View Full Version : Reading and Stamina

11-18-2013, 10:48 PM
My dd is 6, almost 7, and she is reading probably at grade level. We practice every day and she reads me a reader from the library. These are not long books. Just a couple sentences per page with lots of pictures. She fidgets, yawns repeatedly, puts her hands in her mouth(bad habit that pushes my buttons), acts so lethargic, speaks almost in a whisper, etc. Many times I throw in the towel half way through because its making me crazy and I don't want her to hate reading. But she has no stamina! Is this a normal thing for this age? I mean I don't expect her to sit up straight at a desk (we are usually on our couch or bed), but perhaps it would help! She is very distracted by the pictures and today I finally let her look for a bit and then covered them with a piece of paper and it helped immensely. Any other suggestions for building stamina with reading?

11-18-2013, 11:58 PM
Normal. My son was a late reader, and in 1st grade he wanted to read 2 elephant and piggy books at the library every week, but on the second one he would miss twice as many words.

11-19-2013, 12:25 AM
My son is about the same age, and he is way above level for reading ability. He also has very limited stamina. So I say yeah, totally normal. I no longer require him to read to me. He loves nonfiction and spends an hour at a time poring over animal or dinosaur reference books. He reads some of it and looks at pictures the rest of the time. The tired behavior comes out if he is reading some fiction to me. I find by not making demands about it, be does it on his own more often. At least a few times a week he voluntarily reads to me or someone else, so I get to assess his ability and progress that way.

Also, I am pretty sure he reads more to himself than out loud. It is easier, even for me. I feel way more tired from reading aloud than I do when I read in my head. I wouldn't worry :)

11-19-2013, 12:43 AM
If it comforts you, I had no "stamina" at that age, and didn't do nearly the reading she's doing! I even tried hard, to read chapter books at 8 because my older sister spent all day on weekends with her nose in one, and so did my mom, and I felt left out. But "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" was too hard. I struggled through a few sentences, and gave up. I couldn't enjoy it because it was too tortuous. Miraculously, somehow, my brain kept on developing, and by the next year, I was reading "A Wrinkle In Time" to the rest of the 4th grade class, aloud, and really enjoying doing that, and was reading "Alice Through The Looking Glass" (the real one, not some Disney picture book) and deeply engrossed in it, enough that my best friend and I discussed every aspect of it for an hour straight, at recess every day, and sometimes didn't hear the bell ring to go back, and came out of our reverie, alone in an empty playground. That was embarrassing! Then at 11, I read the Works of William Shakespeare, and though it was a challenge, I did get to where I could understand Shakespearean speech and writing, such that it was all old hat review by high school, when everyone else found it incomprehensible.

Long story short, I wasn't the earliest reader in my family. And that didn't matter one bit. :0
What mattered, was unfolding on my own timetable. I'm grateful for that experience, because without it, I might panic that my 9 yo DD still won't read fiction books on her own. She dives into research on a topic that interests her, both online and in reference books, for hours and weeks, just fine, and enjoys having fiction read aloud to her, but when required to read a chapter book aloud, like your daughter, it seems to tire her out, and she begs to be let off from it.

I remember struggling to read even a paragraph of "Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing" at 8, and try not to let panic drive me to put my daughter through that, when in all likelihood, either she'll go through a major reading growth spurt, and read thick books with relish, or else, possibly, she'll always prefer researching nonfiction, to support an interest, and have no use for fiction book reading for its own sake. Sad, but if it happens, I guess she'll learn a lot and do a lot of research, growing up. I've known a few people like that, and they thrive in technical careers, because they'd rather read a manual than a Harry Potter novel.

Well anyway, just sending out some support. Try not to worry. That's a pretty young age for so much reading unless the kid is just bent that way. They have increased the expectations of so many things, at such younger ages, than was ever considered developmentally appropriate when I was a kid, that I am just glad to be a homeschooling parent.

11-19-2013, 08:58 AM
My oldest who is a young 6 can read for a long time. Tho she has always had a strong ability to focus well.

But her brother who is a year younger probably won't have her same stamina once he learns. He can barely even go a few minutes for books he has memorized without being distracted. Though he does much better alone in his room when he is reading in bed at night waiting to get tucked in. But this is a routine we have done for awhile and he knows that if he starts goofing off then I close his door bc he is disturbing bedtime which he doesn't like so he is mostly focused. Other than that time he is squirmy and pretty inattentive during solo reading.

11-19-2013, 10:03 AM
My oldest is 6, turns 7 in January and while he is a very good reader his stamina is low also. I do have him read to me and I think that is important so that I can catch the patterns of mistakes and help him with concepts he may not know but I don't expect too much and when he is tiring we put the book down and try again another day. He enjoys reading to himself more and I try to leave books out that he will like. He really likes joke books and funny books, TOON books are a big hit for him. I check them out of the library and leave them sitting on the side table in the living room and he always finds them without me saying a word. He also picks out books that he would like to read, although with those I think he looks at the pictures more than anything as he picks some quite difficult books sometimes.

I think very little stamina at this age is normal, especially with reading aloud. I know my head starts to hurt after reading aloud for long periods of time and I can read to myself for hours.

11-19-2013, 01:23 PM
I hate picture books. We have a lot of them and the kids are welcome to read them on their own, but I avoid them if I can during lesson time. That's not always possible, especially for ds's K lessons. They are super distracting.

As for reading laying down, ds is out within seconds of his head hitting the pillow. Reading in bed is not an option for him. Dd on the other hand can listen or read to herself in bed for hours. We used to do phonics/reading lessons in bed all the time with no issues, except my wanting or sometimes actually falling asleep.

I think at that age, normally, what you describe is pretty average.

11-19-2013, 01:56 PM
I think others are right about the stamina part being normal for her age/ability. Does she like the books? Some are winners...some are boring. Mine will happily last through a book that makes him laugh/catches his interest (Hot Dog - simple reader, hilarious to ds). One that's a yawn we'll get thru - but only 'cause I give up and read it to him.

One question - got a very new reader - 6 - kinder - sight words, good guesser, only just beginning to sound out unknown CVC/longer but simple words with help. I'd like to repeat books so he can practice new words and sounds - but I can't tell a lot if he's reading or has it memorized. He seems to memorize books he likes in no time - 1 - 2 reads. Any suggestions? Is re-reading memorized books still helpful for learning to read?

11-19-2013, 03:43 PM
My son has an amazing memory for words he has already seen, but is not so good at blending/sounding out words. I occasionally let him reread books that he has already read because he likes the repetition. But, like you, my suspicion is that he has them memorized. I figure he is still being exposed to the process of how reading works, and it is fun to catch him when he misses a word because he is just guessing or thinks he has it memorized. Then I make him sound it out and when he slows down and is actually reading, he usually gets it right.

11-19-2013, 04:02 PM
Memorized books are still helpful because they essentially memorize the words visually while 'reading' a memorized book - does that make sense? its like drilling sight words by themselves