Reading is a vital building block to success when it comes
to so many things in life and especially in terms of the subjects that your
child will encounter as part of the school curriculum. In fact, research has
shown that reading is one of the best ways in which a child can improve their
vocabulary; the more a child reads the more words they will learn and the
context in which these words can be used.
Being able to understand the ways in which different types
of texts work also helps children to improve their critical thinking methods
and interact with the ideas that this gives them. Of course, it can also make
them better at their own creative writing as well. The big problem that many
parents find themselves faced with is just how can you get a reluctant reader
to pick up a book and really start to enjoy reading rather than seeing it as a
1. Make time
Life is short so make the most of it, no matter how busy
your schedule, or that of your child, always make time for reading. Reading
should not be rushed, don’t make it a chore that you need to finish in order to
go off and do something else – this is time that you will never get back, so make
the most of it.
2.Establish a Routine
In fact, it is never too early to add reading to your daily
schedule. Start when your child is very young and make reading a book part of
their bedtime routine. Make sure you are both comfortable, and there are no
distractions and make this some time that is just for both of you. The key is
to get their interest early on, and as they start to grow older, they will be
more likely to pick up a book, maybe to ask you to read to them, with them or
even to listen to them read as their confidence grows.
3. Make a Reading Corner
Create a special area that is just for reading. Display your
child’s books so that they are easy to look at and finding their favourites
isn’t an issue. Make sure there is enough space for both of you and that it is
comfortable, cushions and a blanket can make a really cosy area where you can
snuggle up together to read.
Don’t limit your child’s reading material to just fiction
books – while these can be great for expanding your child’s vocabulary and
imagination, they are not the only reading material available. Some children
are not drawn to fiction books and in fact prefer to read non-fiction, this
should never be an issue, getting them reading something that interests them is
the most important thing to consider. Some children prefer more cartoon style
books, even older children, and again this is a great way to encourage a more
reluctant reader to take an interest in books.
5. Reading to Siblings
Why not invite your reluctant reader to pick a simple book
to read to a younger sibling. This is a great way to boost their confidence in
their reading ability, and of course, it will really help with those sibling
bonds as well. Doing this will help make reading feel like less of a chore and hopefully
more enjoyable to your reluctant reader who will be able to show off their
skills to an adoring sibling.
6.Lead by Example
If your child doesn’t see you reading for enjoyment, then
they may not see it that way either. So, if you enjoy reading let your child
see that, and again it doesn’t matter whether you are reading cookery books,
fact books or novels, the key is that if they see you reading it will become
the norm and they are more likely to follow suit.
Don’t just read a book to your child. Live the book, be the
characters and help make the story come alive. This is an excellent way in
which you can really help your child to enjoy a story. Pick something that they
are capable of reading and give it a try. Read the first chapter and then stop.
If your child is enjoying the book, suggest reading the next chapter together,
then move on to them reading a chapter on their own. Sometimes all it takes is
that little extra step to grab your child’s interest and entice them into
wanting to know how the story progresses.
8. Make Books Accessible
Having books in the home is important. Unfortunately, books
are not cheap so if you want to provide your child with a good variety of
reading materials why not keep an eye out for preloved books. Perhaps you know
someone with older children who may have books to pass on? Create a small
shelving area that your child can access easily and make sure that it isn’t too
difficult to get the books off the shelf. Don’t forget to register your child
with the local library. This is a wonderful source of books, and it is free to
use. This is a great way to choose a selection of books and rotate them on a
regular basis. If there is a particular type of book your child is really keen
on the librarians will be able to make recommendations of other similar ones
that may be of interest.
It is important to remember that reluctant readers fall into
two categories, those who find reading hard and those who find reading boring.
If your child falls into the first category then take things slowly and don’t
rush them, some children are simply slower when it comes to learning to read.
Pick simple books and work through them slowly to help boost your child’s
confidence before moving to something more complicated.
If your child falls into the “reading is boring” category,
then there is a good chance they simply haven’t found a genre that interests
them. Visiting the library can be a good way of finding books that might get
them interested in reading.