B Books Spark Interest
Does your child groan when you suggest picking up a good book? Do they say the hate to read? Maybe you have a child that loves to read! If you do, this article might not be as useful, but hopefully you can still pull something useful from it.
There are multiple reasons why children grow up “hating” to read. The biggest reason is they haven’t found something they love to read. The second biggest reason is it’s hard. Finally, reading takes time, time away from gaming and television. Who would want to put down the game controller to pick up a book? Most kids don’t.
So, how do we change this viewpoint? First, ask yourself, do you like to read? If you say no, that might be part of the problem. Our interests inadvertently affect our kids. If you don’t love to read, find a magazine to read or read catalogs; anything in print is reading! By showing your child that you like to read something, you are now promoting reading.
The second thing to do is to ask your child what they would want to read about. If they say “nothing” or “I don’t know” then offer suggestions. Maybe they would like crime fiction, maybe realistic fiction, how about science fiction? Children are told what kind of books are out there but when it comes to naming one, they don’t realize how many different topics there really are! If your little one loves stuffed animals, find a book about stuffed animals! If your child loves baking, find books on baking! Get them interested in reading. Once they find interest, they will increase their reading time, which will help improve the ability to read. Being able to read easily is the product of practicing all the time!
So, you’ve tried all these things, and nothing works! Well, turn to the house and the things in the house. Start asking kids to read packaging. Ask students to read labels on everything; cans, shampoo, juice…You can even ask your child to read the instructions to their favorite video game! Yes, this is reading! Anything that students read increases reading time which then provides practice and consequently, makes reading easier and more enjoyable. One important point I would make is that children love to reread their favorite books. This is okay! It is still practice. But if they get stuck and won’t move on, ask your local or school librarian to find a very similar book. When kids realize there is more than one good book, reading grows.
Now there will be the child that doesn’t want to read no matter what the incentive. They don’t like comic books, they won’t try a chapter book, and they think reading labels is lame. Try audio books! Yes, listening to books is just like reading them yourself. The thing is, listening and reading provide you with what you want kids to get; better word use, expanded vocabulary, and joy of learning. There are websites that have free books and most public libraries have books on tape and CD.
Finally, a great Language Arts activity for all ages is labeling. Give your child a package of sticky notes and a pencil and let them label the house. This is useful for improving spelling and vocabulary. In turn, every time they reread their labels, they are practicing reading. Reading can be fun. Reading comes in so many forms. It might take time but keep a positive outlook that they will all find something they love to read.