14 answers

My 1St Grader **HATES** Reading!

I'm looking for some motivational tools to help my daughter want to read / want to learn how to read. Whenever we try to sit down with her to read she is always beating around the bush, making excuses, not trying to sound out words - she guesses. I've tried reading a bit here, letting her play. I've tried introducing new books through the library. I signed her up for a book club where she reads a book then discusses it verbally, thru crafts and games with other kids her age - we haven't done it yet, but shes not at all thrilled about the idea... regardless of how excited I was when I presented it to her. I've got her kids magazines and tried books pertaining to topics I know she likes.... nothing I've tried is working. I want this to be fun for all of us, and its been nothing but a chore.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Let's face it, it's no fun to do something you don't know how to do and it can be very frustrating.

I have to agree with Sunny 100%. The LeapFrog dvds are simply AMAZING! My son learned all of this letters/sounds within 2 weeks of starting to watch those DVDs (he was 2 at the time). He is now VERY advanced in his reading and also a great speller. He would sing the alphabet, but not by letters but by the letter sounds. I give these DVDs to all friends/family who have babies.

More Answers

hi T.,

don't let reading be a chore. or a punishment or a requirement. i am an avid reader and came from a family that loves to read, so i was kinda stunned when both my kids reached that reading age and hated reading. what i slowly discovered with both kids (at different ages) was that both of them have some learning disability when it comes to the written word. not dyslexia, but a disability that was just slight enough to not be diagnosed. i learned this as time went on when i worked with them in other subjects in school. (light bulb!!) when they were teenagers we learned that they didn't absorb much of what they read unless they took notes and rearranged the information in whatever it was that they were reading. reading made them feel "stupid" when they were younger. only when we figured this out in their early teens did they start to feel better about themselves and books.

having said that though, i am glad i did not pressure them to embrace reading the way i love reading. we always read at night and we read whatever they chose- and we always stopped in the middle of a story to discuss the story, talk and share insight/jokes/emotional responses and so our reading times were fun-very interactive. my daughter read best if she was allowed to lay on the floor and scoot around on her back while she read. (i was like that when i was young...couldn't sit still to read, but could read if i was pacing or scooting around). i learned early on not to pick what i thought would interest them-turned out that my son loved king arthur stories and they held him so spellbound that he didn't feel "stupid" as he struggled to read them. my daughter fell in love with little house on the prairie books and amazed us all by reading the entire series (flat on her back, scooting around on the floor).

although neither of my kids developed into avid readers (sigh), now and then they'd find a book that drew them in and when i saw this i would go buy the book for both of us and then read it, too. (we'd have great discussions afterwards and during the read...) now my kids have their own library of books that really touched them and this reminds them that they actually DO enjoy reading -as long as the book interests them and as long as reading isn't forced upon them (and if one of them can scoot on the floor as she reads...!)

Let's face it, it's no fun to do something you don't know how to do and it can be very frustrating.

I have to agree with Sunny 100%. The LeapFrog dvds are simply AMAZING! My son learned all of this letters/sounds within 2 weeks of starting to watch those DVDs (he was 2 at the time). He is now VERY advanced in his reading and also a great speller. He would sing the alphabet, but not by letters but by the letter sounds. I give these DVDs to all friends/family who have babies.

Maybe she is being pushed too hard. Maybe you could try having her try reading books that are "too easy" for her for awhile, so that she feels some reading success that becomes confidence. I think I would back off right now and give her at least 2 weeks and you just keep reading to her whatever she enjoys hearing read to her. You DON'T want to burn her out at such a young age- I think it's crucial that she ENJOYS reading, rather than that she is reading "at her reading level".

My oldest daughter hated to read, too. Instead of trying to get her to read what she was 'supposed' to read, I talked with her teacher and we agreed that at that point anything was better than nothing. Her teacher was very helpful in accepting anything read for her reading assignments. Often I would put messages in my daughter's lunchbox for her to read...sometimes puzzles, riddles, jokes... she always read these things. I would send her letters (kids love to get mail) and would always buy letters sent from Santa and the Easter Bunny. These sort of things she always read without hesitation. She would somtimes get frustrated because she wanted to know what they said so badly she was willing to have some help. She's always been allowed to pick out a book or more that she would like to read from the Scholastic Book Orders at school. She really got into animals, so I got her a membership to the Sierra Club and she always reads the stuff they send her. Having a child, in my experience, who doesn't like to read just requires more work and ideas to figure out how to get them reading without them almost even realizing it.

One of the things that seemed to help my three children with reading was to realize that it was just recognition. We taught them to "read" while driving - recognize the McDonalds, the grocery store, the red light versus green light. They felt success at this ability. Eventually they started reading outloud all the signs along the road and the billboards. Since we seemed to spend a bunch of time in the car when they were little this kind of helped. good luck!

Although we always have story time before bed, my son, who will be in first grade, doesn't always want to read. It got worse as the Summer went on. I have been worried about how much he will forget as time goes by before school starts, so my husband and I implemented a new rule. If he wants to play a video game(mindless one or a learning one)he has to read a book to his dad or me. This has worked for him. If he asks to play a game, all I have to say is, "what's the rule", and he goes to pick out a book. This may or may not work for you, but putting too much pressure or emphasis on sitting to read can feel like a chore to kids. Figure out what extra thing your daughter loves, and make it a reward activity if she reads a book to you. This has made life much easier for me, now I don't feel like I'm nagging, and my son is reading great! My 4 year old daughter has taken to this as well. She grabs a book when her big brother does and reads the pictures to me. I love it! Whatever you choose to do, stick with it so she doesn't think she can manipulate you into not reading. Good luck!

I just wanted to share what my moyher did in order to get me to read. When i was in first grade my parents found out that i had a learing disability which involved my eyes. It seems that i worked day and night but i still struggled and didn't really care. I was really in to beanie babies, so my mom started this system each time i read a book she gave me a beanie baby.It really worked for both me and my two younger sisters And eversince we all love to read. Hope this helps.

My daughter was like that at that age. Alot of it was because she really couldn't read that well. I thought she was just trying to get out of reading too. Finally her 3rd grade teacher suggested putting her in a group they have called Title one. They have some one that comes in and works with them. I really believe this has helped alot, although I still have trouble getting her to stop and take the time to do it. But that is just because she is a kid and would rather of playing or something other than reading. I found though if I have her do it after dinner before bed it helps. Also with both my girls I found a series of books called Junie B. Jones they both abosutely adored these books. My 13yr old still reads them when ever her sister gets a new one. I for the life of me can't remember who the author is but feel free to contact me through here and I will be glad to hunt one down and find out. Anyway I would maybe try and see if her school offers any kinda of program to help her read, sometimes they'll do better with some one else. Good luck!
L. G.

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