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9 yo finally likes books but still doesn't want to read on his own


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So first of all thank you to whoever suggested the "I survived" book series. My oldest has finally been able to forget about his mindset of "I hate reading/ books". He can't get enough of those books. 

 

He can read but he just... won't. DH and I read him those books aloud because he asks us to. We regularly encourage him to try reading to himself and he says he can't enjoy it because he reads too slow to himself and doesn't understand every word so he just gives up. Anyway my throat gets tired from all that reading aloud. I don't mind it but I want to know how I can get him to where he can read for himself and actually enjoy it but I'm not sure how to go about that. 

 

Any ideas?

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At that age, my DS was a reluctant reader, even though he was capable of reading. What helped him were audio books. He would listen to a book on audio book and then read the actual book afterwards.

 

The first books he read by himself for fun were books that had lots of short paragraphs on one page, in boxes: short blurbs about animals, or about Greek mythology. I think a whole book looked overwhelming to him, but a book full of short items that could be read independent of one another was approachable.

 

He became an avid reader who loves books and reads for fun.

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You can make a deal. You read X amount out loud to me, and then I’ll read Y amount to you.

 

Make sure that at first you are asking for very little reading compared to the amount of reading you will be giving. As in your kid will read the first page of the chapter, And you will read the rest of the chapter. Then SLOWLY increase the amount the child is expected to read.

 

I always insisted that the part Youngest was reading was done out loud, that way I could actually hear how well he was reading, and help him with his reading. Listening to him read at first showed me why he didn’t enjoy reading by himself. He would skip words, loose his place.... I know it would be very unpleasant to try to read a book like that.

 

Also désignant some boooks as ones you wouldn’t read out loud, only share read. For me it was mine craft themed books. My rule was that if you wanted to read them, I’ll share read with you by I’m not going to read the whole thing myself.

Edited by Julie Smith
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So leave him alone and quit nagging him to read. You could continue reading aloud to him from good books, the ones you want to be sure he experiences because they are so awesome; just quit nagging him to read on his own, or trying to find a way to trick or otherwise coerce him. Some people rarely read on their own. I find this hard to believe, because I love to read, but I know that it is so. Your ds may be one of those people, and you'll only make him more determined *not* to read if you continue trying to force the issue.

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I was a reluctant reader.  I didn't read on my own until I was about 10.  Then I discovered Nancy Drew books.  Boy I loved those books.

 

I'm an avid reader now.  I don't like nonfiction or biographies, but that could be due to my parents never read to me. 

 

With you reading to him books he likes and good literature, that will go a long way. 

 

It may also be his way of still hanging on to mommy.  You reading to him means snuggle time.  :) 

 

I know it's a lot of work having 3 kids myself, but he will be off and reading on his own before you know it. 

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Maybe try kindle whispersync. Audio, plus book. He can highlight and look up words on the Kindle app, and it helps with pronunciation and context to have someone else read it. Otherwise I wouldn't force it. 9 is still young for independent silent reading and at that age mine were too self conscious to read aloud. Btw, Vocabulary takes time and exposure to accumulate. Two of mine absorbed vocab easily by osmosis, and one didn't. The latter one preferred to have someone read to her so they could explain words and provide context.

Edited by stutterfish
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When Youngest was struggling with reading I would remind myself that to him it was a struggle. To him listening to me read was easy, enjoyable, ... But to him reading was more like this: 

 

https://www.indy100.com/article/this-website-shows-what-its-like-to-read-when-you-have-dyslexia--bkvKwiQlJW

 

He never had dyslexia, but was diagnosed with a tracking issue. His reading was slow, and he would get mixed up and loose his place, even when using a card to underline the line he was working on. I know if I read like the above example, I to would really prefer listening to reading. When I got him tested several years ago his listening and comprehension was on a late high school level, and his reading ability was kindergarten. It was strange because he could usually read a short word in isolation. But put three words together in a short sentence and he would get lost. 3 words! 

 

We have slowly, oh so slowly increased his reading. He is now reading an Animorphs book ever week! I just read ever fifth chapter so that we can talk about it. But something he doesn't wait for me to read and just zooms ahead and I get 'in debt' chapters. 

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We solved this problem and made reading a treat by allowing my 9 year old to read at night after she’s in bed. It worked wonders.

 

 

Have you tried 50/50 reading.  You read a page or two, and he reads a page or two.   

Another idea is immersion reading.  

 

 

These worked wonders for my oldest, who was 8.5 before she read anything more than Frog & Toad (and that was required for school).  Also, finding a series that she loved helped (Dragon Masters was what really hooked her -- she was obsessed with dragons at that age).  REWARDS Intermediate was also a big confidence booster.

 

However...neither of those have worked for my youngest (who is still not reading at 9.5).  She *can* -- to a degree -- but chooses not to.  We're just plugging along, trying a little of this and that... 

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You need to build up his reading grade level and reading speed. I suggest my Syllables program with nonsense word fluency drills to increase speed.

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

 

Once reading is fully fluent and at a high grade level, reading for pleasure becomes more enjoyable.

 

You can also gradually build up reading proficiency be working through the 1879 McGuffey readers, having him read a passage per day. They have the difficult words diacritically marked so you can work on sounding them out with him and then he can read the rest of the passage silently. Start at a slightly challenging level and work up.

