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Kids who hate to read?? HELP!

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by babbyrabbit, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. babbyrabbit

    babbyrabbit Active Member

    I am looking for any advice out there. My daughter HATES reading. She is a very talented reader so its not a lack of ability. She is 6 and is tested at a 5th grade reading level. But to get her to read is a complete struggle ending up with her crying.

    I have offered her every book out there from skating to current movies.. Ect..

    Looking for any advice from anyone who has dealt with the matter! :) thanks!!
    skateycat and (deleted member) like this.
  2. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

    If she's reading at that level, just let her be. When she's ready to read, she'll pick up a book on her own.
  3. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Agree. If she's 6 and already reading at a 5th grade level, what's there to worry about? :lol:

    Speaking of which, I'm very grateful my parents never put me in Kumon. :saint: Even though I was good at math, I HATED it. :rofl:
  4. rjblue

    rjblue Having a great day!

    Do you read? The thing that gets most kids reading once they're past the picture book stage is being in a house where others are reading for pleasure.

    If she's only 6, then even if she's a very good reader, most of her "enjoyment" reading would likely be being read to, not reading independantly.

    Books I read with my kids when they were 6- Amelia Bedelia, The Littles, The Borrowers, Junie B. Jones.

    And their chosen books, once they did start to read alone, were not the same ones their siblings liked, and none of them became fans of the ones I liked.

    I liked reading the traditional ones- Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables
    My eldest daughter liked reading classics- Shakespeare and Dickens in elementary school.
    My middle child (girl) likes dark and depressing first person stories.
    My son likes goofy adventure stuff- Captain Underpants, The Olympians, Diary of a Wimpy Kid

    eta- I noticed when my eldest daughter started school that as soon as reading was assigned as homework, her time spent reading dropped off sharply. So I told my kids it was our secret, but that we didn't read for homework in our house, reading was something we do for pleasure, when we feel like it. We would fill in their reading logs with fake entries. Some days they'd read for 4 hours with a new book, sometimes they wouldn't read at all for a few days. (Assigned specific reading was different of course)
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  5. redonthehead

    redonthehead Well-Known Member


    My daughter hated to read. I bought her every Junie B Jones (because they read them at school and she wanted them), Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen books (same) and anything else she wanted from Scholastic. I did this to get her to read because I love to read. I also read to them when they were little a lot.

    Son well he had reading issues and hated to read for different reasons. But he always wanted books too so I bought them.

    Nothing I did made them read those books. They didn't read the AR books at school even knowing they were going to get prizes for reading and man they give some great prizes at the end of the year (32' tv/dvd combos ect). Then when my daughter got in 10th grade, magically all she wanted to do was/is read. She has so many books it's unreal and Books A Million is her favorite store.

    If you try to force her to read, she'll always hate it. So, just let her have whatever books she wants and she'll eventually pick them up and read them.
  6. BrokenAnkle

    BrokenAnkle Active Member

    I think this is a good idea. Other good read aloud chapter books are Charlotte's Web and The Trumpet of the Swan, most Beverly Cleary books, the Amber Brown books by Paula Danziger, Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne, Mary Poppins, by PL Travers. Having picture books read to them is a wonderful and relaxing no pressure activity for kids - current popular books are Diary of a Worm, by Doreen Cronin, Angelina Ballerina by Holabird, anything by John Sciezka. Fairy tales are very popular with this age group too and there are some amazingly illustrated ones out there like Paul Zelinski's Rapunzel. Fractured fairy tales are just as good, in addition to the above mentioned John Sciezka, Falling for Rapunzel or Waking Beauty by Leah Wilcox or Shampoozel and the other books by Laurence Anholt. Also, don't hesitate to read her favorite books over and over again (no matter how awful they might be to you) My daughter has always loved to read, but she adored me reading The Book that Jack Wrote to her over and over again.

