us.

learnandsay Tue 11-Jun-13 13:45:51

I think bribery is one of the strongest tools available. Bribery that doesn't involve sugar is good too. Sounds like you're well along the right track already. Do you do family days out? If my child's reading was in short supply I'd take to writing the next treat, like a trip to an animal park, or whatever, on A4 paper (a shortish letter) with marker pen and putting it at his place at breakfast time the day before. But I'd deliberately use words which were longer than the ones that he was used to. I wouldn't do it all the time but just often enough so that every now and again he had a significantly long enough reading challenge that he wanted to complete. And if he's not already reading tricky words on a regular basis, then I'd be sure to throw in a good smattering of those in each note.

kotinka Tue 11-Jun-13 13:50:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

learnandsay Tue 11-Jun-13 13:53:16

There was a time when my daughter had a fear of dense passages and long words, but once she found out that she could read them she went pretty much overnight from wanting to read only this book or that book to wanting to read anything with pages in it.

Nagoo Tue 11-Jun-13 13:56:24

Bribery here too, he's allowed to play playstation after he's done his reading. He gets stars for certain things, and reading is one if them. If he gets enough stars he gets a skylander.

I let him play moshi monsters because he wanted to read the things that they say.

Also let him choose things to read that aren't school books, so maybe he could have a comic once a week? (the skylanders every other week worked out cheaper than a bloody comic though!)

HappyAsEyeAm Tue 11-Jun-13 13:58:57

Thanks for the replies. The stage 3 books have a sentence or two (at most) per page, with 16 pages to a book, so it isn't too dense, I don't think. I like the idea of writing the next treat out for him to read though, he would really enjoy the fun element of that.

I will continue with the bribes for now!

Its only his school reading book that he is reluctant to do. He will happily sit and listen to me reading to him, and we spot the words he might know in the text. He is also happy to do puzzles, sums, dot to dots, practice his writing etc, but all of this requires interaction with me, and that is sometimes difficult to factor in on weekdays as I work part time too and we have a baby.

I don't want to make too big a thing out of reading his school book, as he is generally well behaved, adjusted, funny and happy. But its not like it is optional. He has to do it, and that's why I was looking for suggestions as to how to get him to do it!

learnandsay Tue 11-Jun-13 14:01:47

I'd keep going over the summer holiday, without school books, otherwise you might have to go back to square one next year.

HappyAsEyeAm Tue 11-Jun-13 14:03:59

I agree, learnandsay. We are going to try and keep going at the same pace as he is going at the moment, so 5 books a week. That is our aim, anyway. It may slip a little with holidays and long days out. As I don't think the school would be able to loan so many out, I will be placing an order for the Stages 5 and 6 ORT books on amazon.

learnandsay Tue 11-Jun-13 14:07:16

simpson always recommends

I've never used it myself, but she rates it highly.

HappyAsEyeAm Tue 11-Jun-13 14:35:09

Thanks - that's a great suggestion. I particularly like the free eBooks!

noramum Tue 11-Jun-13 15:03:24

For the holiday see if you local library has a reading scheme. It normally means 6 books in 6 weeks and they get a certificate and small prize at the end.

We found that this really got DD going who was ok with her school book but wasn't keen on anything else.

We also promised a treat for finishing it and she gets a new book whenever she moves up a stage. In our case she gets a book we can read to her as one of her greatest fears is that we will stop reading to her. No idea where it comes from as we all love bedtime reading.

HorryIsUpduffed Tue 11-Jun-13 17:40:37

DS (R, nearly five) hates school books and I don't blame him. The majority of early phonics books are wrist-slittingly dull.

He reads well to us and to his little brother and to himself at home. I don't push the school books because I don't want to put him off reading. I want him to value reading for its own sake (both because it is a useful skill and because it is enjoyable) and so far we have done well. His teacher is certainly quite happy with our methods. I he got a FANTASTIC against our comments in the reading folder for half term grin

learnandsay Tue 11-Jun-13 17:59:29

Well, horry, what about that! Can I have your Reception teacher, please?

maizieD Tue 11-Jun-13 18:22:04

DS (R, nearly five) hates school books and I don't blame him. The majority of early phonics books are wrist-slittingly dull.

Unless they are actually 'Floppy's Phonics' the Oxford Reading Tree aren't phonics books at all. They are Look & Say and wrist splittingly dull because they are extremely repetitive.

It could be that the OP's DS finds many of the words too difficult as they do not relate to the phonics he is being taught. If you can't read the words you're not likely to be particularly enthused by reading.

learnandsay Tue 11-Jun-13 18:26:27

Repetition isn't a sure sign of boring basalt readers, Marinarik, Seuss and the Usborne phonics readers are repetitive but brilliant. Personally I think the ORT books are wrist slitty because they've been badly written.