Edited by ElizabethB
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A few thoughts:

 

A big yes to the audiobooks.  He's ready for content that is still frustrating for him, so audiobooks will help with that while saving your voice.

 

With my daughter who had similar issues with reading - being a little slow and not always understanding - two things helped a lot.  One was a fair amount of practice in terms of value and also care to read correctly - but not necessarily together.  I managed some quantity by finding books that she enjoyed but were fairly easy for her, so below her reading level a bit.  I tried as much as possible to make these good quality but to some extent I didn't worry if they were more "pulpy" choices.  

 

But I also had her do out loud reading, where she was forced to slow down and look at the words she didn't know rather than just gloss over them.  Reading out loud well means slowing down which is actually very helpful in terms of improving her reading.  This was much more energy intensive so we used shorter periods of work.

 

Some kids will never be as big into reading for entertainment as others.  It's important to be able to read well, but if ultimately it isn't a personal hobby, that's ok too.

 

PS - youtube has some audiobooks if cost is a factor, and many libraries do too.

Edited by Bluegoat
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He sounds like he needs more fluency.  Can you "encourage" (require) him to read out loud, and practice reading out loud, some books that are much easier for him, for a short amount of time each day, and do repeated readings, etc, recommended fluency practices?  He might need work on decoding as well. 

 

You have options, to look for lower-level books he might like.  Or look for funny books, or books with good pictures.  Personally my son did better with practicing with book that were funny and had good pictures, even though they weren't chapter books.  It will transfer to chapter books, or he will get up to chapter books eventually. 

 

I can't blame him for being frustrated when he is trying to read books that are too hard for him to *read* (obviously not too hard for him to comprehend, engage with, enjoy, etc). 

 

But it would be good if he could practice at an easier level and slowly work his way up. 

 

I tried really hard to separate "you have to read" from "fun, enjoyable reading-out-loud times."  He may not like having to practice, but if its possible, keep that separate from him enjoying books when they are read to him.  I don't think it's impossible, but maybe keep in mind keeping "have to read" time short (5 minutes or less) and easy enough it won't be too frustrating.  And tons of scaffolding is fine, if its from you reading aloud to him before he reads to himself, or repeated readings.  It's not cheating at all, there's no need for it to feel like a test with lots of pressure. 

 

I think check out Elizabeth B's suggestions, too, definitely. 

 

If you see he has trouble with nonsense word drills, he probably needs to work on decoding, too.  A little work can really go a long way. 

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https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4rcl6f0uo70esmv/AAAaGAHw3_YTMEQZSw_WI-t_a?dl=0

 

Here's the link from my dropbox folder of RAN/RAS pages, or you can make some yourself. They can be colored dots, numbers, whatever. I agree with the fluency work, but RAN/RAS is another thing to do. Good RAN/RAS scores are strongly associated with being a good reader, and it's something you can work on for free, with just a few minutes of effort a day. HUGE payoff, huge rewards.

 

My ds is at this stage (dyslexic, can decode, not reading books). Comics work well for him, and he has transitioned from just looking at the pictures to actually reading the bubbles. Comics were a stage my dd went through too, so definitely consider it. 

 

The other thing is that my ds has language issues, so his language comprehension was part of the problem. That's something you identify with testing, and he does have autism. We do a lot with picture support to make sure he's comprehending. I found a series of readers at our local teacher's college that were leveled for Fountas & Pinnell. They increase the level of complexity very gradually, so it built his confidence.

 

I've ordered a bunch of books in the DK Find Out! series, because I think he'll be able to read them a few minutes at a time when directed. Again, small bursts of text, picture support.

 

Honestly, I do a lot with printable comprehension books. I try to make sure he's reading aloud math problems, etc. So lots of sneaky reading throughout the day to make up for him not sitting down and just reading for one hour straight. I use a lot of workbooks from Carson-Dellosa and other publishers. They have differentiated reading, themes, pages where you read and have multiple choice, etc. We'll popcorn read the page, etc. It works on his language and is just a way to drip drip and get in the practice to build fluency.

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Have you tried graphic novels or collections of comics?  My reluctant reader will spend hours with Calvin and Hobbes or Garfield treasuries:  they are funny, each "story" is only a few frames long, and the text is presented in small chunks.

 

I have him do phonics work and a little reading aloud regularly, but only a little at a time (5-10 minutes per session a few days a week).  He is making slow but steady progress.

 

We also makes very heavy use of audiobooks.  He has free access, and loves these.  I struggle with reading aloud (my voice starts to hurt).  Audiobooks have truly been a boon.  Our library has lots of good ones on CD, and loads more digitally on overdrive.  We also use Librivox (free!)for older books.  His favourite librivox readers are Kara Shallenberg and Phil Chenevert. Both are prolific.  PC has read the entire Oz Series.  KS also has a page with recordings of her reading to her kids.  They are really good!  I have also bought some books from Audible during their summer and black friday kids' book sales at $3.99 per book.  You do not need to have  a membership to do this (I don't).

 

He will sometimes challenge a paper book (full text or graphic novel version) after he has heard the audioversion.  He particularly enjoyed the Percy Jackson graphic novels after listening to the audiobooks.  Then spontaneously gave me a critique of the GNs - Important parts were left out!  Some bits were changed!  this lead to some really great discussion about books......   :)

 

 

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