Ways to Engage a Reluctant Reader

Parents are often at a loss as to how to entice and engage their reluctant readers.  Perhaps you are even wondering ifyour child may be reluctant to read.  Here are a few signs of a reluctant reader:

  • —May avoid reading
  • Negative attitude towards reading
  • Identifies him/herself as a poor reader
  • Fails to see value in reading
  • Difficulty with reading processes
  • Lacks encouragement
  • Lacks the ability to read strategically

But never fear!  There are a few ways I would recommend engaging your reader:

  • Provide many opportunities for your reader to attend the library and/or bookstores.  Allow time to browse and immerse himself in books.
  • Always, always, always provide your child with choice when choosing books.  Even if you think the book is not at his/her reading level.  Providing choice allows your child to feel in control of something and may provide a spark that ignites a love for reading!
  • Provide book talks for your child.  Find two books that you think he/she will like.  Read them and then talk them up to your child.  SELL them!  Then let him/her choose which one he/she would like to read.
  • Sneak strategy lessons into your read alouds.
  • Provide opportunities for your child to debrief after reading the book.  Discuss the book with your child.  Make sure you have read it first!  Provide opportunities for hands-on activities related to the book, nothing major, and certainly not book-report like, but a little project that can be completed after the book to extend understanding.
  • Ask your child to keep a journal of books he/she reads.  Your child should list the titles of the books and one or two things he liked or disliked about the book.  Encourage your child to understand that it’s ok if he/she abandons a book.  There are many times as adults that we abandon books without second thought.  There is a book out there for everyone, that particular one just might not be right for your child.
  • Most importantly, read to your child every day (even when they are in middle school!).  And make sure your child continues to see you and your family reading.

It is my hope that every child will grow up to be a reader and it hurts my heart when children struggle with reading.  I hope that one or two of these ideas may help your reluctant reader.

Do you have innovative ways to encourage kids (specifically reluctant readers) to read?  I would love to hear them!

©2010 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Rights Reserved.  All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

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5 Responses to “Ways to Engage a Reluctant Reader”

  1. Tweets that mention Ways to Engage a Reluctant Reader « Literacy Toolbox -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dawn Little. Dawn Little said: Ways to Engage a Reluctant Reader: http://wp.me/pI7J6-8I […]

  2. Beth Zemble Says:

    I love all the tips that give a child choice about the book he or she wants to read and permission to dislike a book. Even the youngest readers can keep a journal by writing down the title and ust giving the book a rating between 1-3. (Dislike, like, really like.) I’ve also found that allowing reluctant readers to choose books with familiar characters, even those they might know from television, encourages them to get involved with a book.

  3. Max Elliot Anderson Says:

    It’s so important to draw attention to reading, and attract reluctant readers to it, especially boys.

    I grew up as a reluctant reader, in spite of the fact that my father published over 70 books. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries, especially for tween boys, that avid boy readers and girls enjoy just as much.

    My blog, Books for Boys http://booksandboys.blogspot.com is dedicated to drawing attention to the importance of reading. And my new book, Lost Island Smugglers – first in the Sam Cooper Adventure Series – is coming out in August. .

    Max Elliot Anderson
    PS. My first 7 books are going to be republished by Comfort Publishing later in 2010

  4. Michelle Breum Says:

    You have great advice for parents! I’m subscribing and adding this blog to my side bar blog list.

    I have a blog with teaching tips and resources for anyone teaching and supporting a beginning reader. You may want to check out my Reading Resources to Share page. http://beginningreadinghelp.blogspot.com/p/reading-resources-to-share.html
    I’ve added your Links to Literacy site, this blog, and this post to the page.

    Keep up the good work. I’m a fan!

  5. pragmatic mom Says:

    I have a list of Favorite Books for Reluctant Boy Readers that I’d like to share with you at http://PragmaticMom.com

    I hope you find it useful!

    Pragmatic Mom
    Type A Parenting for the Modern World

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