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DS 8 Not a keen reader!

19 replies

misscat · 14/02/2009 01:11

My ds yr3 shows little interest in reading, hence his spelling not that grand either. His 10 year old sister, on the other hand, is a born reader and as a consequence, her spelling and comprehension is good.
I have tried various books I think might appeal but still he has never really picked up a book simply for the pleasure of reading. Although he will read a Simpsons comic (which I find quite difficult to decipher)!!
Has anyone anyone got any magically interesting reading suggestions for encouraging my reluctant ds? I recently found "Why Eating Bogeys Is Good For You", the title was definitely appealing to him and was full of daft but interesting little facts. But I think a story would be nice. I'd love him to know that feeling of not wanting to put a book down because it's so engrossing. We have all the usual - Horrid Henry etc and he does like me to read to him.
Is he just too young yet do you think or do any of you have bookworms aged 8?

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roisin · 14/02/2009 08:18

Firstly I would say all reading is good reading, and at this age it doesn't matter too much what he is reading.

ds1 is a very keen reader and will read anything; ds2 will sit and read non-fiction til the cows come home but it's very difficult to get him to tackle a book!

Have you tried the Horrible Histories/Science etc. series with your ds?

Some excellent 'non-book' reading material is:

The DFC is a fantastic comic, set up by a bunch of authors/illustrators (including Philip Pullman) in Oxford.

First News is a weekly newspaper for children.

To encourage him to read make sure you have 'reading time'. ie. after XXpm at night no screens, no games, bed, PJs on. But if you wish you may have your light on and read for 30 mins.

If you are desperate for him to read a story - and I know I have been with ds2 for years, but tbh we haven't really got very far - these two books are very popular with boys this age.

The Legend of spud Murphy

How to train your dragon

Or why not try some of the suggestions on here

misscat · 14/02/2009 12:37

Thank you roisin. I am in agreement, all reading is good reading (within reason)! And we will definitely search for some of the titles suggested.
He will spend time typing lots of messages on "Club Penguin", so his typing skills are pretty good! Not really sure whether this counts as helpful in the reading/writing stakes but I think maybe a bit...?

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lljkk · 14/02/2009 12:50

Do you take him to the public library, misscat? On the promise of a hot chocolate afterwards if you must, but get him to go and browse. Even if he only wants to take out comic novels most the time, it will keep a love of reading alive.

ComeWhineWithMe · 14/02/2009 12:59

My ds was the same he is now 11 and laid upstairs reading Harry Potter .I used to worry that he wouldn't ever like reading but it just clicked one day.

I have always took him to the library and made sure books are always around .

He also did the comic reading .

I can remember reading George's marvelous medicine and The Twits to him when he was around 8 and he enjoyed those .

ComeWhineWithMe · 14/02/2009 13:02

Also if you have a good main/city library near you there should be lots of activities on for the half term .

christywhisty · 14/02/2009 13:04

My Ds was not a keen reader until he was nearly `13.
Before that he read comics and magazines such as horrible science, Jacky Chan, top gear magazine. He did read Harry Potter as well, but that was the only novel. You might be surprised how much reading he is doing from looking at the computer screen.
Also if he is reluctant to read try him on story cd's and tapes.Our local library has a big selection and it was the Alex rider(probably a bit old for your ds) cds that actually started DS reading. He listened to the set and wanted to hear the next one. His last year english teacher said cds were fine as it was accessing literacy.

scienceteacher · 14/02/2009 13:06

I am convinced that DS1 learnt to read by reading the back (ie sports) pages of the Telegraph.

His pleasure reading is still limited to newspapers, and rarely gets excited about novels. I do remember around the age of 8 or 9 that he really enjoyed the Alex Rider books - and insisted that I read it too.

My other kids are voracious readers.

As a teacher, parents often ask me what they can do to help (often at the end of summer term, for the holidays ahead), and I almost always tell them to get their child to read the newspaper.

It doesn't really matter what they read, as long as they are doing it and trying to make sense of it. Recipes are good, as they come with instructions that have to be carried out.

cornsilk · 14/02/2009 13:17

My dyslexic ds who is an extremely reluctant reader is reading a series of books called Sir Gadabout which are quite silly. He actually asked me to buy them for him after reading one at school - a first for him! I got them from Amazon.

misscat · 14/02/2009 14:11

scienceteacher...LOL at 'back pages of the Telegraph"!
Strange but true though, my dd will always read a newspaper, especially on a car journey.
Thanks to you all for your valuable info and BTW we do go to the library, dd browses, whereas ds grabs a few quickly. I try to encourage him to read the 'blurb' on the back page and the first couple of pages, just to see whether he might actually like the book! He's definitely an active boy so reading can really only be confined to bedtime.
We will continue.....

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Barking · 14/02/2009 14:22

My ds4 adores Tintin, plenty of dialogue, pictures and lots of action. I never 'got' Tintin until we saw the stage show last year and thought it was fantastic.

Jux · 14/02/2009 14:44

Asterix as well.

Do you read to him? My dd was a natural bookworm, but I suspect at least a part of that was because dh and I always have books on the go, and also because I read to her a lot - I mean at least half an hour at bedtime, and also when she was in the bath. (Though I have always refused to read comic books to her - much too hard!)

misscat · 14/02/2009 15:18

Jux, yes I do read to him and I too always have a book on the go. I agree comics don't make much sense to me either (I never know in which order the speech bubbles are supposed to be read)! I'm just beginning to wonder when do I stop reading to him and start expecting him to do it for himself. He will read to me but often says "you read it now mum". I'm hoping that suddenly it will just 'click' and he'll pick up a book without me prompting him.
The thing is, when I read to him, he lies back and listens with interest but I'd like him to be looking at the words too in order to assist with the spelling difficulty. The evidence is apparent with dd, her spelling is good because she is reading to herself.
Am I making too much of a big deal out of this do you think? I don't want to turn him in the opposite direction, where reading becomes a chore. He sometimes says reading is boring...oh dear!

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roisin · 14/02/2009 18:19

In order to encourage him to read, I would cut back a bit on reading to him. Or at least read a book with a good, regular cliffhangers and break off at an 'exciting' point. Say you need to go and do some chores, but he can read on himself if he wants.

LoveMyLapTop · 14/02/2009 18:21

DS 1 wiil read The CAptain Underpants' stories
but loves factual books.
His fave is the Guiness Book of Records

neolara · 14/02/2009 19:39

What about Horrid Henry, or is that a bit young?

popsycal · 14/02/2009 19:40

magic tree house

LaTrucha · 14/02/2009 19:47

My DH read nothing unless absolutely forced to until he was 16. He is now a lecturer - in Literature and Language!

Thought you might like to know.

Clary · 14/02/2009 19:58

I have a 7yo bookworm.

And a 9yo non-reader. He does like Jeremy Strong tho (100-mile-an-hour dog etc). Also factual books eg a top trumps style football book and a book abotu Egypt he is keen on atm. Also horrible histories. And oh yes, Guinness book of records too.

I agree tho, a story is a lot easier to read, surely. Who wants to read a load of facts?

But that is me (I love novels) and I am not him. Lots of grown men IME are not keen on stories - my DH only really reads blue-spine Penguins. But he can read fine, y'know?

Ah yes I see roisin knows what she is talking about, on this as on so much else

misscat · 14/02/2009 23:11

Good idea roisin - the 'cliffhanger' bit, will definitely give that little ploy a go!
The Guiness Book of Records is another good one too, he does enjoy that.
LaTrucha fabulous and inspiring - congratulations to your son!

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