Encouraging the Reluctant Reader

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If your child is reticent to read, there are ways to make reading a fun and rewarding experience that can introduce them to a wonderful new world. Reading carries so many benefits that make it a skill that every child should hone. When your child is an effective reader, all those high school and college texts won’t pose a problem and they will be able to spend less time studying. Any book they read will add something to their knowledge base, and improve vocabulary and communication skills as well as reading comprehension.

Read to me!

Reading to your children is one of the best ways to instill in them a love of literature. Reading every day for bedtime or story time when they are younger is a great start. Read campfire stories when you go on vacation, read scary stories by candlelight and listen to books on tape when you take road trips.

You can let them do the reading when they get older. Ask them to read the news to you, read recipes when you are cooking together and instructions when you are building new things or playing board games.

Read what’s right for you

Many children associate reading with schoolwork and don’t want to spend their free time on academic tasks. You can overcome this perception by finding other forms of literature that they will enjoy. Don’t be opposed to buying comics, anime, manga or magazines that they are interested in. Always ensure that the books are age-appropriate.

Get an electronic reader or a tablet for technically-minded students and get them to read blogs and books that they like online. Select books that mirror your child’s interests. For example, if you have a child who is soccer-crazy, get them literature on the World Cup and on their favorite soccer players.

Reward good reading

Make charts or graphs which track the number of books your children read. You can offer rewards for goals reached so that they are motivated to continue reading. The library can be a fascinating place and when students get to select their own books, they may be more likely to read them. Make your library a regular destination, especially over the summer vacation when they offer story times and other free activities that are fun.

Support your reader

Talk about the books that your child is reading. Ask lots of questions and ask them what they think about the characters, the choices they made and how they would have handled a similar situation. Showing your interest may encourage them to think of books in a more positive light.

If your child is too busy, they won’t read. Ensure that you make time every week for reading to show that it is just as important as other after-school activities. You should also lead by example so read books as well and take time to read together in the park, in your garden or even on the living room floor.

Picture by Tim Pierce
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