There were reasons for this... having holes in his ears affected his hearing and he had a hard time figuring out what the right sounds were for different letters. Teaching phonics with him was such a no go as it just didn't work for him. Logic of English was a review we did last year that worked really really well for my boy. It helped him to figure out what letters are shaped like in your mouth and what the vibrations feel like. Why that helped him connect with the sounds I don't know, but it was such a God-send because once he made that connection he started to read.
BUT what to read. I got a lot of "mom, I don't like that book. Mom, that doesn't interest me. Mom, this one is too hard to read." I kept encouraging him, telling him it was just a matter of finding what intrigued him and was at the right level for him to read ... even if he couldn't read all the words (making a point of letting him see how sometimes even "I" don't know all the words but I can figure out meaning using a dictionary or using the context of the story to help me) he would be able to enjoy the story.
I mandated 20 minutes reading every single day. I didn't care what, just that he read. We started and stopped a lot of books. Discouragement set in until... we hit upon Calvin and Hobbes. A boy and his cat. Living life, getting into trouble, laughter ensued. We got the entire series for him and he read it over and over again.. you could just see his confidence growing.
I can't say how very delighted his dad and I are to have a reader in our house. It's so very nice. :)
My lad and continue to read together. I find it interesting that as much as my lad likes to read fiction books, it's the non-fiction books that he reads or that I read with him that inspire the most comments and questions from him.
Take for instance the book: Natural Gas Power. This book is part of the harnessing Energy Series. It's not what you call an "easy reading book". It uses technical language (while explaining what the words mean) but one really learns what is all involved in using natural gas. We learned the history, the uses, the shipping and more. "But mom, why?" was a frequent question. OR "(statement of clarification).. would I be correct in that mom?" OR "MOM! That's neat!"
I LOVE how non-fiction books bring out those questions in him. AND it's particularly neat when I see him internalize that information and I see it come out in the stories he plays out with his toys. Just LOVE IT.
Another book we've been reading lately is from Smithsonian called Endless Explorations Readers Level Four. Learning about predators, world wonders, natural disasters, space exploration, Ocean Habitats and Flight. It's a rather neat book with fact cards, quizzes and gorgeous pictures. Just perfect to read together or for a lad to read on his own. It has interesting tidbits of information scattered throughout... like did you know the Spanish Flu of 1918 affected 1/5 of the world's population and was found on almost every continent? (of course now I am curious about which continents it wasn't found on... ) :)