Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I'd Like to Phone a Friend


I would love to hear your ideas on:

How to get a 8 year-old boy to love to read. Or even like to read. Or even pick up a book.

How to get Munchkins to eat fresh, delicious, beautiful homegrown tomatoes. Without spitting them out, gagging or otherwise ejecting them in any way from their mouths.

Extra credit if you can get the Master to read a book about a tomato.

10 comments:

Alisa said...

Reading is easy. Just tie it into an activity he has to earn the right to have. For example, here every reading minute translates into video game time. He's about the same age as mine, so have you tried the Spiderwick series or the How to Train a Dragon series. I was a bit disappointed that The Boy doesn't choose books like his sister, but I finally came to realize that reading is good either way. Now he can't get enough and reads even when he isn't earning minutes. We started with 1/2 hr. increments, setting the kitchen timer so he didn't have to wonder the whole time how long he was reading.
Tomatoes are another story. The Boy hates them, but the rest of us <3 them. As long as he eats his other fruits and veggies, we aren't forcing him. One thing my kids do eat is fruits and veggies, just barely any meat! If you have meat suggestions, let me know!
Good luck with both.

Joyce said...

Check with your local library. They have summer reading programs where kids earn small prizes for reading a certain amount of time.

Find books he likes. The librarians should be able to help with that too.
Try having him listen to audiobooks to get him hooked on the story. Read to them, to find stories he likes.

You may have to start with comic books, several years ago, when I worked at a small library, kids were reading R.L. Stine Goosebumps books, and Parents were complaining because that was all they would read, but at least they were reading.

He might like, Where the Read Fern grows, or Something by Gary Paulsen

Schools around here are using Accelerated Reading Program. The kids read a book take a computerized test and get awards. My problem with that is that they are just reading for the reward, and don't learn to love reading, but maybe that's OK. Maybe not everybody is meant to love reading.

Katharine said...

we've done a ton of audiobooks this summer... and I read aloud to them at mealtime... and that has increased an interest / love for stories / books. He seldom picks a book up on his own to read for pleasure, so I have to just make it part of the "must do" list sometimes. But the times when he has picked up a book on his own, it's been books that he is interested in. We started with some Encyclopedia Brown --- mysteries have that "brainteaser" aspect, and the chapters are short so that there is a feeling of success with completing a chapter.

Lucy said...

Many years ago I was heartbroken that my son (he was in second grade) did not like to read, so I prayed about it. I felt lead to tell him he could stay up a 1/2 hour longer at night, but there were rules. He had to be in his bed and he had to read the 1/2 hour, anything age appropriate he chose. Reading became a privilege for him. If he didn't want to read, then lights were out at the regular time. Now, he's 25 and still gets frustrated if he doesn't get his "extra time." He quickly asked for an hour instead of the half hour. And he now loves Homer, Shakespeare and a multitude of other authors... and has read thousands of books. Hope this is helpful. BLessings,
Lucy

MrsMama said...

Thanks for all of your suggestions. I knew I'd get some great ideas!

Dawn said...

I love Lucy's comment of getting extra time! I read aloud to my girls every night--long chapter books without pictures so they had to visualize the story themselves. (We started with Harry Potter 1--my youngest was about 5). And we had lots of books around--like comic books and other things that I didn't want to read to them or myself, but I hoped to appeal to them.

tlawwife said...

I like magazines with an interest of your child.

Ann in NJ said...

My mother (retired teacher and librarian) says it doesn't matter WHAT they're reading, as long as they're reading! Keep it fun, rewards, not punishments. Read with him, so he gets into the story without having to work SO hard. Maybe he reads the first page of the chapter, you read the rest. Or take turns. The more you can get him to read, the easier it becomes.

Tomatoes, well, I agree with Alisa. Not sure you can trick/force/cajole someone to like something they don't. Tastes grow, just like the rest of their bodies.

April said...

Best idea ever....Take all the food in the house and throw it in the trash and fill every shelf with those beautiful tomatoes. They will either starve or start eating right.

Does he like to pick out his books? Seems like reading aloud has always been the trigger for my kids, I never liked reading as a kid, but I loved being read to.

prairietrails said...

Is he a movie boy? Another trick that worked for a friend was to find an age appropriate book that was coming out as a movie that her son was excited to see. The deal? Read the book first (I think they read it together, taking turns to read out loud). Then as a treat, they went to the movie on opening night. When her son saw the amazing difference between reading it and seeing someone's else trimmed down take? Reading became more fun. (This works especially well with long series like Harry Potter.)

Don't force the tomatoes, or just like reading, they'll never go for them. Let them grow them. Try cherry tomatoes instead of the big ones (they tend to be much sweeter). Stuff 'em with cream cheese and herbs. Do they like spaghetti? Have them make the sauce with fresh tomatoes...

Dang. Now I need a snack...