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Reading with a reluctant 4 yo

(13 Posts)
islurpmyspaghetti Wed 02-Dec-15 18:11:59

I wondered if anyone had any advice on how to make reading at home fun.

DS's reception teacher has said that we need to practice more with DS at home.

Not only is DS knackered when he gets home but when we try to read with him, he tends to make random guesses at words and gets really frustrated REALLY quickly.

We are obviously up for practising with him but he is just not very up for it.

Just wondered if you had any tips or techniques that have worked for you.


WildStallions Wed 02-Dec-15 18:16:11

Do it before school.

Or if he isn't ready to learn to read, don't do it.

irvine101 Wed 02-Dec-15 18:25:10

Does he like watching TV? My ds loved watching TV with subtitles on.
He actually saw the words with sounds, he never struggled with learning to read. (I think those are buried in his head without realising.)

I don't know if this is good way to learn or not, but I am foreign and I always watch with subtitles. And a lot of my friends do too, and their children are all good readers, despite parents being non native English speakers.

GreenSand Wed 02-Dec-15 18:26:31

With DS2, we are picking out letters in the title of the book, talking through a key word, and then seeing if he can spot that word on a page if I ask.
Today we had something about feeding the birds. So when bird was a word on the page, before I read, I'd ask him to find it, then I'd read the page, running my finger along the text. When we got to Bird, I'd pause, and see if he could fill it in.

We also went back to the beginning of the book, and got him to tell me what happened. He looked at one page, and just turned it again, but did a pretty good job.

Basically, I do the reading, but try to get him to pick out letters/ sounds/ words I think he might be able to do.

Don't make him read if he's not ready or over tired. It's not worth it. Make books enjoyable. Much better to enjoy books at this age than make them a battle.

gastropod Wed 02-Dec-15 18:31:12

Sounds like my DD. We soldiered on with it, mainly as a box-ticking exercise, but it wasn't till she was about 6 that she actually started to "get" reading. Probably because the stories started to get a bit more interesting.

In our case we just kept plodding through the books even though she didn't enjoy reading them at all.

The only thing that motivated her was the idea that if she didn't read her book, I'd have to write in her reading diary that she'd not managed it. For some reason, she really didn't want me to say to her teacher that she'd not read her book, so she would struggle to the end.
It was pretty painful though.

I think some children's brains are just not ready to read at age 4.

eddiemairswife Wed 02-Dec-15 18:32:51

He is 4 for goodness sake. It makes me so cross when teachers make parents so anxious about their children's reading at this age. Those of us of an older generation who didn't start school until after our 5th birthdays picked it up pretty quickly, and no phonics or reading books home either. Just read to him stories he enjoys and let a tired little boy chill out after a day at school.

AppleAndBlackberry Wed 02-Dec-15 18:59:39

Why don't you just practice letter sounds to start with? Once he has a good grasp of some of them you can try blending them together in short phonetic words e.g. cat, sat, mat etc. After he's confident with single words then you can try a sentence and also introduce some of the non-phonetic words like I and the.

Bryna Wed 02-Dec-15 19:25:45

Take in turns reading so it's not all him, it doesn't matter what they read as long as they're trying. Read comics, signs - whatever takes his interest - it's still reading!!

mrz Wed 02-Dec-15 20:03:47

Is he able to blend sounds together and say the word? If he can great try to encourage him to read a page (usually a single sentence) after school and if willing another before school.
If he can't practise aural blending words (try it like I spy - I spay a /k/ /u/ /p/ can he hear /say cup etc) and read to him rather than let him guess.
Whatever you do don't push it for longer than five/ten minutes.

Kanga59 Wed 02-Dec-15 21:15:18

You could do a page each.

Are they very short books?my son is 4 and has been getting books with 5/6 words per page MAX, often less. So he feels the accomplishment of finishing the book

Check the books are totally suitable to his style

MMmomKK Wed 02-Dec-15 22:07:15

Around this time in Reception DD1 refused to read school books. Maybe she was tired, maybe she didn't like the books. We didn't push, just read the reading books to her. And also - read to her a lot of other books.

Reading started clicking with her some time in the winter term, and by summer she started on simple chapter books.

What I am trying to say - when child is not ready, everything is a struggle. But they do all eventually learn to read, just all follow their own path.

catkind Wed 02-Dec-15 23:03:58

I'd say scrap the reading books for now and play some games instead. What can he do? Does he recognise letters and know their sounds? Can he separate a word he hears into sounds (segment), & blend sounds into words? Or is it that he can read words but there are too many in the books and he gives up? If you explain a bit what stage he's at perhaps we could suggest suitable games to try.

If you're up for some screen time, alphablocks and teach your monster to read are good. Might be easier to convince him to try?

Cressandra Thu 03-Dec-15 21:35:54

if he doesn't want to read, how about you read his book with a pointy finger under the words. We started with that when DS was in YR, then we gradually moved on to him pointing to the words while I said them (he loved this because he was controlling me, I think), him reading just the 'I's or the main character's name (which meant he had to follow every word I read in his head), then slowly to him reading whole sentences. I think he picked up a lot this way without having to go outside his comfort zone and risk "failure". He would scan the text and announce he would do all the 'we's and 'and's or something, but even the scanning was practice.

He also loved contents pages and page numbers more than text, so try nonfiction.

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