7 Year Old Doesn't like to Read

Updated on November 07, 2007
K.M. asks from Saint Charles, MO
16 answers

My 7 year old daughter doesn't like to do her reading homework and my 5 year old is starting to pick up on it. I know I am not that big of a reader, but I keep magazines around and try to read in front of them sometimes. I have tried letting them pick their own books to reading the book to them first. Any other thoughts to get her more into reading would be great. Thanks

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answers from Champaign on

I see my kids follow my example all the time. First: grab a book! Yes, you. It can be long, short, classic, new... anything, but let her see you enjoying reading.

Next: what does she like? Can you find books about it?

Recommendations for you: Twilight, Anne of Green Gables, Pride & Prejudice...

We just finished reading Charlotte's Web to our daughter and she loved it. (she's 6).

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rockford on

It is very simple read and read and read to them they will read when they are ready and only when they are ready. Every child is different as you know, but the best thing you can do is read to them everyday. Our children who are teenagers still love having a story read to them it is great together time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I'm not sure where you live, but the Johnson County libraries have the "Read to a Dog" programs and my kids love going to read aloud to the dogs. Most of the dogs' handlers work really well with the kids, teaching them to sound out words and enjoy themselves.

It's also very important to read aloud to your children. Let them take turns choosing the book and read a chapter or two each evening. We let ours choose a more difficult book like Harry Potter and we read that each evening. They think it is a reward for getting their chores done and getting ready for bed. :-)

When the school sends home the Scholastic book order form, we let each child choose a book they want to read. They love getting a new book at school and the teacher said they are all excited to start reading their books right then!

Most of the local book stores have reading hours where you can take your children.

The rule at our house is the kids have to earn TV or video game time by reading. They get an hour of TV for an hour of reading. Frequently they will keep reading and forget about TV if the book is good.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I have to admit that even though I am a former elementary school teacher, reading for my own enjoyment is not something that I do. However, I wanted my kids to have the love of reading as early as they could. We make that our special thing to do before we go to sleep. I read to each of them. That's their special one on one time with me. Now I find them looking at the books themselves.
BTW- If you find a favorite series or author, if you live near Blue Valley Library then all you have to do is go through the drive through to pick them up. It is a wonderful service.
Some series that may be good for a 7 year old- Henry and Mudge, Mr. Putter and Tabby, Clifford, Amelia Bedelia
Those are some enjoyable ones that may help.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

The Library!!!

My kids love to read, but our weekly trips to the library are even more exciting. They love that they choice (for the most part) whatever books they want. They also love the free coloring pages and bookmarks. My almost 10yrold, loves the fact that she has her very own card too. With my 3 yrold, I sometimes will pick a theme for the week.

Also in the car play games with signs.. Like the first one to spell a certain word. Or the first one to spot "Target"

Cut up old magazines using just the words to write letters or notes to people. Its fun and it will using her reading skills.

Most of all, have fun with it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

Trying to force it on them will make it worse. A lot of kids who don't like to read are really good at math. But, make sure her eyes are ok with an optometrist and see what you can do to make sure that her reading level matches the books she's trying to read. It's unfair pressure kids to read books they're not ready for, just becasuse of societal pressure age/rate stuff, or that they are too advanced for.

But like I said, a lot of kids who don't like to read, or aren't even very good at it, are good at science/math concepts. Praise her for what she likes to do and is good at and work that positive reinforcement into reading.



answers from Kansas City on

I am a strong believer in the power of Dr. Seuss for your little one. If you read the simpler Dr. Suess books to your younger one, she'll memorize the text nearly immediately because it rhymes. Then you can let her "read" the book to you, and she'll feel good that she can read a whole book all by herself. Then you can tell her what a GOOD reader she is! The next thing you know, with luck, she'll want to read. This worked with our six year old, and now she owns all the Dr. Seuss books. I found most of them in that little tiny board book size - just right for her to carry around.

As for your 7 year old, our 8 year old loves stories and wants to read, but it is really hard work for her. We sit with her and have her read to us outloud, and talk about what she is reading. We've been doing that for about a year now, and it's helped a LOT. She loves the individual attention. Also, try to read when she's not tired. I know the temptation is to read before bed, but our daughter has a much harder time doing the tough work of chunking and sounding out when she's tired. We also do some playful stuff to keep her attention. Sometimes we take turns reading paragraphs (she reads four or five, then I read a couple) so that she can rest. Reading is still hard work for her, and she appreciates even the paragraph or two "off". Othertimes, we actually SING the lines! This was her idea, and for whatever reason, it seems to help her focus. A final thing we do is... when she is tired, we use a book mark under the line she is reading. It helps her keep her eyes focused onto the right words. Our daughter likes many of the series for her age, but we've found Judy Moody books to be really great reading practice because there are so many nonsense words and words that are spelled phonetically instead of the "right" way, that she knows she has to slow down and sound out. Because the crazy words are part of the fun, she doesn't realize she's practicing her reading skills. In the other books, if she doesn't know a word, her tendency is to take a guess about the word rather than do the chunking.

