Would you Force your 10 year old to read or be read to? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 55 Old 06-01-2005, 06:11 PM
 
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Hope you don't mind some observations from a long-time mama...

I once had a little boy who depised writing. It felt like a real chore to get him to just to write a sentence. And the materials I bought back then would even have sentence "starters' and word suggestions. I found I definitely had to use a more relaxed approach with that child, whereas my middle son loves structure and books of all kinds, including textbooks, :LOL .

OK, flash forward - 13 years later. The boy who did not like to write, remember him? He grew up. (why do they have to do that? I wish they could stay little.) Anyway, he just signed a book deal... Today.

I am so grateful that we did not push him, but let him unfold to simply be who he is.
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#32 of 55 Old 06-01-2005, 06:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen123
I do think a forced reading time is a good idea for a number of reasons. It brings the family together , a shared experience , encourages imagination ,expands vocabulary , opens discussions.....
How does forcing someone to do something bring the family together? Not being snarky (really!) but how good of a shared family experience will it be if one person is only participating because they are being made to?

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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#33 of 55 Old 06-01-2005, 06:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Greaseball
But again, not enjoying reading at 10 is not a sign of someone who will never be able to get into college.

You can be fluent in something without enjoying it or wanting to do it in your spare time.
Right. Not enjoying it is not the same as not being able to do it, or the age of acquiring enjoyment. However, enjoyment of reading does make it easier, just due to practice. I see the original poster being concerned that the lack of interest might also indicate a lack of comfort or ability to read with ease? This is not necessarily so, though. And of course not enjoying reading at age 10 does not mean going to university - my siblings had a looong, tortured relationship with reading from day one, but no action was ever taken to encourage them towards the goal of being *able* to read fluently of any materials whatsoever. Unlike our poster here, who is concerned.

I guess I do see reading as touching across more bases than one subject - it's something you *can* use in every aspect of life or learning - driving a car, watching television, reading about garden prep, every subject of university, etc etc, whereas there are few other skills that touch on every subject like this. I don't need my Arabic for balancing my household budget; I don't need my history class for reading my auto manual; I don't need my chess skills for making dinner from a recipe. I think that reading and basic math are really fundamental for me.
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#34 of 55 Old 06-01-2005, 07:29 PM
 
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I wouldn't consider reading to him while he's allowed to do other stuff "forcing" him. I think requesting a polite audience is fine while you try to share something with him that you enjoyed as a kid.

One of my favorite books at that age was "Under Plum Lake."

He might al so like "The Man on the Ceiling."

Have you tried to get him to read the Ricky Ricotta books?
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#35 of 55 Old 06-01-2005, 07:47 PM
 
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I think that because reading and math are so fundamental, it is not necessary to "teach" them. I wouldn't feel the need to teach my child to read or to add any more than I would feel I had to teach them to walk or talk. When left to their own devices, children will learn to walk and talk. I believe they will also learn to read on their own. I taught myself how to read when I was 3. Another poster's dc was unschooled and taught himself at age 11. One way is not better than the other.

I will plan on some amount of "teaching" in subjects like history, geography, culture, biology...but never reading and math.
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#36 of 55 Old 06-01-2005, 11:51 PM
 
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I guess that we would have a difference of opinion, then. In my years in libraries and elementary schools, I have seen many children not learn to read, due to lack of parental interest, nonexposure to print, or falling between the cracks by teachers. Have you ever read Steven Pinker's book about language? I thought it was a natural skill as well, and then I read his books about linguistics and communication. Children throughout the world learn to walk no matter what -but they do not learn to read (and they do not even learn to talk without adult input), and the literacy rates in many countries are challenging to children who would like to read. If they do not attend school or have nonliterate parents, they do not learn to read without tremendous effort.

Here is an interesting article. As I have a cousin who is phonemically challenged (unable to discern sounds within words; and unsure of reading/writing them), this approach (phonemic awareness) really helped my cousin. I did use the games with my daughter at an early age, and we had a lot of fun. I love to read, so I don't think of it as learning, boring, or a chore to do. I dislike flash cards, workbooks, and dull phonetic books, so this worked for us.

http://www.ldanatl.org/aboutld/teach...ot_natural.asp

Interestingly, the most important thing that phonemic awareness has contributed to reading science is that early nursery rhymes, songs, and being read to are the biggest contributors to reading fluency and enjoyment in elementary...and I think that really speaks to parental internal wisdom.

