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  • Marc Finks

Encouraging Reluctant Readers at Home

As a parent, there is nothing quite as frustrating as trying to get your child to read. I remember when my son was just starting to learn how to read, and I would spend hours trying to get him to sit still and focus on a book. But no matter how hard I tried, he just wasn't interested. It was a difficult task to get him to want to read.





According to Dr. Susan Neuman, a professor of childhood and literacy education at New York University, "Many parents struggle with getting their children to read because they don't understand the child's perspective." Children may find reading to be boring or difficult, and it is important for parents to understand and address these feelings.


One strategy that can be effective is to allow children to choose their own books. Giving them the freedom to choose books that they are interested in can make reading feel like a more enjoyable and personal experience. In an article for Scholastic, educator and author, Mem Fox, states, "The most important thing is to get kids reading, and if that means allowing them to read comics or magazines or anything else, then that's what we should be doing."


Another approach is to make reading a part of daily routine. (See this post about setting up a family reading time). This can be done by setting aside a specific time each day for reading, such as before bedtime, or by incorporating reading into other activities like meal times. According to research, making reading a consistent part of a child's daily routine can help to establish it as a habit and make it feel more natural and necessary.


Additionally, parents can help to make reading more interactive by asking questions about the story, acting out the characters or creating their own stories using the same characters. This can help to build their imagination and comprehension skills, and make reading more fun and engaging.


Another effective strategy is to read aloud to children, even if they can read on their own. According to a study by the National Institute for Literacy, "reading aloud to children is one of the most important ways to improve their reading skills." This is because it helps to build listening and comprehension skills, and also allows children to hear how words are pronounced and used in context.





Lastly, parents can also provide a positive reinforcement to children when they read. This can be done by praising their efforts, rewarding them with small tokens of appreciation or creating a reading chart to track their progress. This can help to create a positive association with reading and make it feel more enjoyable.


Encouraging children to read can be a difficult task, but by understanding their perspective, providing them with the freedom to choose their own books, making reading a part of daily routine, making reading interactive, reading aloud to children, and providing positive reinforcement, parents can help to make reading more fun and engaging for their children.



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