Enjoy this Homeschool Case Study: Elementary Boy Hates to Read!
Homeschool Case Study: Elementary Boy Hates to Read
Many early elementary aged boys don’t like reading. They may have good visual perception and no dyslexia but simply are not mature enough to find sitting still and concentrating on boring material a rewarding experience.
We 7Sisters have advised and encouraged moms of elementary-aged homeschoolers for years. Here is a case study of one of the boys. I will call him George.
George was second grade when his mom came for help. She was concerned because, although she loved reading, George said he “hated” it. He moped and complained every time she got his readers out for the daily lesson.
Mom had taken him to his pediatrician and had his vision tested. There didn’t appear to be any problem there. He was reading close to grade level. He wasn’t having a perceptual issue…he just didn’t like reading. Was Mom a failure?
We assured her that she wasn’t a failure. She simply needed to lean into his interests. She to see if she could capture some “little boy” interests, not “reading text” interests.
Here are some more suggestions we shared:
*Pray. Mom needed to remember that George was not defective; he is a precious person who does not like to read.
*Leverage George’s strengths and interests. Mom needed to write a list of George’s strengths and interests. She could ask herself, “Can I leverage his strengths and interests to find reading material George could engage with?”
*Find reading material in his strengths and interest areas. Although George will need to read many types of material before leaving elementary school years, it might be the best practice for him to hook him on reading by finding materials in his strengths and interest areas. George wasn’t interested in fiction, but he loved to watch nature shows. Could mom hook him with non-fiction books about nature?
George’s mom got him started with The Whale’s Song along with 7Sisters’ Elementary Literature Activity Guide for that book. George was excited about the activities in the book and actually found that he could like a book about whales.
Next George’s mom got him The Reason for a Flower along with 7Sisters’ Elementary Literature Activity Guide for that book. George reported that flowers weren’t quite as cool as whales but it was way better than his “readers” and he liked the Activity Guide’s activities.
*Get some silly books. Boys like silliness. George got a kick out of Captain Underpants. Mom used these books to simply foster reading, so she did not have him do additional writing or interaction with Captain Underpants.
While George did not ever choose reading as his top favorite subject, he did grow to accept it with little complaining and even interest (if it was non-fiction). By late elementary school, he was feeling confident and flexible in his reading topics.