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How can I get my dd (7) intrested in reading and writing

(16 Posts)
cardy Mon 01-Sep-08 17:08:16

Dd is 7 and just going into yr3 (August birthday). Ever since starting school she has been really reluctant to read or even try to read.

She is slowly getting there but at the end of last term her teacher did raise with us her level of reading as an issue and asked if we could do work with her during the holidays, phonics etc.

It has been a real struggle to get to do anything reading or writing. We thought a scrapbook might do it - pictures and captions that sort of thing, we bought flashcards, new books that she decided upon. I tried to spend half an hour ever other day to sit down and do a little reading and writing, it usually ended in tears. I tried a soft approach - left books in her room that she might pick at anytime, nothing seems to work. She seems so anti readling and writing. I am worried that she is going yo fall behind even more in the new term.

cardy Mon 01-Sep-08 17:20:56

I should add that in all other areas she doesn't have any problems. She won't put into practice or even have a go at things that she has learnt, she seems scared when it comescto reading and spelling.

hanaflower Mon 01-Sep-08 17:23:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cardy Mon 01-Sep-08 17:45:04

I read a lot, always have a book on the go, newspapers, non-fiction etc. I tried to get her to write the thank you notes that we made following her birthday but she gave up as soon as she didn't know how to spell something (I was helping her by the way). I think it's partly to do with ability but more about attitude.

PortAndLemon Mon 01-Sep-08 17:51:40

I read this suggestion once, but have no idea if it works...

Step 1: (which you've already done) buy books and have them lying around. Do not do anything to push reading at all throughout the whole of the rest of the steps.
Step 2: introduce strict early bedtime. No room for manoeuvre. Keep this up for a week or two.
Step 3: When you judge time is right, and DC is complaining bitterly about the unfairness of bedtime policy, you say in manner of one having a huge concession dragged out of her "Well, I suppose you could read in bed for twenty minutes after bedtime"

Notquitegrownup Mon 01-Sep-08 17:54:29

With reading, lots and lots of praise is a good start. Find things that she can read to you at bedtime and praise her loads for reading them. Does she have a younger sibling or cousin she can read to?

With writing, try word processing. I type a template for thank you letters - 'Dear . . . Thank you very much for my . . . .,' so that the dss have as little writing/typing to do as possible - but they are doing something.

Lists is a great idea - shopping lists, party lists, christmas lists - anything that gets her writing for fun. No need to correct spellings - if she can read it back, then it's OK for now.


PortAndLemon Mon 01-Sep-08 17:54:57

Shopping list might seem less scary for her than a letter, I think.

Could you try leaving her short notes (so if she tidies her room, put a sign on her door saying "Well done, DD! Your room is very tidy!" or similar)?

Notquitegrownup Tue 02-Sep-08 13:55:51

Oops! Lists are a great idea! blush

cardy Tue 02-Sep-08 14:49:06

Thanks for your suggestions. We have tried quite a few of these and she still resists -it is almost like she won't entertain the idea of DH or I suggesting she reads or writes something. I guess she is Ok whe asked to by a teacher. It seems the more we suggest somethings that involve reading or writing even if just for fun the more she resists. I would dearly love her to choose to read or write something, that why I thought a scrapbook/diary would be good.

I could try the step1-3 approach this isn't something I've though of before.

Is this resistance to reading/writing unusual in a 7yo? I think it's about not be able to do it straightaway/easily therefore giving up.

Jux Tue 02-Sep-08 14:58:49

Read to her. Half an hour every other day means it's a chore. Read with her for half an hour at bedtime every day.

cardy Tue 02-Sep-08 16:46:12

Sorry, don't wish to seem ungrateful but I have been reading to her for half an hour (at least) every day since she was six months old.

Here is an example of what happened today.

me: let's make some thank you cards on the computer
her: OK

We do it, put her photo on the front decorate etc...all is going well

me: now lets write who they are to and what they bought you for your birthday
her: can I watch TV?
me: later when we've finished this
her: moan, moan I don't want to do this
me: but it's nice to thank people for their presents
her: well can you write them

She gets up and walks away. That was half an hour ago, she is happily playing in the garden now.

Should I have dealt with this differently?

stleger Tue 02-Sep-08 17:04:48

What about wordsearch type puzzle books? Anything with words and letters that isn't reading! (My ds was VERY reluctant).

onwardandupward Tue 02-Sep-08 17:10:31

[climbs laboriously up onto soap box]

Reading and writing are the most glorious human tools. I mean, really. They make so much possible in terms of knowledge creation and storage. And we can access beautiful language and stories by people who aren't living in the same place and time as us.

But different children are ready to embrace that tool at different times. Some are ready at 4. Some are ready at 5 (they are the lucky ones, because that's when the UK schools are assuming they are up for it too) and some aren't ready till 7 or 8 or 10 or even later. Nothing to do with intelligence, just to do with being ready to begin using this particular tool of human communication.

We can force our children to learn to read and write before they are ready, we can even try to persuade them that it's a marvellous tool, but until they themselves are wanting to read a particular story THEMSELF or access a certain type of information INDEPENDENTLY, or communicate in writing to someone THEMSELF, then it's all just a rather pointless circus trick really, isn't it?

The old Unschooler's 5-step method of teaching a child to read is:

1. read to them
2. read to them
3. read to them
4. read to them
5. read to them

and it sounds like you're doing that. So I'd back off, take off the pressure, try to persuade school to take off the pressure, and let your child take it at their own pace. when she's ready, you won't see her for dust.

[climbs off soap box and puts it into backpack]

[posts random links about: writing and reading, the second of which starts with the quote: "You can't make her read or write. But you can make her not want to"]

stleger Tue 02-Sep-08 18:07:13

My ds began to read Ian Fleming novels when he was 14; up until then I had tried everything I could think of. He did go for Guinness Book of Records type stuff a bit from aged 9, and always took non fiction from the class library. (Unless the teacher made him have a novel, which he didn't read!)

JLo2 Tue 02-Sep-08 19:44:22

I completely and utterly agree with onwardandupward (loved the links). Your DD will start reading when she decides it's important to her, just like when she learnt to speak.
My 7 year old loves to design thank you cards on the PC and I can just about manage to persuade/bribe him to hand write his name on them and that is it (good job his name is only 3 letters otherwise I would lose that one too!) I know he'll get by and I know he'll write when it's important to him, the rest of the time who cares what people think!

Agree with taking the pressure off. Read to her lots (as you are doing). She'll want to start doing it for herself sooner or later.

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