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Boys reading ... or not

(18 Posts)
YouNeverCanTell Wed 07-Oct-09 19:13:18

Two years ago my DD was in reception and took to the whole reading and writing thing like a duck to water. Lovely.

Not so my son. He is now in reception (same school, same teacher) and does everything he can to avoid anything to do with books, pens, paper etc. He is also very reluctant to sit down with me at home to look at his school reading books, although he still likes his bedtime stories.

At home he always loved drawing and making 'books' with his sister. His nursery didn't teach letters and I agreed with this approach (DD the same). Now I am thinking that I should have given him some pre-school help. Or maybe that would have put him off more?

Is he going to be one of those boys who ends reception almost entirely untroubled by literacy. (I used to read with DD's class, and there were a number of these.) (Of course, I am worrying very early in the academic year!)

But I would welcome advice ... should I worry? (They do all learn to read eventually!) Should I try to help, or leave well alone? If I should help, how?

ADragonIs4LifeNotJustHalloween Wed 07-Oct-09 19:16:22

It has nothing to do with being a boy.

DS1 could barely read until half way through Y1 when it all clicked and he was off.
DS2 took to reading like a duck to water and was proficient by the end of Reception.

Neither could read when they started.

My personal opinion is that it is your job to make them enjoy reading and to want to learn how. Just share books with him and get him enthusiastic about what they have to offer.

ThingOne Wed 07-Oct-09 19:36:18

It's far too early on in reception to worry. My DS1 (yr one) showed no interest in reading at all at this stage. He didn't start reading until February or March in reception. Then he caught up very quickly.

Still doesn't like writing grin.

primarymum Wed 07-Oct-09 20:32:28

Two sons, both completely different, eldest wanted to read and write almost as soon as he could talk, youngest wouldn't go near one until well into Yr 1 ( and I'm a teacher! blush) Both passed 11+ and went on to selective grammar school, eldest is now applying for Uni, youngest is on the Gifted and Talented Register for Law! Children will develop at their own pace and this point in Reception is a little early to be worrying. Just keep reading to him and sharing books and magazines with him, the interest will develop.

YouNeverCanTell Wed 07-Oct-09 20:52:39

Thank you! I know it's too early for worrying blush and I also know that it's my self-image I am probably struggling with (you all know that laughable figure: the mother of the precociously literate child, trying not to look smug). But I'm also very glad that it's not a sex difference thing. We're just back from the library after school today with plenty of books he chose, so we'll spend time on those and whisk through the school reading books as quickly as possible

overmydeadbody Wed 07-Oct-09 20:57:32

Aaaagggh It is far far too early in recpetion to worry. Seriously, chill out lady.

And it has nothing to do with him beign a boy either. I have to physically rip books out of DS's hands if I want him to do anything other than read, it drives me nuts sometimes.

Put it into perspective, by the time he is an adult it won't have mattered whether he read or not in reception, it really won't.

Give the kid a chance to just get used to going to school, without the pressure of doing stuff as well!smile

MilaMae Wed 07-Oct-09 21:16:31

It is a sex related thing imho although there are plenty of exceptions to the rule. Boys are far less writing/reading orientated preferring running around,building etc. Educationalists are trying to tackle it eg by producing schemes/books tailored for boys and looking at learning techniques that boys would find more useful. I know it's very un pc to quote gender stereotypes but most teachers I know(myself included) are/were forever hauling girls off the writing table and onto the train track and vice versa.

I have twin boys and a dd very close in age. My daughter is quite a tomboy and my boys adore books as I'm quite a bookworm. However I've found it very interesting to see the way both boys have avoided anything pencil orientated like the plague and dd however much she enjoys boy toys etc has always been far happier to pick up a pencil. In my boys year 1 classes the girls already are writing reams compared to the boys even though many of the best readers are boys.

I hate the way people are still following the pc spiel saying girls and boys are exactly the same,they aren't. I think educationalists really need to get to grips with finding ways to encourage boys instead of just waffling on about it. It does them no favours.

Having said all that my boys were free readers by the end of rec so even though boys are less pencil and paper inclined it in no way means they are doomed to lag behind. I never forced my 2 to sit at the table I instead taught them to write their name on the beach,gave them plenty of play dough, Lego things to encourage fine motor skills. I also read masses of books to them and made sure they got outside lots. Their writing is good to ok (depending on mood) but I'm seriously not bothered by it as they will mature and enjoy it more eventually. They both love books which means far more to me as that will help them through their entire education.

YouNeverCanTell Wed 07-Oct-09 22:33:42

I'll chill: as I said, I know he'll learn. Anway, he loves stories and cuddling up while being read to. That's good for now.

Nevertheless, from the very small sample of my two, I'd have to support MilaMae's comments about gender stereotypes, however un-pc they may be. DD has always loved using pens and pencils. She will never explain anything orally if it can be drawn. DS, in contrast, likes to act out his explanations and descriptions. By this time in reception (yes, week four) my daughter had covered sheets and sheets and sheets of A4 paper with her drawings and paintings whilst my son has produced, er, none. (Although I believe he's been very active in the sandpit and with the construction toys.)

pointyhat Wed 07-Oct-09 22:39:36

It is nothing to do with it being un-pc. If anything, I find it the other way around, with regular articles and bits of research about gender differences.

There is not a pc opinion and an un pc one. There's no conspiracy about it.

mimsum Thu 08-Oct-09 09:13:10

the head at my dc's primary says that when she started teaching no-one really tried to teach children how to read until they were coming up to 6, now we're worrying if they're not ready to learn to read when they're 4 - she points out that children haven't changed ... but school entry age has

fwiw neither of my boys could read until they were 6 but as soon as it clicked they learned to read properly (i.e. anything they wanted) in a matter of weeks - both are now prolific readers and the eldest has a real gift for writing stories, especially dialogue, so not reading early does NOT = no talent for literacy

smee Thu 08-Oct-09 14:57:08

Lots don't click with reading or writing until well into year one and some not until year two. If you were in a fair number of other countries they wouldn't even be teaching it at his age. Honestly it's fine. Don't push him if he's not ready, he'll get it when he's ready.

Starbear Thu 08-Oct-09 20:27:22

Reading this with interest. How do you stop competitive pushy dad?

smee Fri 09-Oct-09 10:25:00

Starbear if he counts himself as an intelligent liberal, remind him of all the enlightened countries that don't bother teaching reading until 6/7, yet their educational standards still outstrip ours..

Starbear Fri 09-Oct-09 11:58:20

smee Ah! But he heard a professor on the radio state that the English languages is more complex than other languages. I love Spanish if you can say it you can spell it!
To tell the truth, spoke to him last night before he went to the pub quiz, He was keen for our son to love education and will cool it. Drip, Drip effect we are going for. Thanks for the thread it helps to discuss with others. Ds tried to read the information on the Dry Cleaning shop but we didn't have time. Will point it out again as we return from school

smee Fri 09-Oct-09 12:08:49

Exactly, tell him that's why you should start later starbear..!

Starbear Fri 09-Oct-09 12:40:54

P.S He will never be liberal!!!!! He is left of left but never liberal.

smee Sat 10-Oct-09 11:07:29

Ah well you're stuffed then grin

Starbear Sun 11-Oct-09 00:10:40

so true

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