One of my son's favorite parts of our school day is reading practice. He reads really simple sight word and beginner books out loud and does pretty well with some help (he is 5 by the way.) The problem I am having is that when he has been off school for a day or two, last week he had a stomach virus and was throwing up, he refuses to read for me. He will fidget, make up words, guess random words, roll his eyes at me and makes faces, he will even try to close the book and pretend he read it. Just in general he acts like he has no clue how to read anything at all, even sight words that he has known for over a year or so. It is to the point where I dread reading practice after time off because it causes such a struggle. Usually after some tears and time out he will settle down and get back into to it and do a good job. I usually try to ease back into it by making simple sentences out of sight word flash cards and having him read them. But this week nothing seems to be motivating him to try, and I'm getting a little frustrated. Is there an easier way to get him back on track, or maybe something I'm missing? Surely he doesn't completely forget what he has learned in just a week, right?
Just take a break from it. I had to with my kids. I knew they knew how to read, but they absolutely refused. I would try and try and try and nothing worked so I stopped for a bit and then they wanted to read again.
Someone once told me this... Have everyone in your house read a book in their free time - and have them discuss the books they are reading with one another at the dinner table, or at other times throughout the day. Make it animated and interesting.
When my kids were younger I did activities related to the books we read. We read cloudy with a chance of meatballs - then throughout the week did various projects like make a muffin tin lunch, did a neat art project, made our own short picture book (of the food we would want to fall out of the sky). We also watched the movie (it had just come out to theater at the time). - my kids couldn't read that book at the time so I read it to them. However, I also did this with other books that they could read - like Eric Carles. We even created a habitat for hermit crabs, bought hermit crabs, and learned about taking care of them.
When they are young, make it interesting. Bring the book alive.
Ps. Thank you for this post, it made me think back, and I now realize some additional tips in dealing my struggling readers. Mine are older 8 and 10. However, I think they lost the magic while in public school.
Have you thought about letting him pick out books he wants to read & if they are more then you think he can handle with out a lot of help you could get the audio book & he can listen as he reads along. This is a trick I have used with my oldest & am using still with my younger children.
However, I will say, if the above tactic just makes him seem to like reading less... then just drop it. He's five. SHOW him how to love books instead of trying to make him.
Play phonics based games... like instead of doing sight words in a boring way... add a flair to it. Tell him to "pop" up and yell out his popcorn words... Have him run to the wall and slap the words you tape to the wall with a (clean) flyswatter. Decorate the flyswatter to look like a cool word whapper or something.