DS(5) refusing to do home reading books (Year 1)

(41 Posts)
fromheretonowhere Wed 16-Sep-20 20:44:22

DS(5) has started bringing home reading books again and he’s already refusing to try and read them properly. We had this issue before lockdown when he was in Reception and as a consequence he’s still on the Pink band.

He can recognise and sound out letters, usually quite easily, but flatly refuses to try and blend. I’m not sure if he doesn’t understand how to blend or lacks the confidence to try. I’ve tried to demonstrate how to blend but he just gets stroppy and angry.

Before I contact his teacher, does anyone have any tips please for encouraging him to just try? His Reception teacher wasn’t much help unfortunately and just said keep trying, plus they had him in a daily small reading group session with a TA.

He absolutely loves being read to and we have always read a minimum of 4 books per night to him, plus songs. The school has an online reading programme for the kids to use themselves to learn to read but he won’t use it. I asked at the beginning of the year if this goes on when will they consider a learning issue or dyslexia and was told not for a few years yet hmm

He does exceptionally well in maths and we’ve been told he is advanced, and he is doing well in all other areas, so it’s not like he’s falling behind in everything.

OP’s posts: |
snowballer Wed 16-Sep-20 20:51:56

Try reading them to him, and pausing at - to start with - infrequent intervals to get him to read a word or two and then carry on yourself, praising every attempt he makes. Over time you can ask him to join in more, then moving to reading a page each alternately and then eventually he'll read the whole thing.

Don't put any pressure on him. You could also try doing his school book in bed before, after or between his bedtime stories - he might be more relaxed than straight after school.

I speak from experience with a flat out reading refuser who now in Y2 reads very well.

Pinkflipflop85 Wed 16-Sep-20 20:57:11

Can he oral blend? So if you sound out the word to him is he then able to say the whole word back to you?

Rossita Wed 16-Sep-20 20:58:51

I second what @snowballer said. Just read the book to him. Over time he will naturally start trying the odd word. Do not put any pressure on him.

SunnySomer Wed 16-Sep-20 20:59:03

Yes, I’d agree with snowballer. Start small. Absolutely no pressure but lots of praise. Maybe note in reading record what you’re doing.

Timeforanotherusername Wed 16-Sep-20 20:59:19

I do find with reading it just clicks.

I have a Yr1. Tonight I had to let DH take over as I was getting frustrated with him.

It does get better and it did with DD although DS is defintiely more challenging.

All you can do is keep at it and encourage him and try and develop his confidence.

What about treats? Or something to work too. A small toy for example.

bookmum08 Wed 16-Sep-20 21:04:45

Is it more it just doesn't like the books and doesn't WANT to read rather than CAN'T. The reading scheme books like Biff and Chip are very dull and tedious. Find some books he might actually enjoy. Are there any books he enjoyed when younger (ones like the Gruffalo or something) that you could read with him and take turns in reading parts of it.
Non fiction books are always popular.
Getting him to read a list of the top five biggest animals in the world out loud to you is much more exciting and interesting than Floppy the stupid dog eating a dropped cake ("Oh Floppy said Dad" every single ending grin) Read the Beano. Read the stats off football/Pokemon cards. Go shopping with a simple shopping list (milk, bread, rice crispies - words he might recognise) and he has to read the list for you.


fromheretonowhere Wed 16-Sep-20 21:09:13

@snowballer thanks we will try the things you suggested

@Pinkflipflop85 most of the time no, he just refuses to try. His Reception teacher made a comment once that she thinks he’s just doing it deliberately sad

@Timeforanotherusername we’ve just started a marble jar (idea I got from MN) for trying hard with his reading at home, so once the jar is full he can pick a treat like a small Lego set, which should be a huge motivator. However, it only has 1 marble in it so far for the past week

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RatInADollhouse Wed 16-Sep-20 21:10:12

He’s only five. I’ve lived in the UK for many years now and I still can’t fathom why they push reading and academics at such an early age. A child who is pushed to read at four and isn’t ready will struggle and strop and feel awful about reading and learning. Assuming he is neurotypical he will pick it up by age seven or so but it is very often too late to turn around the negative associations and poor self-esteem. On the other hand, a child who starts learning to read at six will pick it in a MUCH quicker, more natural, torture-free way. By the age of eight both kids will be reading equally well but one of them will have a much better attitude toward school and learning that will serve him well for the next 20 years.