I can't speak to math skills. I don't know much about the research on that or have much experience, other than we like the Marilyn Burns approach to real math.
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#37 of 55 Old 06-02-2005, 12:16 AM
 
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I have seen many children not learn to read, due to lack of parental interest, nonexposure to print, or falling between the cracks by teachers.
So they never, ever learned to read, not ever? Or did they just not learn at the ages where "most" children learn?

A child who does not learn to read at 6 may learn at 12. You did mention nonexposure to print, though, and I think providing the opportunity is important. Leave plenty of interesting material available and let the child discover it.

The learning experiences of ps kids can't always be compared to those of hs kids.
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#38 of 55 Old 06-02-2005, 12:53 AM
 
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Right. They did not ever learn to read. We had many teens and adults in remedial reading in special afterschool/work classes, where they were taught how to interpret print. Reading is an enormous mental challenge (left-right; meanings; sounding out new words; context; attention span for long sentences or paragraphs; new concepts; imagining pictures to go with words; etc) for many kids. It's work.

I absolutely agree that homeschooling parents will be more engaged, concerned, and invested in their child's educational experiences. Most HS I know are avid, avid readers who we cannot keep up with! (Especially the ones into science fiction/fantasy, for some reason) The parents are worried that they read too much or are at too advanced content levels (i.e. the 9 year old is into Stephen King). However, the OP's situation with reluctant readers is a common one in both PS and HS kids who have just pulled out of PS, in my experience.

I just disagree that reading is a natural skill set across the human spectrum, like walking. I think Western HS kids (by and large, including the OP's son) will read voraciously at some point because the parents read; because they have exposure to print in the home; because they were read to (at some point); because the parents follow their child's interests; because a lot of HS kids are really smart, critical learners, just like their parents; because if there was dyslexia or other reading problem they'd get one-on-one attention; and because the parents obviously care about overall learning enough to pull their kids out of a situation that is mentally or emotionally harmful to them, like public school. I think if a HS had a kid who was 15 who could not read beyond simple sentences, and only loved (audio-only) video games all day and all night, they might be a little worried. My mom wasn't. Most PS parents aren't. A kid kept at home in a truly illiterate home will not learn to read on their own, most likely.
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#39 of 55 Old 06-02-2005, 09:02 AM
 
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I held a strictly-unschooling philosophy when my kids were younger. As they grew, I saw that things were just not as simple as I'd wished.

Kids who aren't reading at 9 and 10 are usually in a very difficult place. They cannot easily participate in scouts, 4H, play trading card games, play almost any computer or video game meant for their age group, etc. The list goes on. They can be expected to read (without realizing they would be) at all sorts of kids' activities, camps, birthday parties, etc.

Obviously, none of these activities is essential for life, but the fact is many of these HSd kids WANT to do them, but are stuck by this reading obstacle. It's not so simple as "well, she wanted to be a girl scout so she was motivated to learn to read." There is a whole emotional aspect involved, when a child's peers are ALL reading, and reading well, but s/he is not. I've seen kids get sort of paralyzed by it, wanting to read but not knowing whether they'll be able to. I've known a lot of parents who decided to do things differently with their subsequent children.

I'm not a phonics-at-4 kind of girl, ok, but when my 7yo wasn't reading much and wasn't much interested, we sat down and came up with some ways he could get some practice on a daily basis. He was very involved in WHAT we did, but he didn't really have a say in whether we did something. So we've played games, read books, tried out Explode the Code.

I never thought I'd be doing this in a systematic way, but we don't live in a culture that waits for kids to read. I don't like that, but I can't change it, and my kids' emotional well-being is important to me! Isn't that such a big reason why we choose home education? It's a lot easier to let kids learn at their own pace, imo, when it comes to other subjects, but reading/writing - not so much.

I think it's just so important to watch each kid as an individual human living in our current cultural circumstances. My oldest was one of those teach-himself kids and magically read, and reads constantly now, writes all the time, very well, and all that. (much better than my last sentence, i might add!)

