10 easy tips to help motivate a reluctant reader


Although most children love nothing more than reading stories or having stories read to them, there will be times when reading will seem like a chore to them, and they really won’t want to read at all.

There are other kids who, for a variety of reasons, may struggle with reading and early literacy, and therefore will do anything to avoid having to read a book.

Below are 10 easy tips to help motivate a reluctant young reader. Hopefully you will find them useful – please let us know of any you have tried that have worked!

1.Focus on topics that interest your child. If your little boy loves football, get hold of a match program and read it together with him.

2. Be seen to read books, newspapers, magazines and any other reading material you can think of. Your child will naturally want to emulate you.

3. Rather than treating reading as ‘homework’ or something related to school, try to present it to your child as a treat for her. So much of it is perception, so allow her to associate reading with fun and pleasure.

4. Don’t be a ‘snob’ about what your child reads. Remember that anything is better than nothing, and it doesn’t matter if he’s captivated by a comic book rather than a work of literature – it’s still beneficial.

5. Read your child a bedtime story each night. This is something that will become a ‘ritual’ for both you and your child, and a time that she will look forward to and cherish. Research suggests that being read to can help soothe a child’s anxieties.

6. Take your child to see a movie based on a book, then buy the book and read it together. Your young reader will treat it as a pleasure rather than a chore, as he will be able to relate what happens back to the movie.

7. The next time you go on holiday, find books that relate to the place you visit and read them with your child. It’s often better to read the books after the holiday, as your child will have a mental record of what those places were like in reality.

8. Play word games and have contests on car journeys. The licence plate game can be great fun, and is a good way to get your child used to the appearance of letters.

9. Choose a recipe from a cookbook. Ask your child to read out the ingredients from the book and write them down on a shopping list. Then, at the grocery store, encourage her to read the product labels and ask her if there are any new ingredients that she hasn’t heard of.

10. Print off lyric sheets of your child’s favourite songs and encourage your child to sing along with the CD! This is a great way to learn new words, and to appreciate the rhythm of words.

One Response to 10 easy tips to help motivate a reluctant reader

  1. The most important thing to do is support your child’s interests. If your son loves superheroes, buy books that are about those characters. If your daughter would rather read about dolls and pets, find some books about those things. The purpose is helping your child to want to read; they have to want to do it. Make reading fun, and you will have a child that grows up loving to read.

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