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My daughter who has SEN's refuses to read to me at home dispite loving stories. What can I do??

(15 Posts)
mummyloveslucy Tue 11-Feb-14 10:27:04

Hi, my 9 year old daughter has severe learning difficulties and is just learning to read, very basic books. I think she's working towards a 1B if that means anything to you.
She absolutely loves books and stories. From a very young age, I've read to her, I do traditional story telling for her, either ones I've heard or made up. We use puppets, songs and music to make the stories come alive. She also makes up tales all the time and I write them down for her. Her teacher says that her understanding of stories and how they work is very good, and even better than some in her class who read fluently.
She just won't read to me at home. She says "You read it!" Or with a bit of bribery, she'll struggle through one line, mostly guessing by the first letter or trying to remember how it went. I realise that the books are not interesting enough for her, as they have to be very basic for her to read. I have no idea how well she can actually read, as she never tries her best with me.
I want her to retain her love of stories and amazing imagination and one day read on her own for pleasure, but I can see this just becoming a chore that could put her off.
What do you think we should do?

ilikenoodles Tue 11-Feb-14 10:39:08

I don't think I have any advice but can I just say that I think your doing brilliantly! Will she read to the teachers? Have they given you any idea of how she's progressing?

I know what you mean about the short books not being very interesting for someone with such a great imagination - what about poems and that sort of thing - they're short but can be funny/clever/interesting and there's some great kids poetry books about - or even joke books. She's got a great understanding of stories by the sounds of it - I hope someone can give you some better advise.....keep going, your doing great x

mummyloveslucy Tue 11-Feb-14 10:45:55

Aww, thank you! That's a great idea about the joke books! She has a wicked sense of humour. She quite likes funny poetry as well.
She did recently move up a book box for the first time. To me, the books seem too hard for her, as she can't seem to read very many of the words. I'll have a word with her teacher.
Her writing is coming along beautifully! She takes a real pride in it and is trying really hard to write words on her own.

ReallyTired Tue 11-Feb-14 10:50:59

I suggest that you post on the reading reform foundation website bullitin board.

I imagine that the reason Lucy won't read is that the books are impossibly hard. Does lucy know her letter sounds? Prehaps rather than getting her to read books lucy would be better working through a remedial reading programme like bearing away

I think that Lucy needs to experience sucess to build her confidence. Children with complex learning difficulties need more over learning than the average child.

HauntedNoddyCar Tue 11-Feb-14 10:51:18

I had a similar problem with Dd when she was learning to read. Eventually it turned out she liked me reading to her and she was worried that I would stop reading to her if I thought she could do it herself.

PeriPathetic Tue 11-Feb-14 10:53:41

Same as Noddy - my DD didn't want to read to me either and admitted the same reason. But she was happy to read to the cat or her teddies. Worth a try?

PastSellByDate Tue 11-Feb-14 10:54:38

Hi mummy

I am no expert - just a Mum - but we found sharing the reading on nights DD1 (who seriously struggled - finished KS1 NC L1 in reading) really helped.

At first DD1 would read words she knew: The, The End, Once upon a Time, Chip, Biff, Magic Key, said, and, or, but, etc.... and I'd read the rest.

But occasionally she'd read a whole sentence. In which case I'd read the rest of the paragraph.

Eventually she was regularly reading whole sentences and I was finishing the paragraph.

So we moved on to her reading a paragraph and I'd read the rest of the page or the next page.

Then her reading a page and I'd finish the chapter.


We also read to her - we decided that her interests in reading material in Y3 exceeded her ability - so DH and I would read to her. In this way she could know about books friends were reading (Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte's Web, Harry Potter series, Lemony Snicket series etc...) and enjoy higher quality fiction. It also meant that she wasn't afraid of 'longer books' - she had happily listened to us read 200+ page books and thoroughly enjoyed them. She's able to read quite well now (now Y6). It's been a long slow struggle and was seriously helped by support from a TA in Y4. But she's a strong reader now.

Just accept it's a bit of a dance - one step forward, two steps back, three steps forward, two steps back, etc....

However, when you're reading to your DC from a more challenging book at home, every now and then point to a word they can read and celebrate when they can. When you see that easy sentence to read. 'Frodo saw the ring' - and let them read it. My DD1 was over the moon when she read something along those lines from the Hobbit. She knew JRR Tolkein was a proper author (TOLKEIN was the name of top table for reading) - she was over the moon.

Learning difficulties complicates this of course - but it is a battle worth fighting. The prize is your DC can read prescriptions, forms, instructions, information leaflets, etc... - all crucial skills in the adult world.

mummyloveslucy Tue 11-Feb-14 11:00:08

Thank you ReallyTired, I'll have a look at that. She does know all her letter sounds but gets "b" and "d" confused all the time and "n" and "m". Apart from that she's fine. She can blend most 3 letter words now and knows some by sight such as "the" "is" etc.

That's a good point about her being worried I won't read to her any more. I'll have a chat to her about that and reassure her that I'll still do my stories and read to her every night.

mummyloveslucy Tue 11-Feb-14 11:10:11

Thank you PastSellByDate! That's really helpful! I'll do that with her when reading her books. That'll be a much easier way forward. I read chapter books to her every night, but she does struggle to understand a lot of the words. I find the modern books try to cram in so many big or difficult words, I guess to please the parents, where as authers such as Roald Dahl tend to write purely for the child's pleasure.
It is frustrating having to explain what every sentence means. That's why we tend to stick to older titles.

mummyloveslucy Tue 11-Feb-14 20:22:56

I might try writing her little notes and leaving them for her to find. That would make it fun for her. Are there any simple, funny books you could recommend?

pluCaChange Tue 11-Feb-14 20:43:16

Usborne has a parallel reading series, for parent and child, with the child's contribution being almost "chorus" like. I think the series starts with Pirate Pat.

The back-and-forth dynamic is lovely for reading, and it's great to offer something "achievable" for a child, while not boring him/her!

The little notes idea is great. I also get my DS to "find us" exits and car parks, etc. He also likes to type programmes into the search function on the BBC i player. Just a fragment of the title should bring up the programme, and it's so satisfying (extremely important for a 9yo to feel sophisticated like this!)

Acinonyx Wed 12-Feb-14 15:38:36

I'll tell you what worked for us although you may disapprove! My dd flat out refused to read aloud when she was learning to read. In desperation I started paying her one chocolate button per page/double spread. I don't like bribing her to do stuff - but now and again I resort to it when I'm really stuck and I think it's really important. These early readers are not that interesting for anyone,unfortunately!

TheresNoMeWithoutYou Wed 12-Feb-14 15:46:47

My DD is 11. She is slowly getting better at reading. The other thing holding her back is comprehension and memory. She doesn't remember/understand what the story is so gets lost. I can see it happening. She starts to stress a bit.
I invested in peter and jane, the ladybird books. It has been a year and we are on book 4b. It is a huge achievement for her. The illustrations help remind her what she is reading about and the books concentrate on the top 100 words.

mummyloveslucy Wed 12-Feb-14 16:00:50

Thanks everyone. There are some things to look up now. I do prefere the lady bird books as they have nicer pictures and the stories are nicer as well. I don't disapprove of the choc buttons either. Anything is worth a try. smile

teafor1 Wed 12-Feb-14 17:12:17

mummy: Mine love doing phonics and reading games on the ipad. We used Ladybird I'm ready for phonics and Reading Raven. Reading Raven was more popular with them but I think Ladybird is a bit better learning wise.

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