It can be tempting to get so excited by a philosophy that we miss the person. Believe me, I think interest-led education is THE WAY TO GO. It is my absolute guiding principle, but I am still a part of the education picture. It's a complicated, woven, dancing picture of a whole family learning together. Everyone's needs are different, and shifting, and competing.

ok, i blab. sorry!
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#40 of 55 Old 06-02-2005, 11:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by konadogsmom
I think the reason he hates to read is simply because he doesnt like to sit. (except when he is watching tv or playing video games )
I haven't read all the replies, so I apologize if this is redundant. I am wondering if you have or could get a small "jogging" trampoline. Maybe he would like jumping while you read to him, so he doesn't have to sit still.

Another thought is to go on nature walks & bring along a book with info about the local wildlife, plants, etc. Whenever you find something interesting, you could stop & look up info about it.

Do you have a dog or any trainable pets? Maybe you could assign him the task of training the dog to do tricks (if you have one, of course). You could get him some books on animal training & set him loose to read about ways of training & then applying them to training the animal.
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#41 of 55 Old 06-02-2005, 11:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
How does forcing someone to do something bring the family together? Not being snarky (really!) but how good of a shared family experience will it be if one person is only participating because they are being made to?
I see what you are saying. (and I don't think I've ever seen you snarky You are too much of a doll )

"Force" is such a harsh word that invokes images of yelling , pushing , shoving , do-it-or-else , angry situations. It's kind of a scary word.

In our home force means
Let's do this together tomorrow at 4pm. The park ? sure we could read at the park. no , we'll bring the bikes next time. yup we'll be done at 5pm so you can go to your friend's house. I know you don't want to , but it's a gorgeous day out there and we are all going. I promise it won't be too painful. What are you going to wear ? Sandals are a great idea. Tell your sisters and we'll read down by the lakefront at the park.


If we never set forth a set time for us all to be together and engage in a family activity , we'd never sit together. My kids' social calendar is already overrunning the family calendar. DH and I have decided to implement a 'forced' time together. We read , play a game , talk about upcoming events , play cards , clean the garage, etc.... It is forced in that no one (including myself) barring illness , can exempt out of it. Our kids , and I speak for ours only , do better if they are told to do something up front. It's been our experience that the kids actually like the forced time. (thru unsolicited feedback from them).

They participate because they are told to , they follow thru because they like it.
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#42 of 55 Old 06-02-2005, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by loraeileen
I guess that we would have a difference of opinion, then. In my years in libraries and elementary schools, I have seen many children not learn to read, due to lack of parental interest, nonexposure to print, or falling between the cracks by teachers.
I can see how that would be true, definitely.

OTOH, in my years of experience with homeschooled (mainly unschooled) children who do have exposure to print and parental support and interest, I haven't known any children who did not learn to read competently. Soem never became lovers of reading, or some were competent by 14 or so but didn't start loving it for 5 or 10 more years... but none were illiterate adults.

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#43 of 55 Old 06-02-2005, 04:39 PM
 
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I have a feeling most homeschool environments are very rich in educational opportunities; nothing to worry about there!

For those families who do use force, what would you do if even that didn't work? If your child refused to read, and if every time you tried to read, he just stuck his fingers in his ears and screamed? What then - tell him he was on his way to public school if he didn't do what you wanted?
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#44 of 55 Old 06-02-2005, 04:45 PM
 
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I think if we're talking about an 8+ yo kid, screaming and ear-plugging is unlikely if the reasons for learning to read are explained, and there is some definite compromise with the child. If the child has some say in what/when/how the learning is done, and if the child understands your reasons, I just don't imagine too many are going to persist with outrageous refusal. If they do, I'd consider that there might be other issues going on

edited to say, I have said something along these lines, though:
"I know you aren't always in the mood for this work, but when we've talked about your goals, you have made it clear that you want to learn xyz. So, we need to stick with our plan to do that here, or you can do your learning at a school."

I really really try not to present this as a threat or angry thing, although I haven't been perfect in that respect. :
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#45 of 55 Old 06-02-2005, 05:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
I can see how that would be true, definitely.

OTOH, in my years of experience with homeschooled (mainly unschooled) children who do have exposure to print and parental support and interest, I haven't known any children who did not learn to read competently. Soem never became lovers of reading, or some were competent by 14 or so but didn't start loving it for 5 or 10 more years... but none were illiterate adults.

Dar
Absolutely. I don't see these as opposing things - if the kids are surrounded by print and people who *care*, and who read themselves, they will learn. h The one-on-one nature of US/HS forges the connections needed and gets the specialized help a kid needs (one might need to be left alone to make their own choices; others might have reading challenges like dyslexia).

