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"I hate reading"

(25 Posts)
tomtommum Mon 16-Sep-13 16:23:01

help ! my 10 (almost 11) year old DS has decided he hates reading. Our house is submerged with books, I have read to him almost daily since he was born, he absolutely loves me reading to him, and equally loves listening to audio books while we are in the car, while he is building lego, when he goes to bed, but he says he hates reading.

I'm hoping someone might have an inspirational way to encourage him. I have tried all different types of books (thriller, action, historical, etc but to no avail).

Periwinkle007 Mon 16-Sep-13 16:55:53

is he a good reader or does he find it very hard work?

do you think the books he wants to read are too hard for him or does he feel he should read harder books than he actually wants to (I was an exceptional reader but I always read books younger than my age when I was about 10/11/12ish because I liked them more)

is it that he prefers other things to reading but if there was only reading as an option then he would do it and enjoy it?

I have a feeling what I half expect to be the answer here but I don't want to put ideas forward until you can give a bit more information. and I should add I am not a teacher or an expert but I just have a feeling

tomtommum Mon 16-Sep-13 17:16:24

he is a good reader, reading age is above his age. He read about 4 Alex Riders in a row and loved them.

And then stopped dead in his tracks. He has to read for school but will put it off as long as possible.

I was having a clear out the other day, and he found a Jack Stalwart book he read a long time ago, and reread it cover to cover in about half an hour.

I was overjoyed, regardless of the fact it was an easy read for him, I would really be happy for him to even go back to Horrid Horrid Henry.

He went through a Michael Morpurgo phase before Alex Rider, but not even that tempts him now. Have tried Silver Fin thinking it is along the lines of Alex Rider, but no joy.

Given half a chance he would spend all day playing Clash of Clans / Minecraft on the computer.... he loves sport too, plays a couple of hours of footie on a Saturday and a couple of hours of rugby on a Sunday. But he would rather do anything than read at the moment.

Would love to know more about your feeling Periwinkle. I don't want reading to become a chore for him as it has always been such a pleasure for me.

sheridand Mon 16-Sep-13 17:35:31

Comics. There are some truly excellent ones, and the narratives are complex. Go to Forbidden Planet and take him along. I used to be a school librarian, and if the non-reading boys read anything, it was graphic novels.

Once they get to Upper school, there's a whole raft of stuff in the library to try.

mrz Mon 16-Sep-13 18:44:10

Unfortunately some children just don't enjoy reading just as some adults don't and all we can do is provide lots of books, set an example and hope

TheRoundTable Mon 16-Sep-13 19:22:27

My daughter is the same. Reads and writes well, but hates reading. She loves writing though. I love reading. House full of books, but she just finds reading a chore. Not happy about it either.

Retropear Mon 16-Sep-13 19:26:11

I think kids only don't like reading if they haven't got something they love to read.I'm incredibly fussy and read less when I don't have something I love on the go.

My 3 are avid readers but have 3 very distinct tastes.Twin1 10 loves creatures and magic worlds eg The Hobbit,Percy Jackson etc. Twin 2 loves spy type stuff.Dd is completely diff again.I'm afraid it's just a matter of getting hold of loads of new,appealing copies of the style he likes either from the library,TBP etc.Limiting screens help.Mine love Minecraft but rarely get on it.They're in bed early too so like to read then.

My son that likes spy things loved Spy School,Spy Camp(just got Belly up by the same author), the Laura Marlin mysteries,Ruby Redfort,Alex Rider,all Ali Sparks books,Liar and Spy & When You Reach Me,Shakespear's Secret,The London Eye Mystery etc.He also loves the First News newspaper and The Phoenic comic.

I'm presuming your DS as read all the Wimpy Kid,Norm,Tom Gates and David Walliams books etc.If so try Wonder( book about a boy with a deformed face), quite easy to read and entranced my 3.

Sometimes kids ebb and flow,with winter coming up he my prefer staying in to read when it gets colder.

Periwinkle007 Mon 16-Sep-13 19:29:47

thats what I thought - it isn't he doesn't like reading as much as he has other things he would prefer to do. I honestly think that is all it is. It is probably a phase but like Mrz has said some people just don't enjoy it. I sometimes don't really read for months and then I will read as much as possible for a few months. The main thing is that he CAN read and he knows he can read which means he can go back to it at any time. You might find over the winter he starts again if the weather is bad and he can't go off out doing sport so much.

