How do I get my son more interested in learning to read?

Destiny - posted on 12/03/2009 ( 29 moms have responded )

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I have been having a hard time with getting my son interested in learning to read. He tries his best but is finding it to hard and is losing faith in learning. It makes me sad to see him so upset and frustrated with it and am looking for fun ways to help encourage him to read more. Any ideas?

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Lynn - posted on 12/08/2009

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The best thing I ever bought was the Leap Frog pen. My son who is now 6, was then 4 1/2 didnt want anything to do with reading and only wanted me to read to him. That pen is a great tool and makes reading fun instead of a chore.

Leslie - posted on 12/09/2009

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Does he like computers, try starfall.com it is free and has helped my girls learn to read. it has a ton of activities and books to read.

Laura - posted on 12/03/2009

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Take him to the library. They have story time. You could sit with him while he listens to see the way he reacts. The more you read to him the more he will look forward to the books. Then you could start with words like STOP. Have him say the letter's sounds and encourage him to spell more words that are simple like cat, hat, mat....



There are work books at Wal-Mart you could do with him. We sat with our little ones as young as 3 years old. They loved coloring the pages and doing the dot to dots. Which helped them learn to count and do their ABC's early.



Kids follow what their parents do. If you read to them they'll inherit reading!



Good Luck =)

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Juanita - posted on 08/19/2012

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We were having the same problems with our 8 & 6 yr olds. Our 8 yr old would end up crying out of frustration. She would say, "I know it." but I doubted she did. She hated to read! We found a program that explained these are called 'stress spirials'. They also explain the 7 main reasons some children have difficulty learning to read.
The program is "Easyread by Oxford Learning Systems".This is an online program that uses imaginative synthetic phonics to help struggling children learn how to read. It is specially optimized for dyslexic children and highly visual learners.

This program has helped our two children by using lessons that are less than 15 minutes per day 4 to 5 days per week. We have been using it since Mid March and now there is no more crying! Instead, our children are now making an effort to read on their own. I wholeheartedly recommend this program!

For more information you can email me at jjmueller1@verizon.net or visit their website. (If you decide to use the program you can get 10% off if you have a referral--Just use JuanitaMueller as a referral)

Juanita - posted on 08/19/2012

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We were having the same problems with our 8 & 6 yr olds. Our 8 yr old would end up crying out of frustration. She would say, "I know it." but I doubted she did. She hated to read! We found a program that explained these are called 'stress spirials'. They also explain the 7 main reasons some children have difficulty learning to read.
The program is "Easyread by Oxford Learning Systems".This is an online program that uses imaginative synthetic phonics to help struggling children learn how to read. It is specially optimized for dyslexic children and highly visual learners.

This program has helped our two children by using lessons that are less than 15 minutes per day 4 to 5 days per week. We have been using it since Mid March and now there is no more crying! Instead, our children are now making an effort to read on their own. I wholeheartedly recommend this program!

For more information you can email me at jjmueller1@verizon.net or visit their website. (If you decide to use the program you can get 10% off if you have a referral--Just use JuanitaMueller as a referral)

Mary - posted on 08/27/2011

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we read eveynight as part of a bedtime routine. there are also lot of free computer games that help with learning to read. try like nick jr pbs or sprout

Anne - posted on 08/25/2011

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Appeal to his EGO! You be the author. Write a sentence using his name that will capture him. You know your son better than anyone. It could be as simple as "Johnny is Spiderman's secret friend." Use words he knows and loves. Appeal to his fantasy life. Make it FUN. Stop before he's done so he wants more. Make him want to read more, by stopping while it's still fun.

Heather - posted on 08/14/2011

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You've got to be careful with the second suggestion here but try these two things. First, together pick something that he is passionately interested in and let him borrow a few books of any reading level from a library. If he's interested in the topic say, dirt bikes, even reading the captions is super reading. Second, try a high language content and level comic book like the Asterix series. The language is fun but challenging and can really get them reading - especially boys. Just remember to make some clear rules first - only quality comic language, only 1 per day etc.

