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Getting children to read

(31 Posts)
GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 03-Aug-11 12:08:18

Does anyone find this as difficult as I do? Books just don't seem to be able to compete with screens. I'm sure there are exceptions, but it seems a lot of children don't want to put the effort in. I do try reading aloud and they claim to love it - but I can't help feeling they're not getting the full benefit. No wonder they can't spell.....

glassortwo Wed 03-Aug-11 13:03:20

My GC love books and have a huge collection they love to be read too, but the 5 yr old boy who has just finished reception year does very well with reading but is very reluctant and would rather be off doing other things, but my GD 3yrs old loves to get a hold of a book and is sounding out the words, are boys more reluctant than girls?

glammanana Wed 03-Aug-11 13:10:35

I don't think boy's are more reluctant than girl's but by the sound of your DGS
he has no problem reading and digesting what is written so why not now go out and do something else more interesting,my boy's where just the same no
problem's with the work just enjoyed being "boy's" instead.

Baggy Wed 03-Aug-11 13:12:52

Certainly never had a problem getting my three girls to read, but then they saw their parents reading books every day, their home was always stuffed with books, stories read (still to DD3 who is ten and an avid reader), reference books referred to all the time, and so on. More than that I don't really think you can do, except perhaps limit 'screen time'. We do that as well.

glassortwo Wed 03-Aug-11 13:22:22

He is not into indoor activities at all, and does not bother with the computer or t.v very often, he does not have any of these hand held games. He would rather be out building a den or a dam, or playing on his bike, generally boys stuff. But Gd is very different she loves to sit and write or draw.

Baggy Wed 03-Aug-11 13:25:26

glass, your Gs sounds lovely. Since he's not having difficulty with reading but is just too busy doing other important stuff, I don't think there's a problem. He's only five after all. Plenty of time to get studious if he's the type.

glassortwo Wed 03-Aug-11 13:32:14

Baggy think you are right, plenty time once the fun things out of the way first smile

Libradi Wed 03-Aug-11 18:56:14

I think finding the right book can be really important, it is for us adults so no different really for the children. Glassorto have you tried your gs with 'Horrid Henry' early reader books?

glassortwo Wed 03-Aug-11 19:30:08

Libradi no thats not one we have tried, I will get onto amazon now see if I can track some down. Thank you. smile

Faye Thu 04-Aug-11 03:52:32

I think the best place for children to read to an adult is just before they go to sleep when they are having their bedtime story. My granddaughters have a story read to them every night and then my gd (6) reads a story too. That way my gd has a quiet time to read to an adult with no distractions. Apparently they are meant to have a 1,000 stories read to them by the time they are four! smile

coastwallker Thu 04-Aug-11 07:16:45

I worked for years with children in secondary schools who were struggling to read and found they fell more or less into two groups; the ones who had a proper problem like dyslexia or learning difficulties and the ones who just didn't enjoy it. Not enjoying reading is ok - we all have different hobbies and as long as they master the mechanics of it so that they can read if they want to, I wouldn't worry. I had a little girl who came to the group I ran for year 7 children who was totally baffled as to why anyone would want to read. She could but just didn't like it. We struggled to find any book to interest her and in the end she read (with an adult) teenage fashion magazines. That was what took her interest and it is still reading.

Boys often prefer non-fiction to fiction too. If you can find a book with lots of pictures about their favourite topic it might enthuse them.

My son only started reading really when he discovered fantasy books. So it may be just a case of finding the right thing at the right time.

glassortwo Thu 04-Aug-11 08:31:49

My Gs favourite non fiction book is an aircraft encyclopaedia, its a huge book and he has loved it since he was around two when the book was almost bigger than him!

They both love their bedtime stories and we read throughout the day, and he enjoys the trips down to the library so its not that he dislikes books just takes some encouragement to get him to read himself.

Baggy Thu 04-Aug-11 09:07:58

I wouldn't 'expect' any five year old to read by themselves.

glassortwo Thu 04-Aug-11 09:29:42

Sorry I meant to read with help not alone.