I would just continue to make sure there are a lot of books around, perhaps suggest a suitable (you may need to pick carefully with some of them) autobiography. perhaps a sporting one. footballer ones might have inappropriate content, that sounds a bit judgemental and I don't mean it to be but someone like Steve Redgrave is most likely to be completely respectable and suitable for a child of that age to read. I got into autobiographies when I was about 12 (after my chalet school phase!) but I have always enjoyed them. I never really took to any of the books for young adults/older children, they just didn't appeal to me so I hated reading and spent my time sewing instead. After a while I found autobiographies and went back to reading.

Ferguson Mon 16-Sep-13 21:31:27

Hi -

If he has had all these stories, audio books in the car, and even when he is doing Lego (which, I would have thought, needs quiet for full concentration!) may be it is just an EXCESS of books and stories that has filled his life, and now he has now decided he's had enough of it! At 11, he is not far off teenage, and teen attitudes, difficulties and confusions may be starting to kick in.

As he can read well, and hopefully with adequate understanding, does it really MATTER that he doesn't choose to read much? Provided his reading and comprehension is sufficient for SATs, (I assume he is Yr6?) then personally I would leave him alone.

Liking sport, is he not tempted to read sporting books? Or books on science, space, technology etc.

Our DS liked computers when he was 5, and by 6 was starting to write programs. Twenty-five or thirty years ago computers were primitive enough for amateurs to easily learn programming. In fact DS, now aged 30 and at home with us for a week, has just found a PacMan game he programmed on his 'scientific calculator' at grammar school, and IT STILL WORKS! Now he hopes to get it off and get it on to the 'web'!

There is a £25 computer, the Raspberry Pi, that needs a keyboard and can plug into a TV or other monitor, that he could teach himself programming on. MAKING your own computer game can be even more fun than playing ready made ones!

(I'll come back tomorrow to see how this 'thread' is progressing, and if appropriate, send you more info on Raspberry Pi.)

sittinginthesun Mon 16-Sep-13 21:39:09

Just a thought, but ds1's year 4 teacher told me that, once a child reaches a certain level, it is best to treat their reading as you would your own.

I often read a couple of heavy books, then re-read an old favourite. Then a magazine. Maybe nothing but the Internet for a week. Then maybe a novel.

DS is similar - he's reading Harry potter now, but had a phase last month when he wanted to read football magazines.

ZombiesAteMyBigToe Mon 16-Sep-13 21:45:54

My brother went through something similar at the same age. IIRC he read nonfiction for a year or two -tanks, planes etc nothing else.

Then he discovered Biggles and Sharpe and he read those and only those for years. He is 29 now and still reads those solidly but has expanded to sci fi, thrillers and horror over the last five years or so.

I was a proficient reader early on but reached a point when I was about 11 where I had grown out of the children's section but was not quite ready for adult themes etc. My reading sort of tailed off and I lost my way a bit. My mum channelled me down the classics for a year or so and then let me read whatever I wanted from the adult section when I was 12 including Clan of the Cave Bear and all sorts of other brilliant stuff!

GetStuffezd Mon 16-Sep-13 21:50:40

Try reading to him at night with loads of expression and characterized voices, then stopping at a cliffhanger and leaving the book by his bed and the light on... It does work!! And may I recommend A Series of Unfortunate Events.... They are fab, my class are predictably addicted grin

NoComet Mon 16-Sep-13 21:59:25

DD2 didn't bother reading much around 10-11 and then suddenly she's borrowing all her bookworm big sisters books.

Ok it's hunger games, twilight, beautiful creatures etc. it's not literature, but it is books.

I think some DCs just need a pause between kids stuff and finding the teen adult books that appeal to them.

I hated a lot of children's books, but devoured Sherlock Holmes and then adult thrillers from 12 upwards.

(DD1 is dyslexic, she didn't learn to read, properly, until Y6 so she mixed Roal Dahl with HP, with the faraway tree, Twilight and Romeo and Juliet. Her nose is never out of a book, except for watching Dr. Who)

Retropear Mon 16-Sep-13 22:21:43

I think it does matter.

There was research last week on BBC saying kids who read for pleasure beyond 9 do far better at school,that we shouldn't just let them stop.

