reluctant readers - 4myschoolsGetting reluctant readers to read rather than play computer games

One of my children isn’t keen on reading books and I’m still waiting for him to get into something that captivates him. We read together regularly and go to book shops and do all the things one would expect to encourage engagement but it still hasn’t happened, yet. I’m sure it will because he has great imagination and enjoys listening to stories.

Plenty reluctant readers are missing out on the joys of reading and I put this down to the many distractions of easy access high impact semi-immersive computer games. (I wish they had been available when I was a kid). I understand why they are more attractive especially when their friends are online too, they really are very compelling regardless of being online with ones friends too. We have a tough battle to win especially as mobile device games are equally compelling.

Why help children to enjoy reading?

Reading is known to have obvious benefits, such as improving vocabulary and increasing the breadth of knowledge, it also enables a reader to empathise with another person’s experiences. An important tool that students will use throughout their lives, whether in the professional setting or in their personal lives. Reading stories clearly includes using imagination, often learning new vocabulary, grasping new concepts, and exercising the mind, all of which help with creativity.

How to get children to read?

Understanding the value of reading and how it can drastically change a child’s writing skills, speech articulation, and worldly knowledge, Dustin Le and his colleagues compiled a list of ways to help overcome children’s reluctance to reading.

Reading is fun

Children sometimes associate reading with boredom and punishment not a great starting position and this perception must be avoided studiously. Turning reading into a fun activity is a key to breaking the circle of the association with boredom.

Setting aside time to give children some reading time as a break from the current lesson can change perceptions. If one allows them to choose any book they’d like, they’ll feel like reading is a source of fun, relaxation, and personal freedom.

Read aloud with your children

Reading aloud is a great way to give children a peek into the treasures that await within books. Great stories succeed because they are able to capture the imagination.

Just the act of introducing them to the story can pique their interest enough to encourage them want to read. Reading aloud to children also has the added benefit of showing them the relationship between print and speech, to improve children’s vocabulary, and to introduce them to different styles of writing.

Positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement as with all education is a great way of encouraging children to read. This can be expressed verbally in the form of compliments or physically in the rewards.

Play a book guessing game – what’s it all about?

Before reading a single word, teachers can ask children about the book cover as well as any illustrations and photography provided, and have them guess what they think happens in the book.

Encourage the children to be imaginative — the more “far out” the better.  This incites enthusiasm and curiosity about the story, and gets kids thinking critically. By using this method correctly the children should be asking to read the book to find out what happens.

Reading what interests the child

The best way to get reluctant readers to read is to encourage them to read what they are already interested in. One fantastic option is reading how-to books on a subject they want to know more about. Kids often want to help with cooking, learning magic tricks, or getting upper hand on video games. In addition to teaching through intrinsic motivation, this technique also helps children to become better self-learners, and even entrepreneurial in their approach to life. If they have an interest, encourage them to find a book and learn more about it!

I will continue to encourage my son to see if these tips work for him – the guessing game sounds like fun.

For more information on Reluctant Readers contact 4myschools Teacher Recruitment Agency.

Thanks to Dustin Le who’s article 30 March 2015 this blog is based.