Owllady Tue 11-Jun-13 18:31:34

This all sounds very normal tbh. I have a boy the same age and I do not push him to read if he doesn't want to. I am a firm believer that reading should be seen as something you get enjoyment out of and if you learn to enjoy reading it is something you will carry on with forever. i did this with my 11 yr old and he reads for school and pleasure without any complaint at all. So personally I would chill

HorryIsUpduffed Tue 11-Jun-13 18:41:49

You never know, the "fantastic" could have been sarcastic and/or despairing wink and obviously Reception being non-compulsory for my 4yo means anything he achieves is a bonus.

Repetition doesn't need to be dull, I absolutely agree. And we are definitely on phonics books here, not L&S. They have guidance notes at the back about the focus phonemes.

But why why why are they aimed at imbeciles? Yes there is an art to making simple fun but plenty of "real" books we encounter throw up only one or two "tricky" words in total, and those are typically the beginner ones that appear in the Stage Two ish books anyway.

SizzleSazz Tue 11-Jun-13 18:47:51

We use 'well done' or 'fantastic' stickers which we stick in the reading record which helps motivate DD.

Stage 3 is fine for the end of Reception so i wouldn't worry too much. We also used Reading Eggs on the computer which Dd1 loved although some teachers on MN don't seem to rate it.

learnandsay Tue 11-Jun-13 19:09:12

why are they aimed at imbeciles?

Are they actually aimed at imbeciles or are the really really stupid looking ones aimed at children who can't read anything and are just learning? I remember one book which went some thing like
Sam has got a pot.
Pat pat pat.
Tap tap tap.
My daughter didn't know what it was. She'd never seen a book like that before and neither had I. But I think it came right after wordless books. I think it wasn't aimed at imbeciles but at someone who has pretty much never read a sentence before. I think the problem might be that books too low a level keep getting aimed at children who can read higher books. There's a reason for that, (the children are supposed to be doing lots of other things, not just "reading" the words.) But perhaps it's the lingering over simple books which makes the scheme look stupid. (Or maybe, on the other hand, the scheme really is stupid.)

Periwinkle007 Tue 11-Jun-13 20:50:47

I wouldn't buy any scheme books to be honest and if you do I would go with something like songbirds phonics rather than the biff chip and kipper ones. definitely read over the summer as often as you can.

I see nothing wrong with bribery. I think they have patches like this where reading is a chore and they don't want to do it, they still want to enjoy books though. it is only a few weeks to the end of term so just bribe until then and enjoy other books.

HorryIsUpduffed Tue 11-Jun-13 21:10:37

learnandsay I'm talking about the later books too. They have a reasonable vocabulary but no plot at all. The storytelling is at the level one offers preverbal toddlers.

I notice more because occasionally you get one that does have an actual story, and the difference in DS's engagement in it is very noticeable.

I don't know what the intention is. I don't know if they're really aimed at children who aren't used to books at all: the children who have never been read to and consequently don't know how books work sad In which case I feel a bit churlish complaining that they're dull.

learnandsay Tue 11-Jun-13 21:18:39

horry, yes, I know. But I think it's deliberate. I've got some Treetops books at home. They're at the top of the scheme and they're still silly. Farmer Oldboots puts his cat in the well. Who put the cat in the well? Who can tell. Does it smell?

And stuff of that kind. It's not even as clever as a Beatrix Potter book. So, if the top of the scheme is basically rubbish, what does that tell you about all the lower levels?

But to be fair to the scheme I think it's trying to actively teach children to read. ie they're supposed to not be able to read in order to use it. There is a drawback in that some schools are forcing children who can already read to read this silly muck. Yes. That's a problem. But it's probably a small price to pay for general reading ability nationwide. It's hell for the family concerned. But hey, they're taking one for the nation.

maizieD Tue 11-Jun-13 21:31:04

Repetition isn't a sure sign of boring basalt readers, Marinarik, Seuss and the Usborne phonics readers are repetitive but brilliant.

Basalt readers? Are they really hard?

I think the most boring children's book I have ever seen is 'Green Eggs and Ham'.

I apologise for my previous contribution to this thread. I hadn't realised that OP's son was a brilliant reader with a highly developed sense of literary criticism. hmm

Periwinkle007 Tue 11-Jun-13 21:31:23

good grief L&S - which treetops book is that? DD1 has only brought home one treetops I think, it was about the Cocos Gold and Treasure Island and was a geography treetops or something like that. It was actually really quite difficult. I would hope that one wasn't supposed to be at a similar level

HorryIsUpduffed Tue 11-Jun-13 21:42:51

It isn't hell for us - we don't insist he read them! wink grin And that's what I'm recommending to the OP: the best way to encourage reading is to find material he actually wants to read.

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