We all know those parents who rave about their kids who always have their noses in a book, where some of us have kids who just plain don’t love to read. It can make research papers and book reports a nightmare.
But it’s not a lost cause! Read on for some tips to help entice reluctant readers.
- Tap into tech. Is your kid attached at the fingertip to her device? Consider ditching hard copies and find out if she’d prefer to download e-books or magazines. You might find that for a while she is toggling back and forth between a book and Facebook, but many times it isn’t long until kids become so engrossed in a story that they are doing more reading than posting.
- Talk to them about what books they might like. Some kids think they don’t “like to read” because they don’t care for the books that are chosen in school. While a good education will include classics and other genres that kids might not choose for themselves, remind your child that recreational reading can be anything that they want (as long as it is acceptable to your parental content standards).
- Encourage them to explore different genres. Does your child love sports? Try fictional sports stories, biographies of famous players, historical fiction of big games or even just books about technique. Can’t get him away from Minecraft? Find books about video game developers or the history of videogame progression. My Lego Lover became completely engrossed in a book following the history of Mini Figures. The goal is to tap into what interests them anyway and find a book that can fuel that passion. I guarantee it’s out there.
- Ask for help. The librarian at your community or school library has heard this issue a million times and will likely be a great resource for suggestions of books that your child might love. They have access to vast databases and reviews that provide them with a bead on topics or genres that might never have crossed your mind.
- Connect books with movies. If there is a movie coming out that your child can’t wait to see, encourage them to read the book first. It will make the movie so much more interesting since they will have a richer back story into the plot and characters. For the upcoming holiday vacation, think The Book Thief, Catching Fire or The Hobbit. (And the Divergent trilogy will have a movie in March!) Or, head back to Twilight or Chronicles of Narnia. It’s fun to compare and contrast after, and most kids end up agreeing that the book is better than the movie!
- Make it a family affair. When your kids were little, most professionals advocated that you read with them and have them see you reading. The same holds true now! Find a book that will likely interest the whole family and have everyone read it a la a book group. After, make your child’s favorite dessert and spend some time discussing it. Great current choices are Wonder or The Fault in Our Stars, or old classics like A Wrinkle in Time or Where the Red Fern Grows.
- Don’t judge a book by its cover — or topic. It isn’t your job to critique your child’s book choices — unless it violates family standards. Maybe vampires, anime or teen lit are not your cup of tea, but if they are the topics that get your kid to dig in, then that is the perfect book!
Reading can bring hours and hours of joy and wonder… and it can be hard when our kids don’t seem to grasp this concept. By offering new ways to approach reading, you may just have a book worm yet!
What are some ways you have encouraged your child to read?