(Obviously there are children who are ready to read at four or even younger. Those children will pick it up naturally from lots of being read to and exposure to different types of age appropriate literature. If they have to struggle to sound out each word it’s too early. Some children can be essentially forced into reading but that is good for nobody.

RatInADollhouse Wed 16-Sep-20 21:12:33

Sorry for the rant. My point is to just relax. Do lots of reading relayed things that your son enjoys — read to him constantly, buy magnetic words and just leave them on the fridge, let him do interactive books on a tablet, etc. But no pressure. And let yourself off the hook too, it sounds like you are doing a great job and you have a very bright boy.

fromheretonowhere Wed 16-Sep-20 21:14:03

@bookmum08 I think it’s a bit of both. Some of the books are Biff & Kipper and I agree, we both find them so boring and tedious. Unfortunately he doesn’t get it (or care) when I say if he tries hard with these school books he’ll start going up the book bands and the stories will get better.

He does have a stack of other phonics books from Usborne, Spider-Man, and Lego so maybe I can try and promote those a bit more.

Plus yes, I’ll try the other suggestions too thanks

OP’s posts: |
fromheretonowhere Wed 16-Sep-20 21:21:52

@RatInADollhouse I quite agree, academics and box-ticking is putting so much pressure on young children. I need to make sure I’m not pressuring him too, to make him rebel against reading and learning.

I just felt a bit conscious today after talking to 4 other parents that I usually chat to anyway, to find their kids are now all on Red books and my child is still floundering on Pink.

I’m from another Western country where school starts when you actually turn 5 (not the term before/after etc) and I think just that 6-12 months can make a difference.

OP’s posts: |
Pinkflipflop85 Wed 16-Sep-20 21:22:42

It will be extremely difficult for him to read until he can oral blend properly. Sounds like he needs lots and lots of practice.

Rowanberries Wed 16-Sep-20 21:37:16

2 dc who hated reading aloud here. (Plus 1 who loved it). The 2 were diagnosed with Sen in later years (dyspraxia and visual processing issues + sensory issues for the youngest).

Things we found helpful- taking in turns to read. So I'd read most of a sentence and get them to do a word. Gradually progressed onto a sentence each and then a page. Child #3 was the most stubborn and we resorted to getting him to read it in his head and then asking questions to establish he'd understood.

Blocking out all text other than the word/line they were reading helped as well.

And bin Biff, Chip and Kipper. Any reading is better than them. We read science, recipes and history books instead.

Child #3 uses spellingframe.co.uk and loves it. Learning the shape of words and patterns worked far better for him than phonics.

winesolveseverything Wed 16-Sep-20 21:40:58

I had similar with my son in reception. He absolutely hated the books that were sent home, plus they were so dull. I went in numerous times asking for something different to try, but to be honest didn't get very far.

He finished reception having really not progressed in any way in reading.

I took things into my own hands during the summer holidays.

In our case, Biff and Chip were the answer. He loved them so I bought the scheme to have at home and literally started at the beginning with him. We did 15 minutes every day, even when we were away on holiday. I also bought flash cards with the high frequency words on (the, and, then etc) and we did those alongside. Learning these made reading the books much more accessible as he knew the linking words in the sentence.

In that 6 week holiday he learnt to read and was at the expected level for his age when he started yr 1.

He has just gone to yr 2 and reading really well now.

I really think it's a case of one size most definitely does not fit all with reading, so if you have other phonic type books then it's definitely worth a try.

I also find my son much more receptive in the mornings when he is fresh than after school when he is worn out. Could you do 10 mins before school instead?

