How to reignite love of reading? DS6(25 Posts)
DS6, year 1, used to love reading. He would read a few short early reader type books per day. Other than regular visits to the library and generally making these books available to him there was no push.
He is now heavily into Harry Potter but not quite able to read it independently. We read to him about 30-60 minutes per day and he also listens to the audiobooks (books 1-3).
I miss seeing his little nose buried in a book, will it come back? He will read each of his school books once with no complaints, these feel a little below his ability but I’m no teacher. He tends to read them all on one day and then barely seems to read the rest of the week.
I’m even considering buying him a kindle paper white to see if him choosing new books on amazon may be exciting. Or maybe a magazine subscription?
I wonder if a chat with a librarian would help point him in the direction of something similar to Harry Potter but accessible to him now? Would The Worst Witch be worth a go?
He obviously still loves stories, so I'm sure the love of reading will return.
Your ds is 6. He can read at or above age appropriate levels. As long as he has the time and options (ie, going to the library), he'll pick up another book when he wants to. There is nothing to worry about here.
Btw, Harry Potter is way too advanced for most 6 year olds, and I do feel like parents who start that series too young are robbing a future 8 or 10 year old of a good independent read.
Try finding easy-to-read, shortish chapter books with fun illustrations.
Do you still do your regular visits to the library? Does he read the books he has chosen?
What reading band is your DS on? The stories get more interesting as they go up the bands (plus more interesting fact based books) and my 6 year old’s enthusiasm has increased as the stories have become more varied.
Harry Potter fact books are less 'intense' reading - the Lego themed HP ones are good.
I know quite a lot of children that age who are good readers enjoy the How to Train Your Dragon series if he wants to stick with the fantaty genre.
I am not too concerned, but seeing him enjoying books used to give me a warm fuzzy feeling and I miss it. It’s entirely selfish, I’m sure!
BlueChampagne - the library does not seem well staffed with knowledgable librarians, it’s more of a ‘help yourself’ environment. I will have a look at worst witch, thank you.
Itk - he has access to many early reader chapter type books and now very little interest in them. It’s as if now he knows how interesting a story can get he doesn’t find them gripping anymore. That or there are just other things he’d rather be doing. I appreciate what you’re saying about HP. In my defence, I was an avid HP fan as a child and my son was begging to watch the films like his best friend. I said he had to read the books first and he hasn’t looked back. In order to read books 4+ he has to be able to read it entirely independently.
FlagFish - we still make regular trips to the library. DS and DD pick out a range of books that sit on the side until we next go to the library! I want to make books available but not push with the hope that reading will be intrinsically motivated.
CalamityJane - He’s on turquoise and doesn’t seem enthralled or challenged by them. I think school reading is probably a little different to home reading? At home he used to love the pokemon/ flat Stanley/ hopscotch books (from the library and book people).
Bookmum - I had no idea Lego HP books existed, you may have made his little life complete!
Oh dear I may have sent you down an expensive path by mentioning Harry Potter Lego.....
Have you tried Roald Dahl? My DS (also in y1) has read and re-read the shorter ones like Fantastic mr Fox, esio trot, magic finger. Such good stories and good for different vocabulary too
Are there any particular toys, series, etc he likes? Mine for example loves a particular tv character so I hunted down some children's books with that character in and he now begs me to read them with him every night. Obvs not every child is the same though, just a thought x
Take the screens away or severely limit them. I'm afraid it's the only way. We all do it. I used to read a lot more before I had my phone to fill all my spare time.
Both my teens start picking up books if they're on a screen ban. It's not that they don't enjoy reading it's that they forget how much they enjoy it when the easy entertainment of computer games/TV is on hand.
As young children they always turned to books when they were "bored" when screens weren't an option. I didn't make them read, that's what they chose when screen time was done with.
Isn't Harry Potter a bit dark for a 6yo? When my DC first got into it I started to read the first one but had to give up because I found the treatment of Harry by his family too upsetting. It was probably because I had dc of that age at the time, maybe I'd cope better now, but even so?
I do disagree with Bestseller. My ds has unlimited access to screen, mainly gaming. His vocabulary is massive.
My ds was very advanced reader but didn't read HP until YR3. Reading long books need quite good reading stamina. He read whole section of easy reader shelf at the local library around that age.
I don't think books don't need to be challenging once you can read anything, like your ds, who is turquoise level.
OP asked how to get him reading not how to improve his vocabulary.
There's a place for games. My DS once won a quiz that heavily featured Greek mythology because he knew the stories from his favourite computer game at the time.
