Just recently I have been really struggling to get my 8 year old daughter Lois to read. We tried all sorts of books and just couldn’t seem to find anything that interested her. I have a rule that they need to read 2 pages of a book each day (more if they wish). Their school expects them to read each day as part of their homework. Even 2 pages was a struggle though.
In desperation I turned to my blogging friends for ideas and here’s what we came up with to help encourage your child to read:
- Kat from Raising Harry came up with this fab idea ‘Act out the story. Each take a character and just use the book as a script. Do a couple of pages/ one chapter a night.’ I think this is such a fun activity and something the kids would really enjoy. Definitely going to try it!
- Mary suggested factual books instead which do tend to be more interest to Lois than non-fiction. ‘My son is the same age and is the same. Factual books definitely work best here and I still read to him every night at bedtime. He loves engineering and steam trains so we have a few books that he is happier to read when he feels like it. Don’t give up but don’t force it either. I take any reading from him as a plus, even if it’s just a menu or something in a leaflet. ‘ I think this is definitely a good way of looking at things. Lois is often happier reading leaflets and information boards, etc than long pages full of words. Too many words can feel overwhelming. You can see more from Mary at http://www.over40andamumtoone.com
- Sinead who blogs at www.sineadlatham.com says ‘I’ve always believed reading isn’t just about the ability to read a book cover to cover. Comics, magazines, heck even the Smyths catalogue! Anything that captures attention is only a good thing. There are so many wonderful children’s magazines around now. We are fans of NatGeo Kids and Anorak.’ Lois has actually just received a magazine subscription for her birthday which she really enjoys receiving each month. It’s one about the planet called Eco Kids. I also really like the National Geographic Kids ones too so might do that for her for Christmas.
- Becky’s comment shows the importance of leading by example. ‘ Totally model how much YOU love reading – read bits out of magazine to them, talk books you loved as a kid at the table, read a comic with them and have a giggle, share a daft joke book. Make any and all reading lots of fun and show them you adore it too.’ I very rarely get time to read so I think its something I need to do more myself as well. Reading snippets out to them will encourage them to read more themselves as well. I’m definitely going to do this more! You can find Becky’s blog at www.simpleparenting.co.uk
- Gemma had this great idea – ‘ Don’t focus on the reading so much. Why not get them into words by playing games such as Boggle and scrabble in order to encourage word play.’ We love playing games as a family. We have both the Junior and standard scrabble. I think Boggle may need to be added to our collection too. Fab idea!
So many fab ideas here that we are now incorporating at home. After a chat with Lois’s class teacher she was given time in the school library to find something she liked. She has now discovered the whole collection of Dr Seuss books in there and has been reading one a day – she loves them! I’ve never known her read so much but it’s so lovely to see her enjoying books again. Long may it continue!
If you have any other ideas please share them in the comments below.