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Topic: 2nd Grader Hates Reading

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Subject: 2nd Grader Hates Reading
Date Posted: 8/24/2007 8:33 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2007
Posts: 161
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Anyone have any ideas for a little girl who is in special education for reading and HATES to read? She refuses to do reading homework without whining and now she is saying she hates school. I want to switch from having her read aloud every night to having her look at books and possible read them silently to herself (without being corrected constantly). But I need books that she will WANT to read. When we wrote a book together she was very enthusiastic about reading it herself, so I think that if there are books she wants to read, and that she is not "under the microscope" while reading (in other words, that she has to read aloud and receive correction), she may begin to realize that reading can be fun. Hope I am making sense here. I have ordered Ramona the Pest, which is a little too hard, but I am planning on reading it to her the first time.

Date Posted: 8/24/2007 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 158
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You might want to try to find a copy of Reading Rescue 1-2-3 at your library, or buy it if you have to.  It's definitely worth it and addresses the issues you are having specifically. 


The author emphasizes that "for fun" reading should be just that- no correction.  And, the books chosen for fun reading should be ones that the child can read easily. 

Reading practice should be limited to no more than 30 minutes and use a book that the child can read 90% or so without correction.  (You want them to feel confident.) 


I've not read the whole book yet, but one of the techniques is for you to choose a few lines from a book rather than the entire book, and read it to and with the child until she can read it correctly AND fluently.  Without the fluency, the child has to concentrate too hard on getting the words correct to understand what she is reading- hence no comprehension.  Without comprehension reading isn't very fun. 

Under the phonics section of my links for schooling below there are some links for additional reading helps.  You  might  be able to find some free resources similar to RR1-2-3. But IMO that book is worth the $ if you can swing it.

I would also consider stepping back a level on your book selections.  Try to find the first readers that have some pictures and about a paragraph of large text on each page.  Frog and Toad, Henry and Mudge, No Fighting, No Biting and Poppleton come to mind.  If she struggles with more than one or two words per page, you may want to scale it back even further.    Don't make a big deal of it, just present the books and suggest that they look like fun to read. ;-) 



Date Posted: 8/24/2007 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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My son had also struggled with reading in 2nd grade, and the books that made him actually want to read were the Magic Treehouse books.  He liked them so much that his 2nd grade teacher had to tell me that he could not do any more book reports on them, he needed to find something else, lol.  I would suggest those and maybe look into some other series books that she might enjoy.  Junie B. Jones comes to mind, or even Captain Underpants- that was another series that my son was eager to read.  Definitely give her time to read silently to herself without any pressure to "perform", and if her reading material is of enough interest to her, she will start to enjoy it.  Good luck!

Date Posted: 8/24/2007 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2005
Posts: 733
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I would also go with Horrible Harry, Song Lee, Jigsaw jones, Cam Jansen.  Little house chapter books.  Johnny Mutton  Make reading a time that you cuddle  with her. What my husband does with one of my daughteres he reads a page she reads a page.  Another thing is we read  books like Franklins, Berestain bears, Aruthur and everyone reads a charater.  This is so much fun!!  I have a lot of these books on my shelf and would be willing to do 5 for 3 childrens paperback books.

   By the way I know summer just ended and so did all the reading clubs. Does your school do the Book it program? If they read 15 min a day for a month they get a free  personal pan pizza.  I know Build a bear, Barnes and Nobles, the library and Chuckie Cheese all just finished reading clubs.  Create your own insentive read so long and we will go to McDonald and play in the playland, get an icecream cone or what ever.Jean

Last Edited on: 8/24/07 3:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/24/2007 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 7,466
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I can not suggest strongly enough the Amelia Badelia (may not be spelled right)  books.  They are just sooooo darn funny!!

Date Posted: 8/24/2007 10:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 158
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Check out Bookadventure (if you can't find it, the link is listed in my Book Links below) and  the ALA for lists of books by level to give you an idea of what might be a good fit for her also. 


Here's a direct link:


Last Edited on: 8/24/07 10:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/25/2007 2:27 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2006
Posts: 457
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Newt by Matt Novak was great read-aloud book when the kids were younger.  And it was a book they picked up again and again as they got older and could read for themselves.  There are 3 simple stories in it, so your daughter wouldn't even have to read the entire book at one sitting.  Fun book, very endearing.


Date Posted: 8/25/2007 7:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2007
Posts: 161
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Thanks for the great ideas! I am going to do searches for your suggestions! You reminded me of some I know, and introduced some new ones! Thanks!

Date Posted: 9/2/2007 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2007
Posts: 163
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I would also just read aloud to her as often as you have time.  If she sees how much fun she can have listening to books, she may be more inclined to start reading them herself.

Date Posted: 9/6/2007 7:16 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 335
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It would be helpful to know what your daughter likes and is interested in. My four children all liked different types of books based on their interests. Does she like history? One of my sons loved Magic Tree House books (but I thought that they were very pedestrian). My youngest loves Little House on the Prairie books, which none of my other kids could tolerate. Some of the kids liked Boxcar Children adventures.
Date Posted: 9/6/2007 12:46 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2006
Posts: 249
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The Hopscotch Hill books are cute. Easy chapter books.

Junie B. Jones is  a HUGE hit with my 2nd grader. We take turns reading.

Date Posted: 9/6/2007 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,589
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Another really great way to help special needs students with reading is to use audio books.  Reading along with an audio book takes the stress out of having to process the words and it allows the child to hear how fluent reading should sound.  My special needs students work so hard trying to get the words out that they often lose track of the story, so I always read the stories aloud a few times before we move on to their turn to read aloud. 

Another activity they love is to be assigned roles from the story.  I will chose a character for each student (sometimes they have to share a character depending on the book, so I pair a stronger reader with a weaker one) and each student is responsible for reading only the dialogue, while I fill in all the "said George" parts and non-dialogue related writing.  It encourages them to focus on the story while others are reading, so that they're ready when their part comes around. 

Most of all, remember that reading is supposed to be fun, so enjoy your time reading with your daughter.  :-)

Date Posted: 9/9/2007 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2007
Posts: 6,025
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I love Amelia Bedelia! And Henry and Mudge! It's OK to step back a bit and give her easier books to read, to build her confidence, then mix them up with more age-appropriate books.

I had a foster brother when I was a kid, he hated reading until my mom found some books about basketball, which he loved. In 2 years he went from D's to A's and B's in school. I think the key is finding something she likes.

When my niece was struggling with reading, we did the "you read one page, I read page" thing and she loved that.

I like the incentive idea, maybe you could have a special box of books- some easy readers, some a little challenging- and when she has read 5, or 10, or however many then she gets a prize or do something special.

If she enjoyed writing a book together, maybe you could do more of those. Also look for books with tapes, where she can read AND hear the story.