Reception DS hates reading - what can I do?!(21 Posts)
He just won't do it. He's good at it - when he wants to try - but that is very, very rarely. I am willing and want t read with him every day (we do share bedtime stories every night but they are the ones that adults read to kids) but I can't turn it into a battle.
Tried buying songbirds so he can have a bigger range to choose from. Novelty lasted a week, not any more.
Tried backing off completely - just doesn't do it!
Tried making it the routine before school - with TV time as a reward after - but ended up starting each day as a battleground and no time left for the promised TV!
Thanks to Mrz and others, used the Sounds Write app and he was flying through the higher levels until it got to reading sentences and he just shut down saying it was too tricky even though he'd been reading all the words perfectly.
What should I do?!?
Have a look at the Dandelion Launcher iBooks (I think the first set are free). They are short and match perfectly with Sounds Write units https://www.phonicbooks.co.uk/2014/09/30/dandelion-launchers-ibooks-includes-only-interactive-features-that-help-learning-to-read/
Have you tried magazines, you could print off treasure hunts (I found that they needed to be typed at first). Give him written choices -park or cafe. Reading shop signs. Writing your own stories - my girls would rather read about fairies than cats sitting on mats. Even though there was the odd word like fairies and magic which they found tricky I also included lots of cats and mats! Maybe a writing festival (ours loved any activity if we put festival after it - well other than the cleaning festival) - everyone writes a story, type them up and reads them out. I presume you have had his eyes checked. One of ours needed coloured overlays to help her read.
One of mine (different one) was very reluctant to read. She thought that if she could read then we wouldn't read bedtime stories to her. She didn't see the point in reading when adults can read much better than her. In the end we had to back off for months. The school were very supportive and she would read with them but she still told them that reading was pointless. Finally it dawned on her in yr1 that all of her friends were enjoying reading and she was being left behind. She is in yr7 now, a massive bookworm, top of her grammar school in English, goes to book club and whizzes through books. Sometimes it is just time. They go to school very early in England and although some fly, some aren't ready to read, too tired to read, too emotional etc.
Thank you everyone. Teacher is unfortunately off sick and has been since mid Jan but the TA is still there so I think I'll mention it to her and see if she has any concerns or any tips.
That's interesting about it seeming pointless, I'll maybe explore that a bit. I do try to put the 'mummy would love it if you could read her a story' angle on it but maybe he has a "well you can just do it yourself so what's the point" take on it!
I'm so conflicted about backing off - we were definitely well into 'reading is a chore' which is bad, but equally, the 'read with them every day' message is hammered home whenever I look into this.
He's ok with individual words so we do that out and about and on iPad games / matching pairs word cards etc but it's actual sentences that seem to scare him and he loses confidence
Have you access to any of the Project X books? They have a bit of a story for an adult to read on each page and the child only has to read a handful of words. My DD had one at the weekend.
There are some sample pages here under the header 'look inside': global.oup.com/education/content/primary/series/projectx/phonics/?region=international
This was DS1 just after Christmas. We were having screaming tantrums over reading. We both work so home time is tight.
We took a multi-pronged approach:
1. He reads the first book of the bedtime ones, and he only has to read half a book (we figured out a full book felt overwhelming). If he doesn't read his bit, it reduces the amount of time he has for us to read to him.
2. Every time he finishes his reading he gets a marble for his marble jar. Finishing a full book gets a bonus marble. I know this is throwing money at the problem but we were desperate! And the marble jar is something we focus one or two behaviours on at a time, plus bonuses for unexpected brilliant stuff.
3. We got his teacher and TA involved and they did some gentle positive reinforcement at school too.
I'm not sure which bit was most effective but it's really work. We have the odd rough day but most days he zooms through his books and up the levels, and his TA has upped the number she sends home to keep him interested.
One other thing we do is with the books we read to him - getting him to read eg the speech bubbles or other text that is easy to read but stands out in some way, while we read the main text.
Will he read to anyone else? My DS1 was a right pain when I wanted him to read to me, 30 minutes of moaning before reading one page. He would read to his Nan no problem
If it's sentences that are putting him off could you try writing some and then cutting them up into individual words. Just show him one word at a time?
I would say never ever getting into screaming match with dc over reading!
Its supposed to be a joy and a love!
My dd couldn't read well at all in reception, cat, mat, dog etc. It seemed to make more sense to her right at the end of reception and she is one of the eldest in the year . We did not push or anything, everything done at her level of interest, its such a bad idea to fall out over this stuff.
By mid year 1, she was doing the basic level short sentences then something clicked. And she took off and by christmas it was short chapter books, no pushing, shouting or forcing. I also had a few issues with HW over the years and as DD is a good student in class, loves learning, teachers agreed best to not push the HW when she really didnt want to do it.
My dd is an excellent reader now, in top sets and her teachers always mention her love of reading at every PE, please please do not force your dc to read! Use imagination and help them foster a love of it.
How about comics?
They have lots of short sentences, are really exciting and don't feel like reading a book but use the same skills and can build him up slowly
Here's one and the thread it's on
Chill, it'll be fine. DS refused to do any reading until halfway through Y1. I quietly panicked, but his teachers assured me he'd do it in his own time.
