Whilst some of us have no problem getting children into reading, for a lot of us it can prove to be slightly more problematic. Many children are more interested in looking at a screen than a book or simply don’t have the necessary attention span to read sometimes. The benefits which come from reading are enormous such as language development and creative thinking but unfortunately it seems to be getting harder to create an interest in reading with all the computer games and other activities that grab their interest all too often instead. But it can be done, so how do we go about getting those reluctant readers more engaged?
Check Books Age Ranges
You should always check the recommended ages assigned to books. It is no use letting your children read a book they have been clamouring for if it is well outside they’re comprehension level. Conversely the opposite will apply in that if you are giving your children books which are well below their level they will probably become bored quickly and might even start to see reading as babyish. However with more advanced books don’t be afraid to let children try a book if they really want it particularly. Sometimes the pure interest in a book will carry them through the difficult parts and it could actually encourage them to push themselves further.
So rather than fighting technology, use it. If your children are more interested in looking at a screen than a book then find ways to get them to read through modern technology. Use tablets or e-readers and find online reading materials for them. You can even try interactive books if you still need more stimulus for them. Have a look through all of the options online as there are a plethora available nowadays. Make use of all the resources out there and I’m sure even the most disinterested readers can come around with the right material.
Allowing children to choose their own stories to read is incredibly important. There is nothing worse than forcing books upon children because this will likely breed resentment. No matter what anyone’s age is, people like to decide what they like themselves and children are no different. This exploration of interests will not only help with their willingness to read but it is also an important part of self-identification as children shape themselves and develop their personalities.
This is particularly effective in a schoolroom situation but it can be done at home also. For your own children you could have a wall chart or some other form of visualising goalposts. Then at certain points you could reward them with a book they have always wanted or a comic etc. At school you can use awards for those children who complete certain milestones on time or before. For example you could get some inexpensive trophies online and then get a message stating ‘year 8 books completed – well done’ by getting personalised trophy engraving done on them.