At what age did your child start reading for pleasure?

(116 Posts)
Fuzzymum1 Fri 01-Mar-13 11:16:14

I know it varies hugely and there isn't really a 'normal' here but I can't remember when my older boys started curling up with a book by choice.

All of my boys have learned to read quite easily and I remember there were times when both DS1 and DS2 were getting through books quicker than I could keep up with visiting the library! As a family we all love to read.

DS3 has just turned 6 and has been reading lime at school for a while and needs very little help with them, his teacher says his comprehension is good too - working at around 2A I think. He has lots of books with a variety of themes and styles but he's yet to make that move to wanting to read for pleasure. I'm not worried about him, he loves to be read to and loves audio books - he's having a chapter a night of harry potter at the moment and really enjoying it, but I am looking forward to the day he wants to curl up and read on a rainy day. instead of insisting we all play school assembly and sing

Saracen Sat 02-Mar-13 00:32:52

Dd1 - 9. Reading was hard work before then. She desperately wanted to read for pleasure but it was just too exhausting to be fun. Now she's 13 and reads loads.

Dd2 - not yet, she's 6.5 and can't read anything yet, let alone for pleasure.

Startail Sat 02-Mar-13 00:40:53

DD1-12, she dyslexic. Didn't learn to read until she was 11 and at 15 never has her nose out of a book.

DD2 -8 ish, but not very bothered.
She is DD1s absolute opposite, best reader in the class at primary, but far more inclined to watch TV or play SIMs than read.

Rather a case of I can do that if I need to, so why practice.

AllDirections Sat 02-Mar-13 00:51:35

DD1 was into her teens.

DD2 was 5 or 6

DD3 is just 6 and she's just started reading for pleasure. She's been reading Rainbow Fairies and Horrid Henry for a while but only at bedtime (usually to stall bedtime) but she's now reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and it's the first book that she's read alone that she's really got into.

vesela Sat 02-Mar-13 21:14:33

DD is 6 this month, and goes through phases of liking to read alone and preferring to be read to. Either way it's for pleasure, if you see what I mean.

She's an only child. I was reading alone pretty exclusively at her age, but I was the eldest of three - my parents were taken up with the younger ones and I was left to get on with it. Plus I've always been more of a written rather than spoken word person - I don't like listening to the radio or audio books, and if I click on a link and find it's a TED lecture I don't have the patience to listen to it smile

Beamur Sat 02-Mar-13 21:23:19

DD has started reading by herself now she can actually read enough of a book to understand it - she probably started in earnest when she was 5, she's just turned 6. She mostly re-reads books she is already familiar with though, although she has a few new ones which we haven't read with her.

Bakingtins Sun 03-Mar-13 07:51:59

6. He read 4 Tom Gates books in a week, hundreds of pages each.

Artichook Sun 03-Mar-13 08:06:28

This thread would have the reader believe its average to read chapter books for pleasure aged 5-6 and not unusual at 4. That is so far from my experience of real life children and helping out in Y1 and Y2 classes. Of course there is huge variation but my RL experience is that very few 4 and 5 year olds are able to read chapter books and at 6 this BEGINS to change.

I think sometimes these threads attract those with unusual experiences.

alsoaperson Sun 03-Mar-13 08:24:35

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

alsoaperson Sun 03-Mar-13 08:26:36

Call for HELP, please! And thank you in advance!

Anyone got good suggestions for books to help my daughter (6) step up into chapter books?

For instance, what is the girl equivalent of Horrid Henry?

seeker Sun 03-Mar-13 08:36:19

I have a theory about this- and I am wearing my tin hat.

I think reading for pleasure happens soooooo much later than most people think. Most tiny children love looking at books, and there is so much emphasis on reading being a good thing to do that they cheerfully conform and sit with books, lapping up the praise! They can read, obviously, but the level of fluency necessary to read completely effortlessly and for it not to have to be worked at at all takes loads of practice. Which is why (IMHO) people often say that their children to off reading a a bit in mid primary school. They've gone past the stage where they will do anything for parental approval, and haven't yet reached the stage where reading isn't "work", and is its own reward.

My children, for example, were both good readers in the school sense. Not as good as most mumsnet children, obviously grin but free readers sometime in year 1. But they were both, I think, at least 9 or 10 before they reached the stage where they didn't have to think about the process at all, and reading became an automatic process.

Never underestimate a child's capacity to conform to parental expectation, and to perform for praise!

MerryCouthyMows Sun 03-Mar-13 08:39:22

Dd still hasn't EVER read for pleasure. She is 15 next week. But she has LD's and couldn't read at all until she was 8yo.

DS1 - 4yo.

