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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:46 am 
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We are a bit at a loss as to how to inspire our 7yo DS to read, since neither of us needed any prompt to read when we were kids. Our parents did not have to lead by example (they almost never read), nor did they have to read to us. We did have lots of books in the house, but I never saw my parents read them. Only thing they read was the newspaper. And still, I learned to read before the age of 3 and ended up reading whatever I could get hold of.

Hence, I kind of assumed my kids would simply do the same and read books from the moment they had the ability.
Reality check: kids are different from parents.

I managed to get him onto continental comics (like Asterix or Lucky Luke) but even then, he does not fully read the speech bubbles and over-relies on the pictures to understand the story. He does diligently read his school texts, but this does not seem enough as his vocabulary is very weak, and so is his grammatical structure. Part of the problem is that we do not speak English at home in order to keep them bilingual.
I have failed to get him onto Harry Potter or How to Raise your Dragon. I think it's to overwhelming for him, and I assume it's due to his reading speed. But then, unless he reads a lot, his reading speed will not improve. A bit of a vicious circle.
Also, he is at an age where he will go very defensive if he feels like we are trying to force him onto something. So whatever the solution, it must be about inspiring him rather than forcing him.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:06 am 
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Really recommend "First News" newspaper for kids. Can pick them up in supermarkets. Good to read together and talk about the articles.
Can always then look up related things on line and read around the subjects. Doesn't always have to be fiction!


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:21 am 
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booellesmum wrote:
Really recommend "First News" newspaper for kids. Can pick them up in supermarkets. Good to read together and talk about the articles.
Can always then look up related things on line and read around the subjects. Doesn't always have to be fiction!


Could be a great idea, but I just looked at their website and they seem to have a lot of celebrity tabloid-type trash news :( (alongside much more relevant articles).
My DS is currently blissfully ignorant of the celeb universe, and I'd rather he learns about important past or present people.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:23 am 
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Location: East Kent
Have you tried audio books?
They can follow the story in a "real" book if they want, but it is not necessary.

You could also read with them. Taking turns to read bits.

Do they have any particular interests? Perhaps non- fiction books would be good for a change, again if you read them together.

My son also particularly enjoyed joke books - but you have to be prepared to put up with corny jokes constantly.

How about books in your home language? Local libraries often have a good selection and also some bi lingual books.

Good Luck most children suddenly find something that sparks their interest it just takes some longer than others, however.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:39 am 
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yoyo123 wrote:
Have you tried audio books?
They can follow the story in a "real" book if they want, but it is not necessary.

You could also read with them. Taking turns to read bits.

Do they have any particular interests? Perhaps non- fiction books would be good for a change, again if you read them together.

My son also particularly enjoyed joke books - but you have to be prepared to put up with corny jokes constantly.

How about books in your home language? Local libraries often have a good selection and also some bi lingual books.

Good Luck most children suddenly find something that sparks their interest it just takes some longer than others, however.


Haven't tried audio books, but I wonder how they differ from watching TV? Isn't the learning linked to actually reading the words?

Yes, reading with them could be a solution. We tried it a couple of times, and they didn't seem to mind it. But, it drove me crazy :lol: I couldn't stand the pace of reading out loud when my eyes already finished reading the page. And the whole reading to kids feels so unnatural to me, since it was not what I personally experienced. It feels "wrong" (though it is not) to spend so much effort for something that should be innate (at least based on my personal experience). I need to force myself a bit more and overcome that loathing :?

We give him access to books in both languages, only success is with continental comics (is there a proper word for these books actually? Comics is for US stuff, Manga for Japanese ones, Cartoon is for TV ones I guess... ) At least he's loving them, but I would feel more relaxed if he actually read and understood all the speech bubbles.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:46 am 
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With audio books you are making the pictures in your mind from the words you are hearing, just as you would from reading, you are soaking up the vocabulary. I use them a lot with children who have reading difficulties, they get age appropriate literature that way.

You could also consider adventure books, the sort where you have to decide at the bottom of the page what the outcome will be..you then turn to the relevant page and carry on. The same book will have several different plot lines, depending on which route you decide to take. These are also good ones for paired reading.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:57 am 
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yoyo123 wrote:

You could also consider adventure books, the sort where you have to decide at the bottom of the page what the outcome will be..you then turn to the relevant page and carry on. The same book will have several different plot lines, depending on which route you decide to take. These are also good ones for paired reading.


That's genius!!!
I loved these, and there is a tong incentive to go ahead and keep reading! :)

I really really love the idea :)

Now do you have any suggestion of age appropriate one? In my time I think the biggest authors were Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston, are there better ones nowadays?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:08 am 
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I found the trick with reading to children was to find books you actually enjoy reading too- find books that you both like rather than what you think might be the "right thing" to read. Books with short chapters are good - especially if they end in a bit of a cliffhanger so you can leave them dangling for more...eventually there realise they can read on themselves. :wink:

It is harder when they are younger but reading together can really make a massive difference. Using a kindle can be good too - to enlarge the font and reduce the words on a page.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:09 am 
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He may find non-fiction less daunting, how about Guinness Book of Records or suchlike which gives little snippets to read. Or a magazine like How It Works? There are a lot of titles by the same publisher about science, animals, history etc, whatever takes his fancy really. Don't completely dismiss First News either, it's great as a starting point for discussion, looking things up etc.

Remember he is learning to read in two languages at the same time so he may be a little slower to start with, but will have a great advantage later on. As others have said it may just be a case of finding a subject that really interests him, that's why magazines are good as they give exposure to all sorts of topics that you can then follow up on.

Good luck, as a complete bookworm myself I can understand the surprise when your children don't feel the same way.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:14 pm 
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ConfusedFather wrote:
Now do you have any suggestion of age appropriate one? In my time I think the biggest authors were Steve Jackson and Ian Livingston, are there better ones nowadays?


I just bought some Puzzle Master books. Still image driven but he'll have to read the texts to make his choice :)

Also bought the first book in the Fighting Fantasy series.


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