How can we Encourage Reluctant Readers and Engage Them in Reading?

Ways to Encourage Reluctant Readers

I always struggled to get my kids to read books I thought it would be great to include some helpful tips for your reluctant reader. There are lots of reasons why your child is finding difficulty reading. They could be dyslexic or they are just bored with the choice of reading material.

A reluctance to read can be for various reasons. However, just because a child does not care for reading material does not mean that we cannot attempt to change their likes and dislikes, encouraging an appreciation for the written word. 

Here are some suggestions of how you could encourage the reluctant reader in your life. 

Read to them

Sometimes a child simply isn’t ready to read, and they must gain enthusiasm for stories and other texts. What better feeling as a parent than leaving them at the end of a chapter desperate to find out what happens next? Audiobooks are another valuable resource, especially useful for long car journeys. 

Vary the material

Often, we are so fixated on children reading the book that has been sent home from school that we neglect their willingness to read other things. Whether it’s a catalogue for a toy store or an instruction manual for their Lego model, a comic book, or a non-fiction book about Space, allow them the freedom to choose their own material on occasions. 

Role reversal

Kids love telling us parents what we’ve done wrong, right? Reversing the typical roles of the parent as the teacher and the child as the student allows your kid to take charge and boss you around. Read their reading book to them in the hope that they will pick up on your mistakes. Pay attention to the sound they have been learning and get them wrong. Then, they are likely to realize you’ve made a mistake and pull you upon it. 

Reduce the formality

How you structure your reading time with your child can make a difference in how well it is received. Forget the table and chairs. Instead, get comfy and cozy, wrap up under a blanket, hideaway in a den, and share a book, encouraging your child to read alternate words, then sentences, and eventually paragraphs and pages. If your kid is used to reading in the same place at the same time every night, perhaps that is why they are reluctant. You could create a spinner with a few different places written on, including the treehouse in the garden or even the bathtub, and get them to spin it each night and see which location is randomly selected. 

Read to soft toys

Parents aren’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to reading. Some children adore reading to their teacher but audibly groan when it’s time to read to Mum. Get them to grab their favourite teddies, arrange them in a circle, and read them a bedtime story. You can still access it on the periphery, but you are not the main focus like you usually would be.

Incorporate games

Is it still reading if you play games that involve sounding out the words? Of course! One of the most enjoyable games for younger children is ‘fastest finger first. After reading a page of their book, get them to wiggle their index finger and give them a word that they must find before you do. This game helps them to remember words and can also be super fun for both them and you. Just don’t let them win every time!

2 Replies to “How can we Encourage Reluctant Readers and Engage Them in Reading?”

  1. I did all these with my oldest and he just hates reading – much to my dismay as I am a very avid reader! My other two children however love to read and all I did with them was read to them every day/night lol

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