Emily - posted on 12/09/2009

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My son was the same way until his school (which is a new one we switched him this year) they tested him and found his reading level then they only let him get books that are at his level and they keep testing him til he moves up. This has worked for us because now he can read on his own and that in itself is helping his confidence.
Good luck!

Shawna - posted on 12/08/2009

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I have to agree with the PP that said Patience! Take your time with him, show him he's getting a little better each time. Don't forget to read out loud to him everyday. Find stories he likes. Ask him to describe what he sees in the pictures and then read that page. The more you work with him the more supported he'll feel and then he'll be encouraged to do more.

[deleted account]

Sports Illustrated for Kids, or some other monthly subscription that comes in the mail. Kids love getting mail- maybe family members could send letters, too.

Carol - posted on 12/07/2009

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I second the Hooked on Phonics recommendation. I homeschooled my then kindergartener last year and he started out not knowing the full alphabet. By the end of the school year he'd completed the Grade 6 level of Hooked on Phonics!!! I'm not talking the individual books. I'm talking about the comprehensive set of K-2 and then 3-6 Master Reader sets. They do NOT correspond to the grade levels that the kids have in public schools until about the end of the 2nd grade - ie HOP doesn't introduce long vowels until 2nd grade whereas my other son's kindergarten class in public school ran through both short and long vowels before December in kindergarten, BUT it is soooo very much more comprehensive. Your son will have a better grasp and therefor more confidence in reading. If you're son already has the basics down, he'll breeze right through the first set and with minimum time (say 10 minutes a day) he finish the school year at least at the 6th grade level.
My kids went back to public school this year and my youngest, a 1st grader now, is helping his 3rd grade reading partner to read the hard words.

Heather - posted on 12/07/2009

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My son has had trouble reading and has just now started getting interested. I think reading everyday on books that he picked out helped. If he loves spider man then base the reading "session" around spider man. Flash cards are helpful too! Reading signs and various things while driving is fun also!

Stacy - posted on 12/06/2009

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I just had this same problem. My daughter is 6. She hates to read. I was having a hard time getting her to read and asked the same question. Anyways, I read a sentence to her, and have her read the same one pointing and sounding out the words. She seems to like it. Gives her a little more one on one.

Angelia - posted on 12/06/2009

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have you tried the learning leap frog book with the pen.. we have issues with one our children who doesn't like to read and he has one of those and he plays with it for hours.. they are handy and if they are playing and listening to it read to them they will pick it up.. get him some read along cds and put them on while he plays in the same room then let him follow along with the book sometimes change it up.. think if we didn't like it we didn't want to do it, if it wasn't fun we didn't want to do it. so just try different things and anything we do has to do with reading.. get him in the kitchen and let him help with reading labels and like while in the grocery store and driving down the road.. some boys just take a lil longer to get there too. my son did and he still has trouble sometimes.. just be patient with him..

Liz - posted on 12/06/2009

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i had the same problem with my son now 6 when he first started school he used to get angry that he couldnt read the book but all his friends were going up the "stages". i left him to his own pace letting him read when he wanted and even if i ended up reading the whole book for him he started to pay more attention in the book after 2 years off going at his own pace he now reads really well reading his school book everynight his own choose and is now caught up with the rest off the class.

Sherri - posted on 12/06/2009

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Comic books, start with ones he is interested in (spiderman, batman, even simpsons). My 2 boys love to read now!!

Kathy - posted on 12/06/2009

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does he like to watch preschool programs? if so add the closed captioning and mute the tv... he will have to read it to find out what's going on

Melanie - posted on 12/05/2009

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Take some of the pressure off. Learning to read (/speak/write) English is very difficult, it is a mish mash of many different languages in which many 'rules' are more guides as they have that many exceptions it is often not funny.

Second, encourage him to read anything he can - a menu, joke book, comics, did you know tid bits, computer games, instruction manuals, anything. As said earlier model reading, particularly if his father/other significant male role model. It tells him boys do read.

I am not sure how old he is, but children can struggle and struggle and then the light goes off and it all clicks and their reading takes off - this occurs between 5 and 7, depending on the child and the length of time they have had at school. If you are concerned or there are other indicators, get his eyes tested, or tested for other things that may affect his ability to read. But relax - and positive reinforce any 'reading' he does (even reading a pizza hut sign). He will get it, it just might take him a little longer.

