Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Guest Post: "Reluctant Readers" by Jennifer Bailey

I love to read, and I wish everyone else did too...BUT I know from my years of teaching English that there are just many people who just don't enjoy perusing a good book like I do.  Although anyone of any age can learn to love reading, the best case scenario is to teach kids when they are young.  All of my kids like to read, but they didn't all come by it naturally--they had to be nurtured into a love of reading. My neice Jennifer has a wonderful blog called "A Good Book."  She features many great articles on reading and showcases many good, wholesome books for kids. In this article she gives several great recommendations for kids and adults alike who are "reluctant readers." The link to her blog will be at bottom of the article.


Reluctant Readers

Do you have a reluctant reader in your family of little ones? Are you yourself a reluctant reader and want your children to acquire a love for reading? Here are a few tips for helping your child or even yourself become an Avid Reader instead of a Reluctant Reader.

1. Read, Read, Read! Now, that may sound incredulous since the problem is the person in question does not like to read. To quote one of my literature heroes, Dr. Jim Trelease, "The more you read, the better you get at it, the better you get at it, the more you like it, the more you like it, the more you do it!" It's that way with anything in life. The more you like something, the more you want to do it! I love to scrap book!! I am going to want to choose scrap booking over laundry any day. However, the more I do my laundry, the happier I am I did!! It's the same with reading. The more you or your child reads the better you/he will become at it and will want to do it more often.
Most of the time, the reason someone is a reluctant reader is because they struggle with reading. The more you do something, the better you become at it! So, if you or your child is a reluctant reader, read, read, read!!
2. Find a book about something which interests the reader. If your son is not enjoying reading, find a book about his favorite sport, cars, animals, or whatever else might interest him. For a sport enthusiast, find him a biography about an athlete he enjoys. If he likes horses, get him a Black Stallion book! There is a book for every interest!! Make the effort to steer your child towards books that interest him. He will develop a love for reading faster if he is reading about something that is exciting to him.
3. Insist that they read!! Not too many children are excited about taking a bath, but we insist they do! No too many children are excited about cleaning their room, but we insist that they do! Not too many children are excited about eating their vegetables, but we insist that they do! Ok, you get the point!! If a child is not excited about reading, insist that they do!! Make it fun for them. Often, a parent will make a chart or set a goal for a child in order to motivate him to do the chores he is not excited about doing. Well, we can do the same for reading!! Make a contest out of it! This summer, set a goal of a certain number of books for your child to read. If they reach that goal, reward them with a trip to Dairy Queen or to their favorite toy store or park, etc. Children will do that which is fun to them. Make reading exciting, but also insist that they do it. For older children, set aside a half hour or hour each day during the summer that is their time to sit quietly and read. As parents, we all want what is best for our children. Reading is definitely best for them!!
4. Read aloud to a reluctant reader. Reading aloud is an advertisement for the fun of reading. Make the book come alive and you will interest your child in that book. Choose a book from a series and create a curiosity in your child to read more books and find out what happens to the characters. Reading aloud is one of the greatest tools we have at our exposure for helping a reluctant reader to want to read, yet, so few of us utilize it. Take the time to read aloud on a consistent basis and you will be amazed at the interest it will develop in your reluctant reader.
One of our most important goals as a parent/teacher should be to help our children/students develop a love for reading. I hope these few tips help you do just that! Happy Reading!!

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