The Reluctant Reader

Reading is such an important skill but reading for pleasure seems to be in sharp decline.

The Daily Telegraph reported recently that just over 25 percent of children read for pleasure outside of school. This is a decline of a quarter over the last seven years. Research has shown that children who are regular readers are more likely to achieve well at school – even in subjects such as maths.

There is a book to suit Reluctant Readers everywhere – the trick is finding it.

Try not to make a big deal out of the fact that your child is a reluctant reader. Let your child see you reading and enjoying books. Talk about books at dinner and make it obvious how much enjoyment can be had from a good book.

Let your child pick what they want to read – perhaps they are more drawn to comics, non-fiction books, magazines, football league tables or even instruction manuals! What about encouraging your child to read digital books on an iPad or Kindle?

Try not to judge what they have chosen – as long as the content is age-appropriate, all reading will be beneficial to your child. Visit your local library and spend some time looking at books together. You don’t need to head straight for the fiction section either. Is there something, in particular, your child is interested in? Perhaps they like cooking and would like to look for a new recipe.

Continue to read to and with your child. Many parents stop doing this when their child starts school but there are so many benefits from sharing a book with your child. Choose a good book as a bedtime story (you can’t go wrong with Roald Dahl) and take it is turns to read a page each. Discuss the plot together and decide what you think might happen next.

Most importantly, let your child see you enjoying reading.

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