Eat your vegetables!
Spinach is an example of something that just because you know something is good for your children, does not mean it will be easy to get them to eat it. As adults, we also sometimes have a difficult doing what is good for us, so think how much more difficult this may be for your children.
Add some cheese sauce
Like spinach, reading does matter, and it is too important to the future of your child to be ignored read more. So, what are some things you can do to encourage a child who does not like to read to read? Consider this as similar to adding cheese sauce to vegetables and use some innovative strategies that will make reading more fun. The following are a few you can try:
• Target Their Interests – No one wants to read things that we are not interested in. Provide your children books that are focused on topics that attract their attention. For example, do they like horses? If so, find books related to horses. Do they like outer space? Find books related to science fiction or the universe. Do your children like series like Laura Ingalls “Little House on the Prairie” or the “Harry Potter” books? Make sure to have the next in the series ready when they are.
• Start Small – A thick book with page after page of seemingly dense and endless text can be difficult even for adults, so start your children out with small books that have a few lines per page, especially if they are just starting to read. Choose easy-to-read and lavishly illustrated books because illustrations add interest and aid in reading comprehension by adding clues to the context.
• Make it Special – Because you as a parent know the importance of reading, sometimes you may insist that your children read every day. Sometimes this can backfire and turn reading into a dreaded chore. Instead, come up with ways to make reading a special treat by giving books to your children as gifts, or as a pick-me-up when they are sick and in bed. Encourage family and friends to give books as gifts during the holidays or for birthdays.
• Know at What Level Your Child is Reading – Even though it is good for your children to read books that challenge them, if the book is too difficult, it will become frustrating very quickly. They may even put it down for a while saying that “it is boring,” when the fact is that they are having a problem understanding the content. Speak with the teacher to find out what level your child is reading at, then find books that are focused at that level. The book-finding wizard at Scholastic Books is great at finding books by the reading level, which helps you can narrow the search by genre, theme, or subject.
• Let Them Choose – Naturally, your children will have books at school they will have to read. However, when the point is simply to encourage them to practice, allow them to choose their own books. A trip to the library or book store will let your children make their own selection. Allow them to choose the books they want to read on your e-reader, and even letting them read comic books are great ways for them to practice reading. Just ensure that any reading material you allow them to read is age-appropriate as many comic books are aimed at adults.