    Finally, I also agree with those who suggest not worrying about it. She can read well, so that's great, but it's important for her to follow her other interests too. Maybe reading will take a larger role in her life later on.
  7. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    I agree about just letting her find her own way with it. Particularly if she is reading above her age.
  8. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

    Read to her. Don't insist she read (we also don't read for homework in my house.) My now 10 year old was at a similar level when she was in grade 1. She never read anything but we continued to read to her. Suddenly this year she has decided to read and has read more books than I can count! We are a big reading family. Eldest dd is an avid reader. Always has been. We all sit around in the winter and read books. We just read to the younger one and didn't push it. Like I said, now she reads.

    I really think that the reading for homework is a real turn off for some kids. Reading should be fun!
  9. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member


    Do you read to her? Maybe a 5-minute bedtime reading would be beneficial to you both - you can feel proactive and she can continue to be exposed to books. Plus it's a nice bonding time. :) Even if her skills are beyond her age, a 6-year-old probably doesn't have the attention span to sit still and read anything for very long.

    I'm a huge reader and was always advanced in English classes, but I don't think the habit really kicked in until I was in 4th grade. I vividly remember my teacher Mrs. Lisandrelli reading The Indian In The Cupboard to us. Thank you, Mrs. L!
  10. Hedwig

    Hedwig WoolSilk Fanatic

    The worst thing you could do is trying to force her. I agree about reading to her. And leave the subject of her reading herself of the table for at least half a year now.
  11. millyskate

    millyskate Well-Known Member

    Agree about reading to her! My dad would read through books to us every evening until we were 10-11. Not just 5 minutes, but a full 30 min, sometimes more (he enjoyed the books as well, since it was the books he'd read as a child).

    It gave us the love of reading, and we'd a load on the side ourselves - wanting to cover all the other books in the series and stuff.
  12. Gypsy

    Gypsy Watching the Leaves Change!

    I agree about reading to her/with her.

    A great series is the Narnia books
  13. Wiery

    Wiery Well-Known Member

    Read to her, don't worry about her lack of interest in reading to herself.

    What non-reading activities does she enjoy?
  14. RockTheTassel

    RockTheTassel Well-Known Member

    One thing you could try is listening to books on tape, especially during a long car ride. It's not the same thing, but it's still beneficial and might inspire her to pick up more books on her own.
  15. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    My daughter is also age 6, and way above her grade level in reading. But most of the reading she wants done, and that we do, is us reading to her. It's a bonding thing, and it's normal for her age to enjoy being read to. As others have said, my suggestion would be for you to consider taking a step back, and reading to her, rather than pressing her to read on her own. You may find that as you read, she takes over for a few pages; then you're in charge again. That's what often happens with my daughter.

    Read to her every day, maybe just before bed. Make it part of the going-to-bed ritual. She gets to pick the book. Doesn't matter if it's a beginning reader book, or 5th grade level - let her pick. Then you read it, with no pressure for her to read. Do that for a good while - see how it goes.
  16. timing

    timing fragrance free

    Don't force her to read. Try reading a book or two from a series to her. If you are reading a certain amount each day and she is interested in the story she may start to read to find out what happens. Also don't worry about the reading level of the books, look for something which is interesting to her.

    Some good series - The Magic Tree House books, Harry Potter books, and The Warrior Cat books
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  17. millyskate

    millyskate Well-Known Member

    ITA! We did all of those, the Arthur Ransome collection (maybe that's too old and British for a young, contemporary American audience, but those are the ones we enjoyed the most), most of Roal Dahl, many biographies or inventors and explorers, some adapted for children, some not, some great classics like Oliver Twist, the March girls, Tom Sawyer...
  18. PRlady

    PRlady flipflack

    Also make sure she has an eye exam. My oldest stepdaughter hated to read and was diagnosed with a focusing problem long after fixing it would have done her some good. :( Now she's 40 and still doesn't read for pleasure....it's probably not that, but it's worth checking out.
  19. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

    Are there any reading clubs for kids you could join, e.g., at the local library? There is one at my 7 year old's camp and one at our local library. My son's competitive nature has him reading up a storm! He also likes getting prizes. :shuffle:

    Also, we buy some of our books through Amazon (they're kids books have been buy 3, get one free). I let my son sit at the computer and pick the books he wants. He then gets impatient waiting for the delivery and dives right in as soon as they arrive!
  20. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    My nephew didn't like reading on his own at 6 and 7 either. He still wanted to be read to. We read every night before he went to sleep and every morning when he woke up, it was a ritual. Gradually, it started to be him reading to me more than me reading to him. He is 15 now and reads everything he can get his hands on.