I think reading enjoyment is one-half desire and one-half technical ability - for reluctant readers it's about connecting to the desire and finding out what sets them on fire...and HS families are more likely to be in tune to that than a teacher with an agenda to teach 30 kids...

I am wary of enforced reading if it becomes a power struggle between parent and child; 'cos that turns them off reading faster than anything. If it's not like that, then I'm sure the family is hopefully aware of it being a potential issue and would back off if true resistance (yelling) was being shown. If books on tape in the car are available, it at least adds in an intermediate during a normally pretty boring time...if you get Harry Potter on tape/CD...these are hugely popular, along with the Golden Compass series. Take a drive to see grandma. They are interesting for parents and children alike - you can always say, "it's for me, not you - don't you dare listen!" Having "gross" books around and pointing out that the kid maybe isn't old enough for them yet, they're TOO gross also ups the desirability...
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#46 of 55 Old 06-03-2005, 12:01 PM
 
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I've never threatened my kids with going back to public school . It was too much of a nightmare for ME. lol

If I had an eight year old who stuck his fingers in his ears , screamed and moaned when I asked him to do something.....imo I'd have bigger issues at hand then him not reading.

I guess it's about trust. My kids trust me that I'm not going to ask them to do anything beyond their capabilities and they know I'm always right there to hold their hand thru it. That just spilled over into 'forced' activities. They know I'm not going to manipulate them , they know I'm not going to abandon them. They may roll their eyes when I say "Friday is our reading day" but they always pull thru with a smile on their face. I'm not going to force the seven year old to read to me if she'd rather play with blocks while a book on tape is in the background. I'm not going to force the twelve year old boy to sit thru a book titled "barbie becomes a vet".
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#47 of 55 Old 06-03-2005, 01:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benjalo
edited to say, I have said something along these lines, though:
"I know you aren't always in the mood for this work, but when we've talked about your goals, you have made it clear that you want to learn xyz. So, we need to stick with our plan to do that here, or you can do your learning at a school."

I really really try not to present this as a threat or angry thing, although I haven't been perfect in that respect. :
Amy, would your child be able to change the goals he/she previously set? Or would the goal have to be met before moving on to another interest or goal? Just asking cause as an adult I set goals for myself and often revisit how I'm doing and whether or not I want to continue with that goal. That sounds much more structured than it is; I don't write my goals down or have a set time I check in about my progress, but I do find myself thinking about whether I need to or want to work on that sweater sitting in my knitting bag or whether I just don't want to finish it and try something new.
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#48 of 55 Old 06-03-2005, 03:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nicole lisa
Amy, would your child be able to change the goals he/she previously set? Or would the goal have to be met before moving on to another interest or goal?
of course they can change their goals - just like you said, we all do that.

I'll try to explain better what I meant. For instance, I have a goal of tidying my living room every night so it's nice to wake up to. At 9pm I don't feel like it, not at all, I'd like to cry when I see it. But that's not the same thing as deciding I want a different goal.

My middle son has been in taekwondo for about a year. This was his first experience with lessons/classes that he's really enjoyed. He set ambitious goals for himself about reaching this or that belt. But about a month ago, he started not feeling like going to class. He'd go, and he'd still have fun, but he never wanted to get up and get going.

The first several times he moaned and groaned about going, we didn't just say "ok" without discussion, because we know sometimes it takes a nudge to get over the hump, a little self-discipline-assistance, maybe.

We talked several times about whether he needed to take some time off. He was very torn - wanted to keep going but also wanting to feel relieved of the obligation for a while. He finally decided to stop going for a while. So his goal changed a bit.

Does this answer your question?
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#49 of 55 Old 06-04-2005, 12:42 AM
 
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Yeah, it does, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benjalo
The first several times he moaned and groaned about going, we didn't just say "ok" without discussion, because we know sometimes it takes a nudge to get over the hump, a little self-discipline-assistance, maybe.
I can relate to that - sometimes I need a little nudge myself.
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#50 of 55 Old 06-08-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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Simply Nurtutred- What's the topic of the book deal? I'm interested! And congrats to your son.
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#51 of 55 Old 06-08-2005, 05:20 PM
 
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I haven't read all the posts but for the important question would be, CAN he read? Does he read well, even though he doesn't like to read?