Libradi Thu 04-Aug-11 09:36:41

Glassortwo its worth checking out ebay for the Horrid Henry early readers too, just check that they are the 'Early Readers ' series though.

glassortwo Thu 04-Aug-11 09:39:51

Thanks Libradi that my job for later, I also need to order the next batch of his Dinosaur Cove as almost through the first lot and he is enjoying them.

Stansgran Thu 04-Aug-11 18:08:12

I'm expecting two gcs for two weeks and have piles of books ready-I find Red House and Book People really helpful as it has been some time since I've seen the children and lost touch with their tastes-it means that I can buy a dozen books for the price of one book off the shelf. Some books are better read aloud-I can remember not making head nor tail of The Pooh books until I heard my husband read them to our children-now we have cds in the car-Bernard Cribbens reading and we all share the humour.

elizabethjoan Fri 12-Aug-11 22:52:34

I would love to see recommendations for the 3-5s as well please. I think he has all the Julia Donaldsons, Gruffalo, Hungrey Caterpillar, and a few of the Dreaded Thomas too. I am looking for something a bit quirkier, and with lovely illustrations.

Joan Sat 13-Aug-11 03:45:13

Never lose hope. My youngest learned to read at a very early age, but only ever read instruction books, warcraft books etc until he was 12. I can't remember what book it was that got him going, but I came into his room to say goodnight, and there he was, nose in a novel. He said "Mum, I never realised about reading books, about how you can vanish into another world"

Debbie2221 Sat 11-Jul-20 12:12:56

Message deleted by Gransnet. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Witzend Fri 31-Jul-20 09:05:00

I worked for several years in a library with a very good children’s section. It often seemed that young boys were rather more interested in non fiction about something they were keen on - e.g. dinosaurs, creepy crawlies, space travel - as long as there were lots of pictures to go along with the text - text in a good sized font - rather than fiction, though I have known mothers insist on fiction books as well, as if NF somehow didn’t count as reading.

It never seemed to be such a problem with girls, but it did often seem that more books were aimed at them - e.g the very popular Worst Witch series.

As regards fiction for young boys, something really funny and v likely seeming rather too easy, was often the way to go - lots of dense print and few pictures was a guaranteed way to put them off. The likes of Horrid Henry, Captain Underpants or Flat Stanley often went down very well.

To me it doesn’t matter what they read, as long as they can be induced to read something, anything, and enjoy it, rather than thinking of it as a chore.

The Horrid Histories are very often a hit with older boys who look on reading as a chore. Ditto fiction such as The Demon Headmaster, but again, something that might seem too easy is always better than the other way round, if they’re reluctant.

trisher Fri 31-Jul-20 09:39:11

5 is very young to be expected to enjoy reading, some children will take to it more than others, but really it's about sharing books at that age. I think boys enjoy jokey books and as has already been said non-fiction. Remember that reading isn't just about decoding the words, turning the pages, knowing which way to go through a book, knowing which way the text goes are all valuable skills. My DGS aged 5 loves a book about trains, he can't read the text-it's really for adults, but he will sit for along time looking through it, commenting on the trains, identifying features and even saying what they are. He is learning so much even if he isn't actually reading.
My DGS currently loves Waddle

annodomini Fri 31-Jul-20 10:20:06

My two youngest GSs were keen readers until their other granny gave them both i-Pads. Need I say more?

Squiffy Fri 31-Jul-20 10:43:55

trisher Thanks for the link - you've just cost me money!! ??? The books look great, so I've ordered a couple.

BlueBelle Fri 31-Jul-20 11:18:58

I was an avid reader as a child, my two daughters enjoyed reading my son didn’t, he loved the Argos catalogue and the Guinness book or records... I have seven grandchildren and none are readers They all can read and did through primary school when they had to, but none of them enjoy it enough to read a book for themselves now ....they are all grown a teacher, two boys in apprenticeships and working, fourth one in uni, fifth and sixth in sixth form and last one still at high school They all have lots of books but none of them read any
I think that’s sad but their lives are different and their Information books are google or Wikipedia and their equivalent to reading is watching
Who knows they may turn to it later in life but they may not