Encouraging the Reluctant Reader

“Mommy, I don’t want to read!” “Mommy, I don’t like reading.” Do these scenarios sound familiar? If so, you may have a reluctant reader on your hands. What is a parent to do to when trying to motivate their child to read?

1. Showing your child that you love reading can encourage your child to read. I don’t mean reading books to your child, I mean reading yourself, for personal enjoyment and letting your child see. Many times just noticing that Mommy or Daddy enjoys doing something, a child will follow in that enjoyment.

2. I have said this in another blog about homework, and I will say it in this blog about encouraging your reluctant reader. Often times a motivation for reluctant reader’s is a reward. Set a goal for a specific number of books for your child to read in a certain amount of time. Have your child pick a reward she would like to earn for reading that number of books. The reward doesn’t have to be big and extravagant, just something your child will work for and read for! When the goal period is over, and if your child reaches the goal, give your child the reward and make a big deal over it!

3. Set up a designated reading area for your reluctant reader to use for reading. Make a tent in a certain area of a room, or decorate a large cardboard box together and deem that “The Reading Room”. Sometimes just having a special place to read can encourage your reluctant reader to get reading! If your reluctant reader has younger siblings, often times she can read to that sibling in the Reading Room, just to show off her special place!

4. Last but not least, at times series books can encourage a reluctant reader. I have a nephew, now an avid reader, who once hated to read. Thanks to a boy named Harry Potter and books filled with magic, my nephew loves to read! For younger children, a great book series by Judy Blume about a little boy named Fudge (and his older brother Peter) may get your child reading! The great thing about a series is that it grabs the child’s interest and keeps them wanting more to read; all the while offering just that: more adventure in the next book of the series.

Not every suggestion will work with every child. When you have a reluctant reader in your home, you will try just about anything to get them to read. Maybe some of these suggestions will do the trick!