    Make a specific time that you read together and the rest will come.
  21. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    At 6 I read all of the American Girl novels, Narnia, Redwall, and Nancy Drew. The Prydain Chronicles were my favorite, though :)

    I agree that reading to her is probably a good idea. Have the books around but let her come to them on her own :)
  22. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    In addition to the suggestions about pleasure reading in this thread, have her read for you when you're scanning the grocery ads and when you're grocery shopping. If you're in an area where there are several food stores, give her a task like "who has the best price on peaches?" She'll read, do a little math, and feel like she's being useful.

    6/7 is so tricky. The kids are making a big transition and just starting to figure out what THEY like vs. what their parents like. Also, much of the material that's right for her level probably doesn't feel right for her age and experience. It might be a good idea to just let her catch up in age before you try again.
  23. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    Agree about reading to her - and especially seeing the adults in the house read, even when she's not involved. If she sees that reading is a valued and fun thing for the family, she may become more interested herself.

    but I agree, if her reading level is that high, I wouldn't worry too much.
  24. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

    I second the suggestion about an eye exam. Kids should have one every year while in elementary school because their eyes can change so much.
  25. skateycat

    skateycat Minecraft Widow

    Little skateycat is able to read, and I've even observed him picking up books and reading on his own. But he loves loves loves being read to, and his ability to expand his reading abilities seems limited mainly by his attention span.

    I agree with what's been said already, especially don't apply force, have her eyes checked, read to her and look for real life literacy activities.

    I maintain a twitter account from his perspective, and for now we tweet the things he says. The other day he said something really cute while we were listening to his favorite rocker, Derek Miller.

    What a treat to show him that Derek Miller retweeted his words!

    A book that I like for getting book ideas, for general ideas for reading together and fostering the love of stories and reading is The Read-Aloud Handbook.
  26. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

    Just curious, but why is it important for children to like reading? If a child can read well, does it matter if they pursue it as an activity?

    I ask because there seems to be a presumption that reading as a fun activity is something to cultivate, but it also seems like a very solitary activity (even if the family is reading, they are all reading separate stories and not interacting with each other). So I could see it appealing to some, but not necessarily to all.

    I don't know the research in this area--is there an objective reason why reading as an activity should be pushed instead of say, sewing, sports, arts, or music? I can understand if a child has reading difficulties and needs to develop that skill set, but beyond that?
  27. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    I agree. I feel a bit uncultured sometimes since I don't read books for pleasure, but I love reading articles online, I read fast when I have to, and obviously I'm not stupid. (At least I hope not. :lol: )

    I simply pursue other things for fun. As long as the child can read and has good reading comprehension, I don't see the issue with them not preferring to read for pleasure.
  28. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    I third the eye exam. My third grade teacher was the one who realized I couldn't see the blackboard and that I didn't have a learning disability, and told my parents to send me for an eye exam.

    Since it's been a while since families sat around while one person read to them, it's easy to think of being read to as something childish and something to outgrow. Also, I've often encountered the attitude from parents I know that once a child crosses a threshold, the child should never "revert", when a person's needs fluctuate, and just because they can do something independently, doesn't mean that they want to.
  29. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

    I've had this discussion with a number of my dd's teachers. I have always maintained that it is her choice what she does with her free time (within some limits, of course.) If she reads well enough to do well at school then that is fine. Interestingly, my other dd really struggled with math but is a brilliant reader. When I suggested to her teacher that perhaps math should be practiced in school the reading was her response was that she didn't want to force kids to practice math because she wanted to make sure they enjoyed it. Too much practice might turn them off ...:huh: Go figure. I just didn't know how to respond.
  30. Myskate

    Myskate New Member

    My boys were the same too. Instead of books, I got them subscriptions to magazines they liked and comic books they liked. I didn't really care what they read--just that they enjoyed what they read with no pressure.