A love of reading is a lifelong gift to anyone, especially a child. Unfortunately many people are reluctant readers. Reluctant readers are the result of different circumstances.
IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM
There are many reasons why students don’t want to read. The first step in getting your child to read is to identify why they avoid doing it.
They haven’t been inspired by the right author or story. A reader is born when they are paired with that special book that captures their imagination. An author who can so vividly paint a picture with their words that the reader can’t put the book down encourages a student to be hungry for more.
No one ever told them that reading is more than something you do for a school assignment. Some students never have been able to choose a book just for their own enjoyment. They are so used to reading only to get a grade that it’s always work to pick up a book. They need to be introduced to books that explore subjects that fuel their imagination or encourage them to learn more about something they are passionate about.
They’ve been asked to only read below or above their abilities. If a child catches on and begins reading early they can be discouraged by reading only books that are below their reading level. Most students don’t want to go back to phonetic books when they are ready for chapters and more involved stories. Likewise, a child who is struggling with the mechanics of reading can resist reading because they are forced to only look at material that is too hard for them.
They haven’t been encouraged to be readers – need role models. If the adults in a child’s life don’t read, the child will not be as open to reading. Parents are powerful influencers in their child’s habits. Children need to see their parents read, they need their parents to read to them to develop a life long habit.
- They have a lack of skills. Enter into the process of teaching your child to read. Don’t jus tleave it up to schools. Children begin pre-reading skills very early. Encourage them in recognizing letters and letter combinations. Help them to speak properly so that they will read more fluently.
Once you have determined what might be the reason for your child’s reluctance to read you can develop a plan of action to encourage them.
- Since the best way for children to enhance their reading skills is to read regularly start your child’s love affair with books early. Frequent trips to the library for story time when they are young makes it a social endeavor. Check local story time schedules.
- Hamburg Library
- Louisa Gonser Library Kutztown
Set up your home library
- Don’t under-estimate the benefit of reading aloud. By reading aloud to your children, you are emphasizing the joy of reading, introducing them to new vocabulary words and ideas, expanding their knowledge, and learning more about their interests. Often, hearing a story can pique a child’s interest in learning more by reading independently. Partner read with your child. Pick books at, not above, your child’s reading level, and take turns reading portions aloud to one another.
- Stress the importance of reading for pleasure. Instruction books for computer games, comic books, joke books, newspapers and magazines can all be used to encourage reading. As long as your child reads it will all be beneficial. Ask your child about what they are reading and allow them to share what they are discovering.
Very social children find reading to be too much of a activity that isolates them. Try setting up a book club so they can enjoy books with others.
- The most important role a parent or other caring adult can play is as a good role model. It’s hard for children to believe in the importance of reading if there are few books in the home, they never see their parents reading, and they never go to the library. Reading for enjoyment is not enjoyable for children if they are forced to read. It’s important to help your children find books at the appropriate reading level on subjects that interest them. Find books that they might be interested in and arouse your children’s interest by reading the first chapter to them. You might also want to take turns reading. If the book is sufficiently interesting, you may find your children reading ahead on their own.
Most importantly, don’t give up on your child. Reading is a gift you do not want them to miss out on.