Reluctant readers are those who are hesitant to read. One who does not show interest in reading can also be a reluctant reader. Our task as parents is to encourage them in various ways to be confident readers. The reasons for being reluctant could be because they have difficulty in reading, unwilling to read or lack of interest or have developed a negative association with the idea of reading itself. Irrespective of the causes, we must find solutions to every difficult situation.
5 ways to encourage reluctant readers:
1. Reading for pleasure:
Levels and book bands are useful tools, but it’s most important to focus on making reading fun and exciting. To avoid making reading feel like a chore or a race, I learned to be interested and impressed by whatever my son is reading.
For most children, reading for pleasure starts with snuggly bedtime stories. There’s no need to stop this daily ritual once children can read the words themselves. Listening to stories is a great way to nurture a love of books.
2. “Make it funny”:
My son loves it when we subvert a traditional story – adding jokes and misinterpreting the pictures for comic effect. I add jokes on the stepmother in Cinderella or relate it somehow through the prince. Some children will enjoy snot jokes and slapstick; others will like tales of naughtiness that turn familiar rules upside down. Experiment, and see what sticks.
3. Think outside the bookbag:
There is a lot of pressure on reading by parents. If you make reading fun and accessible the child will be encouraged to read. Give them some digital downloads or e books and I’m sure they will want to read more. If you are reluctant to add more screen time to the day, try graphic novels, poems, joke books or magazines and comics – bite-sized texts can be more appealing than a traditional book.
4. Read for a purpose:
Some children happily dip into books that mix reading with hands-on activities. Attention-grabbing content is vital – reluctant readers will abandon a book in seconds if they aren’t hooked. Seek out non-fiction books that link to your child’s existing passions, from fossils and football to snakes and space!
5. Copy and collect:
If your child loves collecting things, they might get a buzz from working their way through a series. The best recommendations come from other children – ask around with the parents or children themselves, Books linked to films or TV shows can be a good starting point. I’ve worked with students who have never finished a book wanting to finish Harry Potter!
When effective strategies are offered, for instance, small group, read-a-louds, or Readers Theater, for learning enjoyment, students will be self-motivated and encouraged to be learners without having to be given a prize or promise for their accomplishments. Tapping into what interests each student can be the sole knowledge that teachers need to motivate their students and have them become eager- to learn students. Readers must come to know that their job is not just to answer questions, but also to ask them.
Home/school connections can be forged as parents can be involved by monitoring the amount of daily reading time and, in some cases, by listening and reading aloud, much like at school. This is a great example of connecting home and school to promote a passion for reading. Reluctant readers are set apart from struggling readers solely due to motivation and their approach to reading activities, so engaging in activities that offer appealing opportunities are extremely important.