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Forcing Reading
by leighp1
November 29, 2012 at 7:23 AM

I was just reading a post and it got me thinking about my daughter. She is 11 years old and we just started homeschooling her this year. She excels in Math (she is doing 8th grade Algebra), she likes science, she is a very hands on type of girl.  She is creating another website, Crystal's Christmas around the World (hopefully many of you have gone to it and please leave a message to encourage her). Every time I say it's reading time, she huffs and puffs.  She even huffs and puffs when she is doing the research for her website, but she does it and honestly she takes her time and really reads.  But for her to sit down with a book, it doesn't happen often. I have tried to find books that may interest her, but nothing really makes her want to read.  My older daughter, who is in high school/college, never liked to read either, but because of her school she HAS to.  She has found books she likes and will read to complete the project, but then will wait until another project before reading again.  I hope that made sense.

So my question is, do I force her to read or do I just let things work the way they have been? Let her continue to do her reading when she researches?  Her vocabulary is pretty good actually and spelling is okay too.

Thanks for your help.


  • amandae21
    November 29, 2012 at 7:40 AM

    Have you tried to take her to B&N to browse for books, rather than looking for her?

    My 9yo likes to read. She isn't like me - a book in arms reach at all times - but she doesn't dread it. I'm so thankful for this. But there are days when she just doesn't want to... but she knows it's a requirement so she does it.

    I hated reading when I was in school. I rarely did the assigned reading, just skimmed the books. I don't know how I managed to pass. But when I got a little older, I started to love reading.

  • mem82
    by mem82
    November 29, 2012 at 8:00 AM
    I wouldn't make it a battle but I would assign a book report each month. Let her pick the book in your perimeters.
  • Uniquecoolio
    November 29, 2012 at 9:32 AM
    My kids are 15 and don't enjoy reading. I still read to them. They're doing fine.
  • coala
    by coala
    November 29, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    My 6yo doesn't like to read.  She had 6 years in a rough environment and her BM didn't read a lot, heck she didn't do a lot of things with this child that she needed to do.  I force her to read.  I pick out the majority of her books that her within her range of reading ability.  She struggles with comprehension.  I think we have finally had a break through in that department.  Now that she is understanding what she is reading she is wanting to read more.  I also let her browse the library and pick out books that she wants to read.  I have a massive stack that has to go back between both my girls.  My 4 yo is reading at the same level of difficulty and comprehension as our 6 yo.  The younger one has gotten her love to read fro both her Daddy and I.  I personally force the reading b/c if I didn't she would NEVER pick up a book.  We are getting there slowly, but the love of reading will come.

  • KrissyKC
    November 29, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    I hope I'm not being mean by asking...

    Are your kids going to go to college?   What kind of career do they want?   Do you think this will affect college and career?   I know that's not the almighty most important thing in a kids life, so sorry if it sounds that way...

    My own kids inhale books... at least the older two do, and the third one begs for me to read to her all the time (4)..  I cannot keep enough books in the house.   Every 2 weeks we have a library day and bring home about 40-50 books.   We have to take three back packs... one with some library work in it, and two to carry books back and forth... they are often so crammed with books, we have to "organize" them right to get them to fit.  

    They will have read on most weeks at least 75% of the non-fictions (that I require) and usually ALL of their fiction books and most of their assigned read alouds...  

    My eldest dislikes read alouds.   She has a high read to herself ability, but struggles with putting what she sees into auditory words.   We still work on it and she doesn't mind most days trying a little.   I don't push, though, when she is tired or irritated.

    Anyway, that's just the older two...  my wee ones are 4yrs and 5 months...  who knows if they will struggle with reading or not??   Maybe I just got "lucky?" with the other two that they take to books like fish to water.

    Quoting Uniquecoolio:

    My kids are 15 and don't enjoy reading. I still read to them. They're doing fine.

  • oredeb
    by oredeb
    November 29, 2012 at 10:24 AM

     dont force her, let her continue to do her reading when she researches!!! shes reading!!

    i have a couple that were the same way, i didnt force them to read, they turned out  fine, have good jobs, families, just like my other kids who did love to read!hahaha let her be!!! she will be fine!

  • oredeb
    by oredeb
    November 29, 2012 at 10:42 AM

     leigh, i just looked at your dd website!! neat such a good idea!!

  • KrissyKC
    November 29, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    This is good for me to hear.   I mentioned my older two are avid readers... but didn't elaborate much on my 4 1/2 yr old.

    She is WAAY slower than her older siblings were at learning ANYTHING.   She still acts really goofy (like younger than the kids in her preschool classes at church and such)...  She has a SUPER short attention span.   You know how they go through a phase (or are supposed to) where they pretend to read books.   I can't get her to do that.   She refuses to look at books by herself or make up the stories around the pictures... she wants me to read the words to her or she just throws the book down.    My other two were reading already by 4...

    So, maybe she won't take to it like they did, and it's good for me to hear what you shared, because I will remind myself of that and not push her so hard.

    Quoting oredeb:

     dont force her, let her continue to do her reading when she researches!!! shes reading!!

    i have a couple that were the same way, i didnt force them to read, they turned out  fine, have good jobs, families, just like my other kids who did love to read!hahaha let her be!!! she will be fine!

  • Jlee4249
    November 29, 2012 at 12:28 PM
    Pick a book & read together-- you read a chapter one night & she reads one the next.. Or in one sitting.
    My mom did that to me on one of my stay-home-sick days. I have never forgotten it.

    I read to my kids all the time even though two can read.
    Yes, she's reading her research, but what about learning about themes, plot, sequence, main ideas, characters, etc?

    My mom read all the time. ALL the time. Every free second she had, she was reading. Her mom did the exact same thing. Now I do it. My kids see me doing it. They read all the time. Maybe you should let her see you enjoying a book. Afterwards, explain what you want her to do by saying, "for instance, this book I just finished, I can tell you ....."
    Ask what type of book she would enjoy. Go through book lists online. Read book reviews online.
    (Maybe find one of those goosebumps ones--it's a start) pick one. Ask her how long does she think it would take to read it. Get one for yourself. Turn on some quiet music & fix a couple of mugs of cocoa & you both sit together & read your own books. Get dad to join in... Shut off the tv (or computer) and everyone read. Maybe it won't feel like a chore if she's not the only one doing it.
  • usmom3
    by usmom3
    November 29, 2012 at 12:34 PM

     Forcing only pushes them farther away from what ever it is you are forcing them to do. Let her keep at how she has been doing. Get books from the library that you think might interest her & let her see you reading them, let her over here you talking about them to others then leave the book out where she is sure to see them. I know this works because I did it with my hubby & the Twilight books, sure enough one morning I woke up to my hubby on the couch reading the first one.

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