Getting to the bottom of why children don’t like to read is a task but one worth taking the time. Keeping good habits are supported by us parental’s and the more we understand the source of why, we can make things fun and do our best to change the perspective of our little ones.
Why Some Kids Don’t Like to Read
Do any of these statements have a familiar ring? They are the reasons children frequently give for not reading:
- It’s boring. Don’t despair if your children have this response to reading that is assigned at school. You can expose them to another kind of reading at home that is related to their interests.
- I don’t have the time. Kids are busy. School, friends, sports, homework, television, and chores all compete for their time. Some children need your help in rearranging their schedules to make time for reading.
- It’s too hard. For some children, reading is a slow, difficult process. If your child is having a hard time reading, talk with his or her reading teacher. Ask about how you can find interesting books and materials written at a level that matches your child’s reading ability.
- It’s not important. Often children don’t appreciate how reading can be purposeful or relevant to their lives. Parents can take it upon themselves to find reading materials on subjects that do matter to their kids.
- It’s no fun. For some children, especially those who have difficulty reading, books cause anxiety. Even for children with strong reading skills, pressure from school and home that emphasize reading for performance can make reading seem like a chore. Our advice: take the pressure off reading so that your children can enjoy it.
10 Ways to Encourage Reading
We’ve told you why some kids don’t like to read and what other parents believe will not succeed in changing their minds. Now for some ways to turn a young reader’s reluctance into enthusiasm:
- Scout for things your children might like to read. Use their interests and hobbies as starting points.
Leave all sorts of reading materials including books, magazines, and colorful catalogs in conspicuous places around your home.
Notice what attracts your children’s attention, even if they only look at the pictures. Then build on that interest; read a short selection aloud, or simply bring home more information on the same subject.
Let your children see you reading for pleasure in your spare time.
Take your children to the library regularly. Explore the children’s section together. Ask a librarian to suggest books and magazines your children might enjoy.
Present reading as an activity with a purpose—a way to gather useful information for, say, making paper airplanes, identifying a doll or stamp in your child’s collection, or planning a family trip.
Encourage older children to read to their younger brothers and sisters. Older children enjoy showing off their skills to an admiring audience.
Play games that are reading-related. Check your closet for spelling games played with letter tiles or dice, or board games that require players to read spaces, cards, and directions.
Perhaps over dinner, while you’re running errands, or in another informal setting, share your reactions to things you read, and encourage your children to do likewise.
Set aside a regular time for reading in your family, independent of schoolwork—the 20 minutes before lights out, just after dinner, or whatever fits into your household schedule. As little as 10 minutes of free reading a day can help improve your child’s skills and habits.
Source: RIF Parent Guide Brochure.
More ways on encouraging reading, here.
How are you getting your little one to read?
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