Beast quest books were very popular when DS was 6/7. Also Horrid Henry (can get easy reader ones of those)
Jack Stalwart Secret Agent books were good too, although might not yet be ready to read them independently
We have a “don’t offer, don’t refuse” attitude to screen time. DS finds TV pretty boring and doesn’t have a tablet/ iPad. He probably averages under 1 hour screen time per day including weekends. (DD4 loves screen time and once it’s on can’t get enough of it but thankfully forgets to ask.) He plays small world and role play games endlessly, HP unsurprisingly!
Bookmum - Don’t worry, we know a great deal about HP Lego - the smyths catalogue continues to be read daily! I didn’t realise I could extend it with Lego HP books which are more affordable, I’ve ordered the Characters Handbook .
The Rohld Dahl collection is in his bookcase but maybe I need to offer some reading ideas to help him realise he can now access it himself. We listen to the audiobooks regularly.
Order the Book People catalogue and get him to choose a book from there. He may enjoy the excitement of choosing a book, and then opening the box when it arrives. The books are always well priced from the Book people.
Have a look at The Dragons of Crumbling Castle by Terry Pratchett. It is a collection of funny short stories (so not too intimidating) which would suit a younger reader.
What about the Famous 5 books? We recently got a set of them at Christmas for my 5 year old DD she just started on the first book of the series. Have you read the St Clare’s books, they make good reading for children 5-10? I also recommend Matilda. Any Roah Dahl books are particularly good for that age bracket.
If you love fantasy check out the Lily Quench books.
DS has phases when he is constantly stuck in a book, and times when he doesn't seem to read at all.
It's basically a matter of finding the right reading material, and sometimes, getting him started on it.
So when I find something that feels about right for him (right age/interest/difficulty) I might start by reading it TO him at bedtime - and if I get lucky, he will finish it (and all the other books in the series/by the same author) by himself.
I've had a whole thread over on Children's Books asking for suggestions for a child who is in-between HP books but too young for the next one. DS, now 8, is waiting to read The Half Blood Prince (another 6 months to go); he got to read The Order of the Phoenix when he turned 8. The four earlier ones, he read at age 6-7, then had to wait nearly a whole year.
That doesn't stop him from being immersed into HP world. He re-reads the earlier books, listens to the audio-books, watches the movies, role-plays with his friends, ... and I am so pleased that he still has two big books to look forwards to!
For a not quite yet so secure reader, you could consider the Oliver Moon books - also a 'boy at magic school' theme. The Charlie Bone books (Jenny Nimmo) have also often been recommended. Charlie 'ages' a lot less per book than Harry does (Harry gets one year older per book, Charlie only one term, so although the series has 10 books, the story doesn't get very much 'older'). However at 6/7 DS was not interested in them. They caught on recently, at nearly 8.5.
Over all, I have learned to relax when he is in a non-reading phase; knowing that the next reading phase is probably just around the corner. And in the mean time, he can return to his beloved HP world, and every time he re-reads one of the books, or re-listens to an audio-book, he gets something more/different/new from it.
Re Kindle, I would stick to 'real' books for now; and if anything, get him a different e-reader (check your library - they will have e-books for borrowing too). Kindle restricts you to Amazon books, and though they have good choice obv, it will work out a LOT more expensive than getting piles from the library, or from charity shops.
Try taking away his iPad for awhile.
Make sure that you are caught in the act of reading too. Depending on his reading skills you could ask politely for some children’s book recommendations. Definitely visit your local library and look at books online too. A member of staff may also be able to help you.
Talk about them. For newbie readers I recommend short easy to read books for children. The Lily Quench books are always suitable for children who are starting to read.
Ask him what he thinks of the book. If he is struggling to finish a book perhaps you should start with magazines from the shops. As he gets more confidence you could ask him to type up a book report.
Start a club. Book clubs are popular now.
If he likes reading the Smyths catalogue then I highly recommend the Argos catalogue. It's a much longer read. It could keep him going for days! Ha Ha ! (Just kidding)*
The retailer The Works is great for Lego themed books of all sorts.
* is it just me who still goes straight to the toy pages when the new Argos catalogue comes out..
My son (aged 7, now in year 2) absolutely loved Asterix at that age. I think he found a wall of text a bit daunting but a comic was okay. He still tells me random facts about the Romans.
After that he read all the How to Train Your Dragon books.
We bought the Asterix Omnibuses (3 books in one).
13 storey treehouse
Books and series my 6 yo DS is enjoying at the moment. He tends to get into a series, read like mad, get bored and not look at a book for a few days, pick something else up. We get them from the library and order in more of a series if he’s liked it.
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