How to encourage a reluctant reader
Reading is an important life skill. A popular quote says “Today’s reader, tomorrow a leader’ (Margaret Fuller). We all want the best for our children, and being able to read and comprehend, is essential to making the most of life.
So, what do you do if your child is a reluctant reader? Firstly, please note that here, a reluctant reader is different from a struggling reader. If your child is a struggling reader, please get in touch with us so that we can help better understand what the challenges are specifically, and help you and your child overcome them. If your child is showing little to no interest in reading, the following tips can help get them consuming a few paragraphs or pages each day, and in time even enjoying it!
1. Relate it to something they enjoy
We are more inclined to do things we enjoy, and that probably goes double for children! So, if they enjoy singing, why not try to get them reading song lyrics (obvious), or a little about the songwriter or original singer (not so obvious). If they enjoy playing a particular video game, you could get them reading about the video game character, or even the makers. Also, try various content, not just books, but comics, poems, magazines etc.
2. Make it fun
If your child thinks reading is a chore then they are likely to be disinterested in it. But if they identify different characters in fiction, or books related to a TV show or movie they enjoy, that will change their perspective of reading. Another simple, quick and fun thing that can really help to improve your child’s reading skills, is to turn on subtitles whilst they are watching TV and movies – that way, TV time is also reading time.
3. Read with them
Lead (and read) by example. Consider reading through a recipe with them for example, a non-fiction story, or a popular fairy tale, and then discussing what you
think, and how it makes you feel. You can take turns to read a chapter out loud. Also, let them see you reading where possible, and if they ask, let them know why you are reading e.g., reading a news article (to be informed), a novel (to unwind/be entertained), a textbook (to pass an exam).
4. Make them comfortable
The skill of reading is better learned than forced, so find out what they are comfortable with and start there. It might help to have a dedicated reading time, even if it is just a few minutes, as well as a dedicated reading area if possible. Let them develop this skill at their own pace.
At Clarssroom we are here to support you, as you support your child and help them become the best reader that they can be.