I hope any of this helps. Know you're not alone with these struggles! Good luck!



answers from Kansas City on

I have found with both my boys at that age reading can be quite the chore. Keep on both of them to do it; maybe institute 1/2 hour before bedtime to be reading time in bed before lights out or something, that can be fun.
As their comprehension improves, so will the enjoyment. That is the biggest problem--it is hard to read a story you are not getting because you are spending your time sounding out words. It gets better about 3-4th grade. Good luck!




answers from Lawton on

I am a a Senior at SWOSU Early Childhood Education major and my professor liked this book so much that she had us go out and buy it and reference it in a project that we are doing. I have found it to be very interesting, but it will require a little work on your part. The book is called "How to Get Your Child to Love Reading" and the author is Esme Raji Codell. I got mine off of either Half.com or Amazon-they are much cheaper used than buying a new one in the store. Anyway, it basically has a ton of books in there and projects that you can do to make them more interesting to your child. I think it is an awesome way to get some creative and fun ideas and spend time with your child as well. I hated reading until they made me read more in college this last year and now I am slowly becoming a fan. The book covers a wide range of ages too so I like that. It is rather thick so you should be able to choose something out of it that fits your family. Good luck!



answers from St. Joseph on

My 8 yr old used to hate reading...until recently.

This year, his teacher makes them keep a log for school, but you could just do it at home...This is part of his homework, and there's no TV, Boardgames, Videogames or any other real "play time" until he has finished.

1st quarter goal was 30 minutes of reading per week. It didn't matter how many pages (since every child reads at a different pace). This was to be broken up into three seperate increments...like 10 minutes 3 times a week. One time had to be on the weekend. He had to write down the name of the book and how long he read, and I had to sign off on it...

2nd quarter goal is 45 minutes per week - still in 3 increments...so he now reads 10 minutes 4 days a week and 5 minutes on the weekend. (You could break it up however you wish)

But I have noticed that now, he'll just pick up his book and read for as long as he feels like, and not even want to count it toward his goal. YEAH!!!

You could try something like this along with some prizes for completing a month or something....





answers from Kansas City on

The key is usually in finding the right books. Most kids who don't like to read feel that way, because it's hard for them. This could be because they are struggling, or because they are picking the wrong books. For independent reading, your daughter should be reading books that are easy for her. The quickest way to check is the one-hand rule. Flip to any page in the book, and have her start reading to you. If you count five words (one hand's worth) on that one page that she has to either ask you for help, sound out, or skip, then the book is too hard to use for independent reading. That doesn't mean you couldn't read it aloud to her or use it to work with her, but she would probably struggle with the rest of the book on her own. Then it won't be fun, and it won't be good practice.
If that isn't the problem, try setting a timer or time limit. See if she can read x-number of pages in 5 (or any #) minutes. Then have her try to beat her record.
You could offer rewards for completing a reading log. The rewards don't have to be something you buy. You could take a walk with just her, or go to the park, or let her pick dinner. These are things that let her know you appreciate that she's trying without pushing tangible prizes.
Hope I haven't bored you with a ton of stuff. This is what I do, and it's my passion.



answers from Champaign on

Have you tried reading to them @ bedtime? Thats what I did with my 10 year old son when he was in his young age. He loves to read even tho I am not that big of a reader either. My 2 yr old daughter loves to listen to stories that my son reads to her and she gets a book and have one of us read to her. Try that... :)



answers from Springfield on

After struggling for years with a 13 year old who still can't read past a second grade level, check her for dyslexia. Ask the school or get online and check the Bright Solutions for Dyslexia website/ Barton System. They have a list of things to look for. It certainly won't hurt, and if you can catch the problem early it certainly will save a lot of heartache. I wish I could have found this when my son was 7.



answers from St. Louis on

I hated to read & then my mom bought me Family Circle Comics or something funny to read & we had fun reading them together. I love to read now & frequent the library. I really try hard to find FUNNY /Silly books for my kids & we laugh at them together. It has to be fun for them to like it. Try simple comics or get her own subscription to a magazine like Highlife...



answers from Kansas City on

I totally agree about the library!!!!

We have also started the Junie B. Jones books. My six year old loves them. Also, my bed is a great place for us to read. Before bed, she reads a book that fits her just right to me, then I read a couple of chapters of Junie B. Jones to her. Reading is hard, but she'll stick with it so she can hear Junie B.

Another strategy I will do is called Echo Reading. I read a sentence of her book,then she rereads the same sentence. It offfers her success and she's learning to read.

A final thing you might try is for you to read one page of the book and then your child read the other page.



answers from Champaign on

Hi. I'm a Kindergarten and first grade teacher. It would be good if you asked your daughter's teacher how you can help to make your reading time more productive. They may have suggestions that they know will work as they know your daughter too. They'll know her strengths and needs.
But, in general working with children on any skill has to be FUN or they will NOT budge! Set asside a consistant time to do the reading. (maybe after school or dinner) If your 5 year old will sit and listen to your daughter read without much interruption then let them. Most children love an audience. If they won't then let them know that this is reading time. They can read a book silently while you read with the 7 year old. Grab a snack and a drink...something a little special might help and let her tell you about the book first without reading it. Point to the pictures and talk about them using the words that are in the story. Maybe even point out those words.
Ask her a question about the story that you need to read to answer. Just like you are wondering about it. Then offer to share the read. You read a page then she reads a page, or two pages or a paragraph. Always start in her comfort zone. It could be every other word! Then work up to more. Praise her for her successes. High five if she figures out the answer to your question. And tell her that you can't wait to see what she brings home tomorrow. Model that you are as patient with her as she needs to be with her work. She is just learning, so helping is expected. If she has written work too you might want to take a break for a few minutes. It is stressful when it doesn't make sense yet. A reward for finishing might be reading it to her dad or the cat or her sibling! Keep at it and it will get better. Talk with her teacher about specifics of helping. Good Luck!

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