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Has anybody else had an advanced ds reader at 5 who hates reading? Can you suggest ways I can encourage a love of reading?

18 replies

MilaMae · 30/04/2009 17:44

Ds is quite an advanced reader,he's in rec and reading Horrid Henry etc. Has just started reading Roald Dahl with me at night.

The problem is he hates reading his school books and doesn't read for pleasure which I feel he should be at his level. The other night he said "I hate reading"

I think half of this is because he's only 5 and books at his level aren't really on a 5 year old's wavelength,have pictures etc iykwim. What I'm really worried about is wether it's also because he's a boy and he's going to be a reluctant reader. I'm desperate for ideas on how to develop a love of reading.

As an ex literacy co-ordinator I have a house full of the most lovely kids books and am quite frankly appalled that one of my dc doesn't love reading,he does love books though.

I've started reading Roald Dahl at his instigation he reads a page and I read the rest of the chapter,he seems to be enjoying this. What else can I do?

OP posts:
ShowOfHandsNoLongerKissesKunes · 30/04/2009 17:46

Michael Rosen always recommends comics and comic-style books as they work on different levels and are particularly engaging for boys. Would that interest him?

procrastinatingparent · 30/04/2009 17:51

I sometimes have to read the first chapter for DD to help her get into it - and then she is often keen to keep going to find out what happens.

I do think that reading aloud to kids is brilliant and it won't hurt for a bit if you do most of the reading as long as he is absorbing books somehow. If I've learned one thing it is that kids read for themselves when they are ready and as long as there are lots of lovely books around and they see you reading for pleasure too then you have done your bit.

We didn't bother too much with school books - boring as. [guilty emoticon]

Littlefish · 30/04/2009 17:56

I completely agere with procrastinatingparent.

I wouldn't bother reading the school reading books - they are generally deathly dull!
I would read to him, rather than expecting him to read.
I would take him to the library and let him choose what he wants to read/have read to him.
I would make sure that he sees other members of the family reading for pleasure.
I would back off for a while.

snorkle · 30/04/2009 19:21

keep reading to him - it's quite likely that his reading skills aren't yet quite good enough to read the kind of stories he likes. By that, I don't mean he can't read them, but that reading isn't yet automatic enough for it to be virtually effort free. So, you need to keep reading to him so it remains pleasurable and he will in time come to enjoy it himself. By all means get him to read little bits, but don't make it a chore or it will put him off more.

Comics or anything that catches his interest are good and don't forget non-fiction:- some books on his hobbies or things that interest him (science maybe?) might tempt him. I think quality picture books are still fine for 5 year olds too & I wouldn't really worry if you think whatever he reads is too easy for him - he's obviously a good reader & the important thing is to be reading something/anything that he enjoys so that he comes to like it. Agree lots of reading scheme books are fairly dire.

snorkle · 30/04/2009 19:24

He's probably a bit young yet for Anthony Horrowitz, but his books often appeal to young male reluctant readers.

catinthehat1 · 30/04/2009 19:39

The Beano is the way forward.

They get totally absorbed, they can't wait for the next issue, they love the characters, they identify with their favourites, they love it that its a bit different from what Mum & Dad think is suitable.

It is the purest pleasure for a littley, I can't recommend enough, both as a consumer years ago and as a parent who (successfully) hoped for a nose-in-a-book all the time child.

In fact it does all the things you would hope for if he was holding a 600 page book and reading for pleasure.

ahundredtimes · 30/04/2009 19:46

Yes, I second the Beano.

I also second, backing off. Right off.

Leave books hanging about - you know he can do it - and read to him at night. Be a v. good reader out loud, and wait and see if he wants to read on when you've finished. Make sure loads of the picture books he used to love when younger also available for him to read at night.

Don't say 'I think you might like this book' or 'what did you think to Esio Trot?'

back far, far, far away. Leave books. Get loads of comics. Let him find his own way, he's a good reader, so he will read, but he has to discover it for himself. Imo

I had good readers too, and the minute they got wind that I was overly interested in what they were reading, they'd stop. It's a private pleasure reading - once you can do it - let him have that.

MilaMae · 30/04/2009 20:13

Many thanks all! Some great advice

The backing off thing has been tricky as school obviously expects you to hear them read and unfortunately their dire books. Spoke to his teacher today who was fantastic,has got some early reader paperbacks out for him and said not to worry about hearing him read!!!!!!!Wouldn't you know the little so and so then asked to read one of his new books tonight after I read to him!!!!

