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Tips for reluctant readers

By Ella Walsh |
Tips for reluctant readers
Once you've gotten past all the hard work of supporting your child through the learning-to-read years, it can come as a shock to many parents that their child shows no desire to put his new reading skills to good use by picking up a book. Whether it's lack of confidence or a difficulty finding a book that interests them, many children can become reluctant readers once able to read independently.

Here are some simple ways you can encourage your reluctant reader.

Read together daily

 Continue reading with your child every day. Kids benefit from reading with you for years after they are able to read alone. Not only does this reading time encourage you to spend time together as well as develop his listening skills, it also allows your child to enjoy books that are well beyond his own reading level.

Choose books together

Take a trip to the local library and choose together this way, you can talk about why a particular book might be good to try, which will help your child identify the types of books he likes. You may also wish to buy some books as rewards for good behaviour, in which case you can head to the book store together to see which books catch his eye and have a discussion about what he likes about it.

Don't make reading a chore

Just because your child may be a good reader, don't suck the fun out of the activity by insisting he read only challenging books at his reading level. To encourage an enjoyment of reading, offer books that you may consider too easy for him - with a couple of books read in good time, your child may then be prepared to try something a little more challenging in his own time.

Model good reading behaviour

If your reluctant reader never sees his parents reading for enjoyment, it is unlikely that he is ever going to spontaneously make the time to read. Make sure that you spend time together reading your own books. This way, your child will begin to think about reading as an enjoyable quiet time activity.

Introduce book series

 Too often, reluctant readers resist reading because they can't find that perfect book to read. And then when they do find a title they love, it is finished all too soon. Try introducing book series as a way of enticing your child to move from one book to another. With series, the characters and storylines are already familiar, so there's more chance your reluctant reader will continue reading.