We are based in UK, my son has 5 and he went to school. Every day he needs to practice reading. When he was in reception year, he was able to read 2 books in one evening. Sometimes he was reading on his own. Now as he started year 1, I spend with him sometimes over 2 hours during them he reads only couple pages.

Each time when we start reading he claims he is tired. Then he looses focus all the time. I tried rewarding him for completing his homework, but seems like he doesn't care anymore.

I was wondering how to deal with it? how i can encourage him to do his reading assignment without 2 hours of misery.

1 Answer 1


Have you considered that a full school day for a 5yo can be tough and demanding and that he might need a bit of time to adjust?

From what you write, he’s really struggling and tired, which means that forcing (yes, even gently and with your support) him to read will likely have the opposite of the desired effect. You don’t want him to learn that reading is a stressful task, reading should be both a tool to acquire information and an enjoyable activity. If he’s been reading before, I wouldn’t worry, he’ll pick up once he’s settled in at school again.

If you (and the teacher) think a certain amount of reading is important, find other time slots when your child isn’t tired - the upcoming autumn and winter lends itself to cozy afternoons reading on the sofa and once you look at reading as a past time (as opposed to a school chore), you will likely find more suitable times in your family schedule.

If necessary, talk to the teacher and have the “reading assignment” suspended for a bit - or at least not “checked”.

That said, the usual recommendations how to encourage reading are still valid: Make it a positive experience, model reading as a parent, find interesting reading material. And think outside the box, practicing reading skills can mean so much more than books. Board game instructions, the directions on a pack of pudding, (kids) magazines, even the back of a box of cornflakes, the comic strips in the Sunday paper, just to name a few ideas. Have them read the recipe to you while you’re cooking. Wikipedia has articles in “Simple English” (easier to read, fewer “long words”). From personal experience, my kids were always extra determined to struggle through a text if they wanted the information in it.

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    Absolutely agree with the part about not making reading a chore. When a specific amount of reading is imposed by somebody else, it invariable becomes a chore. Keep a lot of intriguing books around the house within his reach. Think attractive cover illustrations, titles in large letters, topics he's interested in.. anything that catches the child's attention. (Kids do judge books by their covers!) Chances are high that he'll make time to read them - for enjoyment rather than because somebody mandated it.
    – learner101
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 9:53

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