From Reluctance to EngagementDebbie Hurley
Encouragement Wins in the End
Why are some children reluctant to read?
A reluctant reader is a child who does not show an interest in reading. There could be many reasons for this. Possibly they are dealing with a learning disability or difference, maybe the books they are choosing or are given are too difficult. If a child is lacking confidence in their reading ability they are likely to avoid reading. For some children, being still for 20-30 minutes or more is difficult, making reading unenjoyable. For others it could be a full schedule of extracurricular activities competing with time, energy and focus to read.
It also could be that reading requirements for school are not allowing them the freedom to choose books that are fun for them. While it is good for a child to be challenged to read outside of their comfort zone and to explore different genre’s, it is also important for children to read for fun.
In order to reach and encourage a reluctant reader, consider some of these ideas…
- To boost a reader’s confidence, try books that are at a slightly lower level then they are at, but encourage them to read more frequently or longer.
- If a child has difficulty sitting still, use a book mark and challenge them to read one chapter (two if they are very short) then allow them to take a break and do a quick physical activity and then go back to the book to read another chapter or two.
- Make sure that you provide adequate time for reading daily, as well as a quiet and comfortable environment for them to read in.
- If the child is complaining that they don’t like the required reading, allow them to choose some picture books or a fun chapter book to read after they complete one required book.
- Read with your child. Try the, “I read a chapter, then you read a chapter” method.
- Read aloud to your child. A fun picture book will entertain and engage even older children and build a connection between you. You can also read chapter books to your children. Try a chapter a night.
When a parent or care giver shows interest in their child’s reading and participating as well as communicating with them about what is being read, it builds the relationship and helps the child understand the importance of reading and should encourage them to want to read more.
At Citrus Libraries we have so many books to discover and enjoy, even in different formats like eBooks, audiobooks, and more to help you engage your reader.
For more ideas, check out a library storytime in person or online or stop by to see one of our Youth Librarians. You can also visit our website at www.citruslibraries.org, follow us @CitrusLibraries on Facebook or Instagram, or stop by any of our locations for more information.