Question for teachers but parents feel free to give your opinion!(37 Posts)
My ds is 9 (year 4), he is a very reluctant reader - partially due to being dyslexic, partially due to poor eyesight, partially due to there being a hundred and one other things he'd prefer to be doing than sitting down with a book.
He reads chapter books along the lines of: Mr Stink by David Walliams, Secret Seven etc.
This term his school have introduced reading diaries, and if they read 5 times a week they get a credit. The school advise reading between 15 and 30 minutes a night. This has been fantastic for my ds, for a child that wouldn't read at all, he now reads 15 mins (always the minimum for my ds!!!) 5 times a week to ensure he gets his credit.
He will never finish a book. Once a week the class go to the school library and are allowed to choose two books, every week he chooses two new books (he knows full well that he is allowed to keep the same one until he has finished but he doesn't want to), and will read approx the first 3 or 4 chapters of each book then return it.
Do teachers/others think this is a problem at the present age, or is it just good that he's reading something/anything even if never finishing a story? Or should I persuade
bribe him to finish a book? I was thinking of saying if he reads a book the whole way through that he can £5 (he works for cash!!!).
Am not a teacher. If he never finishes a book, I'd bribe him as an experiment, just to see what he makes of a whole book.
You need to find a gripping tale - some kind of adventure story with a rollicking pace where he can't avoid being very keen to find out what happens next. Been ages since I read Treasure Island, can't recall if that's one. How about a detective story?
What about short stories? I am a teacher, I have an English degree and I hate long books. I'm much better with short stories or more episodic novels.
Does he like Roald Dahl?
check your bank account though, could prove expensive if he expects a bribe every time he finishes a book!
Or maybe try him on some short stories? Again, can't think of any of the top of my head, but am sure some posters will know. Or search the reviews pages of any title that does kids books.
I'm afraid I'm not a teacher either, but I can't help thinking that if he is not ever finishing a book, he is missing out on what makes reading fun. If you could persuade him to finish a book, with a good storyline, he might become keener to read for enjoyment?
He did try the mystery series by Enid Blyton, but again only got to chapter 4.
He loves book shops, loves the whole thing of a book, but just doesn't get gripped by a book. He also has a kindle that he has a number of books on after reading the synopsis online, but never get past the first few chapters, novelty wears off.
When he discovers things like Harry Potter I am sure he will develop more reading stamina. At the moment the books he has access to are frankly a bit dull.
He tried HP - thought the films were better, and again got to about chapter 3 of the first book.
It is more an endurance for him, it's literally when he sees start of chapter 4 sometimes chapter 5. He'll just put the book to one side and find another.
Do they still do those Choose Your Own Adventure books? A bit more interactive.
Oh I remember those ones, I had forgotten about them. I don't know but that is an idea, because it also gets away from reaching end of chapter 3!
Short stories - if any one can recommend ones that are good for a 9 year old boy that'd be great, he and I have tend to find lots of short stories are girly (fairies etc) and/or for a younger audience.
He's started a number of the Wimpy Kid books really likes them but won't finish the damn books!!!
I would ask his teacher to not allow him to change. He needs to see the story to the end to get the maximum pleasure. He doesn't know this at the moment...but he will once he's done it.
When I was a child I read Harold and Bella, Jammy and Me which is about friends and the things they got up to. Very episodic, no "end" that I remember. Hopefully it's not dated too much.
Oh Pansy I LOVED that book and have just ordered it for my DD thanks to your reminder! Thank you! We live not far from where it is set.
Chose your own adventure books are great fun.
And another vote for Roald Dalh, if you get the big treasury there are lots of great short stories and poems in it.
Has he tried any of the Redwall books? They're quite exciting, in fact I still like getting them off the shelf for a quick read.
How about some graphic novels? TinTin and Astrix, he'll read them through without realising it I promise you!
Will he read a bit, let you read a bigger bit?
At about 12 my dyslexic DD ended up having DH read bits of twilight to her.
Even DD2, who is an excellent reader, would get me or dad to read bits of longer books with her at I guess 7-8. She also constantly corrected my dyslexic paraphrasing
This is time for me to trot out my pet theory again. I think that it takes much longer than we think to become someone for whom reading is an effortless pleasure. I think that even after they become free readers and are reading anything, it still remains a process that has to be worked at for ages. Not for all children, obviously, but for most. So a long book is daunting, even for a good reader.
I would try comics, or really really easy longer books, like Beast Quest, or those football ones I forget the name of. And bribery is good. But I think it will come with time and practice.
Oh, and whatever you do, don't offer him Treasure island! It's a good story, but it does go on a bit!
I can see your dilemma and I can't claim to have any answers, but have a few thoughts that you may like to add into your melting pot of decision making!
My view is that bribery is fine, I just don't have the answer as to whether it is (or isn't) needed at this stage over reading. The question is perhaps more whether you stand the risk of pushing him so he runs a mile and you lose the ground you've already gained.
I wonder (but honestly don't know the answer) if there is any chance that it might be best to leave him a little while longer to find his own way when it suits him.
I don't know if there is any harm in letting him read half a book - will it teach him out of habit to never be a finisher? Even if it does, I would think any bad habits can be relearned if needs be, so it probably isn't the end of the world.
Which probably just about sums it up really. Parenthood is a series of one guilt trip to another, and all you can do it consider all the information you have available at that time, and make the best choice you can, knowing that you may see things with a new perspective when you look back in hindsight!
There isn't too much that can't be undone later if you find out there was a better way through. So, while its really good parenting to try to cover all the angles, maybe don't be too hard on yourself or give yourself too much angst over it.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.