How to get Reluctant Readers to Read?

How to get Reluctant Readers to Read?


We all want our kids to love reading unfortunately some kids love to read and some don’t. It can be liken too some adults don’t like to run and some do. It’s all about our personal motivation. What is motivating us to read or run? Research show that motivation is the key to success for every person and reading is the same. When children are motivated; they want to read frequently which will ensure they become skilful readers. Children who are skilful readers learn well and also become successful.


Both my children have had books around them since birth and they have been read to daily and every evening since they could see the book with their clear baby eyes. Multiple books titles filled shelves however once hitting school years for my son he found reading to become difficult. Nothing changed at home in regards to books however he found reading suddenly too hard due to his motivation level altering. Why was he resisting reading when, he used to love it? It was as simple as the change in his level of personal growth and interest level. We all know practice makes perfect and the more we read the more we retain? But when a child is not interested in the book it is truly impossible.


Sometimes reading is hard and children find the preserving nature to look at words and remembering them too difficult. My son found reading alone exhausting however reading with someone to be fun. Over these 15 years of teaching I have found children reading interests have change vastly as we use more technology children as easily entertained because the device – does it for them.


I found this exact thing to be true for my son as he needed to be personally patience to learn the words and retain them without all the bells and whistles. He had great speech skill, good vocabulary but the fear of failure was unwavering. The only way I fixed this was to sit with him every night at bed and read purposefully. I would encourage him to read sections to me. It started with one word, then a sentence, then parts of paragraphs, to a page each and finally to reading a chapter each. He now loves reading once again. The books titles also were a hurdle and finding something that boys love to read that was reflective and funny is the major key. He loved the Tom Gates books and these were the biggest saviour with their cartoon break sections and funny likeable characters that replicate the lives of boys in school. When I watch him sit quietly at 13 years old now and thoroughly enjoying the novel with his head buried toward -it truly is a proud moment.


Tips to teach them reading skill while being guided:


Encourage them to skim read the first page and identify any words they know first therefore creating success before the book is read. Then when you are reading together and ‘get to that word’ they can say it first and then the guiding reader can continue on.


Mouth the words together looking at pronunciation and spelling – repeat the words often. Note when you see the word and ask them what that word is on the TV or on a game, billboard or sign.


10 tips to motivate your relucent reader:


  • Make time for reading everyday.

Reading is relaxing and soulful. Our lil’ 3 family switches all devices off at 7.45 and brush teeth and lay in bed with our books for a solid 15 mins we read alone until we unite to read together a book.


  • Set aside read aloud time.


  • Create a cosy reading nook for a child; my daughter has a swing in her room and this is her favourite place to read.


  • Ensure the reading material is of interest and not beyond the children’s abilities – this was the key to my son’s demise and also success. A few steps were missed for him therefore finding the small gaps of joy in reading interest made him flourish again.


  • Read a variety of material– newspaper, comics and signage, finding the usefulness of words.


  • The hesitant reader can read to younger siblings or others.

This is fun for the uncertain reader as they feel the success requirement to ensure they try hard and preserve.


  • Read funny books.


  • Encourage the use of words from the books and also familiar words that you had read together.


  • Be the role model and read too often and talk about your books.


  • Provide access to books – library or swaps – books do not have to be always new but books are a great presents too.

On a quick personal note:

We must remember as a parent; we are the prime teacher in a child’s life. We must understand this very important role. Research proves that a child learns best ‘one on one’ in certain situations especially reading. We cannot continue to pass the buck and expect our teachers to do our parenting too. It is almost impossible for teachers to be ‘one on one’ and read daily with our children (even though all teachers wish they could). We must as parents take this responsibility on board as we care for our children for 5 years before attending formal schooling and this is when the most important education is completed.


Please read with your kids – it is the most beautiful time every evening for me and I’d not give it up for any TV show, scroll though the internet or work matter.





Health and Happiness always,