Getting my oldest to read wasn’t always an easy task. When I would ask him to go grab a book, he would huff and puff. It was a struggle and finally in the last 6 months he’s started to enjoy reading.
We are making it part of our daily bedtime routine, which is key. I have found that during the day, my boys are too rambunctious and won’t sit for more than 5 minutes. So after pajamas are on and teeth are brushed, my husband and I will take the boys in separate rooms to read with them. We switch every night so we get that special one-on-one time with them.
Even if it’s been a long and exhausting day we still read with them, it’s about consistently especially in the beginning. Actually I’ve said before that I was too tired and we’ll just skip reading for the night but both my boys said, “No, we have to read!” And they are right. I love that it’s become a part of our nightly routine and that they look forward to it.
My oldest is reading so much better and is really enjoying it. My youngest, at only 5, is already starting to read and knows all of his sight words. It’s been so great for not only the boys but our family as well.
Here are a few ideas that have worked for us in helping our reluctant reader want to read:
1. Encourage your child to read. If you wait until your child picks up a book, they may never do this. It’s all about encouraging and supporting them when it comes to reading. You may want to start a reading chart or reward system that they can work towards.
2. Go beyond books. Reading comes in many different shapes and sizes. My original thought was my son had to read chapter books. After talking to his teacher, she told me that as long as he is reading that’s what’s most important. Think magazines, board games, comic books, and directions to games….it’s all part of reading!
3. Find topics they are interested in. Another key in getting your child to read. This took me awhile to figure out what type of topics my son liked reading. I’d hand him books that I’d assumed he’d be interested in and it was such a struggle to get through it. Try switching up the topics of reading material until you find one that your child truly enjoys and believe me, you’ll be able to tell.
4. Make reading material available. I like to have books and magazines all over the house for my boys to discover. They have books in their bedrooms, in the playroom, and I even leave them laying around in the living room where they sit when they play or watch TV.
5. Keep talking about it. Reading doesn’t have to stop when the book or magazine is finished. Ask your child about the story, the main characters, and what they think will happen next. Show them that the story goes beyond the book. Also, by talking with your child about what they read will help with reading comprehension.
6. Go digital. If your child is more of a technology kid, try some of the fun reading apps and resources they have online. You can also download books to the iPad or Kindle. Cricket magazine has some really great apps for kids and eBooks.
7. Lead by example. If your kids never see you read, why would they want to read? I like reading books on my iPad, but I’ve made it a point recently to read hard covered books so my boys see me actually reading and don’t just think I’m playing on the iPad. The more they see this, the more they’ll become interested in it too.
8. Create a special place for them to read. It’s so boring reading on the couch or bed, so why not give your child a fun and creative place to read? Think about how much fun it would be to read in a fort or tent! There are so many neat ideas for creating reading nooks for your kids.
Cricket Media recently sent me a subscription for one of their magazines, ASK. Since my oldest loves art and sciences, I thought he would enjoy this magazine. He took an extra copy into his classroom and his teacher wrote me a special note to say how much she appreciated the wonderful gesture. The kids have already starting reading it, which is what I loved hearing!
ASK explores intriguing topics such as why animals sleep, why people love music, and how the solar system was formed. Kids love their subscriptions not just because the magazine is informative, but because it’s fun.
Their current publications for young readers include 14 different kid’s magazines spanning ages from toddlers to teens and focusing on Literature and Imagination, History and Culture, and Sciences and ideas.
Do you have any tips for getting your reluctant reader to read?
Disclosure: I am a Cricket Media ambassador and love sharing educational tips and ideas. As always, all opinions are my own. Read Life Without Pink’s full disclosure here.