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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 7:10 pm 
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DS is in Y4 and is academically fine; a secure L4 in maths and reading, but a 3a/4c in writing. I know these scores are fine for his age, but it is my view (and that of lots of other people!) that his writing will only improve if he starts to love reading. He doesn't *love* reading, but has just told me he hates it. He says he can read and he does at school, but he doesn't want to at home as he has other things to do (like watching tv...).

Half of me would just let him be and hope he learns to love it later on, but we live 2 minutes away from an excellent grammar school and both he and I would like him to go there. I think he is capable; we have been working through Bond/IPS (quite willingly) at a relaxed rate this year and I'm confident in his VR/Maths, but the English papers in Essex are scarily hard and I think if we don't keep on with the reading, he'll struggle with the vocabulary.

I don't really understand why he hates it; I, like lots of other children, would try to read under the duvet with a torch after I'd been told to stop and still read expansively now. DH is also a keen reader, so he's had good role models (even his youngers sisters both love books!). What can I say to his response that he 'can read, but hates it'? We've always said that they go to bed at x time, but can read/write or draw in their rooms until it's time to go to sleep, but he's increasingly objecting to that. I've tried audio books, comics, graphic novels, taken him regularly to the library (he sits and colours!!), funny books, joke books, information books, newspapers -what else can I try? We play scrabble and talk about the meaning of words a lot, but I am struggling with what to do next. Do we just say that reading is important and you need to do it (and enjoy it!) full stop or will that put him off for life? I have a couple of good friends who never read books ever and don't understand my problem, but I think it's more than just trying to enforce my 'hobby' on him. DH is all for getting cross and starting to take things away from him (DS/Ipod etc) to try to improve his attitude, but I don't particularly want it to come to that. He's a good boy, but just doesn't see the benefit of spending his time doing something he doesn't enjoy! He'll read to me and I read to him, but it's getting him to read alone that's the problem.

Does anyone see my point or am I really being unreasonable to a nine year old boy? Has anyone faced similar battles!?


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 7:36 pm 
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Has he given you a reason why he hates reading?

I think I would look for a quite simple book, maybe in a series, I do find that boys tend to like a series of things. Have you tried the Beastquest book? They are not too taxing but very "boy" IYKWIM. Otherwise I wouldn't get too stressed and carry on playing word games etc.


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 7:42 pm 
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Location: caversham
Teachermum76 wrote:
Does anyone see my point or am I really being unreasonable to a nine year old boy? Has anyone faced similar battles!?


Yes, no. Yes! He is a typical boy.

Keep plugging away it will happen, he will become a reader, maybe drop the 11+ anxiety deadline and just keep offering reading opportunities, failing that swap him for a her, :)

You can't make it happen, goodness knows I have tried but it will, it really will. :D


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 7:47 pm 
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He says that there are other things he'd rather be doing, though struggles to think of any when asked!

He's read the first three Beast Quest, but said he'd gone off them because they were all the same. He loved Captain Underpants and the other Dav Pikley books. He's read a few Jeremy Strong books, Spud Murphy, 2 of the Wimpy kid books and the odd thinner Morpurgo book/horrible science. His teacher suggested he read Michael Morpurgo books as the vocabulary was brilliant, but I read him The Butterfly Lion and he thought it was far too sad!!

I don't want a battle on my hands, but don't want to give up either!

Thank you for your reply :)


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 7:53 pm 
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stevew61 wrote:
Teachermum76 wrote:
Does anyone see my point or am I really being unreasonable to a nine year old boy? Has anyone faced similar battles!?


Yes, no. Yes! He is a typical boy.

Keep plugging away it will happen, he will become a reader, maybe drop the 11+ anxiety deadline and just keep offering reading opportunities, failing that swap him for a her, :)

You can't make it happen, goodness knows I have tried but it will, it really will. :D



Ha ha-yes, maybe 3 hers would have been easier (not in all respects though, I'm sure!)

It doesn't help that the few mums of his friends who I've discussed this with tell me that they can't *stop* their sons reading, so I know it's not all boys-argh!!


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 7:59 pm 
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My Y3 DD hates reading too, and I mentioned this to another mum, who says she puts her DD to bed quite early and says 'lights out - no talking - straight to sleep' but accidentally leaves one of those torch things you wear on your forehead in the room and an interesting looking book nearby...

Haven't tried it yet but think I might buy my DD a new torch for her birthday and give it a go.


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 8:03 pm 
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Three tips:

1. Take a step back, foot off the pedal and ignore it for a little while.
2. If possible give him enough money for a book and free rein in the local bookshop, see what he chooses - within reason of course.
3. IGNORE all mothers' gossip at the school gate and then add a bucketful of salt.


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 8:14 pm 
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I think he will probably come round to it. With all 3 of my children there has been a defining moment where they suddenly switched on to reading. DC3 switched on later than the other two (at 9, rather than 7). I always thought he liked reading well enough but all of a sudden he loves it. Harry Potter was what did it or him. A series of unfortunate events was the trigger for DC2. Leave him with access to books (have you thought of trying Kindle - maybe the technology will interest him enough to draw him in. A bit pricey but worth thinking about.) and he will find his way, particularly if all around him are reading.


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 8:21 pm 
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One of mine loved reading information books especially on insects, dinosaurs and the natural world. However, teachers said we should encourage him to read 'story' books as well. We, like you, tried every book we could think of without much success until I gave him a box set of the Chronicles of Narnia. When he seemed to be enjoying these I said he could stay up a little bit later so that he could read for a while longer in bed. This seemed to help. I'm not saying that your son will necessarily enjoy those particular books but he will at some stage find something that grabs him. I agree with stevew61 it will happen.

A friend of mine read with her son, they took turns to read a page. She made a special thing of it so it was a bit of together time. After a while he was happy to read without her being there. Not sure that would have worked with my son but it's just a thought.

Love the idea of the torch on forehead thingy - might invest in one for me. :)


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 8:25 pm 
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You could be talking about my son...and I have bemoaned the fact on here quite a lot too...receiving lots of good advice ! The only books my yr 4 boy will read are non fiction but will read the odd beastquest or something similar. I have started reading time at home when DS1 who loves reading will sit down, DD reads to me and then DS2 has to at least pretend to read....we used to do this downstairs but DS2 soon started rolling around on the floor with the dog, so now it takes place on my bed , the door shut , no distractions ! We all have a nice drink and something yummy to eat and then a nice chat afterwards and it seems to be working ok. I find that if I also read some of his book to him, he becomes more interested as sometimes you do need to read quite a lot of a book to really get into it.

Interestedly , at parent consultations last week his teacher said that he had such a rich vocab she would be surprised if he wasn't doing a bit of sneaky reading somewhere !


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