How can I get my very spirited child to like to read????

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Lee-Anne - posted on 10/18/2009

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Hi Kim,
I agree with Jenni R and Jenny O. I am a mum of a 9 year old and I am also a Montessori Teacher for 3-6 year olds. One of the things I thought might work is to write down her stories have her draw or paint the illustrations and then perhaps read them back to her. Another way it to find stories that allow her to move and participate in story. Books like 'A Shark in the Park'. What I did with my 9 yr old when she was younger was create your own stories together. Always keep it fun, keep it short, and when they (the child) wants to stop, you stop. Also if your child is of school age. You can talk to her teachers and get some ideas from them. In our class we have a special programme that allows the children to take home a special stuffed animal along with three age appropriate books. They have adventures with the stuffed animal and record it and if they are our 3yr olds we encourage our parents to read them the story books. Because the books come from school it is more special then if the books are just at home on their shelf.

Hope these suggestions help a little

Kind regards
Lee-Anne C.

Karla - posted on 10/17/2009

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How about writing "Secret Messages" to your child? Every morning there could be a message written about something special happening that day, or where to find a treat.

Deborah - posted on 10/16/2009

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Here are a few ideas that I used...books with a cassette or CD worked for my children when they were very young. My active ones would actually sit still!

We went on Library trips or Bookstore trips. I would guide them to the children´s area, wait for them to find somthing they were interested in, and watch them from a distant as I read myself. Hope this helps :)

Heidi - posted on 10/12/2009

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You can make reading exciting by making a theme on a book and planning activities to go around the theme of a book. For instance when my children were little I would read them the story called Hi, Pizza Man...then we visited a pizza restaurant and got to see them make the pizzas. We also made our own homeade pizza from scratch. I also had them make a craft out of paper and they made paper pizzas. Now that they are older we read things about history like things about WWII and then I took them to a WWII reanactment at our local museum. Make reading come alive and be more tangible and they will love it.

Danielle - posted on 10/09/2009

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Hello!! Ive read all the post here--sand I think one of the key points--is that they have to be interested in the subject matter..take themto the library or book shop to choose a book with a topic that inspires/ excites them..If your child is creative in art or cooking maybe get a childrens instructional cookiing or art book--reading which produces something! Really it depends on the age of the child and if a boy or a girl..My boy is 11 and i have struggled too-getting him to 'like to read'--but I have found he loves the Guinness Book of records/Science experiment books/1000 question and answer books etc..I'm not worried that he's not resading big chapter books-because he IS reading daily and with boys-especially 'outside busy!' boys--it may come a bit later in life..Now!

Alida! your girl is 5? wow! She sounds very intelligent. I would deinitely be encouraging that imagination-she may not be 'reading words' but boy oh boy shes almost one step further in terms of her creative and cognitive thinking..Any teacher would be impressed by her comments-'this story is boring listen to mine instead'..ask her why its boring- just to empathise or point something out- and then let her go for it! Further-reading a page first and then letting your child read it again is fantastic! They may be a little unsure-and it may be a confidence thing- but this is a very beneficial learning strategy. Also reading with her-the 2 of you together out loud-your voice a little ahead of her if shes struggling--or going quieter if shes confident..very helpful.

I also found it good to label items in the house--everyday words like 'fridge' 'book case' 'window' etc..In the car--eye spy, reading/recognising road/store signs etc..Also maybe talking about interesting things that your kids might think are cool 'that mummy or daddy just read about'--showing them that you love books-enjoying reading yourself in front of them etc..

Overall a child will develop at their own pace, if they are pushed or nagged it may take longer..I hope this helps!! (:

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You really have to find what interests them. It doesn't matter what they read as long as they do, and their tastes will change over time. My son read 'Soccer World' a fortnightly newspaper/magazine as he is soccer mad. He would read it from cover to cover. (exciting eh!) whilst all the wonderful books read by his two sisters stayed on the bookshelf. He was /is a very good reader and has since found the joy of books at a much later age (15!)

My girls, on the other hand loved books, and all three remember lines from the books they read with me as toddlers...... Eddie's off to find his teddy.....

Tammy - posted on 10/04/2009

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I would just add to make sure that there are books that your child is interested in being read to him/her and being read by him/her. Your child should play a part in picking out the books even if it's giving a choice between 2 books you have picked out.



I try to have short reading sessions with my daughter everyday. I know she's enjoying it when she shows her Dad the book she's reading when he gets home from work. And I have noticed her in the last week trying to read other books on her own.



We have been working on reading for 10 months now. It just takes time.

Robyn - posted on 10/03/2009

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I agree with the above but also know some children don't like to read fiction. My son only read non-fiction about the things he likes. I don't worry as long as he is reading, one of my daugthers went through a phase of only reading comic books or anime.

Jenni - posted on 10/03/2009

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I am noticing that your question is not asking how to get your child to read. If i am correct...it is asking how to get your child to LIKE to read. I am sure you read to both and that usually excites children to read if you make this event "special". However, when kids are not LIKING to read you must add an activity for after the reading. Here are two examples...A basic one for the two year old would be THe Very Hungry Catepillar. After reading you could use green paint and paint a portion of an egg carton, add one of those long wires covered in fuzz (forget the arts n craft term) as antennae. Bring the caterpillar next time you read the story. You could also make a butterfly out of coffee filters. I use a lot of my classroom supplies mixed with things at home to creat stuff for my daughter. For the 11 year old you could read basic chapter books or more difficult picture books. Create a diarama on the topic. A chapter introducing Native Americans...build mini teepee village together. Make it fun! Let me know if this is what you were looking for?

Jenny - posted on 10/02/2009

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What do you mean by spirited? Maybe if your child likes a little action with the reading, maybe she would have fun reading the words if you acted out what was happening? If she doesn't read, then you don't know what to act out. If she likes to create stories, offer to write down what she dictates to you, but let make a deal that then she has to reread what you wrote to make sure you got it down right...then you could work together to illustrate the story.

Alida - posted on 10/02/2009

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Kim, how old is your child? I have a very spirited five year old daughter who had me stumped. Her brother learned to read pretty much on his own at age four. At five she still showed no interest, although she loves being read to. She knows all her alphabet sounds but just doesn't like to take the time to sounds out words. She has told me the folowing:

I like to make up the stories.
Mom, that doesn't make sense with the picture.
Just let me read it my way, o.k.?
This story is boring, listen to mine instead.

She is quite creative and I have to admit her stories ARE usually better than what's written on the page. She is not quite reading yet, although she has shown more interest in the past month. The Dick and Jane reader seems to be working better for her than hooked on phonics. Lately she says, "let's read, you read it first mom and I'll read it after you." I know this doesn't help much, but when kids are spirited it may just take more time, more patience and more effort from us. Good luck.

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