Friday, February 11, 2011

Tips for Reluctant Readers

Tips to Encourage a Reluctant Reader

  • Ask your child why he does not enjoy reading – is it because it is too easy, too hard, does he not like the genre of book he is being asked to read, would he prefer reading a non-fiction book? His answers may give a clue as to why he is a reluctant reader.
  • Set up a reward chart to encourage daily reading for a given period of time. The reward should be chosen by your child and could be anything, for example, extra time on the computer, being allowed to watch a favourite tv show, extra time playing football, etc.  Motivating the reluctant reader is key in improving reading skills
  • Choose an appropriate time for your child to read. If he is very young, he may be very tired at the end of the day and this would not be a good time for him to read to you.
  • Set a timer so he can see exactly how long he has to read for and how much longer there is to go. If your child is between 4 and 7, a maximum time of 15 minutes per session should be set. If he is older, 20 – 30 minutes is probably about the right length of time.
  • Take your child to the library or the bookshop and encourage him to make choices about the books he wants to read. He is more likely to want to read if he has made these choices for himself, rather than having the book he has to read chosen for him.
  • Make sure that you have a place where your child feels comfortable reading. Have him help setting it up, choosing the chair, cushions, etc. Maybe have a bookshelf with the books he has chosen close by. Make sure that this is a place where he can read quietly without interruption.
  • Encourage your child to develop his reading skills through accessing different types of texts. For example, non-fiction, magazines, comics, using the computer (for example, the CBBC website).
  • Use your child’s hobbies and interests to advantage. For example, if he is interested in sharks or has a favorite team, find books on these subjects and share them with him
  • Encourage your child to play reading-based games. A useful resource is the Letters and Sounds website. This is a great site and brilliant fun for parents and children alike - although it is particularly aimed at primary age children.
  • Make sure that your child’s school is aware of the situation. They may be able to offer you additional advice. Most English Primary Schools will hear ‘daily readers’ and these often comprise reluctant readers or those who refuse to read at home.

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