Try not to worry, if all else fails just keep reading the stories he does enjoy.

minipie Wed 16-Sep-20 21:46:09

Is it possible he has some misconception about reading eg if he learns to read, you won’t read to him any more?

Have you asked him about why he doesn’t blend (make the sounds into a word) - is it that he doesn’t know how to, or doesn’t want to for some reason?

fallfallfall Thu 17-Sep-20 00:09:29

maybe at some point try whole language and ditch the blending. maybe he knows table is table and this ta-b-el type stuff is not for him.

Choconuttolata Thu 17-Sep-20 00:22:05

You could try the reading eggs program online, much more engaging, my son who has autism and is delayed in his development has learnt to blend using it and now will engage better with books because he has more confidence blending.
Continue with the books asking him to sound out the word then model the blending. Also agree with trying to do it when he is less tired, ds often engages better in the morning with his reading.

FusionChefGeoff Thu 17-Sep-20 00:22:21

With the marbles, only having 1 in a week could be counter productive. Sometimes I had to get very creative about what I was dishing them out for to make sure they kept motivated! So a pebble for getting bowl out for breakfast, pebble for walking nicely to school etc. If pebbles are ticking along for small stuff then 5 pebbles to try 1 page might be more motivating.

BackforGood Thu 17-Sep-20 00:36:53

What @snowballer and @bookmum08 said.
My ds hated "reading books" but loved reading - has read all through his teens and still does as n adult - indeed he chose English Lit as one of his A-levels.

Re the blending / reading CVC type words - have you tried 'taking them out of the book'......... It's a long time since I've needed them so others will be better at telling you what commercially available games are available now, but you can even make things like 'Pairs' games with the words...... use words with same ending and different first letter (mat, sat, cat, fat, hat,)
Or look out for simple puzzle books - word searches, and matching pictures to words, and simple crosswords, and you sometimes get 'change one letter in this word to make a new word' type puzzles which all help with looking for patterns in words and learning about how letters go together.

TinkersTailor Thu 17-Sep-20 00:38:36

With DD I read the book and stop every now and then saying 'Oh, I don't know how to say that word, can you help me?' We then sound it out together, with her teaching me the sounds.
It usually ends with 'silly mummy!'grin

She's very reluctant, I found that the her teaching me approach has started to tease it out of her. Although very, very gently. It doesn't always work (and I'm left sounding it out like a numpty) but it's maybe worth a try?

Ellmau Thu 17-Sep-20 10:33:17

You don't have a pet do you? If so you could try to get him to read to the dog/cat?

Or a younger sibling?

Elisheva Thu 17-Sep-20 23:42:07

As said upthread it would be useful to know if he can orally blend. You could try a game where you put a selection of pictures on the floor at one end of the room, or one on each stair. Then ask him to run and get one - go and get me the dog (car, cat, bus etc.).
When he’s got the hang of it, try saying each word with a gap between each sound - go and get me the d-o-g. At first make the gap really short, if he can blend the word then make the gap between sounds longer.
Don’t mention reading, don’t write anything down, just see if he can blend the sounds into a word.

espresso14 Fri 18-Sep-20 22:24:55

Literacy is not all about the school books! Just keep on reading what they want to read at home, and read him the school books first. In year 1 he might begin to notice what colour books his peers are on, which might motivate him to try to move on with school reading a bit. My experience is that school reading is not the same as home reading. My child reads books with far more complicated characters and plots at home, but the level of books she gets from School are way below this. As they get older, those who do a much wider range of reading (and I mean, read too) at home really benefit from this in developing their creative writing and vocabulary.

anna114young Tue 22-Sep-20 10:21:03

This is really interesting to me as my DS really struggles with reading and is 9 years old. He has always found the school books rather dull. I am waiting to have him assessed for dyslexia but in the meantime I am hoping to find something "boy friendly" and engaging to help him. Biff and Chip and Reading Eggs won't cut it for him (unfortunately!)

If anyone knows of anything please do let me know! I'd do anything to help him.

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