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6 year old dd reading chapter books but apparently unable to recount / remember them afterwards - is this normal?

(9 Posts)
melpomene Fri 30-Oct-09 18:11:08

My dd1 (yr 2)has recently began reading chapter books unaided, but seems to be seriously lacking in comprehension and/or memory of them.

This week she has devoured two books very enthusiastically (reading aloud to me a little, but mostly reading silently to herself). Today she read a Rainbow Magic book (168 pages). Straight after she finished it I gave her a few high fives and then asked her "What happened in the book.?" Her first reply (apparently serious) was "What book?" hmm and she then said she couldn't remember what had happened in the story; with prompting she came up with a few answers but all pretty vague.

Rainbow Magic books always have the same very simple basic plot, so I would have expected her to be able to understand it.

Just wondering how common this is, and whether there's anything I should be doing to help her build comprehension and memory of stories.

bigstripeytiger Fri 30-Oct-09 18:16:02

Maybe she would be better reading shorter books, until you are sure that she is able to understand them.

When my DD reads books we have a talk about the plot, what characters she liked, what she thought about the story, what she thought would happen next etc. I want to make sure that she is actually paying attention and understanding the book, and not just reading the words, IYSWIM.

madamearcati Fri 30-Oct-09 19:33:15

Sounds like she might be 'pretending ' or 'trying' to read them to get your approval but they are too difficult for her yet

ChasingSquirrels Fri 30-Oct-09 19:43:07

ds1 will hardly ever recount them, although now I have given up and just leave him to it he will talk about the stories.

Bink Fri 30-Oct-09 20:12:36

How good is she at telling you what happened at school, or at a party, or recounting what she did at the weekend?

How good is she at getting herself organised for school, or planning ahead (what she's going to wear, what movie she wants to see), etc.?

The reason I ask is that my ds (who's now 10) also had huge problems with recounting books, and with him it was a sign of a kind of thorough-going disorganisedness which goes with having what we now see is a different sort of memory/processing wiring. Ds is absolutely fine & lovely (and perfectly efficient at turning out Comprehensions now), so I am not saying anything which should worry you! but he has got the original lateral mind - he doesn't think in straight lines, he thinks in 3D geometry (or something!) so the stuff he comes out with is unique. (He asks brilliant questions.)

More boringly (and relevantly), he's also very good at maths, which presumably works with that lateral shape-thinking. Is your dd good with numbers?

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 30-Oct-09 20:12:50

DS's teacher puts a lot of emphasis on being able to recount the story and answer "why" questions before moving to the next colour banding.

Perhaps she could go back to shorter books for a while so that she reads well and also understands etc.

melpomene Fri 30-Oct-09 21:02:02

Thanks for all the comments. She's very keen to read the longer chapter books, and can read most of the words / sentences perfectly well but doesn't retain much understanding of it. Of course we have lots of easier books at home but she prefers to read the long ones like Rainbow Magic (I've only ever bought her one Rainbow Magic but somehow hoards of them appear on her shelves, borrowed from friends and from the library!)

When she reads aloud to me I check if she understands when we get to a concept or word I think she may not understand. But she now prefers to read silently to herself instead of reading to me.

Bink, she's pretty good at planning ahead but poor at describing what happened at school, party, or in a film. In August we went on holiday and did exciting things such as visiting the Space Centre, Theme Parks, children's museums and hill walking but a month later when we asked her what she remembered about the holiday she said that all she remembered was "eating a donut" grin.

She's not particularly good at maths though - a bit below average with that.

MumNWLondon Sat 31-Oct-09 22:44:35

It sounds as if she is reading the words but not taking in the story, perhaps you could read it and try discussing at the end of each chapter what happened? Can she recount stuff from her school books - if so maybe she needs to read something a bit easier?

KurriKurri Sat 31-Oct-09 23:09:04

sounds as if her technical ability to read is ahead of her age, but her comprehension is more commensurate with her chronological age, IYSWIM. Does she remember what a story was about if you read to her? It might help her comprehension if she listened to some children's audio books, where she is concentrating on the meaning.

She sounds lovely and I'm sure her comprehension will catch up soon enough. grin at holiday memory of eating a donut, - that sounds very typical of a six year old!

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