Reading is an age-old pastime that provides us with an outlet for learning and entertainment. A good book can transport us into a new world, fostering imagination and creative development. For children, reading is an integral part of development, but in some cases reading doesn’t always come naturally triggering reader frustration. This frustration can lead to a fear of reading and, ultimately, a strong reluctance to do so. Unless the problem is caused by dyslexia, sequencing problems or other learning challenges that require specific interventions, making reading fun to keep a young mind engaged and looking forward to picking up their next book is an important part of breaking through the barrier.
Provide Different Options
Reading doesn’t have to be limited to novels or long books. Encourage reluctant readers to read all different types of literature. Younger children may prefer more visual options, like Superhero comic books, while older readers might prefer poetry or detective series like The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. Showing the reader the value of different types of literature encourages them to discover different options and ways to enjoy reading.
When introducing more reading time to a child or adolescent, be sure to give options that pertain to their interests, and are easy to read. If a reader is struggling, providing them with advanced reading options, or options that they can’t relate to may ultimately make them more hesitant. If something sparks their interests, they’ll be more inclined to comprehend what they’re reading, and better understand the context of the story. Scholastic recommends many high-interest books for reluctant readers, that usually consist of relatable characters and visuals.
Read for Fun
Reading can often be associated with “work”, so reading assignments may not be a good fit for children that are struggling. Start by allowing time for independent reading without any additional assignments. When students associate reading with positivity, it substantially helps lower reluctance. As they become more accustomed to independent reading time, introducing assignments may become less daunting.
Make is Social
Groups are an excellent way to get readers to interact with one another. Making reading a social event creates an opportunity for engagement between peers. Student-led discussion groups teach readers a structured way to understand and talk about what they read. The discussions and different insights from each person involved can help a struggling reader understand the content and form their own opinions.