Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Son Hates to Read!

I have a seven year old son. And (gasp!) he doesn't like to READ!!!!

I know. I know! How is that possible? I don't think that kid has ever seen me without a book (or two) in my hands...or stacked a mile high on my nightstand.

Admittedly, I am unprepared for this type of battle, because what I really want to say to him is something super mature like, "how could you not like books? They're awesome! Duh!"

But instead of that, I decided to take the subtle approach. I would pick up one of my books and say something like, "Cody, I'm going on an adventure now. Books are cool like that. You can travel the world and slay dragons and never leave the house. Neat, huh?"

To which he'd reply, "mom, can I play my video game now?"

Subtle didn't work. Okay. So, I'll force it! "Cody, get over here and read this book right now!" That didn't work either. He'd whine and whimper the entire time and by the end of it, we'd both need a nap brought on by bouts of tears.

BUT then! The thought occurred to me that maybe he doesn't like to read because he's not a super strong reader just yet. And by the time he's finished sounding out a sentence full of words, he has no idea what he just read about. (Poor little man. That'd kill me too!)

So I did what any good mom would do to encourage a love of reading. I went shopping! (It solves all major problems, I assure you.) And I bought my son some high adventure kid books. Not the little twenty page books you might read to your four or five year old's, but long chapter books that I will read to him--proving that even he can get lost in a fictional world.

Some of my book choices actually had him asking me to read to him! The Indian in the Cupboard, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda and (one of my all time favorites) The BFG (AKA: The Big Friendly Giant).

We're only a few days into our little reading experiment but already I can see a change. Now, we still have to do the flash cards and the regular reading to strengthen his own reading skills but until he's a confident reader, I will happily travel back to my childhood and read to him hours on end if it'll ensure his love of books! I mean, what other choice is there? :)

Talk to me: Do you have a reluctant reader? How do you combat their objections to reading? Teachers, out there...any tips? What are some of your favorite childhood stories?


  1. My husband always tells the story of how he hated to read. In third grade, his mom let him pick out "any" book on "any" subject that he was interested in. Um...he picked Ulysses S. Grant - I know...I know...but he devoured the book and it got him reading. After that, he searched for every history book he could get his hands on. The rest is "history" so-to-speak. He credits his mom for allowing him to read something he was interested in.

  2. My son was a reluctant reader when he was 7, too. And now I can't get a book out of his hands (unless he's holding the Nintendo controller...)

    The key...his sister was a voracious reader, and she wanted to share the stories she was reading with him. So she read aloud to him, book after book. The Boxcar Children, The Magic Treehouse, and so many more.

    I got to be the flashcard, sound-it-out, read this to me so I know you're making progress reading police, and between the two of us, I think it worked. :D

  3. My son loves his video games too, but he does like the library and that seemed to encourage him to read, along with Junie B. Jones books. I'll hear him cackling in the other room as he reads about her crazy antics!

    And of course, you always have poop to fall back on. Boys like reading gross stuff! Find a book on poop and toots and you're gold! LOL


I'd love to hear your thoughts too!