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how do you get your kid to pay attention while reading?

my son is 5 and i'm trying to teach him to focus on the actual words instead of looking at the pictures and guessing what the next line will be..any ideas? He is learning sight words and knows quite a few..even when we pick a book a tell him to remember so many "but, and, if, so" and if i stop at that word he needs to say it. he does okay but most the time i will stop and he lets his imagination take over.

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Asked by shay1130 at 7:38 AM on Sep. 30, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 27 (32,809 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • It is crucial that his imagination be allowed to flourish. The act of reading aloud to him is one of the best ways to make sure he becomes an good reader but there should be no pressure on him to "perform" at this young age. It should be for sheer enjoyment right now. Relax and enjoy the natural process. Best wishes!

    Answer by elizabr at 7:57 AM on Sep. 30, 2010

  • I agree with elizabr. I teach first grade, and there are many stages children go through before actual reading - just saying words, making up stories to go with the pictures, decoding the words then comprehension. Reading is not simply reading or decoding the words but actually understanding what was read. The pictures are there for a reason - to help the child understand the story. I'd allow him to "read" the story the way he wants, and rather than focusing on the words, discuss the story - who was the story about, what happened at the beginning, middle, and end of the story, what did you think about the story, would you have done anything differently, etc., etc.? I'd also encourage him to write, even it if is invented spelling. That gives children a great ownership in what they then read.

    Answer by London3 at 8:10 AM on Sep. 30, 2010

  • Try short (very short - 3 or 4 sentences) stories with no pictures. Also, I focus my little guy's eyes on the words by running my finger underneath them as he is reading. Although I agree that encouraging his imagination is fantastic (and necessary), I also know that when kindergarten and grade school start a little bit of practice reading their site words is important. Even 5 minutes of him practicing at night will help.

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 8:13 AM on Sep. 30, 2010

  • Some children are not developmentally ready to "read" until 6 yrs old. In fact, in our district, reading is *still* a 1st grade goal for that very reason. With that in mind, first and foremost, don't push he'll get there. Second don't focus just on books. Play games with words. Play word Bingo. You can buy sets of pre-reading and reading focused bingo games Or you can make your own. Read signs. Give him a shopping list when you go to the supermarket and help him read his list and the packaging on the shevles. Work on ability level books - try phonics readers and "level 1" readers from the "Step into Reading" type series of books. Run your finger along as you read the words (or as my DD's teacher tells them "Your magic finger will show you the way.") Play games that enhance phonics - "I spy something that starts with the letter B. B sounds like Buh." Play online games like Word World, Clifford's letter games, Starfall.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 9:41 AM on Sep. 30, 2010

  • kinda hard to force him on this. My son has sight words as well and he loves to read and I help of course. He does so after dinner and if he reads his books he gets dessert, so what's better motivation than that! Thanks to that kinda motivation he likes to read a story before bed as well......find out what grabs his attention and what would motivate him and stimulate him with small increments so that he builds upon it. He'll find his niche and gradually focus more....but at this age we can get a good 10 minutes (if we're lucky) before they lose interest LOL

    Answer by LynnB1 at 3:58 PM on Sep. 30, 2010

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