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Son hates reading, how do I get him more interested in books to help him improve?

(16 Posts)
ranoutofideas06 Sun 27-Oct-13 14:57:42

My son is 8. He struggles with reading and his teachers say he is falling behind. They're happy to help him catch up and improve but how do I get him more interested?

Would a reading club help?

Anyone got any advice? How do you get your son's interested?

PurpleGirly Sun 27-Oct-13 15:02:51

Get him enjoying books - non fiction etc on something he loves. My DS (9) is the same but he will sit for hours with the Guiness book of records etc. I bought him a minecraft story book from Amazon and he read it in a day and wrote his own version. Star Wars have reading books too. I found that once he enjoyed reading his own type of book then he enjoyed reading others too. He is now Year 5 and really coming on.

He always loved us reading to him, just not doing it himself.

starlight1234 Sun 27-Oct-13 15:06:16

My son has always adored reading but lost interest over summer...I took him to the librabry..Books on subjects of son is reading a starwars series at the mo

You can read the oxford reading tree books online... I still read to him myself so he learnt the enjoyment from books.

My sons school do an online reading scheme and my son really likes it..If yours doesn't some do free trials...

Blongle Sun 27-Oct-13 15:06:33

Have you tried comics? DD got into reading with classic superhero stuff - batman, spiderman etc and now reads proper books as well.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 27-Oct-13 15:07:11

Horrid Henry?

ObtuseAngel Sun 27-Oct-13 15:08:08

Will he read graphic novels? It's still reading, but they move through the story much faster so they stay interested. My DS loves the Manga series of the Darren Shan vampire books. I think there's about 12 in the series so it would keep your DS reading if he likes them. They read from the usual back to the front, Japanese style, which my DS found fascinating for some reason.

He also enjoyed Calamity Jack and Rapunzel's Revenge.

Also, the Tintin or Asterix books are worth considering. DS didn't take to them as much, in fact he doesn't like Asterix at all but it might be because the names are quite tricky in them.

ObtuseAngel Sun 27-Oct-13 15:11:31

DS also loved the Origami Yoda series, after he read the first book he made me order all the others and read them almost back to back.

ooerrmissus Sun 27-Oct-13 15:17:20

Try the Beast Quest series of books- I hate them but both my DSs are mad about them.

ooerrmissus Sun 27-Oct-13 15:17:56

Also Captain Underpants- again I think it's foul but it's got lots of toilet humour in it so boys think it is hilarious.

maizieD Sun 27-Oct-13 16:47:18

He struggles with reading

I think this is the key to his problem. You have to get to the bottom of this first. If he struggles he's not very likely to enjoy reading, is he?

No amount of enticing with minmal text (graphic novels) or texts about things that 'interest' him is going to make reading any easier for him.

headoverheels Sun 27-Oct-13 17:46:38

Agree re Captain Underpants!

thegamesafoot Sun 27-Oct-13 19:16:38

I agree wholehearted with maizieD.

What reading level is he on and how does he approach reading, e.g. how accurate is he with the level he is on, what does he do when he reaches a word he doesn't know (i.e. does he try and sound it out, guess, mumble and get frustrated)?

How sound is his phonic knowledge? You can download the government phonics test to find this out if you're not sure.

If he finds the process of reading hard then it doesn't matter how interested he is in the book itself. You will need to motivate him with other rewards whilst he cracks the decoding part - which means reading religiously everyday and / or working on his phonic knowledge if that is an issue. A good reward for hard work and effort can work wonders. Sometimes a reward can be getting to do something he already does. So for example you could say - I need to help you crack reading - from now on your TV/computer/X fun activity is related to completing x time each day reading - I just mean rewards don't have to be expensive!

Another thing to consider is an eye test (some MN posters have said that as children they struggled with reading until their parents finally figured out they couldn't see properly and took them to an optician).

Some MNs also advocate an appointment with a behavioural optometrist, who will also look at eye tracking and convergence problems (which regular opticians don't check). These sorts of problems are exemplified by line skipping, missing out words, reading them backwards and difficulties sounding out (due to the eyes 'jumping' about).

cityangel Sun 27-Oct-13 22:37:56

After ruling out physical eye/ dyslexia stuff
Then I'd try and peak his interest - no matter how poor the material with a view to moving him from comic/ dip in and out of books to the better quality books.
Astrosaurs/ Usborne ref/ comics
I'd sit down with him on thebookpeople and ask him to pick - at the end of the day the interest has to be there on his part




Deadly 60


skatpot Tue 29-Oct-13 20:03:29

Try 'Tom Gates' books. They have writing & cartoon pictures on each page (instead of a whole page of writing). With the first one my very reluctant reader (aged 8) began asking to go to bed so that he could read it.

toomuchicecream Tue 29-Oct-13 20:54:34

All of the above plus audio books. My DS was perfectly capable of reading but chose not to. By listening to audio books (from the library) it improved his understanding of plot development, characterisation, vocab etc etc which all helped his writing, and also meant he'd "read" the same as his friends and could talk to them. It also meant I could be strategically unable to get an audio book of the next one in a series so he had to read it for himself...

toomuchicecream Tue 29-Oct-13 20:56:30

Might also be worth thinking about a Kindle or other e-reader. I heard a dyslexic adult who'd never read a whole book talking about how he'd read Moby Dick on an e-reader because he couldn't see how much more he had to read - he was shocked when he saw a paper copy and realised how much he'd read. He also said it was easier for him to follow the print on the e-reader than a book. Also, boys can be motivated by technology!

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