My 2nd grader doesn’t finish books he’s reading.

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    • #39819
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      This discussion was originally started by user dragoncita in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.

      My son is 8 and this is the first year where he’s really doing great in school. He has always loved to read, but he does not want to read a book from start to finish. He likes to dip in and out of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” or whatever other book he’s reading.

      How can we help him read some books from start to finish without destroying his love of reading?

    • #40454
      Devon Frye
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user parentcoachjoyce in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Has he ever said why he doesn’t want to read it in order?

      Joyce Mabe
      Parent coach, licensed school counselor, mom of adult son with ADHD

    • #40464
      Devon Frye
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user dragoncita in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      I asked him this morning, but he really had no explanation. He said he just liked to. I told him I really wanted him to try to read some books from beginning to end and he said, “Okay, I’ll try.” 😀

    • #40485
      Devon Frye
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user parentcoachjoyce in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Hmm. Interesting!

      I couldn’t get my son to read anything until he found a series he loved and then he couldn’t wait to read the books to find out what was next, and to find out how it ended.

      One other thought I had: Maybe it doesn’t really matter how he reads as long as he’s reading something!

      Joyce Mabe
      Parent coach, licensed school counselor, mom of adult son with ADHD

    • #40511
      Devon Frye
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user brlk13 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      I have an 11-year-old son in 5th grade who loves to read, is an excellent reader, reads more than most other 5th graders I know, and has zero interest in reading a long chapter book start to finish. He pops in and out of lots of different books as he pleases. Unless he has to finish one for a school assignment, I don’t worry about it. As long as he’s reading I don’t care what or how. His books, his way. I read to him and his 8-year-old brother still every night — something above their level to stretch their thinking and vocabulary — and we read start to finish a few chapters at a time. He has no problem tracking the story and playing back the details so I’m not worried about his reading comprehension. He really likes graphic novels, and there are many options out there at a variety of reading/age levels so if you’re really concerned that he finish a book end to end maybe give those a try? They tend to be more engaging for short attention spans.

    • #40519
      Devon Frye
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user dragoncita in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Thanks for your perspectives. Maybe I’m worrying about it too much.

      He does the same with graphic novels. He does love to read and I read to him all the time, so maybe I should just be happy with that…

    • #40522
      Devon Frye
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user adhdmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      My son was the same way, and still is in 8th grade. He prefers visual reading (graphic novels, magazines, non-fiction books, etc).

      However, one of his favorite parts of the school day is a little short session they do each day where a book is read aloud to the class. BUT, only if he likes the book.

      So, he enjoys stories, he reads on grade level, but will not read novels to the end. There are several reasons for this:

      1) The excitement of a new story of new book wears off, and that excitement was helping him focus on it.

      2) He has exceptionally poor visual tracking, so it’s a lot of work to read page after page of nothing but text. He gets lost approximately 5-10 times on EVERY PAGE.

      3) It’s a huge struggle for him to sit still and focus that long.

      A couple things that have helped a little:

      1) A HOWDAhug chair. It was the only thing that every helped him to not writhe around and stand on his head while trying to concentrate on reading. (You can read my review of it and actually see my son sitting in it and reading several years ago in the photo in this article: https://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/10077.html).

      2) Bookshare. This is a free service for those with disabilities. It’s ebooks, but you can add read aloud or both read aloud with highlight in sync. https://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/11161.html This really helped my son, but he’s resistant to it now — I suspect he thinks he’s too old or too capable to need it, sadly.

      Most experts will tell you what’s important is that they read, not what they read or even for how long they read each time. Try some additional tools, and let it go. Just taking the pressure off often helps some.

      Penny
      ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #40525
      Devon Frye
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user Arthur in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Dear dragoncita,

      Don’t expect a fish to climb a tree and please please please don’t TELL a fish to climb a tree — suffering only follows! Try to focus on finding a pond where your fish will be happy to spend their life swimming in!

      Arthur

    • #40527
      Devon Frye
      Keymaster

      This reply was originally posted by user Lv2_Learn in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      It sounds like he doesn’t have a problem reading for school assignments or remembering what’s needed for homework…but if that becomes the case there are good tips here: https://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/4026.html. There are some tips in there that could also maybe help you with ideas for what you are looking to help him with.

      Sometimes multi-tasking can actually help with focus for an ADHD child — for example, listening to music while reading. Some good tips here: https://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/3967.html

      You can also try:
      -Chewing gum
      -Walking around
      -Holding onto or squeezing a stress ball
      -Sitting in a swivel chair or a rocking chair and moving back and forth
      -Sitting on a yoga ball or balancing ball and bouncing

      While you probably don’t need to worry about it when it comes to his leisure reading (like others have said, as long as he’s reading that’s what counts), it could be worth experimenting for his school reading.

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