Kekua - posted on 12/05/2009

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At his age the key is really tying things together. The more active it is, the better the brain receives it. So for example if you watch a cooking show about something you like to eat, then go and read a book about one of the ingredients, then try to cook the food you watched on the show. Of course it doesn't have to be cook it can be whatever the child has an interest in, cooking is just the first example that came to mind.
And of course games. I used to be a home instruction educator so I have several ideas for games and other "tricks" if you want. Just msg me.

Jan - posted on 12/05/2009

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Have you tried a tape recorder? Record yourself reading one of his books; allow your child to read the same book along with your recorded voice. When they gain confidence in reading the book; record them reading the same book.



These recordings can double for bedtime entertainment :)



Flashcards of words and phonics displayed at their eye level in different parts of the house also helps.

Jakki - posted on 12/05/2009

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Oh - I have a recommendation for a book that is available from amazon for about $8:

Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever (Paperback), by Mem Fox.

It is really inspirational.

Stephanie - posted on 12/05/2009

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First, make sure there is not a reading disorder causing the problem. The earlier it is diagnosed, the better the outcome. If there is no reading disorder, I would first suggest choosing topics that interest him. That sounds simple but choose topics over things he really loves. Then make sure that you choose books that are at his ability level, not age level. If he is 8 but struggles with books for this age range, choose easier books that might be for younger ages. Surround him with a lot of books and let him choose the books he wants to read. Read to him frequently. Point to the words as you read so he can follow along (choose books with less words and bigger print for this).

I am no reading expert but hopefully there is an idea or two that will help. I would definately have him assessed for a reading disorder if you think he should be reading better than he is.

Good luck and don't give up!

Jakki - posted on 12/05/2009

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One thing you could do is to role model reading to him... in other words, make sure you have books around the house and read them yourself, so he'll see you and his dad reading and enjoying it. Make sure the TV is off most of the time so there's not so many distractions. When I have a good novel I lie in bed with my kids and encourage them to get some books too so we can snuggle up and read side by side.



Of course, reading some great books out loud to him is a wonderful way to give him a love of reading. When you read out loud, put lots of passion and excitement into the story, and it makes it good to listen to.



Good luck.

Valerie - posted on 12/04/2009

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read to him...pick out words and see if he can find them on the page like the, at, dog...if you believe i computer games, that is another way to engage him...take him to the library to pik out books and for story hours...back off if he is frustrated...what method are you using to teach him? boys tend to develop large motor skills at his age so maybe tying reading into large motor activites...

Laura - posted on 12/04/2009

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Great Advice, Sonya!.. "have patience" ...

and "Discipline" means to "do over" until they have it right :)

[deleted account]

I started with Hooked on Phonics. Then I brought books that my son liked and had him "read" the story by looking at the pictures and then tell me his story. I also read one sentence first, have him repeat the same sentence and then move on to the next. I read a night time story to my son until second grade. He now reads to me and my husband. We also go to the library and he gets to pick out two books at a time that he likes. It has paid off and he is reading at grade level. (3rd grade)
It is a process, so have patience. I also tell my son to read everything....stop signs, rules, the newspaper...whatever. Read everything. If he asks me what something says, I tell him to try to read it first and then I help him along. Good luck.

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We got our daughter a Nintendo DS and the Tinker Bell game last January (she was 6). Then we told her that she needs to read what the charcters are saying and asking her to do because I didn't have the time to play with her all day long. Boy did she learn how to read quickly after that! Her problem wasn't that she wasn't interested though, it was that she was just having a hard time catching up from the summer (she had spent the summer with her biological mother and they did NOTHING to encourage school or her education to prepare her for the first grade).



I think it's all about motivation. She really wanted to play her game (she had paid for half of the DS with her savings after all!) and neither my hubby or I had the time to sit with her and read everything out loud (nor were we going to do that even if we did have the time!).



I would suggest finding what motivates your son. How about a reading chart? For every half hour he spends on reading he can earn treats or other rewards. It always worth a shot! Good luck and I hope your son learns to enjoy reading!

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