You’ve begged. You’ve pleaded. You’ve even threatened. You’ve done everything you can think of to get your children to read. Whether you are a teacher or a parent, you realize the importance of reading and want to stress that importance to your students or children. Here are some ways to make reading fun for reluctant readers.
Create a print rich environment
Even if they swear they hate reading, be sure to surround your children with books, magazines, and other reading material. If you are a parent, have a home library or a bookcase or even just an area where books and magazines on various topics are displayed. If you are a teacher, fill your classroom with books and magazines. Even if my students claim they don’t like reading, I noticed that they could find at least one book or magazine that interested them in my classroom or in the school library.
Parents and teachers need to model reading. Let your children see you reading. Talk to them about what you are reading. This can perk their interest in the book that you are reading, and it will show them that you believe reading is important.
Trip to Library
Take your reluctant readers to the library. If you are a teacher, use the school library. If you are a parent, take them to the public library. Let them see all the different books on various subjects. This will allow them to see that there is a book after anything that might interest them.
Allow them to choose a book or magazine that interests them and let them read it. Yes, this includes comic books and sporting and fashion magazines. Yes, you may have to listen to them tell you all about the latest celebrity gossip. But, the goal is to get them to read.
Purchase some literary posters. These posters have beautiful designs that represent different books that make them seem interesting to read. You can also design literary posters yourself. Post these in your classroom or in a section of your house.
If you are a teacher, you can use Reading Circles. These are small groups of students who read a book together is small sections and then discuss it among themselves. The reading group can consist of students of mixed reading abilities or they can be on the same reading level. If you are a parent, you can try this with your children. You can choose a book together and then take turns reading selected sections and discussing it.
Book Night or Book Date
Just like a Date Night, a Book Night or a Book Date is dedicated to reading. Set aside one day out of the week in which your children can read and then share what they have read. You can designate a certain time for reading like immediately after supper or right before bed. Be sure to turn off the television, computer, and cell phone to prevent distractions.
Read to them
I was lucky. My mom read to me growing up. I will never forget my favorite book of fairytales. Children of all ages-even teenagers-love for someone to read to them. Pick a book and share it with your children or class. They will love it, and it will open them up to different types of literature.
Reading is very important. It is an invaluable life skill. Create a print rich environment and let your children see you read. Getting reluctant readers to read may be challenge, but not impossible. The strategies listed above are fun ways to encourage hesitant readers to read.