Encouraging reluctant readers
Some children love to read, but for others it can be more of a challenge.
They may not be reluctant to read simply because they don’t want to – for some, it can be because they find it difficult.
If your child is one of the reluctant ones, don’t worry because they’re definitely not alone. It’s not surprising, when there are so many other things to distract them such as computer games and social media – far more than when we were younger.
If reading doesn’t come naturally to your child, it’s important to encourage them to try, as reading is fundamental to all areas of learning. It widens their vocabulary and improves their spelling and understanding of words.
There are some simple things you can do to encourage your child’s reading habits.
First of all, it’s important to choose a book that doesn’t have too many words on the page, otherwise they may feel defeated before they’ve even started.
Your child’s interests can also help you to find the right reading material. What do they like? If they won’t read a fictional story, what else might they enjoy? Joke books, comic books and factual books like Guinness World Records might be more up their street. Think outside the box.
The Tom Gates series of books may be easier to read for some children – the pages have fun doodles on the pages to help break up the words. The Horrid Henry series, which has been popular with children since the 90s, is still going strong and now has newer versions for younger readers.
It’s never too late to get your child into reading – the trick is to tap into something they already enjoy, such as autobiographies by their favourite footballer or celebrity. Many sportspeople, singers and even YouTubers have released their own books.
Anything that gets them reading without it feeling too much like a chore can only be a good thing.
Reading together as a family is a good way to encourage reading. One way of sharing the experience is if an adult reads one page, the child reads the next page, and so on.
Another thing you could try is getting the child to read a chapter and tell the adult what it was about, then the adult reads the next chapter and does the same.
You can also try building reading into everyday activities – for example by getting your child to read out loud to you while you are cooking tea, or tidying up etc. You can even turn it into a game by reading out street and road signs when walking and driving.
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