Hates writing… LOVES reading!

As the title suggests, my son loves reading, and it’s not surprising since he has an overloaded personal library that contains nearly 150 books mashaa`Allaah. However, he simply does not like writing. He’ll ‘dictate’ words to me, and just recently began to spell his name, alhamdulillaah. He spells it, but does not write it because he says ‘he can’t’.

I find it quite frustrating, since he is progressing quite well with his reading. We use BOB books and he loves reading each book in set 1 because he can read an entire book himself, mashaa`Allaah (which is consequently the aim of BOB books).

Does anyone have tips to encourage Junayd to read? Activities, or the like?

~ Umm Junayd.

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7 thoughts on “Hates writing… LOVES reading!

  1. Assalaamu Alaikum Ukhtee,

    You meant encourage him to write not read, right? : )

    Since he likes reading, maybe he’ll be encouraged to “write his own books” to add to his library so he could later read them! What you can do is create a pattern book with clipart (e.g. I can swim, I can eat, I can drink, etc.). Put the full sentence in the first page…but then start dropping the “I” then the “can” from the pages, replacing them with blanks “_____”, and just leave the word corresponding with the picture. Then encourage him to “fill in the blanks” to complete the book so he can read it at the end. The book doesn’t have to be long…6 sentences. Of course, depending on his level…you can modify the story and what he has to “fill in”.

    If he says he “can’t” fill in the blanks…encourage him and say yes you can. You can either dot the words or hold his hand…then let him repeat since it’s the same word pattern that’s being written.

    I’m not sure if that will work/will encourage him…but it’s worth a try!

    May Allaah grant you both success. Aameen.

    Wassalaamu Alaikum

  2. Wa ‘alaikumus-salaam ukhtee.

    I love your idea, sis! He is always ‘making his own books’ (which actually entails him cutting an A4 sized paper into half with scissors and then gluing them again) – I’ll try this with him this weekend inshaa`Allaah.

    He even told me tonight that he does not like writing. He said that it’s because he always gets it wrong. aww… poor baba – he’s yet to learn that we start by getting many things wrong. I said that practice makes perfect. I don’t think he believes me!

    Please keep the ideas rolling in. Jazaakillaahu khairaa.

    ~ Umm J.

  3. Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatoh

    Awww…cutie, maa shaa’ Allaah. I guess sis, instead of starting with books…start small!

    Perhaps, “pretend” that you want him to help you “draw”…get a marker…let him pick his favourite colour…get something to draw on (on paper, whiteboard, whatever is available)…then ask him “I want to draw an umbrella hook/handle…you think you can help me…what does it look like?”…let him try to describe…if he’s willing to draw it…by all means encourage him…if he’s hesitant…let him demonstrate with his hands or in the air etc. Then say…wow you’re right, maa shaa’ Allaah! Let’s try to draw it on paper…and depending on his mood either you got first then him or vice versa. Then say…Guess what?!! Did you know you just WROTE the letter J!!! It’s the first letter in your name! You’re an amazing writer! lol… If you do it and it works…let me know what you ‘read’ on his face at that moment.

    Then you can practice writing lots of “umbrella” hooks/sticks whatever…different colours…different mediums…show to family…wow everyone. Then start with the next letter…be creative…”let’s draw a cup” – for “u”, “let’s draw an upside down cup” – for “n”, “let’s draw a circle with a stick” for “a” etc.

    Start small and build up his confidence…then do “big” things.

    I’m talking of course, not knowing what your child can/cannot do at this point. If he still needs help with shaping things…used dots/tracing first. Draw for him in light pencil and let him trace with colourful thick markers…etc.

    Perhaps he feels he can’t “write”, and pretending to draw “shapes” of objects in a fun way etc. might take away that “fear” he has of making mistakes in writing.

    Please remember to praise his work whatever it looks like! A couple in my family – thinking they were helping their little one and worrying that he might “fall behind” – did not appreciate the scribbles their child wrote as much as they should. It’s perfectly normal for kids to invert letters etc. So praise him for whatever he does…and as he gains confidence you can then slowly and kindly correct him…instead of saying “That’s not what it looks like! It’s the other way!”…be like “Wow! Maa shaa’ Allaah…! You did it!” Perhaps you already do this, maa shaa’ Allaah, but reminders don’t hurt.

    May Allaah ta’aalaa make things easy for you and your lil one, and draw you both closer to Him. Aameen.

    p.s. I’ll try to post up a book sample of what I mentioned last time. You can print the pages back to back like a real book and staple it…it looks “authentic” and kids enjoy it. Hope I remember to do it soon, in shaa’ Allaah!

  4. Corrections:

    “…and depending on his mood either you got first then him or vice versa.”

    – I meant “you go first” not got.

    Also, I got a phone call as I was writing my comment and it distracted me from finishing a point…lol…forgot to re-read it.

    About the couple in my family, their criticism hurt their little one. He felt he “can’t” do anything. And just totally depended on them for helping him with everything. He lost confidence in himself…and it was hard to build it up again. But al7amdulillaah now it’s getting better. So yea…in shaa’ Allaah just encourage and build up confidence first…then slowly fix mistakes and ‘guide’ gently towards what’s right.

    Alright…I’m out for now.

  5. Bismi Allahi er-rahmaan er-raheem
    Assalam alaikum

    Well, the idea of Dr. Montessori is that writing should be done before reading. Children do not really write, they use ready made letters and spell word with them.
    You can either print the letters and cut around them or use cards with the letters.
    Ask your child how do you spell ‘cat’ by sounding each part of the word, then let it write ‘cat’ not with a pen but with the ready made letters.
    To help him, you can also give them all the letters and ask him to put them in order.
    After some time, he will feel more confident, enough to write with a pen, Insha Allah.
    Of course, the Montessori curriculum has all this drawing-hand eyes preparation before writing words.

    Writing is really hard for little kids; it takes a lot of efforts. Try to make it fun and go slowly.
    Good luck with it.

    If you have more questions, please contact me; I am certified Montessori teacher 🙂

    Wassalam
    Sis Soumy

  6. As-salaamu’alaykum wa Rahmatu Llahi wa Barakatuhu my dearest sister,

    AlhumduliLlah, there are many ways to get written words on paper, without realizing you actually do that. (Well.. at least I think so)

    Try using different materials. Have him write on the drive way with chalk, finger paint words (or his name), use shaving cream on a large baking tray and let me write in that, have him write letters to cut out and glue on something (like a balloon), make a grocery list together and go out a buy the items, water paint (ie: use water instead of paint) on the sidewalk, have him make labels for his toy ‘store’, make a journal where most of it is gluing things or drawing.. and have him write one or two words here and there, etc.

    I hope that helps a little, insha’Allah.

    Wa’alaykum as-salaam
    Love Farhana

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