7 Ways to Encourage Reluctant Readers

RoadschoolMoms_stampReluctant readers come in all shapes and sizes. Many reluctant readers are very intelligent children who are simply not interested in reading. Sometimes, those children have just not come across the right reading material suited for them.  The road to finding motivation for a reluctant reader is usually a long, bumpy one; however, finding the best inspiration along the journey is also one of the most satisfying.  The Road Trip Teacher uses these 7 ways to help the reluctant reader aboard the Roadschool 101 Crew find his way to reading success:

Audio Books. Encourage your children to enjoy listening to stories through audio books. Downloading MP3 files to play while on the road is a great way for them to steer away from the boredom of travel days. Audio books can be listened to while doing outside or other activities so that reluctant readers learn to appreciate a good book while not having to focus on reading the words at hand. As the interest in this type of reading grows, encouraging a reluctant reader to hear the audio book while reading the text of the book will naturally improve reading fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary skills. Over time, audio books can turn kiddos into avid page-turners.

Read Aloud. Make a family reading session a regular part of your daily or bedtime routine. Before beginning the book, talk about the title, the author and the illustrator. It’s important for children to become familiar with what these three things mean. Let each member of the family read as little or as much as desired and record the success on a Family Reading Log. Between readers, encourage everyone to make predictions as to what they think might happen next in the story. Take advantage of any pictures in the book by sharing them for all to see. Move your finger underneath the words as you read for the younger readers that may be sitting beside you or or your lap. Be sure to ask questions as you progress through the story and give everyone a chance to weigh in on any words that are not understood.

Read Everywhere. It is no secret that a high percentage of reluctant readers are boys. Finding the way to your reluctant readers happy ending is with lots of patience, creativity, and positive reinforcement. Reading billboards, perusing fascinating facts at the zoo or museum, or reading the ingredients on the side of grocery items when shopping are all ways to invite learners into the reality of reading every day. Some kids just aren’t cut out to sit and read page after page of information. Such reading skills can be developed over time at a child’s own pace. In the meantime, keeping other forms of reading in a student’s daily diet is important to developing proficiency.

Themed Books. Whether it’s a basket in your rig or a bag beside the bed, collect reading materials that go with the season or holiday that is occurring. Many times, the excitement of the time of year can spill over and grow readers out of reading favorite books over and over again. Because these books are only available for a short time, children look forward to reading fresh stories from an old book tradition.

Reading Rewards. Learning to read and increasing reading levels is a journey. What better way to encourage the progress of this journey by rewarding the pit stops along the way. Reading rewards can be found in many forms such as

  • Time for other activities (screen time, video game time, etc.)
  • Physical items (a compass because reading takes your places or a fun bouncy ball since reading is a ball!)
  • Reading logs (sometimes competition is good and the accomplishment of being the first to read so many minutes/books is all it takes)

Reading Games. There is no shortage of reading apps available out there and finding favorites is easy too. However, many games require reading as part of the process so take advantage of providing a fun activity with educational results. A simple solution to reading games is as easy as giving your learners a few old magazines and a sight word scavenger hunt printable so that he or she can cut the words out and paste them to the sheet. Perhaps the first one done gets a hand full of gummy worms that serve as prized bookworms!

Cozy Reading Areas. No matter what your location, cozy reading areas can be cultivated. A comfy bean bag chair under a good lamp in the corner of your rig can suffice. However, a crook in a shade tree or a towel under an umbrella on the beach can also provide the perfect spot for a comfy afternoon of reading in the great outdoors. Keeping a reluctant reader interested is a big part of the challenge. Letting him or her create their own reading nook in nature might just be the ticket to finding the inspiration to read more pages.

Whatever the way to your reluctant readers heart, keep it light without putting so much pressure on the student or yourself. Sometimes, it takes weeks or even months for something to click. Until then, try different methods and try them often until a different day down the road when reading isn’t on the chore list.

bookworm-iconMary Beth Goff, author/creator of Road Trip Teacher, LLC, is a homeschooling, traveling roadmom of four kids whose love of learning is taking them places they never knew existed while along the journey of a lifetime! Learn more from Diary of a Road Mom or Road Trip Teacher. The Road Trip Teacher is also part of the Roadschool Moms radio team that airs every Sunday night LIVE on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.


Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

The Giles FrontierSupporting your fulltime RV adventures and aspirationsSupporting your fulltime RV adventures and aspirations