Wednesday, 30 January 2013

#readitmummiesanddaddies2013 - Are phonics any good to a reluctant reader?

Books are just a complete no-no for some kids
At times, the first faltering steps on the learning journey when a child is beginning to read lull you into a false sense of security. Children often learn at a blistering pace, so when a child suddenly loses all interest in reading themselves, what can you do?

When this happens, the mere sight of a phonics book seems to provoke a negative reaction, and even if you try and sneak in self-reading in other forms (with traditional storytelling books etc), a child will often (horror of horrors) begin to disengage with those too. We are seeing this with Charlotte at the moment, despite a real love of books being read to her - and a real interest in books (thankfully, phew!), she often feels under pressure when asked to read aloud herself so we're slowly cranking down a gear, and taking the attitude that gentle persuasion and patience, coupled with sticker-based rewards are having some impact and slowly encouraging her that reading isn't all work, work, work.

There's no magic answer, but some experts are describing the national phonics initiatives as being partially to blame. The accelerated learning programme for children in reception, to be expected to at least have a basis in self-reading by the time they reach year one, means that both teachers and parents are under massive pressure to try and ensure that their child learns to read, decode and recognise - often neglecting to take into account that all children learn at a different pace in a multitude of different ways.

We've looked at some of the available phonics resources (both in app and in print form) this week but here are a few sites that specifically tackle the thorny issue of reluctant reading:

Nelson Thornes Reluctant Readers / Fast Lane Readers - A handy collection of free downloadable e-books and resources to help children engage with reading outside of the often disjointed phonics experience.

Joyce Melton Pages Reluctant Reader Guide - Great ideas, tips and hints for reluctant readers

The McGraw Hill Reading Labs - Class and home based activities based around reading through play

Ransom Publishing - Great books for reluctant readers

Any more hints and suggestions are most welcome, please leave a comment below.