Turning Reluctant Readers into Ripper Readers

Master BG got books from Santa and his nana for Christmas and was thoroughly stoked. He has read a few of them already, when he’s not playing with Lego, the computer, or playing games with his sister that involve a lot of giggling and yelling.

He is nothing like my youngest brother Andrew, who at the same age LOATHED reading and would rather be zipping around on his bike terrifying little old ladies (not really, but just a bit of creative licence) and his older sisters (actually that bit is true). So what do you do to get reluctant readers reading, especially in the National Year of Reading?

Ken from NannyPro has written an article on 10 Books to Get Kids Reading Again. The books suggested are classics and aimed at an older readership, like middle to late primary. Ken also has some great words of wisdom  about finding the right stories for reluctant readers

For children who are resistant to reading, the secret is to find books that they are interested in. Stories about young people help them identify with the characters and relate to the plot. Fantasy and humor are also good ways to get kids hooked on books. Giving them a variety to choose from will help determine what genre captures their imagination.

Fo my brother Andrew, he started reading books by Paul Jennings, which were essentially short stories and progressed to fantasy fiction. Along the way, he would borrow books from the library about ancient Egypt, or whatever subject took his fancy. The reading paid off as he went on to do really well in his VCE, went to university and now works in London.

Here are 5 tips on turning a reluctant reader into a ripper reader.

  1. Pick something short to read- funny rhymes which can be read aloud to get the feel and sound of language are really good. Chapter books with short chapters are good as you feel you have accomplished something in a short space of time. As a child’s attention span increases, books with longer chapters can be introduced.
  2. Have books in the house. Make them part of the room and part of your life.
  3. Don’t limit your reading material to fiction- include non-fiction, such as dinosaurs, robots, space and myths and legends are always popular books with children.
  4. Lead by example and read yourself. My earliest memories are of my dad reading the paper. Mr BG’s memories of his father were of him sitting by the fire with a book, or sitting in a car in the pelting rains reading a book. If you are reading for enjoyment, your child will hopefully see it as a means of entertainment.
  5. Read to your child- it’s a great way to spend time with them and if you’re enjoying it, chances are they will too.

Do you have any tips on encouraging kids to read?


4 thoughts on “Turning Reluctant Readers into Ripper Readers

  1. Continue to read aloud to kids even after they are able to read for themselves. Stop the reading at an exciting part in the book so the child will want to read on alone. My family of three all enjoyed the reading time at night when we spent the time together, me reading aloud to them.

    • It is enjoyable being read to- I remember my Grade 3 teacher reading The Lion the witch and the wardrobe to the class during quiet time!

  2. Advice I heard to encourage boys (I have two) is get them to read the sports pages of a newspaper – if they are into sport – mine are football crazy…….

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