Thursday, September 12, 2013

How to Deal with a Reluctant Reader

While parents know how important reading is to a child's academic success, this may be a hard sell to the reluctant reader. First, we must remember one thing, no one likes doing things they are not good at. The more a child struggles at reading, the less he/she will want to do it. This becomes a vicious cycle, that we must help our children break. Here are some tips to help your reluctant reader:

  • Positive Reinforcement: Or as I like to call it, bribery. Offer the child something he/she wants if they reach an agreed upon goal. This can be anything from a toy, to a trip to the movies, a sleepover party, etc. Here is where you need to know your child. The reward will be different for everyone.

  • Give In: Let the child read what he/she wants. We all would be thrilled if our children were enjoying all the classics that we read as children. But lets face it, the children today don't like the same TV shows or movies that we did. We should not expect them to enjoy the same books. When the child picks the book, they are more likely to read it. Don't fret if they enjoy comic books or manga (Japanese comics translated into English). If Captain Underpants makes them laugh, so be it. They are reading.

  • Take Turns: Alternate reading pages aloud with your child. There is nothing wrong with reading to an older child. Its actually recommended. Hearing an adult read can help a child with their fluency. Fluent readers comprehend more.

  • Be Creative: Know your child and be creative. Figure out what motivates them. I have heard so many stories about how parents got their children to read. One family knew their son loved camping, so they let him put up a small tent in the living room as long as he used it as a quiet place to read. One mother let her child climb a tree and read up there. Figure out what works for your family and do it.

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