Not so very long ago my son complained, whined and adamantly stated that he did not like reading. In fact he declared that “he hated it”. This was no surprise since every time we tried to engage him in the reader* he brought home from school an argument would generally ensue…
-“Time for homework”
-“But I want to play some more”
-“Afraid not buddy. Time to read your book”
-“No, i don’t want to!!”
-“It’s now time to read your book. It won’t take long”
-‘But i don’t want to!!”
From there we would generally begin a round of intense negotiations which may or may not have resulted in some reading and or tears. There are numerous reasons why my son did not “take to reading” like so many children in his class did. These include – his young age and not being ready, his (at the time unknown) learning differences, his lack of engagement in the books being offered and finally the quickly understood notion on his part that he was a bad reader and therefore ‘dumb’.
“Mum, i’m not good at this, i’m dumb”
“No your not sweetie. Where did you hear that?”
“Nowhere, i just know it. I’m no good at anything”
And my heart broke. How was this happening? How could something I find so enjoyable and be such a big part of my life (I’m a librarian) not come natural for my son. We had books all over the house. We had read to him from birth. I feared that my son would never even learn how to read let alone actually want to read.
Fortunately through patience, time and hard work he got there. He is now a fantastic reader. More importantly – he wants to read because he enjoys it.
This website is intended to provide tips, book suggestions/reviews and share first hand experience on raising kids who want to read even if they start off as “struggling readers”.
NB- While our son has become an avid reader we are still midway though this process with our daughter who is still learning the finer points of reading. This has also been somewhat of a struggle. More on that down the track.
*A ‘reader’ is a term given to a book which is sent home from school each night with a student. It is then read with a parent/guardian. It contains a short story which helps the child to learn their letters/phonics/sentence structure etc depending on their skill level.