I've been quite shocked how dry the scheme books are further up. I'm ex KS1 so not really had much input with scheme books towards the free reading end. It seems to me a lot of effort is put into making the choice at the beginning good then towards the end when they're reading it all goes off the boil so to speak.

Will be trotting down to get the Beano,what day does it come out?

OP posts:
FluffyBunnyGoneBad · 30/04/2009 20:17

Buy him some joke books. These will do the trick. You can tell if he understands them because he'll laugh. I did this for ds, he'd walk around the city centre reading them outloud. He made people's day!

Littlefish · 30/04/2009 20:19

I'm so glad his teacher is being supportive.

slayerette · 30/04/2009 20:26

Have a look at the Beast Quest books. DS, in Yr 1, had the first one for his birthday and loves them. He races through them and can't wait to find out what happens in the next chapter - book - series... Fortunately there are a lot of them!

BlueCowWondersAgain · 30/04/2009 20:44

think also about comics. My ds 6 loves match of the day - aimed at small not big boys. Or is the dr who Ok (never read it myself!).

Toffeepopple · 30/04/2009 20:46

We are in a similar situation with my DS (though he is in year one).

He can read Horrid Henry, Roald Dahl, etc, but he doesn't always rush to do so. I guess like all of us sometimes he's in a mood for something lighter. I can read Tolstoy, but sometimes Alexander McCall Smith is more appealing....

The deal we've made is that every night he can read one or two chapters/books (depending on length). The first we choose, and the second he chooses.

So that way we choose the school books (read them through once and then never look at them again! though actually his school seem to have a reasonably decent collection) and he can choose whatever he likes.

We make sure that for his choices we have loads of stuff around. Some of it is technically too easy for him, but I really don't care. The key thing is that he enjoys it. Right now he is usually choosing Berenstain bear books, though tonight he picked a Lynley Dodd.

If he reads one thing to us we read one thing to him. If he reads two, we read two.

If you've worked in the area you may already know loads of titles for you to read to him. But I really rate Dorothy Butler's Five to Eight (out of print, but available on Abebooks, etc) as a great resource for sourcing the very best of kids books. It was published in 1994 so doesn't have all the most recent stuff, but to be honest that is the easiest stuff to find anyway.

Good luck and enjoy!

JeffVadar · 01/05/2009 09:39

Have you thought about non-fiction books? My DS didn't start reading until I bought him a book on nature and wildlife, and that got the whole process going.

He loved stories, but liked me to read them to him.

What is your DS into? Dinosaurs, space, volcanoes, whatever, there will be a book about it. Give it a go and good luck!

smee · 01/05/2009 10:20

DS quite likes The Beano, but isn't mad about it. Lots of in school jokes that he doesn't quite grasp yet as he's only in reception. Tin Tin though's fab if you're looking for an alternative. Very funny too. Libraries round here have them.

GrapefruitMoon · 01/05/2009 10:25

I also recommend The Beano and any non-fiction books on topics he is interested in - they often have lots of pictures too. I find that the non-fiction books at school can have more challenging words than the fiction ones in the same level so that might help too...

If you want to persevere with fiction books, ds1 enjoyed the Captain Underpants ones once he had got through all the Horrid Henrys...

catinthehat1 · 01/05/2009 12:17

(Beano is out on Wednesdays)

singersgirl · 01/05/2009 12:34

Some great suggestions on here so far. Others for young fluent readers who have the fluency and comprehension but lack stamina (with a particular boy focus):

DK Readers series: 4 levels, a mixture of fact and fiction books - DS2, who is 7 now, especially liked the superhero ones (Spiderman, Transformers, Batman) and we got some from the library, some from The Book People
Tintin and Asterix are both great. Other comic format books include Marcia Williams series - Greek myths, Robin Hood, King Arthur
Other comics as well as Beano - DS2 really enjoys NG Kids and Sponge Bob, but used to like Tom and Jerry. We also get First News on subscription
Usborne have a fantastic range of science and non-fiction books which are attractively set out with lots of pictures and 'fact boxes'. Ideal for dipping into without needing to 'keep going'.
I second joke books and also poetry collections.

By his bed right now DS2 has all the Lemony Snickets (he's on 12 now, though they do drage a bit towards the end and his enthusiasm has waned since about book 9), a Teddy Robinson book I got for 1p, Marcia William's great inventors book and Lauren Child's "Who's afraid of the big, bad book?" Picture books are valued by children long after they can read well.

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