No matter our intentions, some kids don’t develop an interest in reading at a young age. For others, reading can be too challenging to seem like an enjoyable experience, or it can become a chore once they start school. No matter the reason, here are some tips for taking the pressure off and making reading appealing to your reluctant reader!
- Don’t sweat the reading level: Reading is hard work, especially for early readers. If you want to keep your child interested in reading during their free time, try not to worry about what they ‘should’ be reading at their age. When it comes to independent reading outside of schoolwork, let your kid read (or reread!) books they’re interested in, even if they’re not on reading level.
- Branch out to find the right book: Sometimes, all it takes is the right book at the right time to spark that love of reading! When we think about books, it’s easy to focus only on novels. There are certainly countless fantastic novels for children, but there are lots of other options to consider as well. Try to find books that will speak to your child’s interests and personality by branching out from fiction (if that’s not their thing). Joke books, magazines, crafting books, biographies of famous athletes, books based on popular franchises, or scientific books might be just the thing to spark your child’s interest and keep them motivated to read.
- Pick up the pace: Many reluctant readers struggle with reading ‘stamina.’ They don’t tend to pick up books for fun because a full page of text feels more daunting than enjoyable. Graphic novels and verse novels are a great choice in this situation. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with every turn of the page, and these pages tend to read faster because they have less text. This gives your young reader a chance to build up their stamina in a fun, approachable way.
- Talk it out: When it comes to reading, giving kids a voice is proven to help keep them motivated and interested. So, by having conversations about books, you can help encourage your young reader! All it takes is a few questions about what books they’re reading and what they think of them. Showing that you’re interested and invested in their books is a simple way to support your reluctant reader.
- Read aloud: Who said read-alouds were only for little kids? Just because your child knows how to read independently doesn’t mean there’s no more value in reading aloud to them. Setting aside a little bit of time every week to read aloud keeps a love of stories alive and helps build a culture of reading in your home. This is a wonderful way to support kids who are reading behind grade level, because it allows them to enjoy stories that are interesting but a bit too challenging to read on their own. Read-alouds are also great for kids who need to move in order to focus; they can fidget freely without having to worry about sitting still and holding a book.
Put the fun back in reading with these high-interest selections!