And he did.
I kept reading to him and eventually formed an interest. It was like a switch. Now he's one of the strongest readers in Y4 and reading Harry Potter each night before bed...
Thank you for the reassurance - I'll stick with my 'backing off' plan and hope it will click in his own time.
My youngest refused point blank to do any home reading throughout reception and Y1.
I started leaving simple notes around, playing games with simple words in, but we never sat down and did 'reading' though I read to her every night.
It went in by osmosis in spite of her. She came home on the first day of Y2 and told us she needed to learn to read or she wouldn't be able to start music; then got out her books and did it. She'd caught up within a term, because she had been reading al along without realising it.
Relax OP: hands off is the way to go if they are really resistant, or it becomes a punishment rather than a joy.
If he is totally off books, but you'd like to expose him to text regularly, try subtitless on cartoon?
Words they use on cartoons are simple and basic. But repeatedly seeing while hearing the words at the same time may make him familiar with them.
I wouldn't recommend this to everyone, since it's more of whole word recognition for a child, if they haven't grasped/cracked decoding skill.
ds1 hated reading until he got to the middle of Y2 - it was a real battle to get him to even read a couple of sentences and it became a vicious circle of reading and battles... horrible.
One day, middle of Y2, dh happened to read out part of a rugby report from the newspaper to him - because they both love rugby and it was an article about the team they both support and a match they'd watched at the weekend together. DS's interest was ignited - he'd never really realised that he could read about rugby before. DH then helped him to read the article - and showed him other articles and the Rugby Paper.
2 weeks later he was happily reading the rugby reports in the Daily Telegraph, including being able to correctly pronounce all the foreign players with names that use a different set of phonics to the ones we are used to - so they sound very different to how you'd expect them to if you just used english sounds.
It turned out he was just bored by the Biff and Chip books and similar that was all the school had to offer - he couldn't see the point of reading if that was all he got to read. We hadn't really picked up on this as we read a lot with him at night time and other times so he was exposed to a wide range of different types of books, it hadn't occurred to us that he didn't realise that he too would be able to read them if he wanted to...
He's now in Y7 and reads really well - but even now, he adores fact books and non-fiction, far more than he enjoys fiction. There's some fiction he loves - but in general it's the non-fiction he will pick up if he has a choice.
Have you asked him what he would like to read about - is there anything he would like to discover or find out more about, fact or fiction... Even if it is something that is too difficult for him, if it is something he is interested in and you take over the tricky words, it's a start.
DS2 picked up on reading much more quickly and didn't ever see it as a chore. One of the reasons I think was that at the time he was learning to read, ds1 was playing skylanders games which he was desperate to join in with. There are lots of little bits of text and instructions in that do get read out but slowly, so he got to watch these and then realised if he could read them himself he would get through things more quickly. I know not everybody's a fan of gaming, but if you find the right game it can help with reading - there are also some apps out there that can be good too.
Finally, if the dc were watching TV I just made sure the sub titles were on - so there were always words around for them to see.
It is such a relief to read that those who are reluctant readers in Reception and Yr1 will flourish in time and not be left straggling. I've been worrying as my DD in Yr1 is not a keen reader and it is easy to (ridiculously) convince yourself that their educational life is over and they'll never make it!! Thank you for the positive stories
It's absolutely possible he'll flourish later and it's nothing.
It's also very possible that reading hurts his eyes - due to convergence insufficiency - and that's why he doesn't like reading.
(This isn't tested for by opticians)
Ask him - Does reading make your eyes sore? Do the letters ever move?
Here's a quiz you can take to find out if he has convergence insufficiency: dyslexiagold.co.uk/Blog/ConvergenceInsufficiencySurvey
He's very young. He doesn't need to engage with reading yet. So long as he gets enthusiastic by the age of 6, he'll be fine. DS2 hated reading and writing. Refused to ever do it. Was in the small group with the extra literacy support teacher.
Then DH bought a book about something DS was obsessive about. He wanted to know what it said and DH shurgged and said he didn't know. He left it in DS's room. Within six weeks, he could read as well as the rest of the class and now, almost a decade later, he gets top marks in his year for English. Hard to remember that he hated it so much,
Just to reassure you, ds1 was exactly the same and it took a good couple of years for reading to become enjoyable for him. (To be honest, only once he got past the stage of having to read the set texts and be able to choose books he was interested in). For school set reading I talked to his teachers and told them he read magazines and non fiction 'fact' books at home and they were always encouraging.
I've always read to them all (he still absolutely loved sharing at home books), did all the suggested tips, wasn't too over pushy etc. He's year 5 now and an absolute book worm, currently half way through the Harry Potter set.
Try him on a wide variety of stuff but don't worry. DS hated reading at school, although he'd loved learning letters at home. Tore my hair out in frustration until the middle of year 1 when he suddenly started enjoying it. At the beginning of year 2 he was put on free reading, one of the first in his year. If he's got the ability but not the interest then let him come to it in his own time.
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