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5 Ways to Help Reluctant Readers Get Excited About Reading

Updated: Sep 25



Not everyone is born with a natural love for reading. Some kids find reading to be difficult, some find it boring, and some find it hard to focus. Today, I love to read and I hope that I’m passing my love of reading on to my kids… but I didn’t always love to read.

When I was a child, I really struggled with reading. My parents, teachers, and tutors had to get super creative to find ways to get me excited about reading. Now, I find myself drawing on my own past experiences and researching new and exciting tactics to help my students become lifelong book lovers.
If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation with a child who “hates” to read, struggles, or can’t maintain focus - I’d like to share with you my favorite strategies for getting reluctant and struggling readers excited about books! Each idea is simple and easy to implement at home. Hopefully, your child will fall in love with great stories and reading in no time at all!
My top 5 strategies to help reluctant readers get excited about reading:

1. ENGAGE IN A BOOK SERIES

One of my favorite tips for engaging a reluctant reader is to get them hooked on an exciting book series! This worked for me when I was younger with the Nancy Drew Series. Once your child is invested in the characters and storyline, they will be eager to keep reading.
These are a few of my favorite series for reluctant readers: 1. Harry Potter 2. Percy Jackson 3. Eerie Elementary 4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 5. Mercy Watson
You can read the first book in the series aloud and then have your child read the sequels independently. If your child needs more support, you can also consider taking turns reading the books aloud.
In addition, consider reading graphic novels and comic book series to or with your kids. They will become invested in the characters and storylines (just like with a book series) but they are also much more low pressure reads.

2. LISTEN TO AUDIOBOOKS

Listening to audiobooks is great for reluctant readers because it takes the pressure off. Your child can hear the story and become invested without having to stumble through words and struggle with comprehension.
To increase their skills while listening, encourage your child to follow along with a hard copy of the book and use their finger to track the words as the audiobook reads to them. For reluctant readers, audiobooks make reading less frustrating and more enjoyable while helping your child improve his/her vocabulary and comprehension skills.
For more information on the benefits of audiobooks, check out this blog post.

3. PROVIDE AGE APPROPRIATE BOOKS AROUND A THEME

Does your child love all things fall - ghost stories, pumpkin picking, Halloween? Are they excited for the upcoming winter holidays - Christmas, Hanukkah, snow, skiing? Do they want to know EVERYTHING there is about dinosaurs, horses, or LEGOs? Well, that’s a great place to start!
Choose books or help your child choose books around a theme that they are already excited about. This could be holidays, seasons, sports, hobbies, brands, toys, video games - you name it. Play on his/her interests and already established excitement. Reading about something your child already enjoys or is eagerly anticipating will make the reading feel less like a chore and more like a treat.

4. READ WITH SOMEONE SPECIAL

Thanks to modern technology, you can have your child read to or with a different family member every day of the week no matter how far away they live. Just set a time and hop on FaceTime, Zoom, or Messenger Kids! Your child will be excited and eager to read to and impress that special family member or friend. You can even have your child's special family member or friend read the book aloud to your child which can also take the pressure off and allow your child to focus on enjoying the experience and story.
With current traveling restrictions and social distancing, it might not be as easy to read with someone special in person, but your child can always read to their pet or stuffy! Reading with friends is always extra fun! When a friend is reading the same book, it gives your child a peer to talk to about their favorite scene or character. You could even sign your child up for an online book club, or better yet, start one for your child and his/her friends!

5. TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF

As I mentioned earlier, both audiobooks and graphic novels are great ways to expose your child to books while making reading more fun and pressure-free. There are so many other ways to do this as well!
Another easy way to take the pressure off is to choose books that have been made into movies. Allow your child to read the book first or second and compare the book to the movie.
The biggest thing to remember, though, when taking the pressure off is to avoid over correcting and to choose a book that is just right for your child’s abilities. A “just right” book can make all the difference in your child’s reading development! If you’d like to learn more about “just right” books and strategies on choosing a just right book for your child, check out this awesome resource!

IF YOUR CHILD IS A RELUCTANT READER, I AM HERE TO SUPPORT YOU AS YOU SUPPORT HIM/HER! LET’S CHAT ABOUT HOW WE CAN WORK TOGETHER TO NURTURE A LOVE OF READING IN YOUR CHILD.



 

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