Interestingly we have a Raspberry Pi,dp writes software and our spy fan has started making games on the Pi,starting simple Java etc but we limit it.That is the key imvho.

Re older boys books are competing with a lot of screens.If they're not in the equation he might get used to turning to books more.

grants1000 Mon 16-Sep-13 22:25:38

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

All Tom Gates books

grants1000 Mon 16-Sep-13 22:29:00

DS 11 also loves sports pages of the broadsheet newspapers!

He loves football and loves reading match reports, headlines etc

He's dyslexic and it something about news print type face, the fact iris in columns, so shorter sentences to read that make it easy for him.

tomtommum Tue 17-Sep-13 10:28:47

thank you everyone, very helpful indeed. I do think it matters, yes he can read and should do fine in his SATS, but I just feel you can get so much from reading, both the pleasure of a story /interest of a non-fiction book, as well as the benefits of vocab & language.

anyway, I shall persevere. Thanks for some tips of books I don't know. He has read all the Wimpy Kid & David Walliams which he loved. And he avidly reads the First News and football magazines/sports pages.

I am also very intrigued by the Raspberry Pi, and will look into that as his birthday is coming up. He said he wanted action books for his birthday, so maybe that's a good sign.

I think I should just be patient and not get in a spin about it ! He reluctantly admitted last night that Silver Fin is "quite good", so maybe there is a glimmer of hope.

Thanks for all the encouragement !

Periwinkle007 Tue 17-Sep-13 10:45:28

of course it might not be seen as 'cool' to read amongst his friends at the moment which might be affecting him

tomtommum Tue 17-Sep-13 10:50:10

I don't think that is a problem, Periwinkle, in fact his his coolest friend devours books and spends his life passing them on to us !

PeterParkerSays Tue 17-Sep-13 11:09:53

Do keep up with the audio books though, and non fiction stuff, like the Guinness book of records, or any books related to his hobbies, rugby facts etc.

Ferguson Tue 17-Sep-13 18:54:06

Hi again -

Pleased to see this 'thread' is progressing well - AND, I've encountered the first MNer I've come across who actually has a Raspberry Pi.

There are 'user groups' around the country for it, and I think some schools are encouraging its use. I'll add a link to it:

I have always loved Arthur Ransome books. One I particularly commend to older readers is "Coot Club". It is set on the Norfolk Broads, in the 1930s, and all the locations are genuine places. They can all be found on the Ordnance Survey 2-1/2" map of the Broads. It gives added interest to the story to be able to follow the rivers, roads, villages etc in considerable detail. Apart from there being less railway lines, and more main roads, surprisingly little seems to have changed.

Another book set in real locations, that can be followed on maps as well as dedicated web sites is "Watership Down". The housing development that drives the rabbits from their original home is on the outskirts of Newbury, Berkshire.

Labro Wed 18-Sep-13 09:03:46

Second the books set in real locations, ds is 11, loves steam trains and discovered a 'triology' set around a signalmans life. Magazines are also great, anything around their interests, might be worth getting a kindle or similar as this seems to encourage this age group.
Audio books also to be encouraged (ds teacher highly recommends for increasing vocabulary and how a story transfers to the reader)

Retropear Wed 18-Sep-13 09:45:37

Also reading to him.

I've been reading the E Nesbit and Eva Ibbotson books to my 3, not sure they'd choose them normally but they love me reading them.

tomtommum Wed 18-Sep-13 13:15:42

I agree StarBallBunny, I went straight from Jill & her Ponies to Robert Ludlum !!

and I agree, Ferguson, real locations add interest. DS would turn to google maps but that doesn't quite cut it for me, need the OS maps to make it more enjoyable....

He picked up his old Football facts book this morning, and last night tucked into bed with Billy Bonkers !! part of me despairs, part of me thinks, as many of you have said, anything is better than nothing.....

Now here is a prickly question that has been through my mind late at night - is financial reward morally off the scale !?!?

ZombiesAteMyBigToe Wed 18-Sep-13 17:57:05

He also might like the Adventure series by Willard Price, there are 14 iirc, titles like Volcano Adventure and South Sea Adventure. They are very exciting but I learned loads about the world and nature from them as a child.

I'd steer clear of financial rewards personally. Unless of course it's a book token grin.

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