DS2 - also has LD's, but takes after me and since the age of 7yo, has constantly had his nose buried in a book. To the point of walking into trees and lampposts outside...

DS3 - is only 2yo - so not sure yet!

mrz Sun 03-Mar-13 08:57:11

My OH didn't start reading for pleasure until he was in his 40s so there's time yet MCM

teacherwith2kids Sun 03-Mar-13 10:29:48

DS, though a fluent pre-school reader, only read non-fiction for pleasure until he was in Year 5 Would still probably prefer to read Wisden's Cricketing almanac than most fiction books.

DD, who learned to read at school, is my bookworm, and has been since 6 or 7.

mrz Sun 03-Mar-13 10:56:41

My son mostly read non-fiction (although he enjoyed listening to fiction) until he was in his teens is now a prolific fiction reader. My daughter preferred fiction and now mainly reads biographies.

Floralnomad Sun 03-Mar-13 11:01:09

DS 18 years
DD 12 years
Both could read quite early but my son only ever read what he needed to until he started uni ,is now working through the Russian classics . My daughter started reading when she stopped going to school full time ( medical reasons) and now reads all the time .

insanityscratching Sun 03-Mar-13 11:38:27

Dd2 read for pleasure as soon as she had mastered decoding so about 5, dd1 only started reading for pleasure at aged 9 and now at 19 reads more than I do and I read a lot. Two of my sons only discovered reading for pleasure in their late teens and one of my sons has never enjoyed reading and would never pick up a book through choice.

BooksandaCuppa Sun 03-Mar-13 11:58:19

8 months old by learnandsay's criteria - holding books and turning the pages unaided, pointing to the pictures and starting to fill in words I left out.

8 years by seeker's criteria - devouring whole 400 page novels, unprompted an unchosen by me, at the expense of any other activity.

seeker Sun 03-Mar-13 12:02:55

I think learnandsay's criteria explain all the mumsnet 4 year old chapter book readers!

Kikithecat Sun 03-Mar-13 12:07:13

DD - about 7
DS - 13 and still waiting...

MerryCouthyMows Sun 03-Mar-13 12:21:00

I would use Seeker's criteria, although watered down a bit.

In other words, I class my DC's as competent readers when they start reading chapter books like Roald Dahl etc. So not 400 page books, but still 'proper' books.

I can hold out hope that one day DD will read for pleasure.

My house has do many books in that I could build a house made of books.

My favourite online shop? The Book People.

DS3 is currently very into Mr. Men books. If I went by learnandsay's criteria, he would already be 'reading'

Which I know he isn't.

ShowOfHands Sun 03-Mar-13 12:28:39

DD is 5 and reads for pleasure. She is currently curled up on the sofa reading Black Beauty for the second time. I don't know when she switched from reading by rote to reading for pleasure in fiction terms. Some time in reception I suppose when she read a lot of Blyton and most of the Dahl books and it was like a switch flicking. She's voracious now and reads a lot. Not done for praise or a head pat, just curling up with a book and losing hours to it.

She derives pleasure from books in lots of ways though. She likes to find stuff out for herself using the non-fiction section at the library and enjoys the process of locating a book, finding a section etc. She also reads to her 18mo brother, performs books for him, does voices and actions etc.

Following simple recipes too. Or instructions for making things. They're all part of using reading for something satisfying outside of sitting down and reading. Sometimes the focus on chapter books is a bit misleading I suppose.

teacherwith2kids Sun 03-Mar-13 12:31:09

I suppose my criteria would be:
- Choose a previously unread, reasonably substantial and age appropriate, 'real' book independently (ie not a 'scheme' book)
- Choose where and when to read it.
- Choose to read it absolutely for their own pleasure, independent of the presence or absence of an adult or of a peer / sibling that they would like to impress, and at a time when they could choose to do something else.
- Be capable of reading to themselves, whether out loud or silently, sufficiently fluently to show full absorbtion in the book's contents (ie not necessarily understanding every word, but with such omissions being trivial in the overall context of the book).

seeker Sun 03-Mar-13 12:32:41

A 5 year old who can read Black Beauty is a truly exceptional reader. I personally wouldn't give that particular book to a 5 year old because I don't think the content is suitable, but I realise others won't agree!

ShowOfHands Sun 03-Mar-13 12:41:52

She is nearly 6 actually and I always struggle with fine line between ability and content. Her TA ( a qualified children's librarian ) is actually v good and works with us to choose appropriate books for her maturity and comprehension.

I didn't like Black Beauty at any age!

seeker Sun 03-Mar-13 13:04:47

Just because a child can read something doesn't mean they should.

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