It is a commonly known fact that boys, on average, lag behind girls in the amount of reading they do AND the level of their reading skills. While my son is a good reader, reading is not one of his favorite things to do. He would much rather go outside and play or work with his Lego’s or play on his iPod.
My son has had a library card since he was six months old and has always loved being read to – he loves books! However, usually doesn’t want to waste time reading “some dumb book”.
This summer we have worked on making reading fun, instead of thinking of it as a chore. We had quite a bit of success – YEAH! Here are a few tips that will hopefully get your little guy on the reading train:
- Let him pick the book – He tends to like gross humor books or books about animals. We have access to an awesome library that carries a huge selection of books for young readers. He loves choosing books offered in the series format. His favorite series is George Brown Class Clown, at least for now. It makes a big difference if he picks the books – I guess it makes him feel like he has a little more control.
- I bought him a little bitty reading light – This one was huge. It made reading fun for him. He couldn’t wait for it to get dark so he could use his itty bitty light.
- Use a reward chart– A little encouragement and praise goes a long way. In the beginning maybe reward for completing so many pages rather than a whole book, it makes it more do-able.
- Designate a special place that can only be used for reading – you can have a lot of fun with this one. Maybe it’s your hammock or a special chair or room, sitting on a big special pillow. I knew someone that filled the bathtub with pillows for special reading time – how fun!
- Set a good example – If you read, then they will want to read more too. This is especially true if it’s the male role model in the house setting the example.
- Limit TV, Video Games and other electronics – this makes sense, the theory is deprive them of their normal form of “fun” and they will have to find fun somewhere else. Make them read FIRST, then let them play video games. We rarely watch TV – which was tough for us to cut out, but we survived. We made an exception for the Summer Olympics.
These things worked for us – do you have suggestions or ideas for getting children to want to read? Leave us a comment and let us know.