For MY family, reading is a very important skill. I am not sure I would force reading or not, I've not been in that situation so I can't really comment. I would be more interested in his reading levels....if he can read well I wouldn't worry about it.

I know my sister hated to read, but she could read pretty good. She didn't read an entire book until she was in her 20's!! She also found out in her 20's she had ADHD so she couldn't sit still and concentrate on anything until that was taken care of. She is very smart though, she is in the Air Force and took an IQ test and scored VERY high!

Marilyn,psych RN. Homeschooling mom to Taylor (12) and Lauryn (8)
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#52 of 55 Old 06-08-2005, 06:08 PM
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Lots of good replies in this post. I agree with the poster who mentioned that force is a word that sounds very negative.


I wonder WHY your child does not like to read?
Is it boring?
Is reading difficult?
Are they too easily distracted with a racing mind to focus on reading?
Is reading fun enough?


Many times I have asked my friends who dislike reading why they can't sit down to a good book (I love to read.) The answer is always the same. They have a very hard time focusing on reading because thier mind wanders.


A child, or adult for that matter, should read. Maybe the best bet is to create fun ways of reading.


There is a a really neat video game for comptuers called Neverwinter Nights. It requires the game player to read and select which actions they want to take. It's a role playing game, and is very very interactive, but again, in order to play the game you have to read! Maybe this would be a fun way to get him into reading?

http://nwn.bioware.com/

Good luck!
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#53 of 55 Old 08-18-2005, 09:53 PM
 
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Trust me on this one, I have alot of experience, I'm 21 and have always really disliked reading. I mean it's ok, but I really don't like it. My entire life I was pretty much forced to do it. I liked being read to, but I don't like reading myself. My advice don't force it, if your kid doesn't like to read then he doesn't like to read. It's not really a big deal. I don't it has anything to do with how smart they are or how well they do in life or school. I never liked reading and I was always in a higher grade level for reading. So I don't think not liking to read impacted me negatively at all. I mean there is nothing wrong with reading and I think that you should encourage it and try to make it fun for them, but if your kid doesn't like to read your kid doesn't like to read.
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#54 of 55 Old 08-19-2005, 12:23 AM
 
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My son is 22 now, and our times spent reading together (i.e. me reading to him) are some of our greatest memories. I think being read to was very instrumental in developing his love of reading - and it's his love of reading that has been such a driving force in his education. However, you son has obviously had reading (and a whole lot of other things related to learning, I'm sure) temporarily ruined for him, and he apparently feels a need to make it clear that he hates it.

If you can manage to treat it like just a delightful, cozy and recreational thing to do together, without seeming as if you think of it as an important activity for its own sake, he'll come around that much sooner. He has an awful lot of stress to get out of his system. Some say that it takes a month of decompression for every year a child has been in school.

By the way, my own son read only for information till he was 12 - never for mere pleasure. Then we found out he had a vision skill deficiency, and once it was treated, he was reading voraciously and never stopped. The story is in this article: Taking a Look at Vision Skills

Lillian
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#55 of 55 Old 08-19-2005, 04:02 AM
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well My dd is a lot younger, and an avid reader. However we had a time when she refused to read and said she didn't like it anymore. I found out that her K class was forcing them to read alphabet books instead of anything with any real content.

We did not push her - but did try a few things.


1 - we read to her only a page or chapter at a time asking her if she wanted to hear more. If she didn't we'd move to a different book. She had total control. And I even did this with some of my own books to show her that I had books that I just wasn't getting into. I would put them back on the shelf, or return them to the library.

2- we had her read the baby books to her little sister. They were much below her reading level and she could do these with confidence. At first she didn't really want to, but the praise and thanks and joy from her little sister really worked. We also told her about the learn to read programs for adults and seniors at the library, and the learn english ones. Knowing that others can't read helped her realize what a special thing reading is.

3- we had her make up her own stories using only pictures. Yes she could write and read - but the point was to learn about the guts of stories instead. She loves this and started writing her own with illustrations too. comics are great for this.

4- we played board games and such that required reading. We all played together. We also left the closed captioning on the tv. It was funny to see how many mistakes the captioners do, but sad to realize what someone who is deaf has to deal with.

5- we wrote out a familiar very easy reader book onto a single page to show her that she could handle material with more of a paragraph format. It really broke through to her.

and of course we still read outloud daily, and let her see us read often as well
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